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Follow these simple steps to grow your hyacinth bulb this winter

Your hyacinth bulb is ‘prepared’, ready for forced flowering this winter, but you need to trick it into thinking it’s spring. You can grow your bulb in soil, or in a vase or jar of water - whatever you have to hand! Bookmark this page so you can easily find it to refer to, as your bulb grows.

Wear gloves when handling the bulb as some people can experience skin irritation from hyacinths.

Let us know how you’re getting on with your bulb by posting a photo on Twitter or Instagram. Tag @hornbeamcomms in your post.

Team Compost Vs Team Water

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There are two options when it comes to growing your hyacinth bulb, compost or water. Choose your allegiance and let us know how you’re getting on by tagging your Twitter  and Instagram posts @hornbeamcomms and using the hashtag #GrowWithHornbeam. Follow us for the latest updates on which team is edging to victory!

Growing in compost

Growing in compost

Use a compost with good, open texture that is moisture-retentive but free draining. Most proprietary composts will do. There’s no need to feed the bulbs after planting.

Place a layer of compost into the pot or bowl, wet the compost lightly and pop the bulb on top. Then carefully fill around the bulb with more moist compost, leaving the top of the bulb uncovered. Leave about 1cm between the surface of the compost and the top of the container. Place the pot and bulb in a cool, dark place (ideally, 9°C) before flowering. A shed, garage or outhouse is ideal. Check the pot occasionally and moisten the compost slightly if it dries out. When the bulb has top shoots around  4-5cm long, the pot can be brought indoors for flowering.

Growing in water

Growing in water

You can grow your bulb in a glass vase or jar filled with water. Select a vase or jar where the neck is slightly smaller than the bulb. Fill the glass with water to the neck and then place the bulb on the top. The water level should be just below the bottom of the bulb. Don't immerse the bulb in the water!

Place the vase/jar and bulb in a cool, dark place (ideally, 9°C) before flowering. A shed, garage or outhouse is ideal. Check the pot occasionally and top up the water if necessary. When the bulb has grown roots and shows top shoots around 4-5cm long, the pot can be brought indoors for flowering.

Getting your bulb to flower

Getting your bulb to flower

Bring your ‘forced’ bulb in its pot, vase or jar into the house. Initially place it in a cool room away from bright light to allow the leaves to green up, then move it closer to a window in warmer surroundings. 

Keep pot compost slightly moist but not wet. If you are growing in a vase or jar, keep the water level topped up to just underneath the bulb. Enjoy the flower and scent over the winter! 

Let us know how you’re getting on with your bulb by posting a photo on Twitter or Instagram. Tag @hornbeamcomms in your post.

After flowering

Allow your hyacinth bulb to die down naturally after flowering. You can then plant the bulb in the garden or in an outside pot to flower again the following year. Plant the bulb at a depth of twice the height of the bulb.

SOMETHING NOT RIGHT?

If your bulb isn’t growing as expected, check the list of common problems below.

Try covering your potted bulb with some compost or bark to keep the light out, or pop a ventilated cardboard box over your vase or jar.

If you don’t have a cool outhouse or garage try putting your bulb outside against a wall that doesn’t get any sun (north facing or under a tall fence) and cover it with bark or a ventilated box to exclude the light. Remember to check for slugs!

If your compost is wet and your pot has no drainage holes turn the pot on its side to allow it to drain. If you are growing in a vase or jar, make sure the water level is not touching the bulb.

If your compost is bone dry to the touch, water it gently (see above to drain pots with no holes). Top the water level up in your vase or jar to keep it just below the bulb (the roots will reach for the water, don’t sit the bulb in water).

If the leaves are growing well but there’s no sign of a flower bud, move your bulb back to a cool, dark place for a day or two, but no longer or the leaves may lose their colour.

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