General description: Hyacinths are ideal plants for the spring border, where their strong compact flowers and lingering scent make them a fine companion to polyanthus and other spring flowers. In the right conditions hyacinths will flower for many years. At Clare we have examples of blue Ostara that are now twenty years old! Blue seems to us to be the most durable colour.

Hyacinths can also be "prepared" for early indoor flowering. See our Information Sheet for details on how to successfully grow prepared hyacinths.

  Delft Blue

Pink Pearl  
  Jan Bos

Hyacinths last for several weeks as a cut flower, placed in a vase full of water.

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Where best to plant: Sunny well-drained sites are best, although half shade is tolerated. Hyacinths also do well in outdoor tubs and pots providing the soil is peat or light loam based, with plenty of drainage holes.

Planting hints: Plant 4 or 5 inches deep and about 3 inches apart. Deeper planting is recommended where it is intended to leave the bulbs indefinitely.
Pick off the old flower stems once the flower is over. This encourages a better bulb the following season, as energy is not wasted producing seed.

Variety information: One tends to think of hyacinths in colour terms. The most popular colours are blue, pink and white, with red and yellow close behind. The apricot coloured Gypsy Queen is quite popular, but in our opinion is not a strong grower.
Roman Hyacinths are multi-headed, and are most attractive, but for some reason do not attract our customers. We no longer sell them.

Other useful facts: If one plants prepared hyacinths in a pot or bowl plant only one colour per container. The reason for this is that the colours do not flower at the same time, so the growth is lopsided in that one colour will be far advanced of the others.

Children are often encouraged to plant a single bulb in school. Do prevent them over-watering the poor bulb as it is likely to rot, thereby destroying their confidence in bulbs for evermore! Notwithstanding this advice the Victorians were partial to setting a bulb in a special glass bulb vase filled with water, to watch the roots develop in the water (the bulb was set above the surface) and to enjoy the flower in due course.