Tell Me The Secret Of Forcing Hyacinth Flowers

Question: Tell me the secret of bringing hyacinth flowers up high when forcing them indoors. For several years I have started bulbs in October; they root well, leaves come up an inch or two, but the blossom just peeks out of the bulb, a little of it opening. Can you give me suggestions?

Answer: Poorly rooted hyacinth plants are the ones that never produce good blooms. Bulbs should be planted as early as possible to give them time to grow a heavy root system. After potting place the pots in a cool cellar, or better still, bury them six or eight inches deep outdoors. Water heavily and keep the soil in the pots moist at all times. As soon as the pots are filled with roots, usually by Christmas, they may be brought indoors and placed in a warm dark place.

When the pot is filled with roots the large white brittle roots are coming out the bottom of the pot and the soil in the pot can scarcely be seen for the mass of roots when the plant is knocked out of the pot. Don’t be afraid to turn the pot over, knock out the plant and look at the root system. Set the pot back over the ball of soil and roots, turn it right side up and give the pot a gentle tap on the top of a table and the plant will be seated in the pot just as before.

After the leaves are five or six inches long the plants should be given more light and should soon be in bloom. If the flower stem refuses to grow out and the buds just peek out of the bulb, it is because the plant is not properly rooted. Leaving the pots outside for another month will give them a chance to become more potbound, after which the flower stems will grow.

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