Forcing, etc.: The Indoor Gardener's Guide to Bringing Bulbs, Branches and Houseplants into Bloom

Forcing, etc.: The Indoor Gardener's Guide to Bringing Bulbs, Branches and Houseplants into Bloom

by Katherine Whiteside, Richard Felber
     
 

Exploring the world of paperwhites, potted hyacinths, and more, award-winning writer Katherine Whiteside combines hands-on how-to with a flower lover's enthusiasm in a forcing primer that's as complete as it is glorious.

Organized by plant type, FORCING, ETC covers dozens of common and exotic plants that are readily available and easily growable for the indoor

Overview


Exploring the world of paperwhites, potted hyacinths, and more, award-winning writer Katherine Whiteside combines hands-on how-to with a flower lover's enthusiasm in a forcing primer that's as complete as it is glorious.

Organized by plant type, FORCING, ETC covers dozens of common and exotic plants that are readily available and easily growable for the indoor gardener. Here are step-by--step instructions demystifying the techniques of forcing bulb into bloom by simulating autumn, deep winter, and early spring in an accelerated time frame. Of tricking bare branches and twigs to blossom in the house--weeks or even months before their scheduled time. Of potting up and water forcing. And of raising and propagating--favorite indoor plants. There are unexpected ideas for choosing the right containers throughout, and an appendix offering a mail-order listing of sources for both plants and unusual ornamental materials.

FEATURING:

--Hardy Bulbs. Crocus, narcissus, tulip, and other cold-loving flowers of a spring garden.

--Tender Bulbs. Exotics from the other side of the world, such as bowiea, amaryllis, clivia, and calla lily.

--Houseplants. The classic houseplants--ficus, coleus, scented geranium, jasmine, begonia.

--Twigs & Branches.

Forsythia, quince, witch hazel, and others already in your garden, waiting to be transformed as if by magic.

Plant-by-plant instructions on prechilling, potting up, putting away, and water forcing. Choosing unexpected containers. Creating tripods, trellises, and tuteurs. Extensive mail-order source list for plants and materials.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780761129707
Publisher:
Workman Publishing Company, Inc.
Publication date:
09/01/2003
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
192
Product dimensions:
8.88(w) x 8.92(h) x 0.52(d)

Read an Excerpt


BULB PRIMER--Hyacinth

One of the reasons hyacinths have had such a long uninterrupted heyday is that they're very simple to grow. A few gardeners forgo them because of their reputation for top-heaviness and occasionally overpowering perfumes, but this is like always forgoing vacations because you had one that was bad. Properly chosen hyacinths are delicately formed, pleasantly scented, and come in colors from pale apricot to blackish-purple. Adding hyacinths to your indoor garden provides a little glimpse of heaven in February.

SOIL FORCING:

For forcing in soil, hyacinths should be potted up by mid-October. Use ordinary potting medium and, for best effect, place bulbs close together, but not touching. The pointy tops of the bulbs should be about half an inch above the soil line. Water them thoroughly and place the pots in a cold (35 to 48 degree F), dark location for at least 13 weeks. If the bulbs start to push out of the soil during rooting, add a layer of gravel on top to weigh them down a bit, taking care not to cover the bulb's pointed nose. Keep them watered and in the dark until bulb shoots reach one inch tall. At this point, move the pot to a cool (55 degree F), bright location (a north-facing window is perfect). Soon, the shoots will turn green and buds will appear. Once in flower (about two weeks) keep the hyacinths cool and well watered.

WATER FORCING:

Water forcing hyacinths is even simpler than growing them in soil. Place the bulbs in brown paper bags in a dark, cool (50 to 55 degree F) location for 12 weeks. After this period, place the dormant bulbs in forcing vases filled with water to a level just barely touching the bottoms of the bulbs. Keep them cool and dark until the roots are two inches long (about three weeks), then bring them into the light. Blooms should appear in about two weeks. If your forcing vase doesn't offer enough support to prevent the flowers from leaning, prop the bulb with pretty twigs to prevent diving hyacinths.

Excerpted from Forcing, Etc. by Katherine Whiteside. Copyright (c) 1999. Reprinted with permission by Workman Publishing.

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Meet the Author


Katherine Whiteside is an award-winning freelance garden writer whose articles have appeared in Elle Decor, House & Garden, Town & Country, Martha Stewart Living, The New York Times, Vogue, Garden Design, Metropolitan Home, and many foreign publications. Her first book, Antique Flowers, won two Awards of Merit from the Garden Writers of America. Her second, Classic Bulbs, was a Main Selection of the Garden Book Club. Ms. Whiteside lives in Garrison, New York.

Richard Felber is a leading garden and landscape photographer who regularly contributes to major publications and books.

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