Forcing Crocus for Winter Blooms

So I planted the last of the new Tulip bulbs in their pots. But then last year’s bulbs were sitting in a bucket and demanding, “What about us?”

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As I said in an earlier post, most of the container Tulips rotted over the summer. There were some survivors, though, more often Crocus than Tulips. Maybe the Crocus got less moisture because they were closer to the surface, maybe they can just better tolerate the frequent watering.

Almost all the Crocus and a few of the Tulips had broken dormancy, with pale sprouts reaching upward. My understanding is that this is to be expected, but that the Crocus are “frozen” over winter, and the stem doesn’t break the surface of the soil until early spring.

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This pot is full of Crocuses, but I already through a couple handfulls of mix on top of the bulbs. You can still see the Crocus stems, though. I covered them with a couple inches of mix.

I thought this would be a good opportunity to acquire some cheap indoor winter blooms. The survivors of summer yielded two small containers planted with bulbs for forcing. Most people say that bulbs should be chilled for 12-16 weeks. So if I count October as part of the chilling period, I can bring the containers inside by early January.


The two pots closest to the camera are my forcing pots. They’ll just chill for a couple of months. I’ll move them into the garage with the rest of the pots after Thanksgiving.

There are still a few Tulip bulbs left over – I plan to slip them into the Parkway Bed.

Are you planning to force any bulbs inside over the winter?

33 Comments on “Forcing Crocus for Winter Blooms

  1. I’ve only forced bulbs once before, but it was so much fun. Should really reconsider doing it again. Looking forward to seeing how yours do…

  2. I have had terrible luck with crocus because inevitably they get eaten by rodentious creatures (even Tommy crocus, apparently); I should try forcing a pot of them one of these days. I’d have to cover the pots with something mouseproof, though, while they are outdoors chilling.

  3. No. I don’t usually do this but when you talk it up I at least think about it.

  4. I have absolutely no luck with crocus, although other gardeners in our part of the world don’t have a problem, so I’ll admit defeat and just look forward to yours!

  5. The contents of all my crocus pots have been eaten by wood mice. They don’t go for anything else, just delicious crocus corms.

  6. No, I will not be forcing any bulbs this year. When I find bulbs that survive in (client’s) pots, I just find a convenient spot to bury them out of the way in the garden. If they survive, that would be fine. If not, it is no big loss. I did happen to plant a whole bunch of dahlias from pots in a clients garden, only to get them cut down by someone else with a weed whacker. It actually killed all of them!

  7. I had never thought to try forcing crocuses. What a good idea! I don’t usually force other bulbs as the scent of daffodils or hyacinths is too pungent for us. But crocuses… maybe next year!

  8. Oh your poor crocuses, survived your watering last year and now to be forced inside!

  9. That will be fun! I have a few Hyacinths in some pots that I bring inside every year. It is really fun to anticipate those early blooms in late winter/early spring!

  10. Great job, Jason!
    Hopefully you have a nice vernal bloom. I did force the tulips bulbs, not sure what the result will be.
    Happy weekend!

  11. Jason, I tried to leave my comment on your latest CBG post, but no luck. As many times as I’ve visited the city, I have yet to stop at the gardens. Someday.

  12. I’ve never forced bulbs, mine just go straight into the ground. I’ve noticed lots of bulbs coming up, a hard frost should halt

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