Here you will find necessary information on growing, storing, forcing, and caring for hyacinth flower bulbs, pests, and soil preparation.
The hyacinth, otherwise known as Hyacinthus orientalis, is one of the most aromatic flowers found in a spring garden. Best suited for USDA hardiness zones 3 –7, its sweet ambrosial scent is as distinct as it is potent. Hyacinths are a wonderful selection that will add brilliant color as well as fragrance to your spring beds, container gardens, and borders. Hyacinths can also be grown indoors.
Growing hyacinth bulbs indoors is easy and rewarding. With proper care and a few simple steps, you will be able to fool Mother Nature and enjoy these beautiful flowers any season of the year.
First you need to choose firm healthy looking bulbs, which are free of blemishes and mold. Then you will need to find an attractive glass container with a small opening and a wide base. There are special containers called “forcing jars” especially for forcing bulbs indoors. They are available at most garden centers and florist shops. Add water to your jar so it is near the top, but does not touch the bulb. It is important to keep it out of the water to avoid rot. The roots will begin to develop and grow as they seek moisture. Be sure to replace the water as it evaporates. Soon you will see green spikes emerging from your bulb. When the spikes are between two and three inches tall, and the roots are well developed, move the container to a location with filtered light and moderate temperatures. After a few days, your jars should be placed in a window where it will receive indirect but bright light. Your hyacinth will lean towards the light, so be sure to rotate the container to keep the stem straight. Your indoor hyacinth will last longer if the temperature is kept at a moderate sixty to sixty-five degrees F.
After your indoor hyacinth bulbs have bloomed, you can save them to plant outdoors in the fall, however, the next blooms will not be as large as the first. Be sure to allow all of the foliage to turn brown and dry before storing. This will allow the nutrients to go back into the bulb for the next season.
Before planting your bulbs outdoors in the fall, prepare the soil in an area that drains well and receives full sun. Soil that retains too much water will cause your bulbs to rot, and they will be more likely to acquire disease.
In the cooler climates of the north, plant your hyacinth bulbs at an approximate depth of four inches. In the warmer southern climate, plant them at a depth of six inches. They should be planted approximately nine inches apart.
During warmer weather, pests such as thrips and aphids can damage blooms. If you notice pests attacking your hyacinths, insecticidal soap can be used to control them. It is safe and usually effective.
Hyacinths will produce blooms for only about four years. Although the hyacinth bulb does not have a long life span, their showy fragrant blooms made a gorgeous addition to any spring garden or sunny windowsill.