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Hyacinth Bulb Planting Guide

Hyacinths are stunning, spring-blooming bulbs that produce gorgeous flowers with a strong, sweet, wonderful scent. Beyond their spectacular appearance, these plants are unbothered by deer, ideal for forcing into bloom along windowsills, an excellent source of nectar for butterflies, and perfect for container gardens. Discover how easy it is to plant and grow Hyacinths right here with this complete guide!

Success Snapshot

PLANTING
DEPTH

6"

WATER
QUANTITY

Moderate

SUNLIGHT
QUANTITY

Full to Partial Sun

PLANTING
PROXIMITY

4" Apart

BLOOM
SEASON

Spring

HARDINESS
ZONES

Zones 4-8

Where to Plant

Hyacinths are remarkably easy to grow in both containers and outdoor gardens, desiring little more than well-drained soil and a spot that receives full-day sun. For those gardening in the hottest regions, a little afternoon shade will do just fine. If you notice puddles of water 5–6 hours after a hard rain, scout out another site or amend the soil with organic material to raise the level 2–3 inches. While these beauties aren't particularly fussy about soil, they will not survive in soggy conditions or standing water.


When to Plant

Hyacinth bulbs should be planted sometime between mid to late fall after the first frost but before the ground freezes. Roots will begin to form shortly after planting in the autumn, with fragrant flowers emerging in the spring.


How to Plant

  • For outdoor landscape planting, find a spot where the soil drains well, and your Hyacinths will receive plenty of sunlight. Dig holes and plant the bulbs 6" deep and 4" apart, with the pointed ends facing up.
  • For container planting, start with good quality, well-drained potting soil, and containers with adequate drainage holes. Dig holes and plant the bulbs 6" deep and 4" apart, with the pointed ends facing up. Place your containers where they will receive plenty of sunlight.
  • Water thoroughly, soaking the soil to settle it around the bulbs.

How to Grow

  • Water as needed during active growth periods, with about 1” of moisture per week as a fair estimate.
  • Leave the foliage in place after blooming has finished for the season. The leaves will gather sunlight to create food through photosynthesis, strengthening the bulb for the future.
  • Remove the dry foliage when the leaves turn yellow and die back around early summer.
  • Allow the bulbs to rest for a few months before beginning the next growing cycle in the spring.

Hyacinth Tips & Tricks

  • Bear in mind that some people, particularly those with sensitive skin, can experience an itchy or tingly sensation when handling Hyacinth bulbs. The safest way to avoid this issue is by wearing gloves when planting the bulbs.
  • Plant 10-12 bulbs in 12-15" pots, 9 bulbs in 10" pots, and 7 bulbs in 8" pots.
  • Amend the soil with finely ground bark, decomposed manure, or compost to improve drainage and encourage a healthy start.
  • Grow Hyacinths in a bulb vase with just water. Set the bulb in the neck of the vase with the water just barely touching the base of the bulb. Place the vase in a cool, dark place for six weeks, then move to a bright windowsill when roots and a green shoot have formed.
  • Enjoy the spectacular flowers, snipping a few for bouquets, as doing so will not hurt your plants. Another option is to bring flowering containers indoors to perfume your home.