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.

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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 🌼


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Seed Pantry makes the one pot pledge…

Seed Pantry and Garden Organic urge for more urban veg growers

Seed Pantry and Garden Organic’s One Pot Pledge are working together to help people grow their own organic food in whatever space is spare.  With a target of 30,000 new organic growers for Britain by 2011.

To encourage people to get started Seed Pantry and Garden Organic have created a new, special edition One Pot Pledge Autumn Salads pack with seeds, equipment and essential advice to grow food throughout autumn and winter months – proving that food can be grown all year round in urban spaces.

The One Pot Pledge Autumn Salads pack has a wonderful collection of vegetable seeds that can be used in meals throughout the year.  The colourful, spicy and oriental varieties including: Pak Choi, Rainbow Chard and Spicy Leaf Mustards are easy to grow with a fast turnaround, ensuring fresh tasty ingredients for the kitchen.

As well as supporting the nation’s new grow your own enthusiasts by offering an exclusive 5% discount on the One Pot Pledge Autumn Salads pack, the collaboration will also support Garden Organic’s wider charitable work, as with every pack sold Seed Pantry will donate 5% of the sale to Garden Organic – the UK’s leading organic growing charity.

Seed Pantry founder Neil Whitehead comments, “I’m very excited to be working with Garden Organic, it’s a great charity that has been encouraging people to grow food at home for over 50 years with Britain’s most famous organic advocate, Prince Charles, as Patron. We want everyone to have a go, even if you’re a novice, and enjoy the satisfaction of growing great tasting organic food in whatever space is spare. With this partnership we’re offering simple steps for people to get involved with food growing and to enjoy the wonders of nature.

One Pot Pledge manager, Charlotte Corner, said, “The aim of our campaign is to turn non-growers into enthusiastic, successful ‘grow your owners’. To do this we need to show people that getting started isn’t scary and that a pot, a selection of appropriate seeds and simple advice are all they need to get started. Seed Pantry offers the perfect approach to growing on a small scale and we’re thrilled to be working with them on this venture.”

To access the special discount code for the One Pot Pledge Autumn Salads pack visit www.onepotpledge.org and buy online at www.seedpantry.co.uk