Growing Hyacinth Flower:
How to Grow Hyacinths Organically


The hyacinth flower has a lovely scent in spring, and planting their bulbs in autumn gives you an early flower with lots of colors to choose from. Their upright flower stems can also be forced into pots indoors, making lovely indoor displays in late winter.

Growing Hyacinth Flower: Plant Snapshot

Growing Hyacinth Flower
  • Hyacinth (Hyacinthus)
  • Annual or perennial? Perennial
  • Recommended varieties (by color):
    • Black: Midnight Mystique
    • Blue: Blue Spike, Delft Blue, Ostara, Blue Pearl
    • Orange: Gypsy Queen
    • Pink: Blue Jacket, Jan Bos, China Pink, Lady Derby
    • Violet: Amethyst
    • Yellow: City of Haarlem
    • White: White Pearl
  • Recommended USDA Hardiness zones: 03a to 09a
  • Mature Height: 9 to 12 inches (22 to 30 cm)
  • Mature Spread: 3 to 5 inches (7 to 12 cm)
  • Sun Requirements: Partial shade, partial sun & full sun
  • Blooming season: Early & mid spring
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Growing Hyacinth Flower: Planting the Seed, Transplanting and/or Root Division

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Although hyacinths are usually grown by planting bulbs in the fall it’s possible to grow them from seeds. Collect seeds from late spring and put them in a polythene bag in your fridge until the fall, then plant out in pots filled with sieved garden compost or a nutrient-rich seed starting mix. Transplant into the garden in their second year.

To plant bulbs, divide plants that are over three years old by digging up the bulb in early fall. Be careful when using a trowel to dig the plant up, starting a few inches out from the plant so you don’t catch the bulb. Look for smaller bulbs attached to the main plant and carefully separate these and replant.

Snapshot: Planting Hyacinths

  • Germination soil temperature: 32 degrees F (0 C)
  • Distance between plants: about 3 inches (8 cm)
  • Planting depth: 4 inches (10 cm)
  • Days to germination: 30 to 90 days
  • Preferred soil pH (see soil pH tester for more information): 6.5 to 7.5
  • Root division information (perennials only):
    • Root system type (clumping, spreading, rhizome or tuber): Clumping bulbs
    • Roots division frequency: Every 3 to 4 years
    • In which season should dividing occur? Early fall
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Growing Hyacinths: Hyacinth Care

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Standard flower watering guidelines apply. If hyacinths are planted in pots, make sure there is good drainage, as bulbs will rot if left standing in water.

Hyacinths have a stocky stem and need no support.

To force your bulbs into earlier flowering, plant them in organic bulb fiber in the fall. Then put them into a dark cool place for six weeks. Once their shoots have grown to 1 inch (2.5 cm), bring them into the light.

Snapshot: Hyacinth Care

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Growing Hyacinth Flower: Harvesting/Cutting Time

Hyacinth flowers can be cut, but make sure leaves are left for the bulb to continue to grow for next year’s blooms.

Rather than cutting hyacinths, you may want to plant bulbs in attractive containers for indoor displays. This way you can force bulbs to create early blooms and grow indoor shows that will last much longer.

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Growing Hyacinths: Pests & Diseases

Hyacinths are usually pest and disease free as long as bulbs are stored in a dry, dark place before planting. Bulbs should feel firm and show no signs of rot or softness.

The following pests and diseases have been known to affect the success of growing Hyacinths (see Organic Garden Pest Control for information about how to prevent and address pests and diseases)...

Pests

  • Aphids
  • Black vine weevil
  • Bulb mites

Diseases

  • Viruses
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