Hyacinthus orientalis (also known as common hyacinth, garden hyacinth or Dutch hyacinth), is a herbaceous perennial flowering plant, native to southwestern Asia, southern and central Turkey, northwestern Syria, Lebanon and northern Israel. It has a long history of cultivation as an ornamental plant, grown across the Mediterranean region, and later France (where it is used in perfumery), the Netherlands (a major center of cultivation) and elsewhere.
Hyacinth is a spring flowering bulb that produces spikes of flowers noted for their intense, often overpowering, fragrance. Typically grows 6-10″ tall. Each bulb sends up 3-4 strap-shaped green leaves in early spring and a stiff densely flowered spike of extremely fragrant tubular flowers. A very large number of hybrid cultivars are available in commerce under this species name in flower colors including various shades of blue, purple, pink, red and white.
- Strong fragrance.
- Many different colors available among different cultivars
- Flowering in Spring, but can be forced to flower earlier indoors.
In the Garden
Hyacinths, like most bulbs, require very little care.
Hyacinths should be planted in early fall. This way, they have enough time to grow an abundant group of roots before winter. Pick a spot that has full sun to the north and light shade to the south. Use rich, moist, well-drained soil. Prepare the soil well using plenty of organic material, making sure to mix a complete fertilizer with the soil.
Caring & Growing
USDA Hardiness Zone: 4 – 8
Hyacinths like a sunny location but can tolerate some shade.
Prefers organically rich soils that is well drained. If they must be planted in heavy soil, it would be a good idea to mix some sharp sand into the soil.
Soils should be kept moist immediately after planting to encourage root growth. Also keep soils moist during the spring growing season. Ideally bulb beds should get about 1 inch of water a week from rain or from a watering system. Hyacinths don’t need much water while they’re flowering, but later, regular water encourages rooting and helps the bulb store up nutrients for next season. Taper off moisture after Fall as bulbs head toward dormancy.
Fertilizing before planting ensures a full first spring of bloom, and continued annual fertilization helps the bulbs refuel so the plants remain productive and flower well each year. Use fertilizer formulated especially for bulbs. Apply the spring fertilization before the hyacinths begin to produce flower buds. Alternatively, spread 1 inch of compost over the bed instead of using a chemical fertilizer. Hyacinths don’t require fall fertilization once established.
Divide the bulbs every couple of years to try to help them maintain their blooming prowess.