23 February 2011

It worked! Effortless bulb forcing!

A little over a year ago, I read that Iris reticulata doesn't require a cold period to flower. I got all excited, and planned to try growing them indoors for effortless winter color, but it was too late and I couldn't find them for sale anywhere.
So this fall, I bought a couple bags. I kept forgetting to pot them up, but in early January I stuck them in a pot, and put them in a sunny windowsill.

This afternoon, I came home and saw a few bits of purple blue:

I instantly ran in closer to soak up the pure joy...

And then started trying to take artsy backlit pictures

In short: It works! I have glorious fragrant irises blooming while there is a good six inches of snow outside, and they were no work whatsoever. As easy as paper whites or amaryllis, but without the need to stake or douse with alcohol to keep them from falling over. I think these are my new favorite bulb for winter flowers! Next year I'm going to buy oodles of them and start planting them up earlier so I can have them all winter.

9 comments:

scottweberpdx said...

Fabulous...I'm SO going to try that next year!

College Gardener said...

Very pretty. I have also had good success with normal hyacinth bulbs, despite the fact that most books say that they need cold treatment.

Commonweeder said...

Your bulbs were unexpectedly easy to force, but my tulips, daffs and amaryllis are unexpectedly hard. I'm still waiting for most of them - nearly three months later!

Tom said...

Well now that I know this is possible I'm going to have to try it. I hate to say it but the Home Depot by my house has them for sale now (I suppose since they don't need cold to bloom you can just plant them in the spring?) so I might have to pick up a bag to try... I never would have pegged these as an easy forcer!

allanbecker-gardenguru said...

I am delighted to read the good news.
I am presuming that you planted the Iris reticulata bulbs as you would have outdoors and placed them in front of a sunny window and watered as needed. Right?

Kenneth Moore said...

I really like Iris reticulata. There are some breeders out there who make ridiculously awesome-looking varieties... And they're great container plants. I don't know why I don't try them inside, too!

Carlie said...

No forcing? So cool. You're incredible. Thanks a million for sharing this with me.

tcg said...

I just found your site, and it's terrific! Isn't it amazing how gardening and cartoons go together?! I'm excitedly watching over my forced bulbs, too...but my successes are not in the bag as yet. Cheerio!

Greensparrow said...

Allan, yes, I just put them in a pot, very close together, and not very deep, and then kept them watered in a sunny spot.

Welcome TCG! Glad you are enjoying my ramblings!