How to grow hyacinth from a bulb?

Hyacinths planting in the open ground, flower care, growing in pots

Hyacinth – a herald of spring. Unlike winter, it peeks out with the first rays of the sun from the cold ground. Colorful clusters of flowers communicate nature’s awakening to life.

These popular flowers can be grown in garden beds, in containers on balconies and patios, and in pots at home. In this article you will learn when and how you can use hyacinths, planting, growing, care in the open ground, what is the difference between care for hyacinth in the garden and in a pot, what you can do after flowering.

Hyacinth – a brief description

Hyacinth – Hyacínthus – bulbous plants up to 40 cm in height. Between the long narrow leaves grows a magnificent inflorescence, which consists of a group of bell-shaped flowers with a beautiful, almost surprising fragrance.

This is interesting! The name comes from the name of the hyacinth hero from Greek mythology. Hyacinthus was the son of the Spartan king Amylus. The young man’s beauty attracted attention, but his beautiful appearance did not save him from his fate. The young man was killed by a blow to the head in one fell swoop. On the spot where the blood mingled with the floor, a beautiful flower grew. When the flower bloomed, Apollo named the plant after the young man.

In our climate, hyacinths growing outdoors bloom from April to May, while in warmer areas flowering begins in February. Hyacinths bloom for 2-3 weeks.

Attention! The number of hyacinth flowers collected in an inflorescence depends on the size of the bulb. Therefore, when buying, try to choose the largest bulbs. Healthy, large specimens allow you to get up to 60 flowers in an inflorescence.

Hyacinth bulbs are quite large and covered with scales. Depending on the variety, they can be cream, red and purple.

Hyacinth species and types

Varieties belong to 3 different species of bulbous plants in the asparagus family. The range of distribution extends from the Middle East to northeastern Tirana.

  1. Hyacinthus litwinowii is found in Turkmenistan, northern Iran. It grows up to 20-25 cm. The leaves of the lantelain are quite broad. The flowers are small, blue. Blossoms in mid to late April.
  2. Hyacinthus dwarf (Hyacinthus transcaspicus). Grows in the mountainous region between Turkmenistan and Vestiran. A perennial which reaches a height of 15 to 20 cm. The leaves are creeping, rather dense. Its flowers are elongated, light blue in color. There are only a few flowers in the inflorescence – up to 10 parts. Light blue or blue flowers grow in a loose bunch (4-10 pieces) over green fleshy leaves.
  3. Hyacinthus orientalis is the only species that grows beautifully in our Central European climate. The place of origin is the Mediterranean region. Currently grown in Europe, the U.S., Russia and other parts of the world.

Ostiatsinthe includes more than 100 different varieties. The hyacinth’s small, six-beaked flowers, which number up to 40, are varied in color:

  • White;
  • Light blue;
  • Pink;
  • Crimson;
  • Yellow;
  • peach;
  • Orange;
  • Salmon;
  • Light red;
  • Purple.

Onions usually produce an inflorescence. Some varieties produce more than one flower plate. There are varieties with separate flowers. All hyacinths are distinguished by their beautiful coloring and unique fragrance. Here are some famous varieties that have broken flowers:

Flower color varieties
White Snow Crystal Snow Crystal, white pearls white pearls, Carnegie Carnegie
Pink Freestyler Freestyr, Pink Perl Pink Pearl, Anna Maria Anna Marie
light purple Anastasia Anastasia, Crystal Palace Crystal Palace, Amethyst Amethyst
Red Holly Hook Holly Hook, Jan Bos Jan Bos
blue General Koehler General Koehler, Blue Jakte Blue Jakte
Salmon “Prince of Love” Prince of Love, “Gypsy Queen” Gypsy Queen
yellow City of Harlem City of Harlem, yellow queen yellow queen yellow queen
orange Gypsy queen dwarf queen

Growing and caring for hyacinths outdoors

Fortunately, colorful and fragrant hyacinths are easy to grow. Plants are not too demanding to soil conditions.

