I was given a potted hyacinth. How to re-use bulbs next Spring?

Lynn NevinsMarch 31, 2013

Someone gave me a potted hyacinth.

I did a bit of research online and saw some options for forcing so it blooms indoors. I'm not interested in keeping this indoors.

I simply want to plant the bulbs in a pot that I would keep outdoors all year. So....do I remove the bulbs from the pot once the current flowers are spent, cut off the greens, dry out the bulbs on newspaper, and then store them somewhere dark and dry until the Fall, and then I can put them in a pot outside?

And once they are in a pot outside, will they act like any other perennial, blooming in the spring, then dying back, and coming back each Spring? I've never done anything with bulbs so I'm really not sure how they work. I want to keep this as easy as possible...I normally just have perennials that come back on their own each year.


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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Whatever you do do not cut off the green leaves! Those are busy building the bulb up for next year. They need to be allowed to die off naturally.

When the flower is over either replant in a pot or put into the ground outside. There is no need to store them until Autumn, just plant them straight away.The blooms are not usually as full after forcing so I would go for planting in the ground rather than in a container and buy fresh new bulbs for your pot.

All the hyacinths in my tiny garden started as indoor forced blooms.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 2:44PM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

Same as Flora already said... if possible plant a little deeper than they were in the pot, but keep it easy and just pop them in the ground, they'll grow.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 7:26PM
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Lynn Nevins

Thanks guys. I only have a balcony for gardening so in a pot is my only option.

So if I put them in a pot outdoors, it sounds like it will make no difference whether I put them in the pot once the blooms are spent (which should be any day now), or later in the year?

Or are you saying that the bloom will be so much smaller in a pot outdoors, that it may not even be worth saving/repotting them....that if I want nice hyacinth in an outdoor pot, that I should just buy new bulbs each year?


    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 11:32AM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Hyacinths which have been forced seldom bloom the same size again. So if you just want a nice pot of outdoor hyacinths buy new bulbs in the Autumn - the kind for outdoor use, not 'prepared' bulbs for forcing.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 5:15PM
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Lynn Nevins

thanks. I really have no familiarity with bulbs, but it sounds like you are saying that any bulb plants that come in a pot, that they are by default 'forced'... and as such, are really intended for one-time use...as an annual....

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 9:05PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

If the bulb comes in a pot and is intended for indoor display, then yes, it will have been forced. This exhausts the bulb. it can return next year but will be less showy. If it is in a pot but intended for outdoor use then no, it will be blooming at its natural time, more or less, and can be relied on to return next year with the same vigour if it is looked after.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 3:53AM
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Lynn Nevins

Tx....hmmm...and how would one know if the plant was 'intended' for indoor versus outdoor display? I suspect my friend bought the plant at like Home Depot or something...or otherwise at some local flower shop that deals more in cut flower displays...i.e., not a real 'garden' center. So I'm assuming this plant was intended for one-time indoor display and then to be tossed.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 8:11PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

If it was for sale at a time when hyacinths are not in bloom outdoors then it is intended for indoor use and is forced.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 1:47PM
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