Forcing Hyacinth Bulbs Indoors
Alphabetical Plant Listing

Forcing Hyacinth Bulbs Indoors

Dutch Hyacinth, Common Hyacinth, Hyacinthus orientalis, Spring Bulbs, Spring Flowers


Symbols of peace, commitment and beauty, hyacinths are wonderfully fragrant, spring-flower bulbs boasting impressive flower clusters in the most striking shades. They come in a variety of colors such as pink, red, blue, purple, salmon, yellow, black, and white. Hyacinths bloom once in early to mid spring for about 2 weeks. But if you do not want to wait until spring to enjoy the beauty and heavenly fragrance of their blossoms - just force some bulbs indoors. Forcing hyacinths means tricking their bulbs to bloom earlier by simulating the conditions of winter and spring. Hyacinth bulbs can be forced in either soil or water.

Select the Right Hyacinth Bulbs

  • When buying bulbs, select the largest ones. The larger the hyacinth bulb, the stronger the stem and the bigger the flowers. The number of florets on the flower stalk depends on the size of the bulb. Large bulbs can produce 60 to 70 florets.
  • While sizes 15-16 and 16-17 are great for garden planting, sizes 16-17 or 18-19 are excellent for forcing.
  • Sizes 16-17 or 18-19 are great for forcing in soil.
  • Sizes 16-17 is better for forcing in glass jars or water.

 

Handling hyacinth bulbs can also cause mild skin irritation. Protective gloves are recommended.

Forcing Hyacinth Bulbs in a Pot of Soil

  • Hyacinth bulbs may be forced for indoor display in the winter.
  • Partially fill a container with a well-drained commercial potting mix. Almost any container can be used as long as it has drainage holes in the bottom.
  • Plant the bulbs with their tops (noses) sticking above the potting soil. Do not completely cover the bulbs.
  • Water thoroughly.
  • Keep in a dark place at consistently cold temperatures, 40-45°F (4-7°C), for 8-16 weeks to allow roots to develop.
  • Do not precool Hyacinth bulbs in a refrigerator with apples or pears. They release ethylene gas as they ripen, which is not good for your Hyacinth bulbs. 
  • Water the bulbs when the potting soil begins to dry out.
  • When the flower stem emerges, then increase light and temperature gradually.
  • Keep the plants well watered. Avoid wetting the shoots or waterlogging the soil. Turn the containers regularly to promote straight, upright growth.
  • For a succession of hyacinth bloom indoors, remove pots from storage every 2 weeks.
  • After flowering, forced hyacinths may be transplanted to the garden and they will flower again in subsequent years. However, most spring-flowering bulbs are usually weakened during the forcing procedure and do not always bloom well when planted outdoors.
     

 

Forcing Hyacinth in Glass Jars or Vases

  • Hyacinth forcing indoors can also be done in water in special clear bulb vases.
  • The water should be kept just below the bottom of the bulb but not touching it.
  • Place the bulb in a dark, cool place at consistently cold temperatures, 40-45°F (4-7°C), until the vase is full of roots and the flower stems emerge (between 8-16 weeks).
  • Do not precool Hyacinth bulbs in a refrigerator with apples or pears. They release ethylene gas as they ripen, which is not good for your Hyacinth bulbs.
  • Always keep the water level consistent during the precooling period so the roots never dry out.
  • Once the top sprout is about 2 in. tall (5 cm), then increase light and temperature gradually.
  • Turn your glass jar or vase every day to keep your Hyacinth growing upright.
  • Discard the bulbs after flowering or transplant them to the garden .

Guide Information

Hardiness 4 - 8
Plant Type Bulbs
Plant Family Hyacinthus - Hyacinths
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid)
Tolerance Deer, Rabbit
Landscaping Ideas Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Coastal Garden, Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage, Traditional Garden
Compare All Hyacinthus - Hyacinths Great Plant Combination Ideas with Hyacinthus - Hyacinths Guides with Hyacinthus - Hyacinths

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.

Guide Information

Hardiness 4 - 8
Plant Type Bulbs
Plant Family Hyacinthus - Hyacinths
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid)
Tolerance Deer, Rabbit
Landscaping Ideas Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Coastal Garden, Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage, Traditional Garden
Compare All Hyacinthus - Hyacinths Great Plant Combination Ideas with Hyacinthus - Hyacinths Guides with Hyacinthus - Hyacinths

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