Pot up bulbs for win­ter blooms

Their bright dis­plays will be a joy to see

Garden News (UK) - - News -

There’s a fun job you can eas­ily do to en­sure win­dowsills of colour in two to three months’ time, in the depths of win­ter when you’ll re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate it! You can try and time your bulb forc­ing for Christ­mas, but if na­ture de­cides to ruin your tim­ings, mid-De­cem­ber or Jan­uary will be ablaze with blooms – just as lovely!

Hy­acinths can be pre­pared bulbs, in gar­den cen­tres la­belled as such, which have been cold-treated in ad­vance by grow­ers and won’t need as long in a cold, dark place. Un­treated ones will work fine too, just keep them in the shed for longer. Oth­er­wise you can pot up some gor­geous amaryl­lis, pa­per­white daffs, iris, and even cro­cuses and anemones. So why not ex­per­i­ment with some new ones this year?

There are just a few things to note. Amaryl­lis don’t need a cold or dark spell, so you can bring them in­doors as soon as you’ve pot­ted them up. Most oth­ers do, though, so keep them in a dark place at up to 10C (50F) so they think its win­ter al­ready, and once you see about 5cm (2in) of shoot growth, bring them in­doors to start flow­er­ing early.

Be­ing pot­ted up here is a lovely hy­acinth called ‘Wood­stock’, slightly dif­fer­ent from all the baby blue and white frilly va­ri­eties, in a su­perb deep pur­ple-ma­genta colour – lovely for a bright splash of colour in­doors in the cold sea­son. Here’s a quick guide to pot­ting it up.

Give hy­acinths a cold, dark spell to flower well

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