Last fall I finally remembered to watch for some hyacinth bulbs for forcing. My typical move is that I only remember I want some during the late winter times that I start seeing them in the stores and smell that heavenly scent. Oh yes, I was supposed to get some of those last fall. Well, this time I did it. I have some!
And I guess the next thing that is another miracle is that…I remembered where I put them!
Last fall, I picked up some hyacinths and also some paperwhites. These always seem to be the ones that I see and long for. I have done the paperwhites successfully before and I want to show again how I did it this year. For forcing hyacinths indoors sitting among my houseplants, I wanted some special forcing hyacinth vases, so guess where I went to get them?
That’s right. Road trip video to the Thrift Store and Goodwill. It was so much fun. Now these are not actually the real thing, Actual Hyacinth Forcing Vases, but they had nice “necks” to let the bulb rest upon, so they’ll do.
I wanted something really cheap to show just how thrifty I could be, so along with the purchase price of a bag of bulbs, it turns out that I can have a really nice “Indoor Spring Garden” for just a few dollars.
My $5 amaryllis really inspired me this year. She did so well blooming more than any other I have ever tried. So she wins a leisure vacation on the deck this summer and I will try with her again next year. Soon I will have a post about saving an amaryllis bulb for reblooming next year. It is in the works.
Forcing Hyacinth Bulbs In Water
What I picked up at the Goodwill was a few hyacinth vases that have the wide flared opening with a narrow “neck” where the bulb sits. I had some of those but wasn’t sure how many I needed, so I planned to pick up a few. How can I pass up a hyacinth forcing vase for 69¢ ? If my bulb fits the neck perfectly, I can let it rest there. Otherwise I will fill it with pebbles so that there is a layer for the bulb to rest upon.
Forcing hyacinths in water is easier to me than planting them in fall and refrigerating them until time to bring them out in spring. I have the bulbs stored in a cold area of the basement (luckily I found the box.) So that should take care of that “cold spell” they need.
I am planning some paperwhites done the same way. They grow quickly and I can have the flowers near the same time, or one following the others in succession. It will surely brighten the February and March dull days. Hopefully in February sometime, I can run outside and see if my Hellebores are blooming. I will let you know.
Do you think the paperwhites get too tall and fall over? I am experimenting this year with adding a bit of alcohol to the water to inhibit the growth. It is claimed that this makes the stem stronger and less liable to flop. Hopefully this will work. Here is the reference to those findings. https://plantcaretoday.com/5-steps-for-less-floppy-paperwhite-narcissus.html
Most of the time I plant my bulbs in something with a little taller sides so that longer stems have some sort of support. But if adding alcohol will help with that, I am all for it. Bring it on.
Try forcing bulbs indoors. It is so much fun and interesting to watch. If you have young children or grandchildren, it is a great learning experience for them too since in water and pebbles, you can watch everything as it develops. A Great Learning experience.
Hi, I am Kim and thank you so much for visiting my magazine! I am a gardener and a hypertufa maker. If you came here to learn about hypertufa, I have a lot of information. But I also write about flower gardening and using succulents which are great drought-tolerant plants.