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The fantastic, even Hyacinth blooms you see in pictures are a bit of a cheat....they are not grown in the fancy bowls! The bulbs are planted in individual 31/2" pots and planted in the bowls when part grown.
Now, here are the secrets to growing perfect sweet smelling indoor hyacinths:
(1) For the earliest flowers , choose "prepared" bulbs. Unprepared bulbs can be used for later flowering
(2) Choose the biggest bulbs of the best forcing varieties: "Pink Pearl","Ostara"(blue),
"Carnegie" (white),"Jan Bos",(reddish pink),"Gypsy Queen"(salmon orange),
"Lady Derby" flesh pink, "Bismarck" (light blue)
(3) Use ordinary potting compost.
(5)Don't use mixed colors or small bedding bulbs.
(4)Pot the bulbs into small, individual pots. Water in well and place out-doors. Cover the pots with a 6" layer of peat or peat-free compost. Hyacinths need a 12-14week cool period to produce roots.
(5)After 12 weeks, check on the bulbs .You will see yellow shoots-if these measure one and a half inch to two inches, they are ready to come indoors.If shorter than this, cover them up again and re-check in another two weeks.
(by the time the shoots are this size,the flower bud has cleared the neck of the bulb) If you bring the bulbs indoors when the shoots are shorter,the leaves will grow to hide the flowers. Leaving them outdoors too long leads to tall blooms that fall over.
(6)To get the best even height flowers,put bulbs with the same size shoots in the same bowl!
(7)Pot the bulbs into your fancy bowls, again using ordinary compost.Place on a bright, but cool window-sill, and only water when the compost surface is drying out.
(8)Within three weeks, your bulbs will be in bloom.
When the bulbs have finished blooming, plant them out doors, where they will bloom again in two years time. Don't re-use the bulbs for forcing as they are exhausted.
This method works equally as well for forcing tulips and narcissus.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|