How to plant and grow Hyacinths

Hyacinths are great for planting outside for flowering in the spring months or they can be forced on to flower indoors at Christmas as they have been specially prepared. We advise wearing gloves when handling hyacinth bulbs as they can irritate the skin.

Planting Hyacinths in the garden

Hyacinths like a well-drained, moderately fertile soil preferably in a nice sunny position. But they can tolerate a lightly shaded aspect. Hyacinth bulbs should be planted in the Autumn for flowering in the garden in March – April. Plant your bulbs 10cm (4″) deep and 7-8cm (3″) apart. Remember to plant your bulbs pointy end up!

Planting Hyacinths outside in pots

If planting in containers for your garden, use any good potting medium with added grit for improved drainage. Mix up 2 parts John Innes No.2 compost mixed with one part grit. Make sure your pot is free draining. Plant your bulbs 10cm (4″) deep and 7-8cm (3″) apart. You can give your bulbs a potash feed in the spring.

Planting Hyacinths indoors in pots for Christmas Flowering

Our specially ‘prepared’ (heat-treated) bulbs can be grown indoors for Christmas Flowering.

  • Use a moisture-retentive but free-draining soil especially if the container has no drainage holes. The simplest compost to choose is bulb fibre. 
  • It is not necessary to feed the bulbs after planting. 
  • Wet the fibre or compost first and place a layer in the bottom of the container. 
  • Place the bulbs on the fibre or compost and fill the gaps with more fibre or compost allowing for the tips of the bulbs to be just showing above the soil level. 
  • Allow about 1-2cm (1/2″) between the soil surface and the container rim to allow space for watering.
  • To force flowering for Christmas: After planting the bulbs, they need a dark and cool period to encourage the development of a good root system. Place in the garage or under stairs cupboard. Do this until you see your hyacinths have developed and are established. Place you container in your desired position around the house. Perhaps on your dinner table for a lovely Christmas Centre piece! 
Plant pointy end up

Harts’ Hint

” Protect your hands with gloves when handling Hyacinth bulbs as they can irritate the skin. “

Caring for hyacinths

Caring for Hyacinth outdoors in the garden

  • Blooms should be removed as soon as they shows signs of brown.
  • Leave the foliage to die back natural. 
  • Bulbs can be lifted as soon as the foliage has died back and stored in a cool, dry place.   

Caring for Hyacinths outdoors in containers

  • Wrap containers with bubble wrap to protect from frost.
  • Once the flowers have faded, retuned the container to a sheltered spot in the garden.
  • Bulbs can be lifted as soon as the foliage has died back and stored in a cool, dry place. 

Recent Posts

query re bulbs bought at Tatton show

This question was asked by
Fiona M

I bought several Zantesdechia rhizomes at Tatton last week. I didn\’t think to check whether I should plant them now and they will flower this year or whether I should keep them and plant them next year, in which case which month??
Please let me know

Hi Fiona

Plant your calla lilies now and they will be flower later this year. You can find all planting instructions on our website.

Calla Lily – Zantedeschia

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