Hyacinths are especially appreciated for the sweetness of their irreplaceable fragrance. In open ground, in planter box on a balcony or in a vase at home, this pretty bulb announces the spring of its bloom in thick colored bunches.
Where to plant hyacinths outdoors
Hyacinths should be planted in a sunny position, or even in half-shade. They appreciate any type of soil, as long as it does not retain water, the bulbs rot quickly in soil that is always wet. Therefore, in the case of heavy, clayey soil, improve drainage by adding coarse sand.
When to plant hyacinths
Planting in the garden is done in autumn, outside rainy periods. Wait for the soil to dry out before planting. In this case, avoid leaving the bulbs in the light. They could start to grow, which would then be stopped by the cold winter weather and reduced to nothing.
Planting in forced bulbs is done at the beginning of October and until mid-November to stagger the flowering.
How to plant hyacinths
- Place the bulb under 4 inches of soil and 6 inches away from its neighbors.
- Preferably use a hollow bulb planter to remove in one go the soil core that you will replace above the bulb, without damaging the soil layers.
- At the bottom of the hole, if the soil is clayey enough, throw a large handful of coarse sand to facilitate drainage and prevent an air pocket from forming under the bulb.
- Wedge the bulb on top, point upwards and put the soil core back on top.
How to plant hyacinths in pots
Hyacinths do very well in planter boxes. You will squeeze them a little more than in the ground.
Fill the planter box with a mixture of garden soil, loam and coarse sand, on a bed of clay balls for drainage.
Outdoor hyacinth maintenance
In the garden, the hyacinth can join a massif, a border, a rockery of plants or even a planter box. It settles in a light, moist and well-drained soil.
Prefer an exposure to the sun, or even half-shade, so that it offers you a beautiful spring bloom.
It is planted in the fall in the ground, at a depth of about 4 inches. Do not miss the autumn period to plant them, in spring it is no longer possible!
Hyacinths are planted at the same time as tulip bulbs and narcissus bulbs.
Watering the hyacinth in the ground
The hyacinth does not need watering in the garden, because at the time of planting and throughout the winter the bulb is at rest. In spring, the rains moisten the soil. If spring is too dry, water from time to time to promote growth.
There is no need to bring fertilizer. Hyacinth is a plant that lives on the reserves contained in its bulb and replenishes them through photosynthesis. The bulbs bloom again for several years, but eventually become exhausted and degenerate. It is then enough to plant new ones to renew the flowering.
Winter protection of the hyacinth
Hyacinth bulbs stay in the ground all year round and because they are hardy, they do not need winter protection.
On the other hand, remember to mark their location to avoid damaging them during subsequent planting of perennials, other bulbs or shrubs. A small bamboo stake pricked into the ground near the bulb will do the trick.
Hyacinth attacks and diseases
Gray rot can develop in soil that is too wet. This is the main problem in growing this bulb which hates wet soil and stagnant water. Parasites do not attack it and neither do rodents.
Hyacinths are planted from September to December, in a well loosened soil in depth, quite rich, well drained, preferably in the sun, even if they can stand shade after flowering.
Hyacinths can easily be grown indoors to obtain an earlier flowering. To do this, take bulbs called “prepared”, meaning that they have undergone a specific treatment (temperature variation) that encourages the plant to develop and flower immediately after planting.