Indoor Hyacinths can bring cheer and welcome fragrance during the dark days of winter. Cultivating them is relatively simple provided that a few simple steps are followed.
Firstly, select prepared hyacinths, these have been specially treated to a temperature regime that enables the flower buds to form earlier than ordinary hyacinths. Ordinary hyacinths can be used for indoor decoration, but they will not flower in time for Christmas.
Be careful when handling Hyacinth bulbs, if you have sensitive skin, use gloves when handling them. We have disposable gloves for customer use whilst buying bulbs.
Prepared hyacinths can be grown in a specially made glass that holds the bulb just above a store of water. The roots will grow into the water to hydrate the bulb. The alternative is to plant the bulbs in a shallow bowl. If the bowl has drainage holes, you can plant the bulbs using ordinary multipurpose potting compost, if not, use bulb fibre.
Plant the bulbs shallowly with their necks just above the surface of the compost. The bowl must be given about ten weeks of cool, dark treatment to allow the flower buds to develop. A garden shed provides the ideal environment. Put the prepared bowl in a cardboard box and then close it up.
Inspect the bulbs regularly and water sparingly if needed, do not forget to close the box afterwards to exclude light. After ten weeks the emerging shoot will be about 2 inches (5 cm) tall and will be yellow due to the lack of light. It is now time to bring the bowl into a cool, light position indoors where it will develop and flower. The hyacinths must be kept in a cool, light position otherwise the flower stems will be floppy and the flowers sparse.
If you wish to replant the bulbs next year, the foliage must be allowed to die down naturally. The bulbs may grow the following year in the garden, but flowering will be poorer than with bulbs grown indoors. Bulbs grown in hyacinth glasses should not be replanted.