Hyacinth | 12 Grow and Care Tips You Need to Know
By Mira Sidak | Updated on Jun 12, 2023
The hyacinth, or Hyacinthus Orientalis, is native to Turkey, Lebanon, and Syria. In the 1600s, it made its way to Europe. This plant became well-known for its fragrant and soft-smelling flowers.
Hyacinths flowers come in many colors, including white, purple, pink, apricot, red, and blue. They're easy to grow and care for, which makes them one of the best spring flowers.
You can grow hyacinth plants both outside and inside. So, let's learn how to grow and care for hyacinths and bring nature's scent into your home.
Hyacinths Need Soil That Drains Well
Hyacinths cannot tolerate wet soil, so they need soil that drains well. You can make the soil drain better by adding sawdust, peat moss, or dry leaves.
Hyacinths thrive in soil with a lot of living organisms in it. You can use bark mulch, wheat straw, rotted manure, compost, or untreated grass clippings.
For soil pH, hyacinths prefer slightly acidic to neutral soil. If you're thinking about growing hyacinths, make sure to check the pH of your soil first!
PRO TIP: Add compost to the soil after the hyacinths bloom. This will give the plant the nutrients it needs to bloom the following year.
Hyacinths Need 6 Hours of Sunlight Daily
Hyacinths are sun-lovers that need full sun (at least 6 to 8 hours daily). Full sunlight will give you the best results, like straight stems and the most enormous, fragrant flowers.
Hyacinths can grow in light or partial shade but won't produce as many flowers. They will likely produce fewer blossoms and have a diminished fragrance. To grow hyacinths inside, you should think about where you put them.
Water Hyacinths When the Soil is Dry
Hyacinths are watered once or twice a week, but this depends on your living temperature. You should check the soil by inserting your finger into it. If the soil is dry, it's time to water them.
Overwatering will give hyacinths a lot of problems. Fungi and bacteria can quickly attack them, which will cause the roots to rot and the plant to die slowly. So, let the soil dry out between waterings, and don't put them where they'll get flooded when it rains.
TIP: Don't water the leaves or flowers. Instead, water the soil. This can prevent mold problems from cropping up.
Hyacinths Can Handle Cold Climate
Hyacinths do well in cold weather and can live through the winter. Hyacinths can live in temperatures as low as -25°F.
In warmer regions, you may need to dig up hyacinths and put them in a cool, dark place for 6 to 10 weeks to simulate winter before replanting. They need a dormancy time to keep growing and blooming. This is important because hyacinths don't grow well in hot climates.
Give Your Beautiful Hyacinth Plants Food in the Fall and the Spring
Hyacinths should be fertilized during fall bulb planting and early spring before the blossoms bloom. Utilizing a fertilizer with the ratio of 10-10-10 is recommended for optimal results. You can improve the soil's nutrition with compost and bone meal if you prefer organic fertilizers.
When you plant hyacinths, put one handful of fertilizer into the hole. Remember to always follow the directions on the packaging to know how much to use.
NOTE: Please don't give the plant fertilizer when it starts to bloom because that will cause the roots to rot and hurt the plant.
Cut Your Hyacinths Back after They Bloom
Once the hyacinths have finished blooming, you can cut the flower stalks at the base. Don't cut the leaves, though. If the leaves have dried up and turned yellow, you can remove them.
Propagate Hyacinths and Make More Beautiful Plants in Your Garden
Commonly, hyacinths are propagated by separating offset bulbs from the mother plant. With this method, it takes two to three years for the bulb to grow and produce large flowers.
The best time to start new hyacinth plants is in the fall. Here's how to do it.
- Dig deep into the adult hyacinth with a shovel after the flowers are gone but before the leaves turn brown.
- When you find the offset, please remove it from the parent plant and clean the soil around it. Do so carefully.
- Plant the bulbs in the soil after you've taken them apart. Make sure that the soil drains well. If the soil is hard, add sand or compost to it.
It is possible to grow hyacinths from seeds, although it will take much longer for the plant to mature and produce flowers.
Plant and Replant Hyacinths
You can grow hyacinths in pots if you don't have a yard. Use any pot as long as it has enough holes to let the water out.
Hyacinths don't need much space to grow, so you can plant more than one in a single pot based on how wide the pot is. If you put them right, you won't have to worry about repotting them again.
Hyacinths Winter Care
Hyacinths are plants that can handle cold weather very well. However, their winter care depends on the zone.
In zones 2 and 3, which are cooler, you can cover the hyacinths with a thick layer of mulch to help them survive the winter. Or dig the holes for the bulbs an inch or two deeper.
In zones 4 to 7, you can leave hyacinths in the ground all year without covering them. They won't die or get cold. Ensure that the spot where you put them doesn't get ice puddles.
As for zones eight and above, cold temperatures remain above 60 degrees Fahrenheit. So you have to dig up the plants and bring them inside to cool them down.
You can keep them in the fridge for at least ten weeks before you plant them again. Ensure you don't store fruit in the fridge, as this will make the plants die.
Forcing Hyacinths to Bloom in Winter
You can force hyacinths to bloom indoors, even in winter. This will give you a nice view and the fresh scent of spring to cheer you up on cold days. Let's find out what to do.
You should prepare a wide jar with at least one hole in the bottom for drainage. Fill the pot with potting mix, plant the hyacinth, and cover it with soil only to the tip (don't plant it too deep).
Remember to give the growing medium a little water to keep it moist. Then, put hyacinths somewhere cool and dark for at least ten weeks. You can put it in the fridge, the garage, or the basement.
It is recommended to check the plants once a month to ensure the soil stays moist; if it is dry, give a little water. When you see inch-long shoots on the bulb, you should take it out of that cold, dark place. Then move the plant gradually to a sunny, warm place.
Lightly water the plants once every few days until they produce flowers. If you give them the attention and care they need, they will flower again the following spring.
Harvest Your Hyacinths and Decorate Your Home
Harvesting hyacinths is fun. Enjoying them in a vase to decorate your home is even more fun. Hyacinths should be picked up in the morning when their flowers open.
You can use clean, sharp tools to cut the stems near the base. Use a heavy vase that stands straight up since these plants are hefty. If you want to, you can use a flower preserve.
Put the cut stems in the vase. Then, put them somewhere where they will get indirect sunlight. If you change the water in the vase every 48 hours, the hyacinths should bloom in 7 to 11 days.
Common Hyacinths Pest and Diseases
Hyacinths are often bothered by several pests. One is the sap-sucking bug called an aphid, which will most likely attack hyacinths. These pests prevent the plant from growing and blooming.
Slugs and snails may also be a problem for hyacinths. They are usually active at night and leave slimy tracks on the surface of leaves. You can get rid of these pests by picking them up and throwing them away.
In terms of diseases, hyacinths can be attacked by several diseases and are generally caused by soil that does not drain water properly. Hyacinths most often get a disease called bacterial soft rot. This disease is caused by poor soil drainage or improper watering, which lets bacteria grow.
When this disease attacks your hyacinth plants, you will notice that the base of the stalks begins to decay and that the bulbous shoots become soft and sticky. The plant will eventually perish, and its decay will spread bacteria throughout the soil in the surrounding area.
Hyacinths are easy to care for because they don't need much care. But these plants need to be handled carefully.
Hyacinths are dangerous for humans and animals. Always wear gloves to avoid hurting your hands and keep them away from children and pests.