  • Planting location. Like all spring flowers, hyacinths like sunny places. The place should be warm and sunny, possibly slightly shaded and definitely protected from winds. Flowers bloom better in the sun, inflorescences are compact and dense, in the shade the plant is stretched out, inflorescences are thinner.
  • Floor. Care for the floor plant is simple. It is necessary to prepare a fertile substrate, not acidic, not too wet. It is ideal to add to the compost bedding under the bulbs. Since the compost contains a sufficient amount of nutrients, the next feeding of the plant with organic fertilizers can be skipped.
  • Fertilizer. In addition to compost, other fertilizers are used when planting. In the spring, nitrogen fertilizers are applied after the beginning of growth. After that, multicomponent fertilizers are used.
  • Worry in winter is not necessary. Plants are frost-resistant, no special measures are applied in winter. Bulbs of some sensitive varieties after autumn planting should be covered with a layer of straw, branches or special not weakened material.
  • Watering. The plant tolerates spring rains without prejudice. When the first shoot tops appear, the floor should be moist. However, excess water is harmful. In summer, water the flowers less often, in the summer the plant prefers dry soil.
  • Cutting. Flowers bloom from March to April. If the inflorescences fade in May, they should be cut off so that they do not produce seeds, but many resources from the system (plastic substances).
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Hyacinth plants and propagation in the fall

Fall is the optimal time to plant hyacinths. The plant is propagated by incandescent bulbs. It is important to properly observe the planting conditions. The best months for planting hyacinths are October. The ground is still warm enough, and the bulbs have enough time to take root in a new place. The last deadline is the end of November.

The basic principle of planting hyacinths is that they should not be transplanted:

  • Cucumber;
  • Tomatoes;
  • Strawberries.

Otherwise, spores of mold cartridges, pathogenic fungi, dangerous for the bulbs of these flowers, remain in the ground.

Gardeners often plant plants in slightly shaded places, then they bloom longer.

Before planting hyacinths in the fall, you need to dig the soil with compost. As a natural fertilizer, it improves the quality of the soil and its properties. Compost optimizes the flowering phase of the bulb plant. Additional application of organic parts can negatively affect the growth of hyacinths.

Only plant healthy, strong, and not sprouted onions. Mold formation, shriveled, dry shells, discoloration and a putrid odor are signals that the bulb will not produce a large flower. When planting, make sure that the planting material is not damaged. The bulbs should preferably be treated with a fungicide such as oarwax before planting.

It is important how deep to plant hyacinths. The planting depth should correspond to twice the diameter of the bulb. Do not plant onions too close together – ideally about 10 cm apart.

Depending on the size of the onion, the planting depth is 10-20 cm and the distance between the bulbs is 15-25 cm.

Remember to plant hyacinth onions upside down and rooster onions upside down.

Timely planting provides the best conditions for rooting and development. If there was no time to plant onions in the fall, planting hyacinths is possible in the spring. But only when the chance of frost is past.

Hyacinths can be grown in different ways:

  1. Planting onions every year at rest;
  2. Not digging out of the ground – the method is more convenient, although the flowers in subsequent years become smaller and then disappear altogether.

Onions need to be dug up in order for the plant to flower. Gardeners recommend digging up the onion every year and replanting it in a new place.

You can choose a compromise option and dig up the onion once every few years, so that it “rests”.

Features of planting and care in pots

Hyacinths grow well in garden beds and in room pots. You can enjoy the wonderful fragrance and blooms on the patio or even at home. The planting time for pots is the same as in the garden – October-November. The substrate must be fertile, then no fertilizer is required. Soil with compost mixed with sand is successfully used. At the bottom of pots lay a drainage layer, so that excess water can drain off.

Onions are planted in a pot or container so that they do not touch. The depth of planting corresponds to the double diameter of the bulb. To ensure that the soil adheres well to the onion, it is lightly sprinkled. Then the pots are placed in a cold, dark room for 10 weeks. During this time, water the plants very moderately.

Care for young plants. When the shoots begin to grow out of the ground, the flowers should be illuminated. Pots are placed on window sills and fill the plants with the warmth of sunlight through the glass. The larger the plant becomes, the more water it needs. This means that the substrate must be constantly moist, but not wet. To retain moisture, moss is placed on the ground, which decorates the pot in an interesting way. Inflorescences are tied to supports.

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How to properly care for in winter?

In May, when the colorful inflorescences lose their charm, they are cut off. Green leaves are left until they are completely yellowed and wilted. Then they are removed. When the hyacinth blooms, the onion collects the necessary materials for wintering and the next season through the leaves.

Hyacinth onions can be left in the ground and fertilize the soil with compost in the fall. If the flowers need to be planted elsewhere, the onions are dug up in the summer and stored in a dark, dry place. In October they can be planted in a new location.

