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Forcing Hyacinths

Plant hyacinths now for a bit of added fragrance and color indoors this winter.

Hyacinths like other spring flowering bulbs need a cold period to initiate flowering. Most hyacinth bulbs purchased for the garden need 12 to 14 weeks of cool temperatures around 40 degrees. Prepared bulbs have received some chilling but still need an additional 9 to 10 weeks of 40 degrees.

The refrigerator is the perfect place to chill the bulbs. Just avoid storing bulbs with apples and other fruit that give off the ripening hormone, ethylene, which can interfere with flowering. Consider using one of the hyacinth jars for a fun and artistic look. Fill the bottom of the jar with water until it rises just below the bulb. Place the planted bulb in the refrigerator for the required chilling. Once chilled, move it to a warm bright location and wait for flowers to appear.

A bit more information:  Extend the bloom time of forced hyacinths and other forced bulbs and cut flowers by moving them into the refrigerator at night.  And further extend your enjoyment by forcing several bulbs and staggering the times you bring them out of the cold chilling period and into the warmth to begin flowering.