Hyacinth from Seed?

I know that there are frequent questions about the possibility/advisabilty of raising daffodils from seed. And the answer usually is "yes you can but the bulbs are so cheap why would you bother to wait years for flowers from seeds?" Well, my question is a parallel but involves hyacinths. I planted some fairly pricey bulbs from a local garden center last autumn and the flowers this spring were spectacular. I'd like to have more of them but at over $2 per bulb I'm not going to buy too many more. But a large number of the flowers set seed and have large seedpods now. What would be the process of harvesting and planting the seeds? I realize that it may be several years before anything comes of it but I'd like to try it as much to satisfy my curiosity as to save $20 for a couple more bags of bulbs. TIA
--
John McGaw
[Knoxville, TN, USA]
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
That's not the reason why growing bulbs from seed is a bad idea.
The primary reason is that many of the popular bulb cultivars are sterile hybrids and do not produce seeds.
If they are fertile and produce seeds, hybrids typically do not breed true and the offspring usually do not look like the parent and may be inferior.
Growing species bulbs is the best way to propagate them because many do not multiply quickly from natural division of the bulbs.
The problem is that seeds of many bulbous plants are not commercially available anyway.
Do you know of a source for Hyacinth seeds?

process
years
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Reply inline:

not
As I said in my original post, I've got expensive hyacinths that bloomed most spectacularly this spring and many of them set seed and now have large seedpods developed. My assumption is that when they fully develop (and dry?) there will be seeds in them. My problem is that after that I don't have a clue as to what to do with them. Plant them now? Store in refrigerator and plant in the spring? There are an almost infinite number of permutations of handling and conditions that might be necessary and I was just hoping that someone might provide some guidance to get me started in the right direction.
--
John McGaw
[Knoxville, TN, USA]
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The unlimited possibilities can boggle your mind if you let it. Try to decide on one that would be the least amount of work for you and most beneficial for germination of the seeds. Let nature do the stratification for you and learn to be patient. It will be years before you can get flowers from seed no matter how you obsess over what to do.
Read a book on bulbs and how to propagate them from seed. If you do a Google search you might even find a website to two on the subject.
Sorry, didn't see you original post.

the
but
number
my
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I think that this is what you should try Particularly desirable Hyacinth cultivars can be propagated by making a number of cuts in the bulb, which promotes the development of new bulblets. Turn the Hyacinth bulb upside down, and cut away the basal plate of the bulb using a sharp knife. Then make a series of V-shaped cuts around the edge of the bulb where the basal plate was removed. Leave the bulb exposed to the air for a few days to allow it to form a protective callus. Finally bury he bulb upside down in moist, sand and new bulblets will grow from the wounds made in the base of the Hyacinth bulb.
--
David Hill
Abacus nurseries
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

I always figure seeds are meant to be planted when they are mature enough to begin dropping to the ground. Of course, this may mean growing outdoors in the conditions the plant is accustomed to -- i.e., some seeds require chilling. Don't know about hyacinths, but this seems likely. I would plant some in a pot sunk in the dirt so I could keep track of them, and keep others in the 'fridge to start out next spring. I'm betting on the outdoor pot, 'though.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Ah hah! Try:
http://www.rbgkew.org.uk/data/trew/browseContents.do?lat lse&page&type=kew&chap=4
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

http://www.rbgkew.org.uk/data/trew/browseContents.do?lat lse&page&type=kew&chap=4
Many thanks -- an excellent reference and it appears to give all the information I needed. I don't know why my own search didn't turn it up but such are the vagaries of search engines. Guess I need to start watching the seedpods to determine when they are ready and willing. I've got a good protected place where I can sink some pots and watch the seeds develop and late frost is not usually a problem where I plan to put them.
--
John McGaw
[Knoxville, TN, USA]
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

I started with "hyacinth from seed" which plunged me deep into hyacinth bean references. Was tempted to wander around a bit -- they are interesting plants -- but I was on a mission. Simply changed 'hyacinth' to plural and there it was. :-)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote

seed start guide hyacinthus http://www.detnews.com/2001/garden/0108/01/e10-244270.htm snip
The varieties we grow now are the result of centuries of crossing one Hyacinthus orientalis with another and planting the seed. Let seed ripen on the plant until it's dry and brown. Sow it, barely covered, keep it moist and either refrigerate the seed tray over winter or put it outdoors so seeds get the essential chilling they need to sprout -- 90 days of below-40 temperatures. Even then, seed may wait two winters to germinate. Seedlings take three years or more to develop a bulb large enough to produce a flower.
snip
seeds probably need little or no chill http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&q=origin+climate+hyacinthus
Mediterranean hyacinth (Hyacinthus orientalis) bloom
Hyacinthus orientalis ) Plant Origin: Southern Europe ... opened Environment: full sunlight, on well-drained, sandy soils Climate: warm, mild
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You could do either. Cold stratification may be required for germination, and certainly can't hurt the seeds. If you can get them to grow this year, and squeeze out a years growth, you'll be a year closer to flowering them. Otherwise, it'll be easier to plant in spring while it's still cold next year.
-
theoneflasehaddock
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I have found a simple way around that. Buy species plants.

But occasionally, something really nice will turn up.
-
theoneflasehaddock
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I'd start the seeds now, they might require a couple weeks in the fridge, and then plant out this summer. It might take a couple years for flowers, but they'll grow. The only challenge is getting the seeds to germinate in the first place.
-
theoneflasehaddock
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Usually plants make seeds at about the best time for the seeds to germinate, so right now seeding should be best (they may germinate next year). If you are afraid that the new plants be inferior-looking (they probably will), they will almost certainly maintain the ruggedness of the species. So you could consider harvesting the seeds and start a new patch away from the original bulbs. If you have one of those dry shade problem spots (or maybe under a conifer), they will still make a nice drift even though the new plants are not true. If they come true or close to, move them to other places.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I wonder why no one has mentioned that Hyacinths will naturally produce bulblets or bulbuls at the base of the bulb, these will take about 3 years of good growing to reach flowering size.
--
David Hill
Abacus nurseries
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

process
years
What did you find outstanding in the bulbs you bought as compared to others? The price you paid doesn't necessarily indicate that the bulbs were rare. There may be a better strategy for getting more hyacinths with less work and at far less than $2 each. First, I find that spring flowering bulbs go on clearance in November to make way for seasonal merchandise and because most people who are going to buy bulbs have already made their purchases. Last year I bought a large number of bulbs at 75% to 90% off. I have planted bulbs as late as New Year's Day with good luck in my zone 6 garden. Rather that screw around trying to germinate seeds and then baby-sit them, you might be better off looking for a good clearance sale next fall. After all, even if you are successful, you may find that the plants that you propagated are lackluster offspring of the parent plants. The other option is to buy from a reputable wholesaler like John Scheepers. http://www.johnscheepers.com/ They have a good selection of hyacinths selling for as little as 40 cents each. I find hyacinths very reliable, so your investment will give you many years of fragrant returns.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.