Hyacinth: a beautiful fragrant flower that is easy to care for

What you need to know about this bulbous plant that blooms in spring

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By Alex


The hyacinth is a bulbaceous plant with wonderful panicle-shaped flowers. It’s one of the typical flowers from Holland and can brighten up the garden in spring with its brilliant colors. Let’s get to know it better.

The hyacinth (botanical name Hyacinthus) is native to Europe and Asia. It is a bulbous plant that really likes the temperate climate and is easily grown both in the ground in gardens and flowerbeds and indoors in pots.

Among the many varieties, the most widespread is the Hyacinthus Orientalis or Dutch hyacinth, which comes in a great variety of colors: red, white, pink, orange, lilac and even blue.

Let’s take a closer look at its characteristics, treatments and particularities.

The different species of hyacinth

The hyacinth plant includes numerous varieties which are divided into 3 groups in floriculture:

  • Hyacinthus orientalis (Dutch hyacinth)
  • Hyacinthus litwinovii Czerniak
  • Hyacinthus transcaspicus

The most common species is without any doubt the Dutch hyacinth. This species includes late flowers, of various colours and also a hybrid variety called the Parisian hyacinth. characterized by large flowers, single or double, united in an inflorescence of different shades of color.

There is also the water hyacinth, a variety suitable for cultivation in artificial ponds and fountains.


How to grow hyacinth: in pots or in the ground

The cultivation of hyacinth and its maintenance, is very simple, but it changes depending on whether you decide to grow the plant in the garden or in pots, inside an apartment.

In the garden

The hyacinth is best grown in the garden: it likes nutrient-rich soil, that will make it stronger and more lush. When planted in the garden, the plant will be able to receive direct sunlight and will withstand low temperatures.

Cultivation requires medium-textured soil, mixed with sand, rich in humus, fresh, well fertilized and deeply tilled. If it is too loamy, you should add coarse sand to prevent any risk of bulb rot.

When to plant bulbs?

The bulbs should be planted from September to December. The bulbs must be buried 15 centimeters deep using a special planter.

Then close the hole and tamp the earth on top, then give a light watering. After flowering, remember to remove the flowers as they gradually wither, to prevent the seeds that form there from tire the plant unnecessarily.

In pots

If you grow hyacinth in pots you must be careful that the room temperature does not fall below 13° and that the pot receives sunlight, but not directly.

For growing in pots, potting soil is used consisting of half clayey-silty soil, one-fifth sand and the rest mulchy loam mulchy manure, with temperatures around 13-14° in no light until flowering and then at 17° in full light.

A 7-centimeter layer of expanded clay should be placed in the bottom of the pot for good drainage and a mixture (in equal parts) of vegetable loam, garden plant soil and sand. Until the bulb has opened to seedlings, it is recommended to keep the pot in the dark.

The blooming of hyacinths grown indoors is characterized by greater earliness than in garden crops: this is because the bulbs purchased at garden centers are already prepared.

This preparation is done by varying the temperature of the bulbs, which, in this way, are incited to develop immediately after being planted. For this reason, before purchase, it is always useful to inform whether you want to grow hyacinth in pots or in the ground.

pink hyacinth
The pink hyacinth variety is also very popular.

Irrigating, pruning and caring for the hyacinth plant

Hyacinth as with most bulbous plants does not like too much water and suffers from any kind of waterlogging. Do not overwater, increase the amount of water only in summer while still being careful of waterlogging.

Hyacinth flowers do not need constant and regular pruning. Remember that it is important to cut back the flowers once they have wilted or once the flowering is over, so that the plant will save its energy for the growing seasons.

You should always us special fertilizers for bulbs, at the time of flowering, possibly slow-release fertilizers.

You can leave the bulbs in the ground in the summer after flowering, but it is a good idea to uproot them, as soon as the foliage has wilted, by gently withdrawing the bulb with the spade fork taking care not to damage it.

Left to dry out a few hours in the shade and cleared of any small bulbs that may have formed around the main bulb and soil, it can be placed in a box and stored in the dark at cool temperatures until planting in the fall.

Water Hyacinth

The water hyacinth is a plant native to Brazil that grows floating on waterways, and is therefore perfect for a garden pond.

Features and care

This species has long roots that are not buried but float. In the wild, the plant is very luxuriant, reaching a width of 50 centimeters and the stolons cause the development of many other surrounding plants, thus assuming weedy behaviour, because the vegetation will tend to cover the entire surface of the water.

How to grow water hyacinth bulbs

The water hyacinth bulb should be placed inside a glass container, with a narrow neck and a height ranging from 12 to 25 cm, filled with water almost to the brim.

Insert it in such a way that only the base touches the water, placing it in a cool place. Wait for the roots to develop a length of at least 10 centimeters before changing its abode, earmarking it for a pond or fountain.

Care for the water hyacinth

The water hyacinth cannot stand cold weather you need to make sure the temperature does not fall below 10°. It should be exposed to the sun without direct rays, but it needs plenty of light to bloom. It should be fertilized assiduously and the body of water should be enriched with organic matter.

Its growth occurs very quickly and is massive: take care to check that the plant does not propagate too much!.

A beautiful and harmful plant

The water hyacinth plant is one of the most damaging floating plantsand: it even ranks among the 100 most damaging plants in the world. Its massive presence in some rivers makes it impossible to navigate as well as causing the death of many fish species.

The damage caused by water hyacinth can be solved by importing the lamantine amazonic in areas where it is not an endemic species. This particular type of walrus is a non-ruminant herbivore that feeds exclusively on a variety of aquatic and semi-aquatic plants, and thus regularizes the growth of water hyacinth, creating a balanced ecosystem. Nature is perfect, but we have to respect its mechanisms.

Diseases and pests

Bulbs suffer from attacks by:

  • bulb fly larvae: in this case, use specific fertilizers
  • eelworm of the bulbs which causes complete rotting of the tissues: use specific fertilizers
  • snails that pierce stems and leaves: manual elimination or the use of traps is recommended
  • blackhead of the bulbs, a fungal disease that causes yellowing and wilting of the leaves, followed by browning and rotting of the bulb and by fusarium wilt: fungicidal treatment
  • root rot caused by water stagnation


Did you know that…?

The hyacinth in the language of flowers

In the language of flowers, hyacinth can have different meanings depending on its color:

    • pink expresses cheerfulness and sympathy
    • red expresses suffering soul and sorrow
    • white indicates beauty
    • blue represents constancy
    • yellow indicates jealousy

Where does the name hyacinth come from?

The hyacinth plant’s name has mythological origins. Hyacinthus, a character in Greek mythology, a beloved handsome prince, son of Amicla and Diomeda, was killed by mistake by the god Apollo. The god Apollo had in fact fallen in love with his playmate, the handsome Hyacinthus, a young Spartan.

One day, while the two were playing discus throw, Apollo accidentally hit him on the head and the young man died. Apollo was distraught and fell into despair over the loss of his dear friend. So, he gave birth to a flower that could remind him of him for eternity, the hyacinthus precisely.

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