Hyacinth is a frost-resistant plant, but the problem is the fairly frequent change of weather and the snowless period. Before winter comes, it is recommended to mulch the ground over the planted hyacinth onions to protect them from freezing (especially necessary when growing unstable varieties).

After flowering

Hyacinths become a real ornament in spring. When the spectacular inflorescences disappear, the unique fragrance disappears, it is time to prepare the plants for the next season. The pots are moved to a remote location and watered moderately until the above-ground parts disappear naturally. Then the bulbs should be dug up, dried and stored in paper bags in a dry, dark place during the summer. In September – October they can be planted again and wait for the next flower miracles.

In May, the inflorescences are shortened as described above.


Leaves, inflorescences and bulbs are susceptible to various diseases:

  • Fungal;
  • Bacterial;
  • Viral.

The most common diseases are:

  • Apex rot – caused by a sexually transmitted pathogen;
  • Gray form;
  • Wet rot;
  • Bullous disease – penicillosis of onion;
  • Hyacinth mosaic.

Keep plant bulbs in a dry, cool place. Particular attention should be paid to bulbs with small round yellow spots under the beam or light brown spots merging with larger spots. The former probably means a gray mold infestation of the bulb, the latter a dry rot. It is better to throw them away, because by planting them back into the ground, we will infect other hyacinths with both fungal diseases. Bulbs should always be treated with fungicide before planting.

Hyacinth in landscape design, photos – Examples of flower beds

Hyacinth flowers are among the most popular garden plants. This is due to the richness of colors and ease of cultivation. These beautiful flowers are planted in groups of the same color and create impressive colorful compositions in flowerbeds. They also look good in pots and baskets.

Photo. Flowerbeds and flowerbeds with hyacinths

When planning a large flower bed, it is worth planting hyacinths in groups – several, a dozen per bow of the same class. Flowers create spectacular, colorful islands.

If you pick simultaneously blooming varieties, you can achieve the effect of a patterned carpet, a scarf.

Hyacinth – a wonderful decoration of any garden, dacha, a small flowerbed. The plant is easy to grow, planting bulbs contains no special measures, nutrition is simple, regular watering is required, especially in drought. These extremely beautiful plants are perhaps most popular in the spring, they give extremely lush inflorescences, very colorful and fragrant. No wonder so many people want to grow this charming tuberous plant in the garden or in pots at home.

Hyacinth plants.

Hyacinths are some of the most beautiful primordial flowers, a household favorite. Along with many other “spring” flowers, these flowers are the first to delight the soul with an extraordinary variety of colors and subtle fragrance. Today we will talk about how to properly plant hyacinths and varieties for a whole and harmonious site design.

Spring hyacinths look especially attractive with lush greens and bright flowers.

Spring hyacinths look especially attractive thanks to the lush greenery and bright colors

Breeding history

Hyacinth culture dates back more than two thousand years. The name of the fragrant flower comes from the name of one of the heroes of ancient Greek myths – a beautiful young man who was a close friend of the lord of arts, the god of light Apollo. “Ancestors” of modern varieties belong to the species “oriental hyacinth” (Hyacinthus orientalis). In the wild they grow in Greece, Dalmatia and Asia Minor.

In recent history, hyacinth cultivation in Turkey and Greece began in the 15th century. Over the next century, the flower made its way to Italy and then to the Netherlands. The efforts of Dutch breeders were crowned with the creation of more than 2,000 species of the plant, characterized by the highest decorative value.

Pictured here is Hyacinthus orientalis, which served as the original form for all modern varieties

In the photo – Hyacinthus orientalis, which served as the original form for all modern varieties

These flowers came to our country in the first half of the 18th century. For a long time plant material was only imported. Domestic varieties were started by specialists of Sukhumi Children’s Garden, founded in 1898. Russian varieties were appreciated by European gardeners for their high quality bulbs, ability to bloom early and give very large inflorescences. Already in the Soviet period (1935), the state farm Florits near Adler was organized, which was engaged in the distribution and introduction of hyacinths on an industrial scale. Unfortunately, at present, breeding work with the culture is not carried out in our country. Almost all of the planting material, which is put up for sale every year, is imported from Holland.

