When to plant hyacinth?

Hyacinth Flower Bulbs: Planting And Care Of Hyacinths In The Garden

One of the earliest spring bulbs is the hyacinth. They usually appear after crocus but before tulips and have old-fashioned charm combined with a sweet, subtle scent. Hyacinth flower bulbs need to be planted in fall so the bulb experiences winter temperatures and breaks dormancy. Continue reading for some tips on how to plant hyacinth flowers in the garden so you can enjoy some early spring color.

Planting Hyacinth Bulbs

Hyacinths in the garden are suitable for a wide range of USDA zones, 3-9. They are thought to be native to the eastern Mediterranean region and need well-draining soil and winter’s chill to thrive.

Their signature fragrance has been used in French perfume and their appearance is a part of the Persian New Year celebrations. In the home garden, they are just plain lovely and a signal that spring has arrived and colorful flower displays are just getting started.

One of the most common problems with any bulb is waterlogged soil. If soil doesn’t drain well, the bulb sits in water and is prey to rot. Prior to planting hyacinth bulbs, perform a drainage test by digging a trench, filling it with water and watching how long it takes to drain.

If water is still sitting in the trench a half hour later, you will need to amend the soil by mixing in leaf litter or other organic amendments, compost, or even a bit of sand or pebbles. Tilling, drainage and organic matter are the most important components for hyacinth flower bulbs. In heavy clay soils, consider planting in a raised bed to encourage draining.

How to Plant Hyacinth Flowers

In fall, around September to October, plant your bulbs. Choose fat, large bulbs with no signs of disease and decay. Plant the bulbs at least 3 to 4 times as deep as they are tall. Install them with the pointed side up.

The flowers perform best in full sun but will still produce blooms in partial shade. They should at least experience 6 hours per day of sunlight.

If your soil has low nutrients, mix in a 5-5-10 slow release plant food. Hyacinths in the garden usually need no care after planting until blooming because nature will perform the chilling requirements necessary to force flowering once temperatures warm.

Care for Hyacinths Outdoors

In good soil, these sweet flowers need little care. Water after installation if no precipitation is expected.

Feed bulbs every spring with bulb food. Scratch it into the soil around the bulbs and water in.

Once flowers are finished blooming, cut off the flower stalk but leave the foliage. They will produce and store energy for the following year’s growth. Once leaves are yellow and limp, you can usually just pull them easily from the soil if you wish.

If winter temperatures do not get below 60 degrees Fahrenheit (16 C.), dig up the bulbs and store them in a refrigerator for 8 weeks prior to replanting.

Slugs are occasional pests, but deer and rabbits avoid this plant due to its oxalic acid content.

Spring-Flowering Bulbs

SERIES 17 | Episode 08

Spring flowering bulbs are all-time favourites in the garden. They add zing to the garden and are one of the reasons we love spring so much. Bulbs do well in garden beds or in pots and you will be amazed by the range of colours.

There are four types of bulbs. True bulbs include tulips and daffodils. There are rhizomes, or swollen stems such as iris. Underground tubers like dahlias and potatoes. And corms, of which cyclamen and gladioli are good examples. All of these are grouped together as bulbs.

Some bulbs are familiar. For example the ‘King Alfred’ daffodil which is a beauty because of its golden trumpet. For something a little bit more unusual look out for hyacinths with their absolutely magnificent fragrance and Babianas or baboon flowers, so called because in South Africa where they originate the baboons actually dig them up to eat.

When buying bulbs go for healthy ones. Don’t plant anything that’s soft, squashy, diseased or mouldy. Look for bulbs that are firm and plump when you squeeze them.

Before planting tulips and hyacinths put them in a paper bag and then into the crisper part of the fridge for about six to seven weeks. That enables them to have a very strong flowering shoot.

Try growing a hyacinth in a bulb vase, shaped like an hourglass. Just put the bulb in the top but don’t let it touch the water because it might rot. It will send down roots, so put it into a dark spot in the kitchen, it will then shoot in a couple of months. Then take it out of

Spring flowering bulbs are all-time favourites in the garden. They add zing to the garden and are one of the reasons we love spring so much. Bulbs do well in garden beds or in pots and you will be amazed by the range of colours.

