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Hyacinth Flower Bulbs
The intoxicating scent and vibrant colours of hyacinths make them a favourite spring-flowering bulb.
About This Plant
Favoured for their intense colours and heady fragrance, hyacinths are a staple of the spring garden along with daffodils and tulips. The plants? stately appearance makes them prized in formal bulb plantings. Flower colours include rich magenta and deep indigo as well as paler pinks, baby blues, yellows and white. The bulbs are also easy to force into bloom indoors.
Select a site with full sun to light shade and well-drained soil.
Plant hyacinth bulbs in fall, 6 to 8 weeks before a hard frost is expected and when soils are below 60 degrees F. This is usually during September and October in the North and October and November in the South. Prepare the garden bed by using a garden fork or tiller to loosen the soil to a depth of 12 to 15 inches, then mix in a 2- to 4-inch layer of compost. Dig a hole 6 to 8 inches deep. Set the bulb in the hole, pointy end up, then cover with soil and press firmly. Space bulbs 4 to 6 inches apart. Water thoroughly after planting.
Keep hyacinths watered during dry spells in the fall. After plants are finished flowering in spring, cut back flower stalks but allow the leaves to die back naturally, hiding the unsightly foliage with annual or perennial plantings. An annual application of compost should provide adequate nutrients. Flower size may decline in subsequent years, so some gardeners treat hyacinths as annuals and plant fresh bulbs each fall.
Plant bulbs individually by digging a hole for each bulb with a trowel or bulb planter, or place several bulbs on the bottom surface of a larger hole and cover with soil. As planting depths and spacing varies depending on the type of bulb
Then press each bulb firmly into the soil, top pointing up and fill in the hole. When in doubt as to which way is up on a bulb
Where to Plant:The most important rule when planting bulbs is to choose an area that is well-drained. Most bulbs will rot or deteriorate quickly where soil is constantly damp. Most bulbs thrive in full sun, or at least 5-6 sunny hours daily.
Growing:Full sun, and average to rich, well-drained soil. In cold zones apply a thick winter mulch after the ground has frozen in fall and remove it in early spring. Hyacinths produce the largest, more formal blooms the first spring, and smaller, looser spikes thereafter.