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Growing hyacinths in water

Hi all, I'd like my gardening club (primary school children) to grow hyacinths to take home at Christmas. I ideally would like to grow them in water so the children can see the roots. My problem is what kind of clear (everyday) container could I use to grow them in - I would need about a dozen  -  hyacinth vases that I have looked at seem rather expensive. Any ideas?



  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,802

    Daintiness-what about cutting a bit of the top of a small coke or something similar bottle so that the neck bit supports the bulb?

    With the water in it it should be quite strong and no glass bits to drop?

  • BookertooBookertoo Posts: 1,306

    Any jam jar with a suitable size to support the bulbs, as long as they are clear and clean.  Plastic bottles are possible but the top where cut can be very sharp for the bulb - children are remarkably sensible about glass jars if taught well enough. 

  • Its best to but forced bulbs although I have used non forced,put a piece of charcoal in the water to keep it clean.put the bulbs in the dark until they begin to show.I hope you have the right vases,they are cheap.try nothing to lose.image

  • Thanks for your suggestions.

    I'm now thinking some pasta sauce jars have small tops to them - they might do, and I agree that children can handle  delicate items if properly taught.

    Plastic bottles are interesting - we made bird feeders with them last term - the severed neck could be placed upside down into the bottle base, giving the bulb a 'soft seat'....

    Good tip about the charcoal in the water, wouldn't have thought of that - we must have some in school  I could acquire...image

    I'm using non forced bulbs picked up at Lidl today - they have some good bulbs in at a good price.


    Thanks again

  • But non-forced ones won't flower at Christmas image  They'll hardly have begun to grow, if at all ....

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Dovefromabove, I didn't realise this! I'll have to get forced bulbs then - any recommendations on where to purchase...or any good GC?

  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,802

    Forced ones are quite expensive -If it were me I would continue down the economic road-they will flower in the new year after all


  • I would think that unforced hyacinth bulbs planted now will flower in March.  They need to be kept in the cool and dark until the shoots are a couple of inches tall.  This might make it difficult for your school children as it will take a long time.  

    Hyacinths prepared to flower at Christmas are available on Ebay for £2 each

    or why not go to your local garden centre manager and say that you're training up the next generation of their customers and can they offer you a good deal?  

    Just a tip - some people are sensitive to something in hyacinth bulbs and they can cause a rash - protective gloves might be a good idea for the children - you can get those cheap thin vinyl ones from Boots or  supermarkets- the ones you use once and throw away.

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Thanks for the great link dovefromabove...I'll look at our budget!

  • Ok, I think we'll do a couple of forced ones to observe and keep in school and everyone can pot up a non forced one up in compost to take home and grow on at Christmas.

    Last year we did an experiment of what happens when you plant a bulb upside down or on its side or right way up - it proved very popular with the this year we'll do water and compost.

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