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Question: 475-511
I have a hyacinth bulb in a milk glass vase. I have been told to keep the water just below the bulb. What should I being doing to bring the flower? Joyce, Harve de Grace, MD

Mort's Answer:
Add a teaspoon of soluble 5-10-10 to the water. You can distill the water before adding the fertilizer by leaving it in the sun for a couple of days. Keep the water just below the roots that will develope under the bulb. Hyacinth will bloom with a very fragrant scent that can fill an entire house. Its scent is used in many soaps and perfumes. After the forced bulb has bloomed, let it sun dry in the window. Later you can cut the stem off just above the bulb. Remove all the fibrous root at that time. Store the bulb in fresh sawdust in a cool dry place for the summer. In the fall, you can plant the bulb outdoors with the rest of your dutch bulbs.

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Question: 549-2111
What can I do with my spent Easter hyacinth gift? Dorothy, Waterford, CT

Mort's Answer:
Sun dry the bulbs for a couple of days. Remove all the hair roots underneath and cut off the top growth. Store the bulbs in a paper bag in cool dry cellar for the summer. You can put them in kitty litter instead or dry peat. Plant them in the fall about eight inches deep. Because you have so much hard pan in your area, you need to put an inch of sand at the bottom. Do not put fertilizer at the bottom of the hole. You can place some bonemeal or 5-10-10 on the surface. There is plenty of nutrient in the bulb to sustain the plant the first year.

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