Secrets of Successfully Forcing Hyacinths at Home-Care

Hyacinth is one of the most popular bulbous flowers for forcing. I make sure to expel hyacinths in my apartment every year to “speed up the arrival of spring”. In general, this is a very unpretentious flower that is always ready to please with its fragrant flowers. That is, the distillation of this plant is within the power of even beginner growers. Nevertheless, the hyacinth also has some “pitfalls” about which it is better to know in advance. I will talk about what problems can arise when distilling hyacinths, how to avoid and prevent them, in this article.

Secrets of successful forcing hyacinths at home

Rare ear – how to avoid?

We all know hyacinth as a plant with a dense spike-shaped inflorescence. The growers of the planting material on the packaging of the bulbs also always depict the hyacinth as such a magnificent handsome man. But why, at the exit, we sometimes get spikelets of rare flowers sitting quite far from each other?

This feature not only reduces the decorativeness of the plant, but also reduces its overall flowering period. After all, the more flowers an inflorescence has, the longer it will bloom. In fact, this problem can have several reasons. Let’s take a look at them separately.


Unfortunately, not a single grower is immune from this problem. And some unscrupulous sellers may pass off less successful specimens or even species of plants that are very different from varietal ones for popular varieties. This is especially common if the bulbs are sold at discounted prices. For example, I got a hyacinth with the rarest little ornamental spike from an onion purchased at a “low price” store.

Too young bulbs

Another reason for a sparse peduncle is a young bulb. Typically, bulbous planting material is mainly designed for planting in the garden and subsequent rearing. In this regard, these can be quite young bulbs, which may not yet have gained enough strength to produce lush flowering in full accordance with the varietal characteristics.

Take a closer look at the blooming hyacinths, which are in abundance in stores for the spring holidays. Such planting material is selected exclusively for distillation, that is, to obtain the most effective inflorescences. Therefore, there we most often see huge bulbs, which are 1,5-2 times larger than those intended for planting in the garden.

And, of course, a year before they were sent to forcing, the plants were very heavily fed, which is usually not done with simple planting material. As a result, the splendor of the flowering of the former and the latter can differ significantly.

The bulbs did not have enough heat or nutrition

This can happen if the bulbs were improperly stored in the summer, or if you used plants that grew in your own garden for forcing. As you know, many bulbous plants require high enough summer temperatures so that they can flower buds for a lush flowering in the coming season.

But in the middle lane, summer is not always hot and not too rainy. That is why varietal tulips, some onions, hazel grouses and hyacinths are recommended to be dug out after the end of flowering and the subsequent withering away of the foliage. During this period, the planting material should be stored in a dry, ventilated room at a special temperature regime. In the first two weeks + 25… + 30 degrees, in the next two months + 22… + 23 degrees, further before disembarkation + 12… + 18 degrees.

When planning to distill from your own bulbs the previous season, after flowering, the hyacinth should be well fed before it completely sheds its foliage. Lack of nutrition can also lead to a looser ear.

It makes no sense to feed hyacinth from purchased bulbs in the budding phase already during forcing, this will not cause an improvement in the quality of flowers. Bulbous ones lay flower buds in the last season. The spring bloom only reflects how good its growing conditions were in the past year. That is why hyacinths are also often driven out in plain water, because all the nutrients and flower buds are already inside the bulb.

It is better to bring hyacinths (Hyacinthus) into the heat, when the bulbs will have "spouts" of at least 3-4 centimetersIt is better to bring hyacinths (Hyacinthus) into the heat, when the bulbs will have “spouts” of at least 3-4 centimeters. Farmer Lyudmila Svetlitskaya

Insufficient cooling period

In my experience, the quality of hyacinth flowering can also be affected by an insufficient cooling period of the bulbs before forcing. That is, the cold rooting period is too short. On average, bulbs need to be chilled for at least 2,5 months for successful forcing.

I always put my hyacinths in the cold at the beginning of October and make sure that the rest period is approximately 3-3,5 months. By the way, there are no special tricks when planting hyacinths. For distillation, I choose a wide, low dish, which I fill up with the most inexpensive purchased substrate. I water abundantly and put the bulbs in about 23 or even a little deeper. It is necessary that the bulb is only slightly visible from the ground, since sometimes during the growth of roots it can be turned out of the substrate.

If during this period there is still no severe frost, then, in order not to take up space in the refrigerator, for the first time I keep planting on an open balcony. As soon as they promise a significant cooling, I put them in the refrigerator in the vegetable department, where they are kept at a temperature of +4 degrees. If there is a basement, they can also be placed there if the temperature in the room does not exceed +9 degrees. I water a little about once a month if the soil seems dry.

Read also our article Timing and rules for forcing bulbous.

Peduncles too elongated or too short

When forcing hyacinths, their peduncles often grow too long, bend under the weight of the inflorescences and require a garter. This greatly spoils their appearance. In another case, we observe “dwarf” hyacinths, when the arrow does not stretch at all, and the flowers begin to bloom, being squeezed by the foliage, which has not even really grown back. These two seemingly completely opposite problems have common roots.

After the cold-rooting period is over, when you transfer the hyacinths to warmth, it is very important to observe certain conditions. It is best to get the hyacinths when the bulbs will have “noses” of at least 3-4 centimeters, and not just those that have begun to sprout. Logically, plants immediately want to be put on a sunny windowsill. You can’t do that! This is what most often provokes the underdevelopment of the peduncle with premature blooming of flowers inside the foliage.