There are four types of bulbs. True bulbs include tulips and daffodils. There are rhizomes, or swollen stems such as iris. Underground tubers like dahlias and potatoes. And corms, of which cyclamen and gladioli are good examples. All of these are grouped together as bulbs.

Some bulbs are familiar. For example the ‘King Alfred’ daffodil which is a beauty because of its golden trumpet. For something a little bit more unusual look out for hyacinths with their absolutely magnificent fragrance and Babianas or baboon flowers, so called because in South Africa where they originate the baboons actually dig them up to eat.

When buying bulbs go for healthy ones. Don’t plant anything that’s soft, squashy, diseased or mouldy. Look for bulbs that are firm and plump when you squeeze them.

Before planting tulips and hyacinths put them in a paper bag and then into the crisper part of the fridge for about six to seven weeks. That enables them to have a very strong flowering shoot.

Try growing a hyacinth in a bulb vase, shaped like an hourglass. Just put the bulb in the top but don’t let it touch the water because it might rot. It will send down roots, so put it into a dark spot in the kitchen, it will then shoot in a couple of months. Then take it out of the dark place and put it somewhere light and it will burst into flower and fill the room with fragrance.

Spring-flowering bulbs are traditionally planted in autumn, any time between February and mid-May. They’re really not fussy. To plant, dig the soil over to get rid of any clods and weeds. Scatter complete fertiliser. Don’t use fresh chook manure, because that can burn the bulbs. Planting depth is quite important. Plant at least twice as deep as the bulb is high, and you obviously plant with the neck up and the roots down the bottom. The only exception is with Ranunculus. Always have the legs going down.

Try planting daffodils in a row. But if that’s too soldierlike, then scatter them and plant about 10 centimetres apart, then backfill. Water them in and they will be beautiful in spring. Bulbs can also be planted to naturalise in a lawn or under deciduous trees. They light up the space when the trees are leafless in winter and early spring.

If space is a problem try planting into containers. Use Dutch iris down the bottom, and plant them so close that each bulb almost touches. Then cover with soil, or potting mix. On top grow Babiana. The iris will flower first, then the Babianas and so you get a longer flowering time.

The world of bulbs is an exciting one. There are lots of old favourites but of course each year there are new varieties available. Bulbs are the celebration of spring.

the dark place and put it somewhere light and it will burst into flower and fill the room with fragrance.

Spring-flowering bulbs are traditionally planted in autumn, any time between February and mid-May. They’re really not fussy. To plant, dig the soil over to get rid of any clods and weeds. Scatter complete fertiliser. Don’t use fresh chook manure, because that can burn the bulbs. Planting depth is quite important. Plant at least twice as deep as the bulb is high, and you obviously plant with the neck up and the roots down the bottom. The only exception is with Ranunculus. Always have the legs going down.

Try planting daffodils in a row. But if that’s too soldierlike, then scatter them and plant about 10 centimetres apart, then backfill. Water them in and they will be beautiful in spring. Bulbs can also be planted to naturalise in a lawn or under deciduous trees. They light up the space when the trees are leafless in winter and early spring.

If space is a problem try planting into containers. Use Dutch iris down the bottom, and plant them so close that each bulb almost touches. Then cover with soil, or potting mix. On top grow Babiana. The iris will flower first, then the Babianas and so you get a longer flowering time.

The world of bulbs is an exciting one. There are lots of old favourites but of course each year there are new varieties available. Bulbs are the celebration of spring.

Available each year with Spring Flowering bulbs and perennials from February till May

Hyacinth bulbs have the flower already inside the bulb just waiting to flower successfully. Hyacinths can be grown in specially designed jars with no soil (see hyacinth jars under bulb accessories). Hyacinth bulbs will benefit from 6 to 8 weeks in the crisper of your fridge before planting. This will imitate a cool winter similar to where the bulbs grow naturally.

