Hyacinths are one of the "big three" bulbs in
gardening interest (the others being tulips and daffodils) and these
extremely fragrant spring flowering bulbs are worthy of a place in your
Origins of Name
As an aside, the name comes from Hyakinthos – a young man accidentally
killed by one of the Greek gods and from his spilt blood, this flower
This bulb is popular because it is 1) easy to grow, 2) is extremely
fragrant and 3) comes in a wide range of colours.
If you're interested in forcing these
bulbs here's the basics about chilling and growing on.
H. orientalis is the common bulb in our gardens and this bulb is a
west and central Asian plant (mostly in Turkey). You’ll appreciate that
the Dutch flower bulbs you’re buying today have very little resemblance
to the species bulb.
The modern flowers have been bred for increased size and fragrance and
this breeding started back with the Greeks and Romans who grew this
plant in very large quantities.
***googlemmiddle.shtml***Plant in a sunny location, in well drained soils with decent fertility.
Excessive water will rot this bulb out.
Plant the bottom of the bulb approximately 6 to 7 inches deep
Plant 5 to 6 inches apart in clumps for a marvelous display.
The bulb will grow in light shade, for example morning shade or late
You have a decision to make here. If you grow them in the shadier
sections of your garden, the individual blooms will last longer on the
bulbs in the spring as the hot sun does tend to shorten the bloom time.
The downside to this is that the bulb itself will not thrive in the
shade and will die out.
Hyacinth 'Pink Elephant'
If you need flowers for a special spring event, mass plant them
anywhere you like and treat this bulb as an annual flower.
Grow as you would any spring flowering bulb, give lots of compost, do
not water during the summer and allow the leaves to fully yellow and
wither before you do any cultivating or cutting them back.
You can easily propagate new plants by harvesting the little offsets
that develop on the older bulbs.
After the plant is fully dormant, (late summer) you can dig the bulb
and separate these small offsets.
It will take these small bulblets 2 to 3 years to develop enough
size/strength to generate flowers.
You can also grow them from seed treating the seed as a perennial.
Most significant cultivars:
•'Blue Jacket': deep blue
•'Delft Blue': blue
•'Ostara': deep violet-blue
•'Anna Liza': blue
•'Splendid Cornelia': blue
•'Amsterdam': deep carmine red
•'Hollyhock' deep red double flowers
•'Jan Bos': carmine red
•'Anna Marie': bright pink
•'Lady Derby': salmon pink
•'Marconi': deep pink
•'Pink Pearl': brilliant bright pink
•'City of Haarlem': bright yellow
•'Gypsy Queen': salmon orange
•'Carnegie': pure white
•'L'Innocence': pure white
•'White Pearl': pure white
Trivia about Species
is not exactly a species but
is horticulturally a "group". What this means is irrelevant to the
average gardener as the growing conditions are the same as the regular
The difference is the flowers on the multiflora group are more numerous
with multiple stems (smaller florets but more of them) These come in a
wide range of colours as well and are equally worth growing.
is a small flowered hyacinth
and while it is grown in exactly the same way as the H. orientalis
varieties, it has an interesting growth habit. It looks like a bulbous
bluebells rather than the large flowering hyacinth. An interesting
plant and one worth having in the garden (comes in white or pale blue)
but it is not as showy as those big hybrids.
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