Monday, February 17, 2014


I had heard Hyacinths were easy to force (bloom indoors in mid winter) and I happen to have had some on hand this fall for the first time, so on November 20th I started forcing bulbs for the first time.  

I rested 2 of them above the water line in a small rectangular vase and kept them in the garage (cool dark place) for as long as I could.

Then on December 8th I moved them to the basement when the water began to freeze in the garage.

On February 18th I realized that for something supposed to be easy I had already made a few mistakes. According to Martha Stewart:
- I should have been changing the water twice weekly; I only topped it up occasionally 
- I placed the bulbs in front of a window, so I got the 'cool' part right, but should have had them in darkness
Today they basically have no roots but nonetheless are showing signs of growth; check out the shoot appearing on the left.  
Given the importance of roots though, back to the basement they go, this time to a dark, cool spot.

Cross your fingers for me and hope that I end up with something ever after this mix up.  If so, then Hyacinths really will be easy to force!


  1. Most of the things people learn are from trial and error. Once you get it right, I'm sure you will have hyacinths everywhere!

    1. Betty you are exactly right. This year is for learning next year is for getting it right.

  2. Thank you for sharing this with Today's Flowers, Derek, I am sure it will be a big help for novice gardeners like myself.

    1. We shall see if they end up blooming!

    2. Martha Stewart's suggestions are not law. There is nothing magic about changing the water as long as the water is not murky and stinky. Topping off is good, What Hyacinth bulbs do need is ttime. A sprout is a good sign.

      You can't FORCE a bulb to do anything. What we do is trick them into thinking it's spring and time to bloom, starting with a period of chill and then warmth. They can be forced in water or soil. After years of successful growing where I chilled bulbs in a refrigerator then never put them in the dark once they were over water, I prefer 3.5" pots of soil.

      Oh, and some cultivars take longer than others. They want to bloom; they do not want you to fail.

    3. Jean thanks for the great advice. I will check on my bulbs right now and see if there are any more roots showing.