Garden Talk: Why You Should Plant Hyacinths

Hi Guys! Today I am going to share something different that I started lately. We are going to take a break from the kitchen and take time to enjoy and appreciate nature and its beauty.

We are going to explore the wonderful world of gardening. I am not an expert in gardening, in fact, this is the first year I am doing it. This is going to be exciting and I cannot wait to share my new adventure wit you. The timing could not be even more perfect, Spring is finally here and it is time to get out and enjoy the frequent nice sunny chilly weather outside. So let’s do some gardening, shall we?

I had been meaning to start gardening for a long time now, but I never got the chance to do it. I live in a small space and I always used it as an excuse for not being able to start planting anything. This year, I decided to just do it and make the most of the space that I have. I got a lot of inspirations online about balcony gardening and so I just gave it a go. I am having so much fun! Let me share with you what I got going so far.

When I was thinking of what to plant, Hyacinths did not even make into my list. Tulips was always on top because I love Tulips so much. I happen to discover Hyacinths last year when I was shopping in Walmart. It was the end of Summer season and there was 1 bag of Hyacinth left so I decided to took it. It came in 1 bag of 10 assorted Hyacinths. The colorful unique cone shaped flower intrigued me and made me excited, so I bought it. I planted it Nov 19, 2020, and 4 months later, came out these beautiful flowers, colorful, fun and trully mezmerizing, Look at this!

Botanical NameHyacinthus orientalis
Common NameHyacinth, common hyacinth, Dutch hyacinth, garden hyacinth
Plant TypeBulb
Mature Size6–12 in. tall, and 3–6 in. wide
Sun ExposureFull sun
Soil TypeMoist but well-drained
Soil pHNeutral to acidic
Bloom TimeSpring
Flower ColorWhite, blue, purple, pink, red
Hardiness Zones4–8 (USDA)
Native AreaEurope
ToxicityToxic to dogs and cats

Hyacinths

Hyacinths bloom only once a year, but they are perinneal plant, which means they come back the next year (up to 3 years). They come in different colors: white, cream, pink, rose, apricot, lavender, cobalt blue, deep purple and wine red. They have a very lovely scent (almost like a floral fabric softener), and are cone like in shape. They are planted as bulb (not seed) and they bloom in Spring time just like Tulips.

Best Time to Plant Hyacinths

Hyacinth bulbs should be planted in mid to late fall, any time after the first frost and before the ground freezes. I planted mine Nov 19 but you can plant it as early as Oct to get an earlier bloom of around February. It will bloom in early to mid Spring depending on how early or late you start planting it. Hyacinth bulbs need a cooling period in order to bloom properly. This means the bulbs must be exposed to temperatures of 40-45°F for at least 12-14 weeks. If temperatures in your area do not get this cold, you’ll need to pre-chill the bulbs in a refrigerator before planting them outdoors.

Once the leaves start to emerge, it takes about 3 weeks for the flowers to open. I love this stage, watching the leaves emerge and the bulbs come out is such a nice thing to witness everyday.

How To Plant Hyacinths

Plant hyacinth bulbs 4 to 6” deep and 5 to 6” apart on center. You may plant the bulbs individually or dig out a larger area and plant 5 or more bulbs at the same time. Position the bulbs with the pointy end up and then cover them with soil. Fall and winter rains usually provide adequate moisture. Water only if the weather is unusually dry. I planted mine in container so they are closer and packed. I like the way they cluster together when they came out.

How To Care and Water Hyacinths

Hyacinths do not like to be overly watered, so do NOT water it too much. Water only if the soil is dry at a depth of 3-inches. I use a wooden skewer to check if the soil below is moist or dry. When watering, water from the base. Do not water overhead as this can encourages disease.

Growing Hyacinths

What to Do After They Bloom

So now that the long wait is over and the flowers are out, how do we care for them? I am currently in the stage were the flowers are just starting to bloom, some are not even fully open. I did some research and here are the options that I found. I am leaning between option 2 or 3. If you have planted Hyacinths before, I welcome any tips I could get on how best to proceed. Please leave me a note and share your experience with me.

  1. Once the flowers have passed their prime, simply dig up the bulbs and discard them
  2. If you want to leave the bulbs in for another year, you can expect future flowers to have a more casual look, with slightly thinner stems and fewer florets. For best results, remove the first year flower as soon as it has faded, cutting the stem short. Fertilize around the plant and allow the leaves to continue growing until they have yellowed. Then cut or pull off the leaves and leave the bulbs in the ground.
  3. Another option is to dig up the bulbs after the foliage has faded, store them somewhere cool and dry, and then replant in fall.

Warning

Hyacinth bulbs (and daffodil bulbs) contain a substance called oxalic acid, which can be irritating to bare skin. Use gloves when handling these bulbs for extended periods

My Experience Planting Hyacinth

Hyacinth being a bulb instead of a seed made the planting easier and no fuss at all. Think of Tulips, tulips are also bulb and you plant it the same way you plant most bulb flowers. I planted mine in a galvanized container about 27-inch wide. I love that container so much that I ended up buying a similar one (oblong shaped this time) for growing vegetables in my patio. The recommended planting of bulbs are around October – December. I planted my November 19 and I thought it was already late. It started blooming around Feb and until now (April), I still have them blooming and alive. I think November is just the right time, December will be too late. I planted my Tulips December and until now they are not out yet, and I don’t think it will have enough cold weather it needs to bloom. Once the flowers starts to bloom, I just keep the top soil moist and that’s about it. I did not even use any fertilizer and they came out all beautiful and healthy. They are shorter though than what I expected, the photo in the package looks deceiving. You can cut them when they are half blooming and put them in a vase with water, or you can leave them planted. I honestly had a difficult time cutting them because they were so beautiful, and I love seeing them in my patio. I did cut 2 of them to use as props for my blog photo’s and I left the rest growing. I also have to mention, they have a very nice mild scent which I love. Overall, I would recommend this flower bulb if you are looking for Spring flower to plant. They are easy to grow and easy to care for.

Why You Should Plant Hyacinths

Just to summarize few things that I pointed above, these are my personal reasons for choosing to plant Hyacinth

  1. They are easy to plant and take care
  2. They can be planted in your garden or in container
  3. They brighten up your garden or patio with its vibrant Spring colors
  4. They have a nice mild fragrance

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Hi, I'm Marilou. Welcome to my website SweetNSpicyLiving. My website is where I share my passion for baking, cooking, photography and traveling. It's a small piece of my Sweet & Spicy Life that I like to share with you.

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