Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Growing Flowering bulbs in warm climates - Hyacinth

This is the 3rd article in this series. Hyacinth bulbs are native to cooler and mountainous regions so they do not grow very well in warmer areas like Lahore and Karachi. But forcing is very successful here. Forcing means cheating the bulb making it think that it is in cooler climate and then give it little warmth to bloom. Forcing it normally done in water, so you do not grow the bulb in soil but only water.

Price of each bulb was Rs 60 this fall.The bulb which you will get from seeds shop or nursery will come pre-chilled means the buyer had chilled the bulb for few months before it reaches you. So the cheating part was already done when you buy the bulb. BUT that does not always happen and this is the real deal. You have to give it a chilling period of atleast 2-4 weeks by keeping it in fridge. At least that is what i do. Here goes the method.

1- Buy the fattest and biggest bulb with no mold and fungus what so ever. If you buy a bulb having some roots already sprouting that is better. Do not buy a bulb having lots of roots already sprouted.

2- Buy a jar like in the picture below. Any other jar can be used. The important think to note it that it holds the bulb at the base and water evaporation is absorbed 100% by base of bulb.

3- Fill the jar with water and place the bulb in the jar. Note that the water should be just and just means only just below the base of the bulb. DO NOT let the water touch base of bulb otherwise it will rot. It is fine if water is even 1 inch below the base. The bulb will sense the humidity below and throw the roots straight into the water automatically. Keep this jar in fridge for few weeks. This is the picture after 1 month i bought the bulb. First 3 weeks i had put it in fridge. Then kept in the room with inverted clay pot on it so that the bulb does not see the light. Keep it in dark. I tried 3 bulbs this fall and only 1 of them sent roots without needing fridge while for other 2 i had to put them in dark.


































 4- This is the progress after 1.5 months. Still kept in dark. If water level goes down, fill the jar with water and bring back the water level. Do it without disturbing the bulb. You can also re-insert the bulb but you have be very careful not to damage the roots while re-inserting the bulb. Let the roots grow in cool and moist environment. Do not worry if you do not see any top growth.


































 Progress after 2 months:

































 5- As soon as you see the flower spike appear, put it out form the dark and keep it in your room at normal light. you can place in direct sunshine as well. But i prefer to keep it in room.

6- Blue and purple are more hardy than other colors. I found white and yellow to be more sensitive to light and watering requirements. The aroma will fill the room with some divine fragrance you will never forget.

Update: Here is the blue one, the first one to bloom:


Just followed by this pink one, less fragrant than blue one. Photo shot indoor:


Next Bulb : Narcissus PaperWhite

16 comments:

Kiki said...

Yay! This is so exciting..I LOVE Hyancinths..but have never attempted this indoors yet..thanks for a fabulous post! I hope t try this one day!Inspiring..and wonderful post!

Wendy said...

That last photo with the roots is really something! Great directions. I've never tried forcing bulbs, but should consider it for a little winter color!

MedaM said...

I have found that your blog is very interesting and informative. There are many useful things about flowers that I can learn from you. I am impressed with this method of growing hyacinth. I cannot wait to see the flowers.

Grace Peterson said...

Hi~~ I can vouch for this. It works. Although I haven't done any forcing for a few years now, I've had success in the past. When hyacinth blooms, the scent is ambrosia--the essence of spring, a fabulous reward for our efforts.

Nell Jean said...

I chill first for 10 weeks, then put in the hyacinth vases in a cool north window. I've moved them to a sunnier window now that green has appeared.

Sunita said...

This is brilliant! I must try this out. With Mumbai cooling down a bit in our 'winter' it really doesn't seem so impossible.

Andrea said...

Hi i am new here. I love the style of your posting the 'how-tos' with photos. I am contemplating whether our Hipeastrum puniceum bulbs which are perennially on the ground can be grown like this in water. I certainly would love to do it in containers as yours. I wish you included photos of the flowers so i will know which are those. thanks. Our Lilly is also in my blogsite www.abagillon.blogspot.com

Muhammad khabbab said...

@Andrea - Flowers were not blooming at the time of writing the post and i did not want to include other Hyacinth flowers pics. Now the blooms have appeared, i will post them in next week. Thanks for stopping by my blog and saying these kind words. Just going to your blog right now.

Ahmed said...

where did you buy the hyacinth flower vase from, in lahore??

Muhammad khabbab said...

Ahmed- the vases are available in lahore from seeds shops. Check this link. http://www.lahoregardening.com/2009/06/where-to-get-plant-seeds-and-garden.html

Ahmad said...

Ty for the link got the vases, kept the hyacinth bulbs in the fridge yesterday lets see how they turn out, do you know of any good nurseries where i can buy some good japanese chrysanthemum preferably if they were prepared for the flower show in race course next monbth ? ( gul-e-daudi)??

fauzia said...

It was really heartening to see your blog, which is full of interesting information regarding gardening in Pakistan. Since long time I was in search of such this kind of site. Thanks a lot for sharing your experiences, which are of great help. I will definitely take advantage of your learning.
Can you please write something about succulents in Pakistan? Thank you.

jasmin alien said...

I love your post but i have a question that will they bloom in multan also please reply so we can also grow hyacinth.

Muhammad khabbab said...

Yes they do grow in Multan.

jasmin alien said...

where Multan people can buy all these bulb because they not available in Multan nurseries.

Muhammad khabbab said...

Jasmin check this link http://www.lahoregardening.com/2008/06/list-of-plant-nurseries-of-lahore.html

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