How to Force Hyacinth Bulbs In a Vase | Midwest Living

How to Force Hyacinth Bulbs In a Vase

With nothing more than forcing vases, bulbs, and some water, you can fill your home with blossoms and fragrance.
  • Forcing Vases

    Forcing vases

    Bulb-forcing vases are perfect for indoor bulb plants because the shape of the vase eliminates the need for watering. Forcing vases have an empire-waist or hourglass shape, and bring water up to the bulb after planting. 

  • Tools and materials

    Tools and materials

    Forcing vases

    Prechilled hyacinth bulbs



  • Step 1: Prepare bulbs

    Step 1: Prepare bulbs

    If your hyacinth bulbs have not already been chilled, place them in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator for at least five weeks. Keep them away from produce. Wear gloves when handling hyacinth bulbs becuase they can cause a skin reaction and can be an eye irritant. 

  • Step 2: Fill vase

    Step 2: Fill vase

    Fill the forcing vase to just below the cup where the bulb will be resting - the bulb will be able to detect the moisture. 

  • Step 3: Place bulb

    Step 3: Place bulb

    Place the hyacinth bulb in the cup, root end down and growing end up (growth may already be showing) so the base is barely touching the water. Position the vase on a bright windowsill and watch as it begins to bloom. Periodically change the water and keep the level at the base of the bulb. Turn it every day to keep it growing upright. Forced bulbs do not usually make the transition to outside garden plants, so toss them in the compost bin once the nearly two-week fragrant show is over. 

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