This is a sweet valentine gift, perfect for a friend who loves plantsÂ and a great way to bring the garden indoors in the middle of winter. There are two routes you can take with this present:
1. You can force the bulbs yourself: Forced bulbs are a nice way to bring blooms indoors in the middle of winter, but do require months of advanced preparation. For tulips specifically, the bulbs need to be purchased in the fall and then prepped by keeping them in a cool dark place for 12-16 weeks – a garage or refrigerator works well for this step. After the weeks of chilling fill a container with good drainage with soil and place the bulbs in pointy side up, making sure to put soil around the bulbs. After this step, again, place the tulips in their container in a cool dark place, watering once a week, until leaves appear. When leaves do emerge move your plant near a bright window and wait for them to bloom in 2-3 weeks.
2. Buy your flowers already forced and plant them inside any vessel for your valentine (or you) to enjoy for a little while. Here, I planted already forced tulip bulbs into a mini heart-shaped dish, which can be reused. If you are going this route, you probably want to add a thin layer of small pebbles into the bottom of the dish to aid in drainage and water very sparingly until the blooms are spent.