Hyacinth’s are a heavily scented Spring Flowering variety that is fantastic grown indoors, in pots, or out in the garden - their striking colours makes a real statement.
Originally, Hyacinths grew only in the lands around the Mediterranean Sea, especially in Turkey. Not surprising then, the species which is the ancestor of all the cultivated varieties has been named Hyacinthus orientalis.
The cultivating of Hyacinths in Holland goes back more than 400 years, but they were also a familiar plant in the Greek and Roman periods.
The 17th and 18th centuries were times of intense speculation in Hyacinth bulbs. Occasionally, a single bulb would sell for 300 dollars, a lot of money in those days! Fortunately for us, they are now fairly reasonably priced.
The propagation and cultivation of the hyacinth bulbs themselves is uncommonly complicated. Much professional experience and special soil is required for good results. Growing them to produce flowers, either indoors or in the garden, however, is very, very simple.
Planting in pots or in the ground…
- Hyacinth’s like to have a chilling period to ensure their flowers aren’t stunted, so if you live in a warm region, you’ll need to chill your Bulbs in the fridge for 4-6 weeks. Keep the Bulbs in the paper bag they came in, and chill them from late March, until early to mid April (chilling!, not freezing)
- Hyacinth’s require free draining soil, and Full Sun to part shade. If you want your Hyacinths to have longer stems, then part shade is recommended.
- Loosen the soil to a depth of at least 15cm, and mix in some general purpose fertilizer, or our specifically formulated Bulb Food.
- Plant 10cm deep, with the pointy part of the Bulb facing upwards.
Hyacinth’s will need to be lifted around December/January if you live in a warmer district, as you’ll need to go through the chilling period again to get a good flowering crop.
Planting in Hyacinth glasses…
‘Forcing’ Hyacinth’s by growing them in glass jars is increasingly popular, and fairly straightforward, and is the perfect way of bringing the beautiful fragrance into your home - it’s also a fantastic way of forcing your Hyacinths to flower earlier than usual.
You can purchase our special Hyacinth glasses here
- Place a piece of charcoal at the bottom of the jar (this is to prevent algae growth)
- Fill the jar with water, to just below where the Bulb will sit. It’s important that the Bulb is not touching the water, as this will cause the Bulb to rot.
- Place the Hyacinth Bulb in the jar (it will sit in the narrow neck of the jar), with the pointy part of the Bulb facing up (and the flatter side of the Bulb facing downwards)
- Place the Hyacinth jar in your fridge (away from Fruit and vegetables if possible, as these will cause growth issues) for around 8 weeks - topping up the water if necessary.
- After around 8 weeks of growth, your Hyacinths should have fully developed roots, which take up most of the jar, and the Bulb will likely have a shoot of around 3-4cm. If the roots haven’t fully developed, it’s important to give them another couple of weeks in the fridge.
- Over the next 3 to 4 weeks, gradually move the Hyacinth Jar into stronger lit, warmer areas of the house. Too much light and warmth at this stage of growth can cause your Hyacinth to grow too rapidly, giving you a flimsy flower stem.
- After around 5 weeks, your Hyacinth will be in full flower, spreading it’s fragrance around your home. Ensure that it’s not in full sun, or getting too hot, as this will shorten the vaselife.
- After flowering, we recommend planting your Bulb into the garden. It will take a couple of seasons for the Bulb to recover from it’s forced flowering, so we recommend leaving it a couple of years before being able to do this all over again.