Potted Hyacinth this Spring

maplerbirch(4)June 30, 2012

I bought a potted hyacinth that was in full bloom and was told that it is hardy in our region as a perennial bulb. As I researched I realized that they were dormant bulbs planted in the Fall, like garlic or tulips...

The plant was languishing in the pot and going dormant as the flower died back, then the foliage. So I pulled it out of the pot, let it dry a bit, wrap in a napkin, then placed it into the refrigerator, where it is now.

Was this an error and how soon can I get it into the ground? My research gave me only so much understanding about the life cycle for these things and anyone that has worked with them, would likely have valuable information for me. Thank-you. :)

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You can plant it any time. I usually just plunk my forced, potted bulbs in the ground as soon as danger of severe freezes is over.

No one goes around and digs them out of the ground after they bloom naturally, now do they? ;-) They spend the summer in the ground on their own, and will be just fine.

They are sold and planted in the fall because they ripen in the growers' fields between May and July, depending upon species of bulb, and then it requires a few more weeks to dig/process/package/ship. Fall planting is more for logistical than horticultural reasons, they could actually start selling the first bulbs to ripen, such as crocus, in June if they really wanted to.

I'm not sure what the effect of refrigeration may be -- its possible it will make the bulb think its gone through a winter, and it may grow again when you plant it -- kind of depends on how long it's been in there. This won't hurt anything, there is plenty of time for it to go through another entire cycle prior to fall/winter cold.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 10:07AM
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I'm not sure what the effect of refrigeration may be

Depends on what's in the frig with the bulb :-) Lots of fruits and veggies produce ethylene gas as they ripen. This will prevent the development of flowers in any bulbs and can promote rot. You always want to keep flowering bulbs stored separately for cooling.

Otherwise I agree with all of the above - plant as soon as you want, with sooner being better than later :-)

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 4:40PM
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Thank-you very much. This puts my mind at ease and helps make sense of some of the things I've read. :)

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 6:39PM
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