Tips: Hyacinth grow very well in pots. Bring your pots inside while the Hyacinths are flowering to enjoy the colour and light fragrance.

Care

Watering: Normal watering is required during warm weather.

Feeding: Prepare garden beds and or pots with animal manure or blood and bone before planting.

Lifting & Storage: Wait until leaves have turned yellow before lifting each year. This helps the flower form for the next year.

Pest Control: Bait snails and slugs during the growing period.

Measurements

Growing Height: Hyacinth will grow 20 to 25cm tall.

Planting Depth: Plant Hyacinth 10 to 15cm deep.

Plant Spacing: Space Hyacinth bulbs 10 to 15cm apart.

Position & Properties

Garden Position: Hyacinth enjoy half day to full day sun in the garden or pots.

Cut Flower: Excellent cut flower

Potting: Hyacinths are especially good for potting

Timing

Planting Time: Plant Hyacinth from February to June. Remember they will benefit from 6 to 8 weeks in the crisper of your fridge before planting.

Flowering Time: Hyacinth will flower in spring from August to September

How to plant and grow bulbs

Spring flowering bulbs are easy to grow and most bulbs have similar requirements so that once you understand the basics you can grow almost any bulbs with ease. Read on to find out how best to plant and grow your Spring Flowering Bulbs.

When to plant bulbs

For best results, the best time to plant your Spring flowering bulbs is the period between April to May (in Australia). This allows both the weather and the soil to cool.

Bulb planting Depth & Spacing

Most bulbs are planted twice as deep as the bulb is high/tall and the same distance apart. The pointed end of the bulb should be upwards. (Anemone & Ranunculi are the only exceptions). If you are unsure, you can always plant your bulb on it’s side and it will alway grow upwards!

Best Soil type for growing bulbs

Most Spring flowering bulbs are best planted in a freely draining soil. You can raise/mound up the garden beds to improve drainage. Alternatively plant and grow your bulbs in pots if your soil is soggy.

Position

Most bulbs grow best in full sun to light shade. Generally heavier shade produces taller (and softer) stems. In warmer climates, most bulbs tolerate being planted in greater levels of shade.

Watering

Most Spring bulbs like their soil kept moist whilst they actively grow (from late Winter to early Summer) & reasonably dry whilst dormant. Therefore, start watering when green shoots appear and stop when foliage starts to yellow after flowering. If you experience high Summer rainfalls dig the bulbs up in Summer and store them in a dry spot.

Feeding

A general rule of thumb is to top dress all bulbs in Autumn & water in. Use a specialty bulb fertiliser or general fertiliser. Many bulbs grow better if a second dressing is applied straight after flowering as this is when the bulb is taking in nutrients for next year’s flowers.

After flowering care

After flowering, it’s important that you continue watering & feeding the leaves since they are generating the energy the bulb requires to produce next year’s flowers.

Digging & storing your spring flower bulbs

Allow the foliage to die down before diggin up your bulbs. Firstly loosen the soil with a fork and gently pull up the bulbs by their stems. Allow the bulbs to dry somewhere cool (not in full sun). Once dry, clean excess dirt and remove old flower stalks. Try to leave the bulbs ‘skin’ in tact as this helps protect the bulbs. Store the bulbs somewhere cool (less than 25oC), dry and airy until you replant the following Autumn.

To refrigerate or not to refrigerate?

Tulip bulbs are the only bulbs which require 4-8 weeks in the crisper of the fridge before planting. DO NOT FREEZE THEM. An easy way to remember is to put your tulip bulbs in the fridge around April fool’s day, then plant your bulbs around Mother’s day.

Guide lines for planting your Spring flower bulbs in pots:

  • Keep the bulbs away from the outer edges of the pot which get very hot.
  • Water regularly to keep soil slightly moist.
  • plant the bulbs in the garden the following year since most won’t flower consecutive years in pots.

Where to plant and grow bulbs?

