How to Have Hyacinth Bulbs Blooming in February

Hyacinth bulbs from the Dutch fields are some of the best to use for forcing. This is the technique which is used to persuade the bulbs to flower earlier than they would without this special attention. By forcing the bulbs you can enjoy the flowers early in the new year. Full instructions on how to force hyacinth bulbs are contained in this article by Kath LaLiberte which I found on the Longfield Gardens website.

Forcing is a technique that lets you bring plants into bloom weeks or even months before they would normally flower outdoors. Forcing hyacinth bulbs is easier than you might think. Read?on to learn how you can?have them?blooming on your windowsill this February and?March.
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As with most other spring-blooming bulbs, hyacinths need to go through a period of cold weather (35-48?F) in order to bloom properly. Being exposed to wintery temperatures tells the embryonic flower inside the bulb that spring is coming and flower development should begin. If the bulbs are not exposed to the right amount of cold for the right amount of time, the flowers will not mature?properly and may not emerge at all.
It?s possible to purchase pre-chilled hyacinth bulbs, but they?re not always easy to find. Chilling your own bulbs gives you more control over bloom time and also gives you many more choices for varieties.
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You can chill your hyacinth bulbs either before or after you plant them. In both cases, the chilling period needs to last at least 13 weeks. During this time the bulbs need:

  • Darkness
  • Moist soil or humid air
  • Consistent temperatures of 35 to 48?F

If you live in growing zones 7 and 8, you may be able to?plant your hyacinth?bulbs in pots and then just leave them outdoors. Temperatures need to be above freezing, but below 50 degrees for 13 consecutive weeks.

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