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How to Force Amaryllis and Narcissus

The Martha Stewart Show

Forcing amaryllis and narcissus couldn't be easier.

How to Force an Amaryllis
- For single bulbs, the bulb should be nestled in a "cozy" pot. A pot about 1 inch bigger than the bulb is ideal.

- For multiple bulbs, pick a larger container and place bulbs close together.

- Amaryllis should only be forced in soil. Soil should be fast draining and have plenty of sand -- offering a stiff support around the bulb.

- Fill the bottom of pot with soil so the bulb will rest at correct depth.

- Spread out the roots of amaryllis bulb. Place bulb in the partially filled pot and continue to pack with soil. Be sure to leave about one third of the bulb above the soil line.

- Water thoroughly until soil is moist. However, do not water again until signs of life begin or until three weeks have passed.

- Time to bloom varies depending on the type of bulb. It can take anywhere from three to 12 weeks -- so be sure to check with the garden center where you purchase the bulbs.

How to Force a Narcissus
- There are various materials you can use to force a narcissus -- soil, water, pebbles, or even marbles.

- Be sure to store bulbs in a cool, dry place until you are ready to plant. You can even keep them in your refrigerator, but not with your vegetables.

Using the Forcing Vase
- Fill bulb vase to neck with water.

- Place bulb at top of vase, making sure bulb roots are barely touching the water

- Do not water the bulb or soak it in water -- it will rot.

Using Any Glass Container
- Pour gravel, stones, or marbles into glass container.

- Place bulbs close together, pointed side up.

- Fill with water up to base of the bulbs, again making sure not to soak the bulb in water.

Special Thanks
Special thanks to the U.S. Netherlands Flower Bulb Information Center. For more information, visit

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