How to grow bulbs in a vase with water

Updated February 21, 2017

The process of growing bulbs indoors is called "forcing." You can force bulbs in soil or in vases or jars with water any time of year. While hyacinths are commonly forced in vases with water, you can also grow crocuses and daffodils (not paperwhites). Bulbs forced in vases do not bloom again and therefore should be discarded after blooming.

Select a vase that is narrow in the middle of the neck, but wider on the bottom and top. The bulb will sit in the narrowest part of the vase.

Fill the bottom part of the vase with decorative rocks, marbles or glass. This step is optional.

Set the bulb in the narrow part of the vase with the tip facing up. Fill the vase with water so it just touches the bottom of the bulb.

Store the vase in a location that is dark, cool (about 4.44 to 10.0 degrees C) and dry. Attics, crawl spaces, basements and garages sometimes work well. If everywhere else is too warm, place the vase in the refrigerator.

Examine your bulbs on occasion and refill the water as necessary.

Wait four to eight weeks before removing the vase from cool storage. Each bulb is different, so when you notice the roots are growing and the stem has emerged, take it out.

Place your vase in a sunny, warm location, such as a windowsill, for your bulb to continue to grow and then bloom. Change the water every two weeks.

Things You'll Need

  • Vase
  • Water
  • Decorative rocks, marbles or glass (optional)
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About the Author

Melissa Lewis is a former elementary classroom teacher and media specialist. She has also written for various online publications. Lewis holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.