Forcing Flower Bulbs For Christmas

Forcing flower bulbs for Christmas gifts is a great idea for a simple inexpensive gift.  Get your kids involved… this project makes a great teacher gift.  It’s a gift the teacher can leave in the classroom and class members can enjoy the gift too.   I’m offering your free gift tags with instructions for your Christmas gift recipient.

Not all flower bulbs are good for forcing.  Hyacinths, Crocus, Daffodils, Tulips, Amaryllis, and Narcissus (Paperwhites) are the best.  Often, the packaging will tell you if the bulbs can be forced.

At this time of year, you can purchase bulbs at Wall-mart in packages.  However, I love going to a nursery where the bulbs are displayed in bins and I can pick and choose my bulb sizes.

The prices vary.  You can spend from $1.00 to $15.00 per flower bulb.  I look for bargains.  Sometimes the best deal are in packages… however you run the risk of getting bulbs that are too small for this project.

Hyacinths, Crocus, Daffodils, and Tulips require a “chilling period or cold period” before they will bloom.  If you’re going to purchase these spring flowers, purchase them right away and place them in a cold spot.   They will need to be chilled for a couple of months.

I put mine in my extra fridge.  However, I don’t store them in the crisper where there is produce.  Ripening veggies and fruits release ethylene gas, which can kill or damage the flowers.

The easiest bulbs to force are tropical narcissus (paperwhites).  They require no pre-chilling.  However… just to be on the safe side… I do chill mine for at least a couple of weeks.

Purchase your bulbs… then look for appropriate containers.  You can sometimes purchase bulb vases at your local nursery.  Or… you can pile the kids in the car and go to the thrift store and look for vases.  The vase opening needs to be wide enough that half of the bulb will sit in water.  Take your bulbs along so you get the right fit.

After the bulbs are chilled, place your bulbs in the vases… with the pointed end up.  Make sure the bulb sits down into the vase so at least 1/3 of the bulb will be submerged in water.  Fill the vase with water and put it in a well lit window. The flowers will appear within 4 weeks.

See how I grow!

Put a bulb in a clear bag with a bit of confetti, and tie it up with a bow. Remember to attach your instruction tag. Place you bulb and vase in a Christmas bag with a little tissue and… there you go!

I’m offering you two instruction tag choices. The first selection includes a pink, yellow, blue, and lavender tag. They can be used on a birthday or “Love you” gift. There is a green set of tags that are ideal for Christmas.

Simply fill in your information below and you will receive your download links immediately.  In the future,  I’ll be sending you all kinds of ideas and fun printables.  You’ll never have to give me information again. The holidays are coming… and you won’t want to miss out.


Till Later,
Kathy Griffiths
Insightful Nana

P.S. Remember to get out and get your flowering bulbs so you’ll have time to chill and cool them.
After you package up your gift… keep them in cool until you give them to your friend or loved one.

P.P.S. Remember to save some flowering bulbs for yourself. There’s nothing like a breath of spring in February or early March.

Hey… I couldn’t pass up showing you this last idea.  Fill a bowl or a shallow dish and place bulbs in rocks.  You can get rocks in the aquarium section of Wal-mart or at a nursery.   Just remember to keep the water  level up around your bulbs.  You can plant them in soil too.  Another story for another day.