This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V18", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
It is to be regretted that these highly ornamental bulbs are not generally cultivated for winter blooming. They are as easily grown as hyacinths and bulbs of a like nature, and their cheerful appearance for house decoration during our dull winter weather, will amply repay the little labor they give.
To insure success, select in spring, bulbs which have not pushed their buds. These should be kept dry until about September 1st, when they may be potted in rich sandy loam, single bulbs in five-inch pots, or a larger number cf various colors in larger-sized pots. I sometimes put as many as twenty-five bulbs into about fourteen-inch pans, and if the bulbs are chosen of equal strength and forwardness they will come into bloom together, and give a splendid mass of flowers for parlor or other decoration. As soon as potted they may be placed in the greenhouse until they have made considerable growth, after which they may be moved to a warmer position, and watered occasionally with liquid manure.
Those who have no greenhouse, may plant the bulbs about the middle of July in the open air in a rich border. When they have made a growth of a foot or fifteen inches, they may be dug up and potted; and before there is any danger from frost, should be removed to a sunny window in the house, and kept well supplied with water. The best time to dig is after a continued spell of dry weather, when the soil is rather dry; and if they are potted and well-watered as soon as lifted, they receive no apparent check whatever, but will give as good spikes of bloom as those ordinarily flowered in the open air. I have a bed in an intermediate house of about three hundred bulbs which I have lifted in this way, and they are all giving indications of bloom.
Bulbs grown this season in the open ground, and well matured, may be potted for spring flowering; they do not require to be covered to induce them to make a root growth, which is the case with hyacinths and some other winter-flowering bulbs; but I think it best to avoid giving much heat in the beginning, as this would be apt to cause them to make too weak a growth for bloom when forced in this way.