Spring hyacinth bulbs that I started in water weeks ago are now in full bloom in my living room.
They are filling the place with fragrance. I'm not sure if I like the fragrance, but the total sensory experience on the second snowy day this winter certainly brings a nice mood lift. It also helps that this hyacinth variety, 'Purple Sensation' is my favorite lavender.
This is the second year that I have grown spring bulbs indoors in vases with only water and marbles or stones.
The marbles or stones are placed in a vase or bowl with water added to just cover them. The bulbs are then set on top so their bottoms don't get wet. In glass vases and bowls you can see the roots grow, which makes this a fun project to enjoy with kids. Eventually, the rooted bulbs produce flowers.
The spring blulbs require a cold period, just as they'd have if they'd been properly planted outdoors in soil in the fall.
I start the bulbs in my unheated basement, where they seem to be very happy, and then I bring them upstairs when they seem ready to flower.
So far, I've had success growing indoor flowers this way from bulbs for tulips (safe from the squirrels and the deer), amaryllis, grape hyacinth (muscari) and, this year, the full-size hyacinths shown.
There are several tulip varieties now well rooted in water in the basement, and I'll start more today to compare the difference in growth with those set on water several weeks ago.