Bulbs to plant in sunny positions Bulbs to plant in shady positions
The bulbs below thrive being planted in such spots in a cool to temperate climate and they also tolerate shade for a couple of hours each day. In warmer climates they tolerate greater levels of shade:

  • Anemones
  • Freesias
  • Alliums
  • Hyacinths
  • Brodiaea
  • Ranunculi
  • Dutch Iris
  • Daffodils
  • Lachenalias
  • Spring Star Flowers
  • Ixias
  • Grape Hyacinths
  • Sparaxis and
  • Species Gladioli
These bulbs tolerate 2 – 3 hours of full sun each day or filtered light all day:

  • Anemones
  • Lachenalias
  • Dutch Crocus
  • Tulips
  • Daffodils
  • Bluebells
  • Cuban Lilies
  • Hyacinths
  • Grape Hyacinths
Bulbs to plant in rockeries Bulbs for naturalising
These smaller bulbs are ideal:

  • Blue bells, Dutch Iris, Daffodils, Rock Tulips, Rain Lilies
  • Babiana,Lachenalias, Cuban Liles, Grape Hyacinths and Spring Star Flowers.
These bulbs can be left to flower happily by themselves.

  • Anemones, Ixias, Blue bells, Daffodils, Dutch Iris
  • Freesias, Sparaxis, Watsonias, Lachenalias and Grape Hyacinths.

Planting Depth and Spacing of Spring-flowering Bulbs

The array of spring-flowering bulbs includes tulips, daffodils, crocuses, hyacinths, snowdrops, and flowering onions. By planting a variety of spring-flowering bulbs, gardeners can enjoy blooming plants from late March to mid-June.

For best selection, visit your local garden center early. Select large, firm bulbs. Avoid soft or blemished bulbs. Store purchased bulbs in a cool, dry location until they can be planted in the fall. October is the ideal time to plant spring-flowering bulbs. To achieve the greatest visual impact, plant spring-flowering bulbs in clusters or drifts. When planting tulips or daffodils, plant 10 or more bulbs of the same variety in a cluster. Smaller growing bulbs, such as Siberian squill, should be planted in drifts of 50 or more. The flowering list provides planting depth and spacing of various spring-flowering bulbs.

Bulb Depth* Spacing
Allium spp. (Ornamental Onion)
large bulbs (A. giganteum and others) 6 inches 12 to 18 inches
small bulbs (A. moly, A. unifolium, etc.) 3 to 5 inches 6 to 8 inches
Camassia spp. (Quamash) 4 inches 4 inches
Chionodoxa luciliae (Glory-of-the-Snow) 3 to 4 inches 3 inches
Crocus spp. (Crocus) 3 to 4 inches 3 inches
Fritillaria spp. (Fritillaria)
Fritillaria imperialis (Crown Imperial) 6 to 8 inches 12 to 18 inches
F. meleagris other small flowering types 3 to 4 inches 4 inches
Galanthus nivalis (Common Snowdrop) 3 to 4 inches 3 inches
Hyacinthoides hispanica (Spanish Bluebell) 4 inches 4 to 6 inches
Hyacinthus orientalis (Hyacinth) 6 inches 6 to 8 inches
Leucojum vernum (Spring Snowflake) 3 to 4 inches 3 to 4 inches
Muscari armeniacum (Grape Hyacinth) 3 to 4 inches 3 to 4 inches
Narcissus spp. (Daffodil)
Trumpet, large-cupped, etc. 6 to 8 inches 6 to 8 inches
Miniature and other small bulbs 3 to 5 inches 4 to 6 inches
Puschkinia scilloides (Striped Squill) 3 to 4 inches 3 inches
Scilla siberica (Siberian Squill) 3 to 4 inches 3 inches
Tulipa spp. (Tulip)
Darwin hybrid tulips, triumph tulips, etc. 6 to 8 inches 4 to 6 inches
Species or botanical tulips 3 to 5 inches 3 to 4 inches

* Planting depth is measured from the base of the bulb to the soil surface.

