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Stunted hyacinths

WHY are my hyacinths flowering in the crown of the plant with no stalk? This is the second year this has happened.


THE problem with failure of hyacinths to produce their normal long stem is usually lack of sufficient winter chilling while the bulb is dormant. Most hyacinth bulbs sold in garden centres are produced in cool-climate areas, so in mild parts of the country it's quite common for them to flower with good stems in the first year after planting, then perform poorly in following years.

You can sometimes overcome this by lifting the bulbs each year once they've died down, drying them off and keeping them in a very cool spot for several weeks before replanting. You can even put them in the fridge, although they can be adversely affected by vapour given off by some fruit and vegetables.

Weekend Gardener, Issue 154, 2004, Page 26

Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH.

Andrew Maloy Weekend Gardener

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Last updated: June 30, 2005