Forcing Daffodil Bulbs

Forcing daffodil bulbs means (like other spring blooming bulbs) that you have to prechill them to allow them to set flower buds.

Cold Requirements

Daffodils require 15 weeks of temperatures below 48F to set bud and 2-3 weeks of growing temperatures of 70F in full sunlight to bring the flower buds into bloom.

Christmas Timing

It is almost impossible to hit Christmas in the home garden with forcing daffodil bulbs but spring bulbs or special events after Christmas are possible.

If you are determined to force daffodils (for Christmas) then look for these varieties (and only these varieties) as they will bloom if conditions are right after only 12 weeks of chilling:
daffodil photo

* 'February Gold', yellow petals and cup, mini-daffodil, Cyclamineus

* 'Tete-a-Tete', yellow petals and cup, mini-daffodil, Cyclamineus

All others require 15 weeks of chilling in the crisper of the refrigerator or planted up in a cold room for that length of time.

Flower Lifespan

The flowers will last longer once they are in bud if they are kept as cool as possible. The higher the room temperature, the shorter the life of the daffodil flower. But all things being equal, you will likely two to three weeks of color from each bulb.

After Blooming

After blooming, keep damp (but not soggy) and afterwards, treat them like an outdoor bulb. That is, grow the leaves in full sun and feed weekly with a regular houseplant food. 

You can plant them outdoors after the leaves have started to yellow (and frost is out of the ground)

forcing daffodil bulbs

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