This article originally appeared in the September 13, 2002 issue, p. 118.

Hyacinths (Hyacinthus)

Hyacinths are colourful spring-flowering garden plants with delightfully scented flowers. They are also commonly grown indoors in containers, producing delightful winter and early spring displays on windowsills, table tops and anywhere else their colourful, fragrant flowers can be enjoyed.

How to grow hyacinths

Cultivation

Hyacinths prefer sunny positions, although they will tolerate light shade. They will grow in just about any good soil, providing it has been improved with bulky organic matter, such as compost, and is reasonably well drained and doesn’t become waterlogged in winter.

Planting hyacinths

Be careful when handling the bulbs, as the dust from their skins can cause skin irritation. It may be worth wearing gloves.

Outdoors

Hyacinth bulbs are planted in autumn – the best time is September or October.

If you miss out on planting bulbs in autumn, most garden centres sell potted bulbs – including those for indoor winter displays. These are useful for filling gaps in beds and borders or for instant colour in containers.

Indoors

For winter displays indoors, you have to buy specially prepared hyacinth bulbs, and plant them in pots in late summer or early autumn. They then need up to 10 weeks in cold, but frost-free (preferably 4-5°C/40-42°F), dark conditions to produce their flower buds and flower properly.

Suggested planting locations and garden types

Flower borders and beds, patios, containers, city and courtyard gardens, cottage and informal gardens, indoors, temporary houseplant.

How to care for hyacinths

Hyacinths are generally easy to look after. The bulbs can be left in the ground from year to year, or they can be lifted after flowering and after the foliage has died down. Store them in dry compost in a cool, dry place until it’s time to replant them in autumn.

When they finish flowering, the bulbs start to build up their strength and produce their flower buds for the following year. This is the most important time of year and when the plants need some care and attention.

Start by deadheading as soon as the flowers have faded. You can either carefully pull or cut off the faded flower, plus the developing seed pod behind the flower, but allow the leaves to die down naturally. Don’t be tempted to remove the foliage before it has turned brown, as the bulbs need the leaves to feed them.

You can build up their strength further by giving them a liquid feed every 10 to 14 days while they’re still in leaf.

Indoor hyacinths

When the bulbs are in their cold, dark conditions, check regularly for signs of leaf growth. When this is 2.5-5cm (1-2in) long, bring them into a light, but not bright, cool room – around 10C (50F) – for a few weeks until the flower buds can be seen. They can then be moved to their flowering positions.

Prepared bulbs can’t be used for indoor displays the following year, but they can be planted in the garden after first hardening them off once the foliage has died down.

Pests

Hyacinths may also be susceptible to the following pests and diseases: Eelworms, Narcissus fly, Bulb rot.

Flowering season(s)

Spring, Winter

Foliage season(s)

Spring, Winter

Sunlight

Partial shade, Full sun

Soil type

Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy

Soil pH

Neutral

Soil moisture

Moist but well-drained

Ultimate height

25cm (10in)

Ultimate spread

Up to 15cm (6in)

Time to ultimate height

6 months

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Hyacinth

March 7th is World Hyacinth Day.

Hyacinths are spring-flowering bulbs with long, narrow leaves that are folded lengthwise. Hyacinths are highly fragrant flowers that bloom in dense clusters.

Hyacinth is the common name for approximately 30 perennial flowering plants of the genus Hyacinthus (order Liliales, family Liliaceae) of the Mediterranean region and Africa.

The common Hyacinth (Hyacinthus Orientalis), whose flowers open fully and look like little starfishes, should not be confused with the common grape Hyacinth flowers (Muscari Botryoides).

The common grape Hyacinth bears tight blooms in a raceme resembling clusters of grapes. Both are spring-blooming bulb plants.

Kingdom Plantae Division Magnoliophyta Class Liliopsida Order Asparagales Family Hyacinthaceae Genus Hyacinthus

The common garden Hyacinth, Hyacinth Orientalis, originated in Anatolia and was brought to Europe in the 16th century. The Hyacinth bulb produces a dense, compact spike of flowers, 6-12 inches (15-30 cm) tall.

