September 21, 2015

Hyacinths for Christmas Bloom

Dutch bulbs were on display in the Big Box store when we were in Alabama today. If bulbs are out in Lower Alabama, they're surely everywhere.

I bought a bag of 15 mixed color bulbs for about ten dollars. I separated them by color, 6 light color and 9 purplish. The dark bulbs may be blue, or they may be dark pink. The white will likely be white or yellow.

Last year, I planted my bulbs before I chilled them. I don't think it matters. It is terribly inconvenient to have pots of bulbs in a refrigerator, even one you don't use every day. I tucked this years' bulbs into paper bags and labeled them including a projected date 10 weeks hence for taking them out to plant.

Pre-potted bulbs come out of the refrigerator with roots growing. Those that were just bagged and chilled might have a few tentative roots, but they catch up quickly once they're potted and watered.

A month after they were brought into a warm environment, last year's Hyacinths were showing promise.

In three months from starting chill, I expect buds showing color.

I hope my timing is such that we'll see color if not open blossoms by Christmas. Last year I almost forgot and I had hyacinths blooming indoors and outdoors in February. I hope this year's lot will be more timely for indoor bloom.

This is how I forced bulbs before we built the greenhouse, in an unheated laundry room in containers of water and stones. I stopped forcing bulbs in water, which works just fine but renders the bulbs almost useless for rebloom. Potted Hyacinths are easily slipped into garden soil outdoors after blooms are spent and will bloom the next year in late winter or early spring.

White Pearl, early 2014.

Now's your chance to have hyacinths blooming this winter, if you start soon.

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