Force Some Hyacinths

The time is now to force these slow-to-bloom yet wildly fragrant spring bulbs.

By FamilyTime


Hyacinths are great favorites with anyone who appreciates a richly fragrant spring flower with bright colors. The aromatic blooms are white, pink, dark pink, and lavender.

Hybrid hyacinths force well but if you want them in time for Easter, it's time to get started.

Choose the Right Bulb
Buy hyacinth bulbs in garden shops or on the Internet that have been cold treated. This means they have been kept cold to mimic wintertime.

Look for large, heavy, firm bulbs. If you plan to force the hyacinths in specially designed hyacinth forcing jars, be sure the bulbs are not so large that will not fit in the top part of the glass jar. 

Soil or Water
Any good potting soil works well. On the other hand, you can force the bulbs in water. As mentioned, there are glass jars designed for forcing the bulbs but you can also nestle them in stones or gravel and keep it wet.

If you bury the bulbs in soil, keep it moist but not drenched.

Deep pots are the best choice for hyacinth bulbs. There should be at least an inch of soil below the bottom of the bulbs.

Once you put the bulbs, root side down, in the dirt or water, keep them in a cool, dark place for about six weeks. Don't forget about them. You need to water them.

A logical place for this is a refrigerator, although we don't recommend storing them alongside food. If you have a spare refrigerator, use it.

Otherwise, keep them in a heated garage, a glassed in porch, or anyplace where the temperature hovers around 40 degrees most of the time. And keep them in the dark.

When the root system develops, transfer the pot to a warm, sunny windowsill.

If you keep them moist, the hyacinths will bloom in about two weeks. 

Once the blooms die, keep the bulbs to plant in the garden next fall. You will be rewarded with hyacinths the following spring.