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Biological characteristics and breeding features

Hyacinth bulb consists of the base, which is a shortened part of the trunk, and the scales surrounding it – the modified lower leaves. When the plant “wakes up” in the spring, it grows an above-ground part: a few narrow green leaves and a continuation of the taillight, the stilblur, on which buds develop. After flowering, the trunk withers, and the buds are laid in the axils, from which new bulbs (“babies”) are formed. With proper care in the open ground the bulb can bloom every year for up to 10 years.

Hyacinths are propagated mainly vegetatively using daughter bulbs.

Hyacinths are propagated mainly vegetatively, using daughter plants.

Many varieties yield seeds, but only those gardeners who are seriously passionate about the diversity of the culture.

Most gardeners renew their flower beds with “daughter plants” from their own plants. An adult plant (over 3 years old) cannot give more than 4 “offspring” (more often 2-3 pieces) in a season. According to the cuvette, “mothers” try to separate each “baby” from it, but this is not always successful. In the fall, the “boy” is planted in a specially prepared “school bed”, where he grows for 2-3 years.

If necessary (for example, to spread a rare variety), the amount of planting material can be increased. To do this, a healthy adult bulb is completely cut out of the base or crucible incisions are made on it.

Hyacinth bulbs contain large amounts of oxalic acid, which can cause skin irritation. Therefore, it is recommended to work with planting material in gloves.

Using the forced propagation techniques used in commercial floris culture, you can obtain up to 20-40 offspring from a bud (when cutting shoots).

The cuttings are dried with activated charcoal powder and dried. Then the bulbs in a box are placed on the floor with a layer of charcoal, sand or perlite. The container is placed in a polyethylene bag, which is tied and left in a warm place for about 2.5 months, during which time the cuts will form “babies”. Then the mother bulbs are planted in the bottom boxes for a short time to allow the “baby” to stretch out. All work should be completed by early September, as the “babies” need to be separated to keep in a cool, dry place for 2 weeks, and by October they should be out of “school.”

Agro-techniques in the open field

Hyacinth is a typical primrose cretus. Its onion needs a long dormant phase, which it spends in cold soil. Plants “wake up” and begin vegetation among the first, immediately after the snow melts. Therefore, do not plant hyacinths in the open ground in spring.

In the conditions of central Russia, it is better to plant plants in a permanent place in autumn.

In the conditions of Central Russia, it is better to plant plants in autumn

If you grow a crop in the garden, it is customary to divide it into the following steps:

  1. Planting the plants in the ground. This is done in the middle belt in late September – early October. It is important to be guided by the weather forecast, as onions should be well rooted before frost, but not have time to germinate. Not all varieties can be considered frost-resistant, so the place of planting for the winter is covered with leaf skin, straw or spruce mulch.
  2. Spring care. Remove the mulch and inspect the shoots. Sometimes the shoots need to be shaded so they do not suffer from sunburn. This problem is easily solved, a complex fertilizer is used. After extending the stems, you can find the most of them. If you cut them without the opening of the buds, it is these specimens that are best suited for subsequent bunting.
  3. Summer care. It consists in periodic weeding and loosening the soil. Watering is required only during prolonged drought, but it should be so abundant that the soil is moist to a depth of at least 20 cm. Once the plants have finished flowering, they should be fertilized again. F LATEIC stems are cut back. The leaves then grow for some time to reach a length of 20 – 25 cm, and then wither away.
  4. LATEIC. It is usually weeded at the end of summer (after flowering it should take at least two months for the onion in the ground to harden and “mature”). The material is thoroughly cleaned from the soil, dried in a warm, well-ventilated room or in the shade outside, and then stored until planting or bunting in boxes with dry sand.
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Preparation of bulbs and planting place is not particularly difficult.

Preparation of onions and the place for planting is not particularly difficult

Plant material is prepared and kept in a solution of any fungicide for half an hour. The bottom is excavated, dissolved, remove weeds if necessary. Form ditches or holes, on the underside of which a small (about 0.5 cm) layer of clean sand is poured. The bulbs are slightly pressed into the ground, sprinkle with sand and fill the depression with soil.

When planting hyacinths, both the depth of the prostrate location and the “step” between the plants should correspond to the diameter of the onion. This rule also applies to other decorative “bulbs”.

