A Seed Pantry Guide to Growing Flower Bulbs Indoors

Use this guide to growing your Seed Pantry flower bulbs indoors and enjoy those spring-time blooms inside at Christmas and over the winter period.

Home » Flower bulbs
Planting our Seed Pantry prepared bulbs.

Autumn is the time for planting bulbs in the garden, daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, iris and crocus are all popular in Grow Club boxes now. Whilst you’ve been busy planting bulbs outdoors in the garden, it’s a great idea to pot up and grow flower bulbs indoors too!

So what is ‘forcing’ and what are ‘prepared’ bulbs?

A ‘prepared’ bulb is one that has been pre-chilled so that it will flower indoors out of season, only 8-10 weeks after being planted. The cold period mimics winter time and the ‘chilling’ period they need; Tricking the plant into thinking that it’s Spring time out of season! Time the planting right, and you can use your flowers as a stunning, fragrant home-grown Christmas centrepiece!

‘Forcing’ a bulb into flower sounds rather mean, but when you think about it you’re actually putting your bulbs up in a 5 star hotel complete with central heating and a watering-on-demand sort of room-service. Asking for a bloom out of season in return seems rather reasonable, don’t you agree?

Narcissus papraceus

Grow Narcissus papyraceus – ‘Paperwhite’

Perfect for newbie gardeners Narcissus papyraceus (a.k.a. the ‘Paperwhite’ daffodil) is a fast and easy, fragrant indoor pot plant with delicate white flowers. They’ll make a beautiful centrepiece for Christmas, or cheer up any windowsill on a dark winters day.

How to do it

  1. Plant several bulbs in each pot, pointy end up, with the tip of the bulb just below the surface. Any multi-purpose compose will do.
  2. Water well and leave in a cool, shady room for 3-4 weeks. There’s no need to cover these.
  3. After 3-4 weeks place on a warm, sunny windowsill and wait. They should bloom 8 weeks after first planting.
  4. If the plants get a bit lanky, lend them a hand (or stick) to keep them upright.

Once your ‘Paperwhites’ have flowered, allow them to die down in a frost-free place and then plant them in the garden in a sheltered, sunny spot. Narcissus ‘Paperwhite’ aren’t hardy in some parts of the UK, so if you’re a Northerner you may want to allow them to dry off and store them to be replanted in containers later in the year.

Hyacinthus orientalis ‘China Pink’

Grow prepared Hyacinthus orientalis

Otherwise known as ‘Grape hyacinths’, orientalis will also only take a short while to bloom. Planting these beautifully fragrant flower bulbs indoors during October or early November will see you with flowers for Christmas and New Year!

How to do it

  1. Select a container deep enough to hold single or multiple bulbs and add a 3/4cm layer of well-watered bulb fibre or Seed Pantry grow medium to the pot. 
  2. Next, plant and gently firm down the bulb/s. Fill around them with growing medium, leaving the tip of the bulb showing by 1cm. 
  3. Place pots somewhere cool and exclude any light: a garage, shed, dark cool cellar, cupboard, or a place on cool floor inside in a cardboard box. 
  4. Inspect the bulbs each week to ensure the grow medium isn’t drying out or the bulbs haven’t pushed themselves out – firm back in if so.
  5. Your first leaves should be visible early December. Then place pots in a cool shady room. Leaves will green up and start to reveal the flower bud too!
  6. Wait until the flower bud is clear of the leaf tips and place wherever you want to display them! 
Top tip

You can also grow hyacinths using a glass vase, known as a bulb vase. The bulb should be slightly smaller in diameter than the vase so that it sits snugly. The steps are just as easy when growing them in this way too!

  1. Fill your hyacinth glass with water to the neck, just below where the bottom of the bulb’s base will sit. Place the bulb tip side up in the top, being careful that it’s base doesn’t quite touch the water.
  2. Leave your vase in a cool, shady place for 6 weeks until the roots start to form.
  3. When the main shoot is around 7-10cm tall, move the glass into a sunny position.
  4. Turn the glass a little every few days to prevent the plant growing lopsided, as they’ll grow towards the light. Top up the water every now and again to keep the water level stable.

After flowering

Once your hyacinths have flowered, allow them to die down before planting them in the garden at a depth of twice their own height.

Here at Seed Pantry we’ve made life easy and sourced only the best prepared indoor bulbs for you… available in the Grow Club and Seed & Bulb shop now!

Seed Pantry Team 🌼

#SeedPantryGrowClub

WIN a lucky-dip addition to your next box by sharing your plant pictures with us on Instagram. Use the hashtag #SeedPantryGrowClub or tag us @seedpantry to enter.

Subscribe to the Grow Club box for flowers, food and herb seeds ready to sow each month… Curious? Come check out all of this month’s options!

How To Plant And Grow Tulips

Summers out, bulbs are in, here comes Tulip mania 2021! We divulge our top tips on planting and growing tulips in this guide.

Home » Flower bulbs
Tulipa ‘Queen of Night’

It is never too early to start garden planning for next year! Here at Seed Pantry, we are always planning ahead to make sure Grow Club boxes are filled with the most amazing goodies. One thing we always excited for are our Tulip bulbs, ready to plant in late Autumn. Each year we carefully curate an amazing range of gorgeous tulips for you to choose from for your own incredible displays!

Here are our top tips on planting Tulip bulbs to help you create your own stunning Spring displays! 💐

1. Before planting, make sure to choose a well-lit area of the garden where the flowers are likely to get plenty of sunlight. If you are planting in containers or pots, Tulips favour well-drained, semi-fertile soil. This will help aid in their growth.

2. When planting tulips it’s important that you plant them at the right depth. Place them pointy end up a a depth of around 3 times the height of each bulb; Generally at least 10cm deep. This will give the bulbs enough cover to protect them from frosts in the winter and enough depth for roots to establish and form a strong base, so they do not topple over as they grow.

3. Space each bulb around 10cm apart from each other to give them each enough space to develop. If you are planting in containers, you can plant them slightly closer together, just make sure not to overfill it with bulbs or none of them will have the resources they need to grow.

4. Simply cover the bulbs over with soil, give them a good drink of water and wait for the magic to happen!

Top Tip

Tulips need very little care or maintenance but if you want to help them along when they start forming flowers, add a weekly feed of balanced liquid fertiliser to the pot.

Tulip Garden Design 🌷

Tulipa ‘Rem’s Favourite’ and ‘White Elegance’

Tulips are so special that the varieties are separated in to 15 groups, depending on their characteristics; flowering time, shape, size and colour. Shop our ready-to-plant Tulip collections at the Seed Pantry Tulip shop, or use our quick Tulip groupings guide to help you understand the different Tulip groups.

Single-coloured tulips can be striking with individual splashes amongst green foliage, you could match light pastels or hot colours. Contrasting colours can work beautifully together too, for example purple and yellows. Multiple mixed colours can be added together if you wanted to create a homely cottage garden theme too.

Sometimes, it can be hard planting and designing spring flower bulb displays in the garden. Where do you plant this and when!? Well, a bulb lasagne is a sure-fire way to create a stunning spring flower display in your own garden spaces, big or small. Check out our video below to create your own! You can read all about them here too!

Neil’s How to make a Bulb Lasagne video

Seed Pantry Team 🌼

#SeedPantryGrowClub

WIN a lucky-dip addition to your next box by sharing your plant pictures with us on Instagram. Use the hashtag #SeedPantryGrowClub or tag us @seedpantry to enter.

Subscribe to the Grow Club box for flowers, food and herb seeds ready to sow each month… Curious? Come check out all of this month’s options!