Science project

Forcing Plant Bulbs


  • Students need a variety of bulbs such as tulips, daffodils, crocuses, lilies, hyacinths, gladiolus, amaryllis and paper whites, with 2-4 of each type of bulb.
  • Potting soil
  • At least six individual pots big enough for the bulbs (big yogurt containers with holes punched in the bottom are acceptable). Six pots will accommodate an experimental involving three different types of bulb.
  • Access to a freezer
  • Materials are seasonally available in nurseries and garden shops. Some families may already have a supply of bulbs in the ground.

Experimental Procedure:

  1. Put half of each type of bulb in the freezer. Leave the other half of each type at room temperature. Don’t get these confused! Leave the bulbs in the freezer for two weeks.
  2. Set out two pots for each type of bulb. Prepare the planting containers by filling them with potting soil. Label the pots as to the type of bulb and whether it is for the “wintered-over” bulbs or a control (for the un-refrigerated bulbs).
  3. After you have refrigerated your bulbs for two weeks, remove them from the fridge and plant them with the pointy end down. You can plant several of the crocus bulbs in a single container, but make sure there is adequate soil. Cover the bulb with soil and lightly water.
  4. Create a chart that you will use for measuring the plant growth every day.
  5. Look at your pots every day. Once new shoots appear, measure them every day and chart your data. Which plants grew the most? Which grew the least? Did “wintering over” make a difference for all the plants?



Robbins, Ken. A Flower Grows. Dial Press (1990)

Wilkins, M. Plantwatching. Facts on File (1988)


Gardener’s Supply Company: Growing Bulbs Indoors,default,pg.html

How Stuff Works: Planting Bulbs

Wilkins, M. (1988). Plantwatching. New York: Facts on File

Disclaimer and Safety Precautions provides the Science Fair Project Ideas for informational purposes only. does not make any guarantee or representation regarding the Science Fair Project Ideas and is not responsible or liable for any loss or damage, directly or indirectly, caused by your use of such information. By accessing the Science Fair Project Ideas, you waive and renounce any claims against that arise thereof. In addition, your access to's website and Science Fair Project Ideas is covered by's Privacy Policy and site Terms of Use, which include limitations on's liability.

Warning is hereby given that not all Project Ideas are appropriate for all individuals or in all circumstances. Implementation of any Science Project Idea should be undertaken only in appropriate settings and with appropriate parental or other supervision. Reading and following the safety precautions of all materials used in a project is the sole responsibility of each individual. For further information, consult your state's handbook of Science Safety.

Add to collection

Create new collection

Create new collection

New Collection


New Collection>

0 items