At first, it is recommended to keep hyacinths in shade for about a week so that the flower arrow extends upward. In this case, the temperature regime is no less important. If the hyacinths stand in the shade in a hot room, then we will get elongated lodging peduncles. The optimum temperature regime at this time is + 16 … + 18 degrees. And only when the arrows actively grow and reach a height of about 10 centimeters, they can be exposed to light and kept at a normal room temperature above 20 degrees.

However, peduncle problems sometimes occur for other reasons. In particular, an underdeveloped shortened peduncle may also result from an insufficient period of cold rooting (less than 2,5 months) or poor watering. If the peduncles are too elongated, to avoid their lodging, feed the hyacinths with a 0,2% solution of calcium nitrate.

When forcing hyacinths, their peduncles often grow too long, bend under the weight of the inflorescences and require a garterWhen forcing hyacinths, their peduncles often grow too long, bend under the weight of the inflorescences and require a garter. Farmer Lyudmila Svetlitskaya

Do hyacinths bloom?

Sometimes it can happen that a seemingly fully developed peduncle with a mass of buds does not bloom in any way. Taking a closer look, you can find that the buds only at first glance seem alive, but they consist of completely dried petals. The reason for this situation is simple – the hyacinths simply did not have enough water. Watering was either sparse or too sparse.

The fact is that hyacinths, like any other primroses, bloom in nature in spring, when the earth is saturated with moisture after melted snow. The air humidity is high and it rains quite often. In city apartments, the situation is the opposite – dry air from central heating and a small container. If you add to this untimely watering, then the hyacinth simply does not have enough moisture to dissolve the buds.

And there is only one way out – to strictly monitor the soil moisture during the budding period. At the same time, overflow is also contraindicated for bulbous, and the container must necessarily have drainage holes for the outflow of excess water. By the way, untimely watering can also lead to hyacinth flowering too quickly.

Color mismatch

Apart from the possibility of a banal re-grading, there are other reasons why a blooming plant may not match the bright picture on the package. The main reason for the faded-than-expected flowers is a lack of light.

Most often, hyacinths are driven out without any additional lighting and they may well have enough sunlight on the windowsill. However, lack of light can affect the intensity of some colors. Fortunately, this problem does not apply to dark-colored varieties: lilac, raspberry, purple and blue. But the shade of colors that are more rare for hyacinth can vary greatly.

In particular, bright yellow hyacinth does not exist even in the open field, and even on the windowsill it will definitely be more lime color with a yellowish tint. Why, then, in numerous photos we see rich yellow, like chickens, hyacinths, one can only guess. Either they don’t have enough light in temperate latitudes, or are all these “miracles” of photo editors?

In any case, having tried all the available varieties of yellow hyacinths in my garden and on the windowsill, I can say that absolutely all of them turned out to be very, very pale. The situation is similar with orange hyacinths. At best, the orange varieties produced pale salmon petals, and often had pinkish hues, without a hint of orange. Therefore, I am afraid that saturated orange hyacinths of the color of ripe apricots exist only in the picture. And another common hoax is red hyacinth. In reality, red varieties turn out to be bright pink.

Having tried all the available varieties of yellow hyacinths, I can say that absolutely all of them turned out to be very, very paleHaving tried all the available varieties of yellow hyacinths, I can say that absolutely all of them turned out to be very, very pale. Farmer Lyudmila Svetlitskaya

Mold on the soil surface – should you fight?

During the cold-rooting period, when containers of hyacinths are kept in the refrigerator or in the basement, mold is often formed on the soil surface as well as on the bulbs themselves. For beginner growers, this can provoke panic and the suspicion that mold indicates a disease of the bulbs, which will ultimately lead to their decay.

In fact, mold is a common occurrence when forcing hyacinths and other crops. Its appearance is due to favorable conditions for its growth – lack of light and high humidity. But as soon as the container with hyacinths gets into ordinary room conditions, and later on to the sunny windowsill, this problem will be resolved on its own. Very soon, there will be no trace of mold left, and its existence in the past will not bring any harm to the bulbs.

If you are still very worried about the presence of mold or it has become too much, then it is enough to spill or spray the soil with any fungicide. In particular, in this case, bacterial preparations help very well (“Fitosporin”, “Trichodermin”, “Alirin”, etc.). To prevent the appearance of mold, crushed tablets of “Glyocladin” can be added to the topsoil.

Is the strong scent of hyacinths a problem?

Hyacinths have a very controversial aroma, the perception of which depends not only on the subjective preference of a particular person, but can also vary greatly depending on the variety. Therefore, the smell of hyacinth can be described as “very unpleasant” and as “incomparable floral.”

In this regard, if you have never kicked out hyacinths, you should keep in mind that you may not like their smell very much. Personally, I associate this scent with the approach of the long-awaited calendar spring, although I also feel some unpleasant notes in the aroma of certain varieties.

According to my observations, the most gentle and pleasant, but at the same time quite intense, smell of blue hyacinths. But the most unpleasant notes, ironically, are found in rare colors, in particular, salmon and yellow. Blue hyacinths most often smell mild, slightly bitter and quite pleasant. Among them, you can also find varieties that are completely devoid of aroma.

It is worth driving out hyacinths with caution if there are allergy sufferers or people suffering from bronchial asthma in the house. It is also believed that in people prone to migraines and hypertensive patients, the aroma of hyacinths can provoke headaches and increased blood pressure.

But at the same time, the smell of hyacinth has a positive effect on many people: it calms, relaxes and lifts the mood. In any case, I would not recommend putting blooming hyacinths in the bedroom. In her apartment she gave them a permanent place in the kitchen.

You can bookmark this page

Anna Evans

Author ✓ Farmer

View all posts by Anna Evans →