Paula's Patch: A Minnesota Garden

Come wander in; my gate is always open! Gardening / Birding

Forcing Hyacinth and Tulips January 16, 2013

Many gardeners are dreaming of Spring and planning/starting their seeds indoors. I don’t have much luck with seed-starting, so I gave up on that task.

I do look forward, however, to forcing hyacinth bulbs, and occasionally tulip bulbs, indoors. It’s great to have the beautiful blooms and sweet scent in March (around the time of Easter). My Aunt got me started doing this as she’s always shared them with me. Now I have the pleasure of paying it forward and sharing bulbs with my friends. It’s such a welcome sign of Spring!

bulb forcing 2013 | paulasgardenpatch.com | paula bonelli

It takes a bit of planning ahead to be sure you have bulbs and the proper vases. Bulb forcing vases can be hard to find. I bought my bulbs and vases last Fall so I was prepared! Or so I thought. Ah – the best laid plans…I went to fill them with water and set a bulb atop each and the openings are too large. The bulbs fell right through to the bottom of the vase! So I had to use my vintage juice glasses – they had just the right opening, but I’m not sure they are large enough to hold the root growth. We’ll see what happens. I ordered other vases for a very good price from an Amazon seller. They haven’t arrived yet, but when they do I’ll let you know how they worked out.

The remaining few bulbs I’ll tuck into some dirt and hope for the best. (In past experiments, the forcing vases worked better than dirt. Time will tell, I guess.)

Do you force bulbs? Which bulbs do you force and what works best — vases or dirt?

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3 Responses to “Forcing Hyacinth and Tulips”

  1. I’ve never tried hyacinth since they have such a strong scent in the house. I used to do paperwhites every Christmas, and anytime I had leftover garden bulbs that didn’t get planted in time, I would force them in pots. Haven’t done them in years, though. I hope you post the blooming bulbs, Paula!

  2. […] Remember those bulbs I started…the first 2 hyacinth are in bloom! I wish you could smell the amazing sweet, almost lilac-y scent. I’ve placed one in  my bathroom. In this small space, the heavenly smell fills the whole room. Ah – Spring! […]


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