Indoor Bulb Culture




A rule of thumb is the majority of indoor flowering bulbs take 12-13 weeks from planting to flowering.

To stagger the flowering period delay the planting dates e.g plant two to three weeks apart.

Bulb Selection:

Choose bulbs such as Hippeastrum / Amaryllis, Hyacinths, Narcissus and Paper Whites to flower indoors in time for Christmas.

When purchasing the bulbs ensure that they are firm and healthy before buying, and avoid any that have started growing.



Around Week 35-40 space Hippeastrum bulbs evenly on a layer of moist potting compost* in a well crocked bulb bowl or pot to flower for Christmas.

*Substitute the potting compost with more expensive bulb fibre if there are no drainage holes in the bulb bowl.

Alternatively, place a standard pot in the more decorative bulb bowl to get the same affect.

Fill around with compost / fibre to about 10mm (1/2”) from the pot rim, with the bulb tops just showing.

Planting depths:

Amaryllus and Hippeastrums; Press bulbs into the surface of the compost.

Hyacinth and Tulips; should be planted to half or three-quarters their depth.

Daffodils and Crocus; should be planted with their tips just below the compost surface.

Growing on:

Place the bulbs in cool, dark conditions, and check them regularly and make sure they are kept just moist.

Leave them until the shoots are 40-50mm (2”) high, this generally takes 6-10 weeks, depending on species / variety.

At this stage, bring the bulbs into a warm, light room (but not direct light) until flowering ends.

Premature removal from the cool, dark conditions, the fibre being kept too wet or too dry, and the bulbs being stored in too warm conditions can affect the flowering cycle.


Alternative growing techniques:

Special glass containers with fluted tops can be purchased to grow hyacinths hydroponically.

The container is filled with water and a prepared hyacinth bulb is placed into the flute.

The base of the bulb should barely touch the water.

As the plant grows, the roots will descend into the water and the foliage and flower will develop as normal.

Hyacinth in purpose
made glass container

Initially, the bulb and container should be kept in the dark and cool as described above.

After flowering, ALL bulbs, excluding prepared bulbs, can be planted out in the border to flower the following year outdoors.

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