February is a stern and morose month. But this month is known by the flowering of one of the most elegant domestic flowers – hyacinths. Burgundy, pink, blue, white, purple – these flowers will help you to wait until spring!
February weather is windy and unstable. It is out of the question to grow any flowers, even the earliest outside! But there are already plants on our windowsills that will bring confidence to every one’s heart that spring will transfigure everything around very soon.
Their amazingly powerful aroma and the dense inflorescence rarely leave anyone indifferent, and the Greek name translates as “flower of rain”. So, let’s talk about the hyacinth.
The native land of these flowers is Asia Minor and the Mediterranean. Of course you will not find those plants in nature, which are now available in our shops. After all, the wild ancestors of cultural hyacinths do not form such magnificent lush caps of the flowers. But, nevertheless, even the modest natural forms inspired plant breeders work for its improvement, and as a result … purple, maroon, white, cream florets that resemble lilac … These flowers will subdue all!
Many people will throw out these flowers once they loose their bloom …but true gardeners never do that! Indeed hyacinth bulbs after they rest are still able to give a new flower. As soon as the hyacinth loses its blossoms, cut off the dry flower stalks and keep the plant watered and fed until the leaves do not dry up. At this time, the bulb is gaining strength, and it may form subsidiaries bulbs. Then pull out the bulb from the ground, tear off the dried leaves and dry. In the autumn they are planted in the garden protected from wind and direct sunlight, where they will bloom again next year. Hyacinth bulbs live a few years, they are overgrown babies who give new flowers.
Cultivation of hyacinths in the garden is a special theme. You can dig up the largest bulbs in the fall and dry them. They will be waiting for the moment when they will delight you with their flowers, but on the windowsill. In order to insure the flowering hyacinths are abundant both plant and bulbs must be healthy; so you need to follow as closely as possible a few simple rules.
The first rule is to decide what date you want to get blooming hyacinths. An early distillation is by the New Year, an average one is by January-February and a late distillation is by March-April. Time of distillation of hyacinths from planting to flowering takes an average of 2.5 months.
The second rule there must be a cold dark place where the hyacinth bulbs will initially be placed (ideally cellar and a fridge will do), and cool lighting, where having got to the growth of hyacinths flowers will be placed at the second stage. Plants with blossoming flowers can grow at room temperature (but it should not exceed 18-20 degrees) and should have good lighting.
For home distillation of hyacinths, choose larger bulbs, diameter greater than 5 cm. This will serve as a guarantee of a successful growing and a lush bloom. As a rule all the bulbs are usually specially prepared for the distillation at home. Therefore, buy bulbs in checked areas – garden centers, specialized stores, or people who have been doing it for a long time and seriously. The bulb should be healthy: dense, with no damage with the outer scales.
Choose suitable containers for the distillation of hyacinths. It can be any boxes, large pots and bowls, but always with a drainage hole. Prepare soil mix (any nutrient soil mix, with a neutral reaction), drainage (sand or fine expanded clay). Now you can proceed directly to the planting of favorite colors.
At the bottom of the pot pour a thin layer of drainage; then fill the ground in such a way that the tops of the bulbs are approximately 2-3 cm above the soil surface. Plant the bulbs in the soil. The distance between bulbs at distillation of hyacinths should be about 2.5 cm.They have to sit tightly, but do not touch each other and the walls of the bowls or box. Thanks to this arrangement, flowering plants look more beautiful. Press the soil around the bulbs, so that it becomes denser. Then pour water on planted flowers. Sprinkle with a layer of sand 0.5-1 cm thickness. This is necessary in order to ensure the bulbs during distillation is not rotted.
Put prepared flower, in a dark cool place (for example refrigerator). At a temperature of 5-7 degrees at this stage of distillation of hyacinths the rooting of the plant occurs and then there are the first shoots. The period of placement under these circumstances is 6-10 weeks. From time to time you should check to ensure the soil does not dry up in the box.
After 10-12 weeks, the green shoots of 2-2.5 cm (hyacinth leaves) appear, that means that boxes should be moved in a cool shady place with a temperature of 10-12 degrees. At first place in the shade and several days later move closer to a window. The bulbs will actively throw leaves and in a few weeks there will be flower buds. Now you can move the hyacinth to the final destination. It should be well lit (but without direct sunlight), free from drafts, moisture, and away from heating appliances. The air temperature must be about of 15-20 degrees. The soil must be kept moist. From time to time, turn the pot so that the plants grow equally from all sides. If it is necessary, place a support. For a lush long flowering it is required to feed with liquid fertilizer. And then all of your guests will be surprised by the aroma and beautiful flowering of this wonderful plant.