as demonstrated by 'Splendid Cornelia:'
Many garden bloggers/readers are savvy about such topics but if you're not, or you're still learning (like me!) maybe this post will be helpful?
1. Kind of a "no brainer" but the earlier bulbs are purchased in the fall, the sooner they can brighten a winters day.
2. Since they need at least a 12 - 13 week chill period, timing is everything. I still haven't figured out how to get blooming hyacinths for Christmas when the bulbs are not even for sale (at least here) until October???
3. A dark, cool place (I use the refrigerator) is ideal. Optimal chilling temperature is between 40 - 48 degrees. Never let them freeze!
4. If using forcing vases, water level should be just beneath the bottom of bulb, but not touching the bulb.
5. You'll know it's time to remove bulb from chilling when roots fill the glass and there's approximately 1" of top growth on the bulb.
Note from author: Don't let step 5 trip you up like it often does me ~ as easy as it seems to follow ~ impatience is still a temptress. I count out 12 - 13 weeks of refrigeration and remove before there's an inch of top growth. Maybe that's why some of my forced blooms are not as full as they should be???
Do as the author says not as she does....
Hyacinth 'Splendid Cornelia' had an inch of top growth and thus a beautifully formed bloom.
'Dark Dimension' was one removed from refrigeration prematurely.... *sigh*
Other helpful tips:
a. If the water gets a murky or dirty appearance, change it out.
b. Remember not to keep the bulbs in the same place as ripening fruit. Ethylene gas produced by ripening fruit will kill the flower inside the bulb.
c. Add water, as necessary, to the vases (or water pots if planted that way) so that bulbs/roots don't dry out.
d. There are all kinds of tips on where to place bulbs after removing from chill period. I am lazy so I prefer the one step method of positioning them in an East facing window and letting them do their thing. If you have the time or inclination to move them from various locations & increasing temperature zones, by all means do so! Your bulbs will be the envy of the neighborhood and most probably perform more consistently than mine.
For me, whatever (spindly or not) blooms I get are enough to tide me over till spring....