forcing bulbs in florida

rhunter(9)October 1, 2007

Hello all, I live in florida zone 9 and just purchased some hyacinth bulbs(they smell SO good). I know they are not hardy in my zone and will have to be chilled or forced.....which leads me to my questions. What is the best way to go about getting them to bloom? Do I just put them in the fridge for ~14 weeks and then plant them? Would it be better to plant them in a pot first and then put into the fridge? Do I have to put them in the fridge immediately-or can I keep them in a cool dry place for a few weeks before putting them in the fridge? Please help. Thank you for your responses!

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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

Keep them in the "airy" bag they came in, in the lowest part of your fridge (but NOT with fruit). Put them there now. Leave them there for 8 to 10 weeks, or longer if you like. Then plant them. If you want to use them again next year, either plant them in a pot(s) or mark where they are in the ground. After the foliage dies back, you can dig up the bulbs and store them for next year. (back in that airy bag in a cool, dry place. If you don't have a basement, try an interior closet. Your garage will be way too hot.)
If you plant them in a pot in good potting soil, you can dig them out with your hands and won't damage any of the bulbs. Use a garden fork to dig them out of the ground. Don't forget to mark where you planted them!!! Next year, do the whole process again. Good luck!

It's a good idea to fertilize your pots, bulbs and all, every two to three weeks throughout the growing season. I don't know about your area, but I have had good luck with alot of bulbs multiplying in my pots when I give them good care.

Just as a suggestion, I'll share my plan for my blue hyacinthis this year. I am going to put them in a large pot on the front porch with different shades of blue and lavender pansies (or violas would be nice too), blue muscari, blue lobelia and blue forget me nots. I am also going to add a bag of blue Dutch Iris for later bloom after the hyacinths. This way, I'll have something pretty going all the time as the bulbs come and go throughout the season. If your hyacinths are pink or white, they would look pretty with the blue plants I named, or use matching colors of the pansies and other cool season plants available at your garden center.

Have fun!

    Bookmark   October 6, 2007 at 6:03PM
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frank_10b(10B subtropical)

difficult if not impossible to gorw in FL, never plant in ground or put in contact with native dirt.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2007 at 9:14AM
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