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Hyacinth, a must-have bulb flower


Hyacinth is definitely a most beautiful spring bulb flower.

Top Hyacinth facts

FamilyLiliaceae (lily family)
Typespring bulb

Height – 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 cm)
Exposure – full sun, part sun
Soil – ordinary

Blooming outside: early → mid-spring  –   Indoors: mid-winter → early spring

They are normally planted outdoors, but they are often seen inside our homes at the beginning of winter.

Planting hyacinth

Planting and caring for hyacinths from spring to winter, here are the best practices.

Outdoor hyacinth planted in the ground

  • Planting hyacinthIt is best to plant your hyacinths in fall, 4 inches (10 cm) deep, and they will bloom in spring.
  • Hyacinths are much more appealing if you create clustered spots of color.
    For that, you should plant bulbs in groups, spacing them 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) apart.
    The more, the merrier!
  • Check our advice on planting bulbs in the ground.
  • Here are our tips to plant plant hyacinths in clay and waterlogged soil.

Hyacinth in pots for fall or winter blooming

Hyacinth in potIt is possible to make hyacinths bloom inside your house, from fall till the beginning of spring.

This is called “Forcing”. It tires the bulb to bloom out-of-season. You can give it a rest by planting it in the ground.

Starting in September and until January,

  • In a pot or tray, prepare a bed of soil mix 1 to 1½ inches (3 to 4 cm) thick.
  • Place the bulbs so that they touch, to create a nice clumping effect.
  • Cover with soil mix, barely letting the tip of the bulbs jut out.
  • Place the pot in a cool, dark and rather moist place.
  • As soon as leaves sprout, place the pot in a well-lit place that is slightly warmer, around 50°F (10°C).
  • A few days later, you can bring them in your house to admire the blooming.

Pruning and caring for hyacinth

Caring for hyacinth in the open

hyacinth careHyacinths that are planted in fall will bloom in spring. This is the normal, natural blooming cycle.

  • When blooming is over, cut leaves back only when they have already turned yellow, and only then. The span of time between blooming and wilting leaves is when the bulb is stocking up on nutrients for the next blooming cycle.

It helps to have mulch to preserve moisture, especially when in full sun.

Potted hyacinth

Hyacinth wateringHyacinths purchased and grown in pots are for indoor blooming in winter. It is useless to keep them in their pots, because they will not bloom again, unless they are planted outdoors.

  • When blooming is over, no need to keep your potted hyacinths as such, because those that have bloomed indoors will only bloom once.
  • However, if you plant them outdoors in the ground, they may bloom again one or two years later.

All there is to know about hyacinth

Hyacinth landscapingWith their nice bunched flowers, they produce fragrant little bells.

Hyacinths put on a great show at the very beginning of spring outdoors, and in December when grown indoors.

In flower beds, garden boxes or bouquets, their pastel pink, blue or white colors will enchant you.

Types of hyacinth

Types of hyacinthGarden hyacinths are those that are often potted during the Christmas season.

  • These include Paris hyacinth, also called ‘provincialis’,
  • and Roman hyacinth, with latin name ‘albulus’. Roman hyacinths are more sturdy over the years.
  • Bulbs like the ‘White Pearl’ are part of the Hyacinthus orientalis family.

Read more about bulb flowers:

Smart tip about hyacinths

Don’t be surprised by the fact that garden hyacinths bloom less over the years, this is inevitable. You must remember to add new bulbs regularly.

Images: own work: Rosalyn & Gaspard Lorthiois; Pixabay: annca, Janusz Kreczmański, Jill Wellington, Petra Fischer, Public Domain Pictures; shutterstock: janzwolinski Ruzicka
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  • forgetfullme wrote on 20 February 2023 at 3 h 03 min

    How can I know what color the bulbs are going to be? I got them all mixed up after buying.