February 16, 2011

Hyacinth – a highly fragrant spring bulb and cut flower

Flowering potted hyacinths make a lovely gift at this time of year.  The arrangement above was a present from my brother and his family when they came to stay for the weekend a few weeks ago.

The flowers still remind me of that lovely time we spent together and they fill our kitchen with a beautiful sweet fragrance…like a natural room freshener.

As well as potted bulbs, cut hyacinth flowers are also available at the moment.

Below is an overview of the Hyacinth: –

What is the Latin name?
Hyacinthus orientalis

What is it commonly known as?

What does it look like?
Heavy spikes of highly-scented waxy bell-shaped blooms in pink, blue, lilac, white and peach.

When can you buy them?
Usually November to April.

Where can you buy them from?
Florists, garden centres and supermarkets.

How do you look after them?
Potted bulbs : Place them in a cool well-lit area and keep the compost moist.  If the flowers become top-heavy, you may like to support them with twigs.  Also, if they start leaning towards the light, turn them now and again.

Cut flowers : Do not cut off the ends of the stems, as the remaining bulb base will make the flowers last longer.  Simply rinse them, if necessary, and place in fresh water.

Did you know?
There seem to be a lot of mixed opinions as to if you should plant your potted bulbs in your garden after they’ve bloomed.

Some people advise against it as they think they’re unlikely to flower again, whereas others seem to have great success.  So why not give it a go, rather than throwing them in the garden recycling bin or on the compost heap.

Hyacinths are one of the bulbs that grow well without soil.  Simply place in a bulb vase filled with water.  An example of such a vase can be seen here.

(Images : Rona Wheeldon for Flowerona)

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  • Lisa Cox says:

    I love the smell of hyacinths although they can be overpowering if there are too many in one place! You’re right about them coming back the following year so it’s definitely worth a try – I once put a basket of spent hyacinths in the shed, meaning to plant them out of course, but promptly forgot about them. The following year they emerged again and were just as lovely 🙂

  • Yvette Smith says:

    Thanks Rona, just the advice I needed for those bulbs in my kitchen – inspired!
    I’ll pop them in the front flower bed and keep my fingers crossed for next spring! I’ll be sure to let you know if it works!

  • chevy says:

    I have just identified a couple of bulbs with thanks entirely to info on this site, excellent thank you,

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