Which Bulbs Are Best for Forcing?

You've probably seen tulips, daffodils, crocuses, lilies, hyacinths, and other bulbs blooming outside in the spring and summer. The bulbs from which these flowers grow lie dormant all winter, then sprout in the spring or summer when it's time for them to grow.

By altering the biological clocks of such bulbs, however, you can force them to open in the winter, before they normally would. For this project you'll need several different types of flower bulbs, potting soil, trays, and same-size containers.

Plant several of each type of bulb in a pot, being sure to leave uncovered the part of the bulb from which the leaves appear. The broader part of a bulb is generally the bottom, and is the side from which the roots grow. That part should be placed in the dirt so that the roots can grow downward. Once you've planted five or six different types of bulbs, move the pots to a dark, cool place, such as a garage or unheated basement. The temperature should ideally be at about 38 degrees Fahrenheit.

Flower bulbs before shoots appear.
Flower bulbs before shoots appear.

This project requires a good amount of patience and advance planning, for it can take many weeks for bulbs to begin to grow. Once they have, however, and are actively growing, move the pot to an area that receives indirect sunlight and is about 55 degrees Fahrenheit. As the white tips of the plants turn green, increase the amount of sunlight and the temperature. When the buds appear to be ready to open, you can move them to an area that is warmer and sunny.

Rates of growth may vary tremendously between the different types of bulbs, and some may not respond to forcing at all. Just be sure that you use the exact same procedure for each type.

There are thousands of science fair projects that deal with botany, many of which you can probably think of on your own. Just identify a problem relating to plants, and use the scientific method to reach a conclusion.

Excerpted from

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Science Fair Projects
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Science Fair Projects
Nancy O'Leary and Susan Shelly
This book contains great information for different kinds of science fair projects.


Pupils will attempt to grow different types of bulbs out of season while learning about botany in this printable science activity.
Grades
5 |
6 |
7
Subjects
Science (4,733)

Biology (1,753)


Themes
Plants (425)

TYPE:
Lesson Plans (1,036)

Activities (2,947)

Your Free Gift

Take Back Your Evenings: Top 5 Strategies for Work/Life Balance

It can be difficult to have a life outside of school when you let the demands of teaching take over every moment of your day. This workbook includes the top 5 strategies to help you take back your evenings while still being a great teacher.

Start a free trial today to get your work/life balance strategies workbook absolutely free (a $19.99 value)!

CLAIM YOUR FREE GIFT

take your evenings back workbook

 

Special Offer: Get 50% off unlimited, ad-free access

Use special offer code 2020 at checkout to get half off a premium membership of full access and unlimited downloads.

Get Started

Select from a monthly, annual, or 2-year membership plan. All plans include a 7-day trial. Cancel anytime.
Learn more about Premium