Hyacinths are very popular bulbous plants among lovers of gardening and plants for their beautiful flower formations, which also give off a very characteristic and appreciated perfume. For this reason, it is very common to see it in houses and in public places and, above all, in outdoor areas.
It is a genus of plants that need certain care, but can be grown both outdoors and indoors, although with different conditions. If you want to learn more about how to take care of hyacinths, join us in this EcologíaVerde article in which you will find a very complete guide on the hyacinth care.
Here we describe the main characteristics of hyacinths:
- Scientific name: Hyacinthus spp.. In addition, there are many colors, such as blue hyacinths, white hyacinths, purples, pinks, fuchsias, and yellows.
- Family: Liliaceae.
- It is a bulb plant.
- It is cultivable indoors and outdoors.
- It has flowering in spring, but it can be forced at other times.
If you like hyacinths and similar flowering plants, don’t hesitate to discover this post about 15 bulb plants.
When to plant hyacinths
The best time to plant hyacinth bulbs It will depend largely on the type of bulb we have and where we want to plant it. Naturally, hyacinths are outdoor plants that they are planted in autumn for them to bloom in spring, since these plants need a few weeks of cold weather to be able to bloom. In mild climates you can plant hyacinths also to start of winter.
It is highly recommended to use some fungicide on the bulbs when planting them to avoid problems given the high humidity they need. Similarly, it is not recommended to keep the plant for more than a year in the same location because it depletes the soil nutrients greatly, unless fertilizer is added.
Indoors, the bulbs can also be planted in autumn, although the availability of forced bulbs, treated to bloom in autumn and winter, means that the season is greatly extended. These forced bulbs, however, will need to be treated again or moved to the garden after the first bloom.
Find out more about hyacinths and other plants that bloom in spring with this other article on 22 spring flowers.
Are Hyacinths Sun or Shade?
There is no absolute answer to this question as it largely depends on what we are looking for. If we place the hyacinths in a very bright location, their pretty flowers will open right away, but they don’t last long. One way to prolong the life of the flower is to locate the hyacinth in a cool place without much light. In this way, its flowers will open more gradually, notably extending their life.
This, however, is only applicable if we have the plant indoors. Outdoors the hyacinth will have a stable locationso you will need a good lighting to be able to produce its flowers and be healthy.
How hyacinths are watered
How much watering does hyacinth need? These plants need a high degree of humidity and, in fact, during the flowering season they need their soil or substrate to be constantly wetalthough always without flooding. Also, if you’re wondering how to care for potted hyacinths, irrigation is really important because you have to be very careful with its balance and keep in mind that it is easier for the substrate to flood. It is customary to place their pots on a dish with water to help maintain stable humidity levels, but do not leave the base of the pot in direct contact with water, at most 10 minutes, and it is better to place a support or some stones to support the pot and that it is close to the water but allowing the drainage of the irrigation that is made from above. Otherwise, fungi would appear and the bulb could rot very easily. We recommend you learn more about watering plants with this other post about When to water plants.
It is also common to see hyacinths planted only in a container of water. The bulb is placed so that it is partially submerged, about a third of its size, and it does not take long to take root and sprout.
Substrate and fertilizer for hyacinths
Like many flowering plants, hyacinths are quite demanding when it comes to nutrient levels. They need a soil rich in organic matterfor what you can use worm humus or compost. It is also important to get a good level of drainage, which supports the constant humidity that the plant needs, so it is convenient to use a combined substrate. In these other articles we help you learn How to make earthworm humus and How to make homemade compost.
When they start to sprout, they will appreciate the contribution of fertilizer, which will be even more necessary if the plant has been in its location for more than one season. One rich in potassium will be very grateful for the plant. Here we explain How to make homemade organic fertilizers and you will find a recipe to enrich with potassium.
Naturalize the hyacinth
Another aspect to keep in mind about how to grow hyacinths is that we can choose to try naturalize the plant. Although it is a bulbous plant, getting it to survive the season to flower for years to come may not be as easy with the hyacinth.
In order to keep the plant alive, it will be necessary transplant it after flowering. It will need a larger container with a substrate rich in organic matter or be brought directly outside to a sunny location. There, we will not cut its leaves until they turn yellow or become too damaged, thus avoiding further weakening it.
Forcing Hyacinth Bulbs to Bloom in Winter
To be able to enjoy the hyacinth flower during winter it is necessary to force them. This implies recreating cool conditions in summer, after flowering. To do this, follow these steps:
- Leave the hyacinth bulbs in the fridge, wrapped in paper, for six weeks.
- Plant them in a pot with a very light substrate and at a shallow depth.
- Leave them in a cool, dark location for another eight weeks.
- Take them another week to another place, still in the dark but at a temperature around 18 ºC until the flower spike begins to appear.
- At this time you can take them to a place with light to develop.
When do hyacinths bloom?
A common doubt among those who love this beautiful plant for the decoration and the smell that its flowers provide and who acquire it to plant from the bulb without it having bloomed yet is, precisely, knowing when the hyacinth blooms.
Hyacinths bloom naturally in spring, giving rise to a spectacular and very fragrant but also short-lived flowering. However, as we have just explained above, it is common to use the forcing technique with these bulbs, in order to scale their blooms and be able to enjoy them during the cold months as well. Another very frequent doubt in relation to this stage is what to do with the hyacinths after flowering, but we will solve it below.
How to preserve hyacinth bulbs
What to do with hyacinth bulbs after flowering? Your climate may not be suitable for leaving the bulb planted throughout the summer. In such a case, you will need to keep them at home. To keep the plant alive for as many seasons as possible follow these steps to preserve hyacinth bulbs:
- Cut the flower stem as soon as the flower wilts and leave the leaves until they dry completely, at which point you can cut the bulb at ground level.
- Carefully clean it of dirt, paying close attention not to leave debris of any kind.
- Store them in a box with dry sand in a dry, cool, well-ventilated room.
- Leave them with the apex facing up.
- Keep them like this until the arrival of autumn, when you can replant them.
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