Q&As/Bulbs and Tubers/Growing Hyacinth Flowers

Question

I have never had any luck growing hyacinth bulbs, is there any special treatment they require?

Answer

To grow bulbs successfully, you first need to ‘chill’ or ‘force’ them, which basically tricks them into forming buds, otherwise known as vernalisation. The easiest way to do this, is to place the bulbs in a brown paper bag and for 11-14 weeks put them in the refrigerator (one that you don’t use for storing fruit. Fruit emits ethylene gas as it ripens which kills the flower inside the bulb. If you have a second fridge or beer fridge that you can use, this is ideal). 

Once the chilling period has finished, plant three bulbs in a 15cm pot. It is very important to use a good quality free draining soil such as Daltons Bulb Mix, which will give you all the essential nutrients required. Partially fill the pot then plant the bulbs, pointy end up so their tops are either flush with or just slightly above the lip of the pot. Fill the pot with the bulb mix, leaving 1-2cm at the top, then water.  

Once potted, place the pots in a 10-13ºC dark area for 1 month, water frequently and slowly increase the temperature and amount of light they are exposed to. Continue with regular watering and turn pots frequently so they grow straight. Apply Daltons Premium Bulb Fertiliser once bulbs have begun to push through the soil. Beautiful blooms will appear a week or two later. A second application of bulb fertiliser after flowering will assist the bulbs in bulking up for next season.  

Stagger the transferal of bulbs from the fridge to give you an extended period of blooms.

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