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Hyacinths in the winter

 

You can use a pot or a shallow container for hyacinths, preferably one with a hole in the bottom. Arrange the bulbs closely together. This will produce better results.

 

1. Place some pot shards in the bottom of the pot, or use a layer of gravel.

2. Partially fill the pot with potting compost or soil.

3. Place the bulbs on the potting compost. The tops of the bulbs should not stick up above the rim of the pot.

4. Now fill the pot further with potting compost. Tap down the soil a little. The ‘noses’ of the bulbs should remain just barely visible above the soil.

5. Provide just enough water to make the soil nice and wet, but don’t create a mud bath.
6. Place the bulbs in a cool, dark place. The best temperature is around 9 degrees Celsius, but never any warmer than 13 degrees Celsius and, of course, never cold enough to freeze. Check them every week to see if everything is OK. Keep the soil moist.
7. If you don’t have a place like this, don’t worry. Alternatively you could plant the bulb-filled pot outside. Make sure that the upper rim of the pot is about 10 centimetres under the soil surface. Watering is not necessary, since it will rain often enough.

8. After about 10 to 12 weeks, it will be time to bring the bulbs inside. Do not place them in direct sunlight next to a window, and keep them as far away from the radiator as you can. Plants will grow toward the light. They will then start leaning in one direction. To prevent this, turn the pots a half turn every day.

9. After a few days, the bulbs can be placed in full sunlight. Be sure to keep the soil moist. The bulbs will bloom in a few weeks.

You can also get hyacinths to produce flowers without soil. To do this, you can use a special hyacinth glass (but an ordinary jam jar will do just as well). Fill the glass with water and place the bulb on top. Be sure that the water just barely touches the bottom of the bulb. After a few days, you will see the first roots appear. Take care of the bulb just as you would the bulbs in the pot. (When growing hyacinth bulbs over water, you can’t plant them in the garden, of course.) Find a spot in a basement or garage or in a cupboard where it is cool.

Another nice idea would be to paint your own flower pot first. If someone you know is having a birthday soon, you could make a present out of a pot filled with flower bulbs.