Intro: The fragrant hyacinth flower blooms in spring with white, pink, red, orange, yellow or blue bell-shaped flower clusters.
Scientific Name: Hyacinth orientalis
Plant Type: Perennial flowering plant
Light: Full sun
Water: Keep the hyacinth plant's potting soil well drained and not too wet. Too-wet soil will lead to the bulbs rotting.
Fertilizer: Not needed
Temperature: In order to force the hyacinth's flowers bloom, keep them in 45- to 65-degree temperatures (Fahrenheit). After blooming, they can tolerate warmer temperatures up to 85 degrees.
Pests and Diseases: Bulb rot can affect hyacinth bulbs if planted in too early in too-warm potting soil. Bulb mites and white grubs are insect pests that can ruin bulbs. Stem and bulb nematodes result in bent and yellowed hyacinth leaves, and reduced blooms. Throw away infested hyacinth bulbs and avoid using the infested potting soil for two years.
Propagation: To propagate this container plant, dig up hyacinth bulbs and cut them into a few parts. Sow from seed.
Misc. Info: When choosing hyacinth bulbs from your local garden shop, make sure the bulbs are heavy, without cuts, spots or softness. After keeping the hyacinth bulbs in the fridge for 20 days (this may not be necessary if bulbs are kept cooled at your garden center), plant bulbs at the end of fall in well-drained and sandy soil 5 inches deep in the plant container. The flat side of the bulb should face down and the pointed side facing upward. You can also “force” the hyacinth bulbs to grow in a forcing jar, which can be purchased at your local garden shop. Fill the jar with water until it reaches just below the bottom of the hyacinth bulb. The roots will grow into the water.
Unless you want to save seeds and grow the hyacinth flower from seeds instead of bulbs, deadhead dying flowers before they begin to produce seeds. Deadheading allows the hyacinth plant to focus its energy on producing more flowers rather than producing seeds.
Do not cut off any leaves as the hyacinth plant dies (this is true with all bulbous plants) because it will disrupt the plant’s effort in storing energy in its bulb to come back the next gardening season. After the hyacinth plant has completely died, cut the foliage off at the soil.
The hyacinth plant's flower production and size may decline after the years, so you may treat these container plants as annuals and purchase new bulbs every year, or you can allow the flowers to produce seeds and grow them from seed.
Wear gloves to prevent skin irritation.