Hyacinths in bloom give out one of the most lovely scents of spring. Even from afar, the powerful aroma and vibrant colour spikes of these flowers will catch your attention. Hyacinths were first introduced to Europe in the 16th century, and their popularity prompted Dutch bulb farmers to develop over 2,000 cultivars by the 18th century, with roughly 60 cultivars available for commercial cultivation today.
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Modern hyacinths are among the simplest spring bulbs to cultivate, as they may be planted in the ground or in pots, or grown in water in a bulb vase with no soil. Hyacinths grow slowly and emerge as shoots in the spring if planted in the early fall.
How to Grow Hyacinth
- Plant your bulbs in the fall, around September to October. Choose large, fat bulbs that are free of illness and rot.
- Plant the bulbs three to four times deeper than their height. Place them with the pointy side facing up. The flowers bloom best in full sun, although they will bloom in partial shade as well. They should get at least six hours of sunlight per day.
- Mix in a 5-5-10 delayed release plant food if your soil is lacking in nutrients. Hyacinths in the garden normally don't require any care from the time they're planted until they bloom, because once the weather warms up, nature will take care of the cold required to force blossoming.
How To Care For Hyacinth
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Hyacinth should be grown in large groupings for the greatest and farthest-reaching aroma. Because hyacinths come in so many colours and sizes, they go well with other spring-blooming bulbs—their spiky flower stalks contrast nicely with cup-shaped tulips and ruffled daffodils.
Light: Plant your hyacinth bulbs in a sunny or partially shady location. Hyacinths, like all spring bulbs, grow, bloom, and begin to fade into dormancy before deciduous trees fully leaf out, so there's no need to be concerned about too much shade from neighbouring trees. Aim for at least six to eight hours of sunlight per day for the plants.
Soil: Hyacinth bulbs don't care about the pH of the soil, although they like loose, well-drained soil and won't tolerate damp soils. When preparing or amending the soil, go light on the organic matter to avoid floppy stalks.
Water: After you've planted the bulbs, make sure to thoroughly water the area. If there isn't any regular rain, keep watering into the winter, but let the ground dry out between waterings. If the bulbs are left in cool, moist soil for too long, they will decay. Depending on your climate, it's usually once or twice a week.
Fertilizer: Tossing some bulb food into the hole at planting time is the simplest way to feed young bulbs. For feeding bulbs, there are a variety of fertilisers available—10-10-10 is recommended—or you can use regular bone meal. Scratch some bulb food into the adjoining soil and water well to feed the bulbs a handful at planting and again in the spring when new growth first shows.
What to Do With Hyacinths After They've Bloomed
- Remove the blooms but not the leaves when your hyacinths have stopped blossoming.
- The bulbs require their leaves in order to gather energy for the following year's blooms.
- The foliage will naturally die back at the conclusion of the spring season. To help prevent fungal illnesses, remove the leaves once they have become brown.
- Hyacinth bulbs can be moved to the garden once they have completed flowering indoors.
- They need time to gather energy for next year's blossoms after blossoming, so they shouldn't be put into storage right once.
- Hyacinth bulbs can be taken indoors when their foliage has died back and preserved in a cool, dark, dry spot.