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Hyacinths planting and growing

Hyacinths are popular spring-flowering bulbs. Hyacinths are hardy, but they are often used as window or greenhouse plants. They are easy to grow and very satisfactory.

For winter flowering, the bulbs should be procured early in the fall, potted in October in soil composed of loam, leafmold, and sand. If ordinary flower-pots are used, put in the bottom a few pieces of broken pots, charcoal, or small stones for drainage; then fill the pot with dirt, so that when the bulb is planted, the top will be on a level with the rim of the pot.

Fill in around the bulb with soil, leaving just the tip showing. These pots of bulbs should be placed in a cold pit, cellar or on the shady side of a building. In all cases, plunge the pot in some cool material (as cinders). Before the weather becomes cold enough to freeze a crust on the ground, the pots should have a protection of straw or leaves to keep the bulbs from severe freezing. In about six to eight weeks the bulbs should have made roots enough to grow the plant, and the pots may be placed in a cool room for a short time. When the plants have started into growth, they may be placed in a warmer situation.
Watering should be carefully attended to from this time, and when the plant is in bloom, the pot may be set in a saucer or other shallow dish containing water. After flowering, the bulbs may be ripened by gradually withholding water until the leaves die. They may then be planted out in the border, where they will bloom each spring for a number of years, but will never prove satisfactory for forcing again.

The open-ground culture of hyacinths is the same as for tulips and other Holland bulbs.

The hyacinth is the most popular of the Dutch bulbs for growing in vases of water. The narcissus may be grown in water, and do just as well, but it is not as attractive in glasses as the hyacinth. Glasses for hyacinths may be had of florists who deal in supplies, and in various shapes and colors.

The usual form is tall and narrow, with a cup-like mouth to receive the bulb. They are filled with water, so that it will just reach the base of the bulb when placed in position in the cup or shoulder above. The vessels of dark-colored glass are preferable to those of clear glass, as roots prefer darkness. When the glasses have been filled, they are set away in a cool, dark place, where roots will form, as in potted bulbs. Results are usually secured earlier in water than in soil.

To keep the water sweet, a few lumps of charcoal may be put in the glass. As the water evaporates, add fresh; add enough so that it runs over, and thereby renews that in the glass. Do not disturb the roots by taking out the bulb.