Hyacinths are highly fragrant, bell-shaped flowers with reflexed petals. The waxy, densely-packed florets come in shades of white, peach, orange, salmon, yellow, pink, red, purple, lavender and blue.

The 7-8 leaves of the hyacinth are fleshy, glossy green and strap shaped. The Hyacinth bulb is a light purple or cream in color and are covered with dry, papery, skin-like layers.

Facts About Hyacinths

  • An ancient Greek legend describes the origin of the Hyacinth. Two of the gods, Apollo and Zephyr, adored a handsome young Greek called Hyakinthos. Apollo was teaching Hyakinthos the art of throwing a discus.

    Zephyr, who was the god of the west wind, was overwhelmed with jealousy and he blew the discus back. It struck Hyakinthos on the head and killed him. From his blood grew a flower, which the sun god Apollo named after him.

  • The word ‘Hyacinth’ has also surfaced in an ancient language (called ‘Thracopelasgian’) which was spoken 4,000 years ago.
  • The wild Hyacinth is a native of Turkey and the Middle East, along the eastern shores of the Mediterranean. Hyacinths were grown in Europe in the time of the Greeks and Romans. Both Homer and Virgil noted its sweet fragrance.
  • After this, the Hyacinth faded from history and did not reappear until the 16th century when it was reintroduced into Western Europe from Turkey and Iran. Leonhardt Rauwolf, (a German doctor) collected some Hyacinths when he visited Turkey in 1573.
  • Hyacinths have been cultivated commercially since the second half of the 16th century. They became very popular in 18th and early 19th century Europe.
  • The bulbs are now grown commercially in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. In the Netherlands Hyacinths are also grown as cut flowers.
  • The common garden Hyacinth is cultivated to a minor extent in the Netherlands for the perfumery trade. However, most Hyacinth perfumes sold are synthetic, based primarily upon phenylacetaldehyde. Hence, the Hyacinth is also called the Dutch Hyacinth.
  • The normal bloom time for Hyacinths is from March to April.
  • In the Victorian language of flowers, the Hyacinth flower symbolizes sport or play. The blue Hyacinth signifies sincerity.

Varieties of Hyacinths

  • Single Hyacinths : The full heads on these classic hyacinths look good in the garden or when forced in pots. The Blue Giant is one of the largest singles which has sky blue flowers with dark blue veins.
  • Double Hyacinths : Fluffy whorls of colorful flowers are arranged on 10-12 inch stems. Hollyhock is an outstanding variety that features dark pink blooms.
  • Multiflora Hyacinths : Each bulb produces a number of flower stalks with loose arrangements of flowers. These are less formal than singles and doubles.

Growing Hyacinths

  • Plant hyacinth bulbs in fall, 6 to 8 weeks before a hard frost is expected and when soils are below 60 degrees F.
  • This is usually during September and October in the North, and October and November in the South.
  • Prepare the garden bed by using a garden fork or tiller to loosen the soil to a depth of 12 to 15 inches, then mix in a 2 to 4-inch layer of compost.
  • Dig a hole 6 to 8 inches deep.
  • Set the bulb in the hole, pointy end up, then cover with soil and press firmly.
  • Space bulbs 4 to 6 inches apart.
  • Water thoroughly after planting.

After they bloom in spring, allow the plants to grow until the leaves die off. They need time after blooming to store energy in the bulbs for next year. To remove the dead plant, either snip them off at the base, or twist the leaves while pulling lightly.

Hyacinth Plant Care

  • Keep Hyacinths watered during dry spells in fall.
  • After the plants have finished flowering in spring, cut back flower stalks but allow the leaves to die back naturally, hiding the unsightly foliage with annual or perennial plantings.
  • An annual application of compost should provide adequate nutrients.
  • Flower size may decline in subsequent years, so some gardeners treat Hyacinths as annuals and plant fresh bulbs each fall.

