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Hyacinths for Christmas

(10 Posts)
cartblanche Fri 30-Sep-11 23:23:34

Have been given some hyacinth bulbs and have heard that you can get them to flower for Xmas. Saw this thread here and looked up the instructions for growing them in just water but have also seen instructions for planting them in pots with compost.

I quite like the idea of giving some people a hyacinth bulb in a prettified glass vase but would they then have to sort their own pot out and replant it to get it to flower or does it flower in the vase/water itself? If I was giving them as gifts I would obviously like to attach a label that explains what they need to do with it.

I would also like to keep a few bulbs myself and would just plant them in a suitable pot and follow the instructions I have found on the Gardener's World website!

As far as I can tell I have enough time to make them flower for Xmas but again any advice on timings would be much appreciated.


cartblanche Fri 30-Sep-11 23:40:59

Have just been back to the earlier thread and had a look at the link and decided to purchase some Hyacinth vases for the bargain price of £1.49 each only to be charged over £20 to deliver to MAINLAND Scotland! (it's only £5 delivery for England and Wales)!! The cheek - needless to say have cancelled the order! So will await some advice on this thread (hopefully!) and start looking a bit more locally smile

MayDayChild Sat 01-Oct-11 17:45:09

Bump. I want to know as well!

OneHandFlapping Sat 01-Oct-11 17:54:58

They will flower in just water, although IME they are healthier in compost, and it's easier to stake the flowers if they get too lanky are in danger of flopping.

You need to make sure that you buy specially treated bulbs for indoor forcing if you want them to flower by Xmas. You may be a bit late already, but I always find it's even nicer if they flower in January or February, when the Xmas decorations are long gone, but it still seems so grey and wintery.

BCBG Sat 01-Oct-11 18:04:07

Buy specially treated bulbs for indoor forcing and a bag of bulb fibre, NOT ordinary compost. Any container will do as long as it doesn't have drainage holes: i use a couple of china blows, holding there bulbs each, and china tea cups which take one each. Half fill with bulb fibre then place bulb o top, and fill with fibre until the neck of the bulb is just pointing out at the top. This is very important as if you get water in the neck the flower will be damaged. Then gently wet the fibre but tip away any excess water left after a couple of minutes - you want envy damp, not wet. I like to dress the top with coloured gravel or moss but its not necessary. Then, place in a totally dark and cool environment such as a garage for about 12 weeks. Bring in when you have at least 2cm of shoot showing :this is when I give them away at Christmas. It is too late to expect them to flower at Christmas but personally I think it is nicer to have them in the dark Jan and Feb days so I succession plant up bowls in mid september, Early October and finally late October. The place you store them must be dark and cool: if there is any light then cover bowls with newspaper but check regularly to make sure they haven't gone mouldy. If you have a cellar, which I do, then it is pretty much the perfect spot. Good luck!

BCBG Sat 01-Oct-11 18:05:36

Sorry...typing too quickly...I meant 'bowls' and 'three' blush, and 'very' not 'envy'. Must remember to preview, sorry

TreeHouses Sat 01-Oct-11 21:50:49

Thanks for that BCBG, do you know if I can pot daffs up in the same way?

BCBG Sat 01-Oct-11 22:43:06

Yes you can, although I usually use slightly deeper containers (say china vase shapes) because they need deeper roots to stabiise their top growth. Same rule applies...dont bury the neck of the bulb. Also daffy do much better if crowded in so plant them touching each other. 'Tete a tete' narcissi are best, or a scented variety called 'paper white'.

cartblanche Sun 02-Oct-11 23:00:34

Thanks all! So BCBG it looks like I am too late for a Xmas flowering. Giving them away in a nice container when they have started to shoot is still a decent gift and then, as you say, you have the flowering to look forward to in the New Year. Thanks for the tip on buying the specially treated bulbs for indoor forcing too - I get the feeling that the bulbs I've bought in the Poundstretcher shop are bog standard ones so probably not the best for these circumstances. A visit to my local garden centre for special bulbs and bulb fibre in order I think smile

catwithflowers Sun 09-Oct-11 08:32:50

Really interesting and useful. Thanks so much BCBG smile

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