When to bring my forced hyacinths indoors?

linnea56(z5 IL)January 10, 2010

IÂm trying this for the first time. I bought Lady Derby hyacinths, which are supposed to be especially good for forcing. I potted, watered and put them in my attached garage in mid-November. When it got colder I moved them closer to the house wall where it does not freeze hard. Several times I have scooped up snow to put on the pots, so they wonÂt dry out too much. It melted in time, so I know itÂs not below freezing.

Do they need 12 weeks, or more, of vernalization? If 12 weeks then I should bring them in in mid-February.

I have read conflicting info on when, and to what conditions, I should bring them in. One site said I needed 40 degrees and darkness, which is still more like the garage than the house. Most said something confusing about waiting until buds were formed before bringing them in, etc. Does this mean they will sprout all by themselves in the dark garage? I thought I needed to bring them into some kind of increased warmth to bring on sprouting. Thanks!

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a1chemyst(7-Georgia)

im not sure what kind of hyacinth i have, but i have them in the west window and they seem very happy. i have fires alot so i have to spray them, they are opposite the fireplace. if i spray during the day they get small burn spots so if you ever have to be sure to wait until its dark. hope i could help :)

    Bookmark   January 10, 2010 at 1:48PM
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ontnative(5b Can/USDA 4)

Others may do differently, but I keep my forcing bulbs in either my unheated garage or my cold cellar until they show 1-2" shoots. I then bring them into a cool, unheated room (above said garage) and place them next to a southwest facing window until buds are formed. At this point I bring them into the room where I wish to view them, usually the kitchen or computer room which are normal room temperature. When they are finished flowering, they go back to the cool room until the foliage dies off. The hardy bulbs eventually get planted outside in the garden, while the paperwhites go directly to the compost bin.

I don't follow an exact schedule i.e. number of weeks that I keep my bulbs in the garage/cold cellar. Usually the shoots don't show much above the soil until at least 8 wks or longer. The bulbs need this length of time to develop good roots. If the shoots are growing very slowly, I leave them in the cold another few weeks. I don't know if this information helps you or not.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2010 at 8:24PM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

I have been checking the ones in my unheated but attached garage, and see no signs of shoots. I made up 2 pots: one is clay and the other plastic. The clay one keeps drying out, though. I have been putting scoops of snow on them periodically, so when it melts they are gently watered.

According to the chart of when I planted them, I am supposed to bring them in on Feb 15. That was the minimun time. ThatÂs the 3 month mark. But are they going to sprout all by themselves in the garage, without my bringing them into a warm place? Do I wait until I see growth on top before bringing them in?

    Bookmark   January 23, 2010 at 9:15PM
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ontnative(5b Can/USDA 4)

Keep watering them from time to time so that the soil is somewhat moist, never completely dry. They should sprout on their own in the garage, when they are ready to do so, just like they would do outdoors. The only difference is that there is no snow covering them. Feb.15 is three weeks away, so they should be showing some pale green tips by then. If they are not getting any light at all, the shoots will be cream instead of green, but that does not matter. They will green up quickly when exposed to light from a window. I generally wait until the tips are at least 1-2" before bringing the bulb pots in from the cold. If you can place them in a cool room for a few weeks that is the best. Only then should you bring them into a normally heated room. I usually wait until they are just starting to bloom before I put mine in a warm room. That way the stems stay shorter, and the bloom lasts longer.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2010 at 7:02PM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

Thank you very much! That is very helpful.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2010 at 12:27AM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

THEY SPROUTED! There are teeny yellowish green tips showing! According to my chart they are due to be brought into the house on Feb 15Âand here they are, on Feb 1, alive! I thought for sure they had dried out too many times. Every time I looked, the one in the clay pot was bone dry with the soil pulled away from the pot.

Oh, IÂm so excited!

It doesnÂt take much to excite a gardener in the winter.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2010 at 12:04AM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

Counting the days to bringing them inside...! 6 days after my last post, and they've done almost nothing. About a third of an inch showing above the soil. (Note to self: musn't be so impatient. All things in time, and so forth...)

Well, at least I didn't forget them altogether. Now THAT would be more like me.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2010 at 2:16PM
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shpnquen(z5, IN)

I'm excited like you are too!! I bought some bulbs last year & never got around to planting them. Needless to say, they sat out in my garage, right next to the overhead door on the concrete floor with no dirt or nothing. My DH asked me on the 12th, what I wanted to do with them, so I was figuring on having to toss them. When I looked at the bag, they had one inch sprouts on them!! They're still firm, so I'm wanting to try to force them now & don't know what to do. LOL!!!

    Bookmark   February 14, 2010 at 5:05PM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

Follow-up: You never know if this might be useful to someone.

I brought one pot in on Feb 20, tips were less than 1 inch, put it a dark cold closet in the basement on a cold cement floor. Today I brought it up to the heated house, to daylight. The shoots are now 3 inches tall, so they grew really fast in the basement. Very pale yellow, of course, since they had no sun at all. One is slightly open to see the bud inside, about 2/3rds down. I was not sure if I should have moved the pot to SOME daylight after a while. I could still have put it in a cold basement windowsill and not left it in the dark closet.

Meanwhile the ones in the garage have hardly changed at all. I wanted the pots to bloom at 2 different times so will probably bring that one in to the basement in a week or so.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2010 at 1:24PM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

Now 4 inches tall, can see the buds inside all of them. They turned green within a day.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 4:47PM
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