Hyacinths work well at the front of spring borders, along with other spring bulbs such as grape hyacinths (muscari) and tulips. Their small size (up to 5 to 30 cm tall) makes them ideal for spring pots.
In the house, grow hyacinths in a bright, airy place, preferably with lots of sunshine.
How to plant hyacinths
How to grow hyacinths – plant hyacinths in pots
Plant hyacinths in pots
Make sure you always wear gloves when planting hyacinth bulbs, as they can irritate the skin.
Growing outdoor hyacinths:
Plant the bulbs in autumn, preferably in a sunny location in moist but well-drained soil.
Prepare the soil by removing weeds and digging to reduce compaction if necessary, then add organic matter such as well-rotted animal manure or compost.
Plant the bulbs at a depth of about 10 cm and 8 cm apart.
Cover with soil and gently firm around them. Water the soil if it is dry.
Growing hyacinths in pots:
Hyacinths make fantastic, fragrant Christmas displays. For best results, buy “prepared” or heat-treated bulbs, which don’t need to be forced as long to encourage early blooms. You don’t need to plant indoor hyacinths as deep as you would plant them in pots or in the ground.
Just place the bulbs on a 5 cm layer of compost, so that they are close together but not touching. Fill compost around them so the top of each bulb is visible. Water lightly to moisten the compost. Cover them and store them somewhere dark and cool for about 10 weeks, until shoots appear, then move to a bright, airy place to put on the flowers.
When to plant hyacinth bulbs
Plant hyacinth bulbs in the fall, usually from September to November. However, you can usually get away with planting hyacinths until Christmas, but you may find that they bloom later than usual.
For Christmas hyacinths, plant the bulbs about 13 weeks in advance, around the last week of September. For guaranteed Christmas blooms, plant three rounds, each at weekly intervals, so if one round goes over there will be two more on the sidelines ready to bloom on the big day.