Spring on the windowsill or forcing crocuses at home
Delicate crocuses are among the first to bloom and indicate that the snowy and frosty winter is gradually giving way to the gentle spring sun. Do you know that you can admire their flowering even when a blizzard is still sweeping outside and it is far from real spring? Let’s imagine for a moment that we are wizards who are subject to the change of seasons, and we will start forcing crocuses at home. Agree that there is nothing more beautiful than flowering plants, and these primroses are recognized as one of the best crops that can be easily distilled. The beauty of this procedure is the ability to control the flowering of crocuses, bringing it closer to the desired date..
So, what is this magical process and how to get flowers to bloom at the right time? We will talk about this today.
Choosing planting material
Not only the quality of flowering, but also the duration of the forcing process itself depends on what the planting material will be. It is noticed that the largest inflorescences in the shortest possible time are obtained from large varietal corms, which bloom more abundantly.
Garden specimens of plants growing in flower beds can also be distilled, but it should be borne in mind that their flowers will be small and will quickly fade.
Hybrid crocuses, in particular those belonging to the Dutch selection, are recognized as the best for forcing at home..
When buying corms, you need to pay attention to the following points:
- they should be dense, dark brown in color;
- there are no traces of mechanical damage on the surface;
- the scales are absolutely healthy, without signs of decay;
- the bulb must be in a state of complete dormancy, that is, without germinating roots and sprouts (otherwise it will be difficult to keep its flowering to the desired date);
- it is best to choose corms with a diameter of at least 7 cm, since the number of future inflorescences depends on the size of the planting material.
As for the popular crocuses of the chrysanthus group (golden-flowered), they are practically not used for forcing. Although they are very beautiful, but the nature of the plants is quite capricious: most often they “do not live” longer than the budding stage and immediately fade.
Preparing corms for distillation
Forcing crocuses also provides for the correct preparation of the bulbs, because without it, it is very difficult and almost impossible to manage flowering. First of all, after purchasing the planting material, it is left to lie down at room temperature for a week. Then they start “hardening procedures” and gradually lower the temperature, transferring the corms to a cooler room..
As a result, everything should end with the crocuses ending up in a cellar or refrigerator, where the air temperature fluctuates between 3-9 degrees Celsius (not higher or lower). They must stay there for at least 20 days, or even a whole month..
Bulbs should be wrapped in paper before placing in the refrigerator..
When and how to start forcing?
The timing of planting the bulbs directly depends on the specific date. In general, it is necessary to focus on the fact that 70-90 days pass from planting to flowering..
Thus, in order to drive out crocuses by March 8, they must be planted in the first decade of December..
For planting, it is better to take wide bowls – crocuses take root better in them. It is imperative to pour drainage on the bottom of the bowl and fill it with nutritious soil..
If the purpose of forcing is only flowering (without further use of the bulbs for propagation), instead of soil, you can place them in expanded clay or sand.
When forcing crocuses at home, the bulbs are planted in such a way that they do not come into contact with either the flowerpot or each other, and are completely covered with earth or other material, leaving a small tail. So the stem will grow even. Then the bowl is placed in a cool dark place until the crocuses germinate..
Preparing crocuses for flowering
Sprouted crocuses with dense sprouts up to 5 cm in height are brought into the light. The temperature of the content should be from 14 to 20 degrees Celsius, otherwise the flowering will come quickly and will also end quickly..
They are watered no more than 3 times a week so that the bulbs do not rot. Rare spraying is allowed. After flowering, you can leave crocuses in a pot, let them fade and then store until spring planting in a flower bed..
As you can see, forcing crocuses at home will not be much of a hassle. It is quite easy to manage their flowering, and the result obtained will delight even the most demanding flower growers, because a pot with amazing inflorescences is a wonderful gift for spring holidays for loved ones. Experiment and enjoy your labors!