The culture prefers neutral, well-drained soils and very much does not like stagnant moisture in the growth zone of the roots. If the floor at the construction site is dense and melt water goes too slowly, you have to arrange “high” flower beds with loose soil. When planting, you can not use unfertilized fertilizer, as onions can bend on contact. Primulas build up the above-ground part early in the season if the foliage of other plants is not very large. Therefore, hyacinths almost always get enough sunlight. However, it is believed that these plants are best planted on the Lee side of trees or shrubs so that strong winds will not break the stems with large inflorescences.

Winter spring bunting at home

Primroses are beautiful, but you can only enjoy their blooms for a few weeks a year. To prolong this pleasure, a special agricultural technique is used – bunting. The fact is that the dormant bulb can be “awakened” long before the onset of spring, and the flowering of the plant can be timed to a certain date.

Mature, dense specimens with a diameter of at least 5 cm are best suited for bunting.

Ripe, dense specimens with a diameter of at least 5 cm are best suited for distillation.

Hyacinth bulbs for distillation are dug out no later than mid-July, dried and stored in a dry, dark room. The temperature is kept at 25 degrees Celsius until the beginning of September, and then reduced to 17 degrees Celsius. The timing of planting the bulbs depends on the expected timing of flowering. So, to get fragrant “caps” for the holiday of March 8, hyacinths should be planted in mid-October.

For bunting use shallow containers (pots or boxes) with good drainage and filled with loose substrate (e.g., a mixture of high marsh peat and sand). No fertilizer is required – the plants absorb all the necessary nutrients from the bulbs. The bulbs are placed at a distance of at least 2.5 cm from each other and from the walls of the container, pressed into the substrate and covered about 2/3 of the height. Then the pots are covered with paper covers from the light, put in a refrigerator and kept at a temperature no higher than +9 ° C for 10-14 weeks, periodically moistening the soil. By the end of this period, the plants should “wake up” and give green shoots about 2.5 cm in height. Now the pots can be taken out of the refrigerator and gradually adapt the plants to warmth and light. This stage lasts about a week, at the end of which the pots are placed on a window sill, preferably on the south or south-east side. With proper preparation, the plants will bloom in 3-4 weeks.

Hyacinth varieties

Of greatest interest to gardeners are the classifications of hyacinths according to the timing of the growing season and the color of the flowers. “Early” varieties bloom until mid-May, “medium” – 15-23 May, “late” – in the third decade of the month. The flowering of each group of plants lasts only a few weeks. The height of the stems varies from 20 to 35 cm, and the number of flowers – from 20 to 50.

Through the efforts of breeders, the widest range of colors of hyacinths has been created.

Through the efforts of breeders, the widest range of colors of hyacinths has been created.

In the existing assortment there are varieties and hybrids with buds of the following colors:

  • white (‘Antarctica’, ‘Carnegie’, ‘L’Innocence’, ‘Madame Sophie’);
  • yellow (“City of Harlem”, “Yellow Queen”)
  • pink (“Delight”, “Anna Lisa”, “Rosalia”, “China Pink”);
  • red (“Red Magic”, “Jan Bos”);
  • purple (“Woodstock”, “L’Esperance”);
  • purple (“Amethyst”, “Blue Pearl”);
  • blue (“Blue Star”, “Sky Jacket”, “Azure”);
  • blue (“Delft Blue”, “Aida”, “Blue Jacket”);
  • black (“Midnight Mystic”, “Dark Dimension”).
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In addition, flowers can be single or double in shape, and inflorescences of different configurations – from conical to ovoid.

When selecting varieties also take into account the size of plants, the size and shape of the inflorescences.

When selecting varieties, plant size, size and shape of the inflorescences are also taken into account.

Growing hyacinths is easy and accessible even to novice gardeners, and the variety of planting material on the market allows you to create beautiful spring compositions in almost any garden.


If you are interested in the topic of the article, we suggest you watch a few videos made by experts, in which the subtleties of planting, growing, forcing and care of hyacinths in the open ground and at home are explained in detail:

Emma Murga

Graduated from the Ordzhonikidze Moscow State Research Institute. My main profession is mining geophysicist, i.e. a person with analytical mind and versatile interests. I have my own house in the countryside (or the experience of gardening, horticulture, growing mushrooms and dealing with pets and birds). Freelancer, perfectionist and “nerd” about her tasks. Lover of handmade, the creator of exclusive jewelry made from stones and pearls. Passionate fan of the printed word and an awe-inspiring observer of all that lives and breathes.

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