The Q&A Archives: Force Bloomig Hyacinth

Question: How do you prepare hyacinth bulbs for force blooming at different times during the winter months?

Answer: Ideally, a controlled chill for hyacinths would run about 12 to 15 weeks. Putting them in the refrigerator will accomplish this. If you started some chilling, then waited a week to 10 days and began chilling a second batch, you would have bulbs blooming at different times. After chilling, pot the bulbs up and place the containers outdoors. The bulbs will need this additional period of cool and dark conditions in order to develop roots. Keep the soil in the pots moist. Once the bulbs begin to sprout and the tips of the foliage are about an inch high, you can bring the pots indoors to finish forcing the plants, and bring them into bloom a few weeks earlier than they would bloom outdoors. Try to keep the pots in a cool location when you bring them indoors. If the temperature is too warm, the foliage will grow too rapidly and be pale and spindly. Good luck with your bulb-forcing venture!

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