Hyacinthus orientalis cultivars

Jane McGary janemcgary@earthlink.net
Mon, 17 Mar 2014 19:12:41 PDT
Lisa wrote
>Some research (now) from the internet states that forced bulbs will not have
>the same vigor as they did initially.
>Why does forcing them affect them so drastically?  Is there a way to
>'recharge' the bulbs by planting in the ground for a year or so?
>If I just grew them outside; only the rabbits would get to enjoy before they
>ate them. :{
>Any hope to maintain the wonderful color & scent in the greenhouse without
>buying new bulbs every year?

First, rabbits will not eat the hyacinths. They are varmint-proof 
plants, like daffodils
Second, it is not forcing itself that affects the hyacinths as Lisa 
describes. They are just reverting to their normal appearance after 
having been brought to what is commercially considered their peak of 
perfection by special techniques used in the Dutch bulb trade. 
Planted out in the garden (provided Lisa lives somewhere with 
suitable seasonal temperatures), they will grow for many years and 
increase a little, but the inflorescence will always be a little 
looser than the "peak."

You can grow the same hyacinths year after year in the greenhouse, 
provided you give them a suitable cold period, if they have plenty of 
fertile, well-drained soil in a large, deep pot and full sun. 
Hyacinths prepared for forcing have been put through warm and cold 
periods to stimulate flowering. This is easy to do at home, so don't 
spend money on prepared hyacinths unless you need them to flower for 
Christmas. Also, you don't need to buy the premium size to grow in 
pots -- the smaller size is fine.

At my former garden there are colonies of hyacinths that have been in 
the ground for more than 20 years -- and there are many rabbits and deer there.

Jane McGary
Portland, Oregon, USA

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