Hyacinths are spring-blooming bulbs with richly colored flowers and an incredible fragrance that can perfume an entire garden. They bloom in mid-spring at the same time as daffodils and early tulips, and come in a rainbow of colors including white, cream, pink, rose, apricot, lavender, cobalt blue, deep purple and wine red. Like other spring-flowering bulbs, hyacinths are easy to grow. Just plant the bulbs in fall to enjoy beautiful flowers the following spring.
STEP 1 - KNOW
START WITH A BETTER BULB
When you compare two hyacinth bulbs side by side, it’s easy to see differences in quality. The bigger bulb on the left contains more food energy to feed the emerging plant, so you get a stronger stem with bigger flowers. Longfield Gardens supplies large, 15/16 cm hyacinth bulbs so you can enjoy the biggest, brightest blooms.
STEP 2 - PLAN
SUN AND SHADE: For the largest flowers and the straightest stems, hyacinths should be grown in full sun, though they will also flower in light shade.
ZONE: Hyacinths are winter hardy in zones 4-8. Reference the USDA Hardiness zone map HERE.
WHEN TO PLANT: Like most spring-blooming bulbs, hyacinths are planted in the fall, after the first frost, and before the ground freezes. They bloom in mid-spring.
WHERE TO PLANT
PERENNIAL GARDENS: Hyacinths are in full bloom when perennials such as iris and peonies are still emerging from the ground. Planting groups of hyacinth bulbs at the front of a perennial garden will provide a welcome burst of color and give you an early start on the season.
FLOWERBEDS AND WALKWAYS: Planting hyacinths near a doorway or along a walkway will let you enjoy their fragrance every time you pass by. For a knockout display of early spring color, mix and match hyacinths with DAFFODILS, EMPEROR TULIPS, EARLY DOUBLE TULIPS, and MUSCARI.
CUTTING GARDENS: Plant extra hyacinths in a cutting garden so you can enjoy their fragrance indoors as well as out. They are beautiful in a vase on their own and are lovely mixed with tulips and other early spring blossoms.
CONTAINERS: Hyacinths grow well in pots and planters. Once the plants come into bloom, you can move the containers to a prominent location where it's easy to appreciate the beauty and fragrance of the flowers.
STEP 3 - GROW
PLANTING IS AS EASY 1-2-3
1. Loosen the soil to a depth of 4-6".
2. Put the bulb in the hole (add compost or fertilizer if you wish)
3. Cover the bulb with soil and water if the soil is dry
GROWING TIPS FOR HYACINTHS
Like tulips, hyacinths have a stiffly upright posture. Planting the bulbs in informal groupings or drifts-- rather than in straight lines -- will give them a more natural look. For best effect, plant hyacinths in groups of at least 5, 7 or 9 bulbs.
For a colorful and delightfully fragrant front porch or patio, plant hyacinth bulbs in containers. Overwinter the potted bulbs in an unheated garage or cold cellar (40-45 degrees F). After a chilling period of at least 12-14 weeks, the container can be brought out where it will be enjoyed by all.
Hyacinth bulbs can also be grown for indoor enjoyment. Pot up the bulbs in fall and chill the containers for the recommended 12-14 weeks. When the buds are about an inch tall, bring the pots out into a warm, sunny room and watch them bloom.
STEP 4 - AFTERCARE
CARING FOR HYACINTHS AFTER THEY BLOOM
Most gardeners treat hyacinths as annuals. Like tulips, the flowers produced the first-year after planting are always the largest and most impressive. Planting fresh bulbs each fall ensures a great show every spring. Removing the bulbs after they flower means there's no need to wait for the bulb foliage to fade away. Once the flowers have passed their prime, simply dig up the bulbs and discard them.
In their second year, hyacinths have a more casual look, with thinner stems and fewer flowers. To get a second season of bloom, remove the spent flower and cut the stem back to the ground. Fertilize around the plant and allow the leaves to continue growing for several weeks. Once the leaves have yellowed, you can pull them off and simply leave the bulbs in the ground. If you prefer to dig the bulbs and replant them in the fall, store them somewhere cool and dry.