Tips on Forcing Hyacinth Bulbs

 In Bulbous plants, Bulbs, Gardening tips, Indoor Plants, Seasonal Gardening

Tips on Forcing Hyacinth Bulbs

pot and hyacinth roots

Good roots but shoot still too small



Hyacinth bulbs need to have well developed roots before they can be forced and brought inside.

If you rush things and try to bring them on before a good root system has established the flowering performance of your forced hyacinth bulbs will be disappointing.


Here is what you need to do

hyacinth bulbs, bowl

Perfectly forced hyacinths in a bowl

Bring your hyacinth bulbs indoors when roots have really filled the pot and the shoots are sticking out by 4-5 cm. It’s important that the flower buds have emerged from the bulb but they could still be in the leaf sheath. If you can’t see the flower in the protruding shoot you should at least be able to feel it through the protecting leaf sheath.


Put your pots into a cool room but away from bright light. Don’t worry too much if there are lots of soft white roots sticking out of the top or the bottom of your plant pots. Once brought into the light, the leaves will soon turn green.


When green, move them close to a window and to a warmer position. Avoid a draft or close to a source of artificial heat such as on a shelf above a radiator.


pink hyacinths in a basket

Evenly grown pink hyacinths in a wicker basket

A humid atmosphere, such as you find in the bathroom or kitchen is ideal. Failing that, stand pots and vases on shallow trays filled with moist gravel. However, never let your hyacinth bulbs stand in water!

Should the leaves develop faster than the flowers, move the pots to a cooler place for a while to give the flowers time to catch up.

Check regularly to see if the pots need more watering. If transferring several hyacinth bulbs to a bowl it is unwise to mix colours as they will flower at different times. Remember that hyacinth bulbs will last much longer in cooler rooms.









tips on forcing hyacinths, bulbs, hyacinth

A split cane pushed through the bulb

If your hyacinth bulbs do not have strong enough stems to hold up the heavy flower heads, you can remedy that! Just push a split cane through the top of each hyacinth bulb close to the stem of the flower and use a soft tie to hold it in place. Coloured raffia is ideal for this! When using raffia ties it is more supple and easier to handle if you have soaked it in water for a few hours before.





When the show is over

tips on how to force hyacinths

Blue and white hyacinths established in the garden

When they have finished blooming and filling your room with their rich scent, get them accustomed to cooler temperatures before planting them outside in a flower border where they will continue to bloom each spring!


I hope that you’ve found my tips on forcing hyacinth bulbs useful.

I hope that you’ll also have success in growing these beautiful and heavily scented blooms into your home in winter!





There’s some useful tips on potting up hyacinth bulbs here.

In spring I visited the world famous Keukenhof Bulb gardens in Holland. Read about this spectacular bulb display here.


Don’t miss another blog!

Scroll down to the bottom of this page and sign up to be alerted when I publish my next blog!

Recommended Posts

Leave a Comment

potato tubers