Monday, March 7, 2011

Forcing Hyacinth Bulbs in Water

From The University of Minnesota  Extension Service, some advice was given here:
Hyacinths, crocus, and narcissus also can be forced in water. Special clear, glass vases are made for hyacinths or crocus. The bulb is placed in the upper portion, water in the lower portion. The vase is then kept in a cool, dark room (preferably under 50 degrees F) for four to eight weeks until the root system has developed and the top elongates. At this point it should be placed in a bright window, where the plant soon will blossom.
On March 4, 2011, I dug up some grape hyacinths from the back yard and put them in small glass jars and placed those vase jars in a box in the garage.  The temperature in the garage averages about 50 degrees F, but is colder at night.  A few more bulbs were placed on the kitchen window sill.  We will do a simple experiment and see what happens in a few days.

...more information about forcing bulbs from The World of Gardens:
Put the bulbs on the vases (one bulb per vase) and refrigerate for 12-14 weeks. During this time make certain that the bulb’s bottom is in contact (barely) with the water. Keep the vases full at all times! During these weeks, the bulbs will develop roots growing into the water. Remember, the bulb must be in contact with water. Just putting a bulb in a bag in the refrigerator doesn’t work (believe me, I tried it once). After the 12-14 weeks (better to error on the long side), remove the vases and place in a sunlit window. Within a few weeks the bulb will sprout and bloom. Crocus blooms are so fun to do this way. Hyacinth smell wonderful.
Update: 3 days later:...

here is a picture of a few of the dozen glass vases on the kitchen window sill, receiving sunlight from the west:

Those vases in the forefront were moved from the garage after 3days without sunlight, and you can see that there is no green growth on the tops.  The hyacinth roots on the left of the picture were in filtered sunlight all weekend, and are looking much healthier.  It is a learning process. 

We'll see if those bulbs actually bloom indoors.


  1. How cool..I'd love to try that..thanks for a fabulous post!! exciting!Yay!

  2. Cool and thanks for this information! I just might give this a try:) Have a blessed day, HUGS!

  3. Interesting post Nancy. That was a great experiment.

  4. I was going to try that with some Narcissus, and then got so busy with a huge sewing project, I forgot to do the research, so thank you for the info!!! I can hardly wait to see what happens with yours.


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