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Hyacinths

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Botanical name: Hyacinthus

Plant type: Flower

USDA Hardiness Zones: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Sun exposure: Full Sun, Part Sun

Soil type: Loamy

Flower color: Red, Pink, Orange, Yellow, Blue, Purple, White

Bloom time: Spring

Hyacinth bulbs are planted in the fall and borne in spring. The Victorians revered hyacinths for their sweet, lingering fragrance, and carefully massed them in low beds, planting in rows of one color each.

The loose to dense racemes of strongly fragrant flowers are closely packed with tubular-bell-shaped, single or double flowers.  As well as growing in the ground, colorful hyacinths are excellent for forcing in containers and some are available for early flowering indoors.

Planting

  • Plant hyacinth bulbs in autum.
  • Plant the bulbs 4 inches deep and a minimum of 3 inches apart. At the northern limits of their hardiness, plant 6 to 8 inches deep.
  • Grow in any well-drained, moderately fertile soil in sun or partial shade.
  • Loosen soil and work in compost or bonemeal for fertility.
  • Set the bulb in the hole with the pointy end up.
  • After planting and covering with soil, water thoroughly.
  • If you are transplanting, water sparingly and then do not water again until flower buds appear the following year.

Forcing Bulbs

  • Bulbs may be forced into early growth for indoor display in winter. Plant them with the tips just showing, in soil-based potting mix in containers with drainage holes.
  • Keep in a dark place at temperatures above freezing but no higher than 45 degrees F, for at least 10 weeks to allow roots to develop.
  • When shoots are about 1 inch long, increase light and temperature gradually.
  • Water carefully, avoiding wetting the shoots or waterlogging the soil.
  • After flowering, forced hyacinths may be planted in the garden and they will flower again in subsequent years.

Care

  • Water hyacinths in the event of a dry autumn.
  • Protect container-grown plants from excessive winter moisture.
  • After plants are finished flowering in spring, cut back flower stalks but allow the leaves to die back naturally.

Pests

Recommended Varieties

  • Hyacinthus orientalis Miss Saigon has tightly-packed blossoms with deep purple-pink florets.
  • Muscari armeniacum are small and delicate cobalt-blue flowers which look gorgeous when planted en masse for a carpet of soft blue.

Hyacinth Picture

A snow-covered hyacinth is a harbinger of spring!

Credit: Kathea Secrist

Comments

Let the hyacinth dye back in

By Almanac Staff

Let the hyacinth dye back in the container. Store it in the basement over the summer months. No need to water. In the fall plant the bulb outside.

indoor

By Anonymous

Will this plant continue to grow and thrive in doors? or should these be planted out doors when the time comes. I got one with some beautiful pink blooms for Valentine's day, and I live in an apartment with no real yard to plant them in.

You can certainly grow

By Almanac Staff

You can certainly grow hyacinths indoors and enjoy their bloom. However, after flowering, you would want to plant the bulbs outdoors for another show of flowers. They can't really be used as houseplants. Outdoors, hyacinth should bloom for a few years but peter out; some gardeners just treat them as annuals and buy bulbs each year.

Hyacinth vines

By Cowell

My step mom gave me seeds for the hyacinth vine which I was unfamiliar with. The seeds are similar to watermelon seeds. I planted them and they have great looking vines. They ar just now finally blooming. I can't wait until my trellis is covered with this beautiful vine.

"Distinction" Hyacinth

By Black Violet

Are there any sources for the "Distinction" hyacinth? I would really like to grow it.

This old-fashioned hyacinth

By Almanac Staff

This old-fashioned hyacinth seems not to be available commercially right now. Visit garden forum web sites and post a request.

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