Hyacinths present one of the most compelling Spring scents of all seasonal blooms and can transform any garden with their vibrant colours, wide variety and unique spiky flower stalks. Hyacinths form part of the Lily family and can be planted in large blocks of colour, in pots or even in water vases with no soil.
When to plant Hyacinths
The best time to plant Hyacinths is early Autumn, so around late October or early November for blooming in March and April as the Spring temperatures bring them to life. Hyacinths can survive the cold Winter months without too much fuss.
Where to plant Hyacinths
Hyacinths should be planted in full sun to partial shade areas if you’re planting outdoors, and don’t worry too much about dappled shade from deciduous trees as Hyacinths will sprout, bloom and start to fade before the trees become too leafy.
How to plant Hyacinths
It’s best to plant your bulbs in large blocks to achieve the best visual and scent result. Plant the bulbs pointed-end up about three times as deep as the bulb is wide, normally approximately 20cm deep and about 15cm apart.
Hyacinths are not too fussy about soil acidity, but do tend to bloom best in soil that is neutral to slightly acidic. However, take care not to over-mulch the soil or keep it too wet as Hyacinths are not partial at all to wet soil as the bulbs will rot if there is not sufficient drying out time in-between watering.
If you’re planting in pots you can space the bulbs more closely together – the bulbs can almost be touching – and keep the soil damp but not too wet until the bulbs sprout. Once they’re in bloom, move them into indirect sunlight to get the longest blooming period.
Fertilise the soil well using bone-meal or a bulb-specific product and feed the bulbs each new Spring to ensure year-on-year impact.
For larger blooms you can stake the plants to avoid drooping, but hopefully the mass of plants should act as a support for itself, and give you that wholesome block of colour and scent.
Rodents can be a nuisance, as with all bulbs, so either use humane traps to alleviate the problem or interplant the Hyacinths with daffodils which are not a rodents favourite plant! You can also use a handful of fine gravel in the bulb holes during planting to protect the bulbs.
Hyacinths don’t usually bloom for more than three or four years, however you can propagate new plants by waiting until late summer and gently lifting the bulbs, removing the small offsets around the edges and replanting the entire plant, including the original bulb and offsets. It may take some time for the offsets to bloom but it’s worth the wait!