The Complete Guide to Growing Hyacinths

Sarsmis/Getty Images

Hyacinths are beautiful additions to Southern gardens. They provide vibrant floral color with tall spikes of eye-catching blooms and bright green foliage. Hyacinths are members of the Asparagaceae family; they’re perennials that produce striking, fragrant flowers, the likes of which will have you looking forward to their blooms every year. Read on to learn about hyacinths and how to plant, tend, and maintain them everywhere, including in your gardens, containers, and windowsills.

What are Hyacinths?

Hyacinthus orientalis, or the common hyacinth, is a fragrant flowering plant that blooms in early to mid-spring. Hyacinths produce showy flowers in shades of blue, purple, white, pink, and red. The flowers appear in thick clusters on tall spikes; each spike is filled with small, deeply fragrant, bell-shaped blooms. Long bright green leaves form around the base of the plant.

When to Plant Hyacinths

These bulbs should be planted in autumn and can be put in the ground from October to December for flowering in the spring months (usually March and April). They’re perennials but can be treated as annuals. According to The Southern Living Garden Book, the “size of the flower spike is directly related to the size of the bulb. Biggest bulbs are desirable for exhibition plants or for potting; next largest size is satisfactory for bedding outside. Small bulbs give smaller, looser clusters with more widely spaced flowers.”

Which Hyacinths Should I Plant?

The Dutch hyacinth is at home in the Upper and Middle South, but according to The Southern Living Garden Book, “it can be grown as an annual anywhere.” The Roman or French Roman hyacinth (Hyacinth orientalis albulus) blooms earlier than the Dutch and “also needs little to no winter chill, making it better adapted to the Lower, Coastal, and Tropical South (where it will grow as a perennial under favorable conditions.)”

How to Care for Hyacinths

Hyacinths should be planted in well-drained soil. According to The Southern Living Garden Book, gardeners should “set larger Dutch hyacinth bulbs 6 in. deep, 5 in. apart; set smaller ones and Roman hyacinth bulbs 4 in. deep, 4-5 in. apart.” The bulbs grow best in full sun or partial shade with regular water during the growth and blooming periods.

How to Plant Hyacinths in Containers

Hyacinths are great container plants and look lovely when a large number of them are planted together in close proximity. They require good drainage when planted in pots. At first, they grow best in a porous potting mix shaded and cooled by a layer of mulch at the surface. With enough shade, the roots will form and then, after the bulbs take root, the hyacinths need plenty of sunlight (plus a consistent environment of well-drained soil).

How to Grow Hyacinths as Perennials

To tend already-planted hyacinths for next year’s blooming season, be sure to fertilize the plants as their blossoms begin to droop and fall. Snip the faded spikes and continue watering the bulbs until the foliage yellows and dies back.

How to Force Hyacinths

You can force hyacinth bulbs in a vase; all you need to do is place chilled bulbs (pointed side up and root end down) in a forcing vase that’s filled with water up to the bottom of the bulb. Place the bulbs in a cool, dark place until the roots begin to develop and the plant’s leaves begin to appear. Be sure to change the water regularly and keep the water level consistent. When the leaves appear, move the vase to a bright spot like a windowsill. There, they’ll receive full sunlight and warmer temperatures. The forced hyacinths will flower in 6-8 weeks and the bulbs will likely not rebloom.

Careful!

Hyacinth bulbs can cause skin irritation. The plant’s bulbs are partly composed of calcium oxalate crystals, which act like barbs that are invisible to the eye. They can cause microscopic breaks in the skin and cause itching and irritation, so be sure to wear gloves or wash your hands thoroughly after handling bulbs and before touching your skin, face, or eyes.

Love hyacinths but want to plant outside the box? Also be sure to read up on grape hyacinths (Muscari sp.), members of an unrelated look-alike genus, which have blooms that resemble clusters of ripe grapes.

WATCH: Fragrant Southern Flowers for Your Garden

What are your favorite bulbs to plant in the garden? Do you plan on planting hyacinths in the future?

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