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Growing Flowers Indoors: Hyacinth Glass

If we grow a hyacinth indoors in winter, the perfume will fill the house. Try finding a hyacinth glass for this purpose in an antique store or garden center.

a small bouquet of purple hyacinth in a glass jar filled with water.

Photo: mbgrigby

Try finding a hyacinth glass in an antique store or garden center to grow this beautiful flower in your home.

During the last century it was especially fashionable in winter for flower lovers to force hyacinth bulbs in special glass containers that were manufactured for this purpose. The original glass vessels were made in jewel colors, blue, red and green, but more modern ones are made of clear glass.

The container is nipped in near the top to form a cup that holds the hyacinth bulb above the water which is placed in the lower section of the vase. Since the vase narrows immediately above the top of the water level, the bulb is prevented from sitting in the water which would cause it to rot. However, roots that arise from the basal plate of the bulb, can grow down to reach the water.

Growing A Hyacinth in Glass

  1. To encourage roots, it is best to place the bulb sitting in the water glass in a dark cool spot. For example, put it in a basement or the back of the lower shelf of a refrigerator, until the roots fill the bottom of the container.
  2. More water should be added if the water level goes down.
  3. Once the lower part of the container is full of roots, place the glass in a cool sunny window or under grow-lights.
  4. Rotate the container regularly to prevent the plant from leaning towards the light as it grows. When you are selecting bulbs for this purpose choose medium sized bulbs suitable for forcing. Large bulbs are likely to produce flower heads that are too heavy to stand erect in a vase.

Look for hyacinth glasses next time you are in antique stores and garden centers.

For more information on forcing spring bulbs of all kinds see: Thalassa Cruso, Making Things Grow: a practical guide to indoor gardening.

Moya Andrews

, originally from Queensland, Australia, served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculties at Indiana University until 2004. In the same year, Moya began hosting Focus on Flowers for WFIU. In addition, Moya does interviews for Profiles, is a member of the Bloomington Hospital Board, and authored Perennials Short and Tall from Indiana University Press.

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