Purchase bulbs as soon as possible in fall, anytime between October and January. Alternatively, skip the method mentioned below, entirely, and order prechilled bulbs from a local garden centre.
Before planting, chill the bulbs for six to twelve weeks: place in a cool, dark area with a temperature between 3C to 12C and humidity of around 65 percent (like a refrigerator). If placing in the basement or garage, water moderately.
This prechilling ensures that the bulbs will develop strong roots.
After prechilling, set the bulbs in snug containers with drainage holes, filled with well-draining potting soil. Position bulbs about 3 cm away from the side of the pot and at about the same between distance between bulbs. Press soil firmly around the bulbs. Water with tepid water.
Gradually bring into stronger sunlight. Choose an area with medium light like an east or west facing window. Continue to water moderately, but not so much that bulbs rot. Blooms should appear one month later.
BULBS TO TRY
Tulip Secret Perfume
Intoxicating scent and peony-like blooms.
6/pk, $9.99; westcoastseeds.com
Cute and elegant, sure to make a statement.
15/pk, $9.99; westcoastseeds.com
Elwesii Single Snowdrop
Harbinger of spring, delicate blooms.
10pk, $12.99; westcoastseeds.com
Hyacinths Caribbean Dream
Gorgeous, scented beauties.
4/pk, $9.99; westcoastseeds.com
Narcissus Tender Beauty
Peach poetry in double flower.
5/pk, $9.99; westcoastseeds.com
Move bulbs outdoors and into the ground after flowers fade. Sprinkle a handful of fertilizer into the planting hole and they are likely to bloom again next spring.
This original article first appeared in the Fall 2022 issue of City Style and Living Magazine.