If you're looking for a versatile flower, hyacinth is sure to become your new favourite. These graceful, classic bulbs are a timeless favorite for both outdoor planting and indoor container gardening. During a drab, dull winter, these vibrant flowers can be easily coaxed to bloom in a pot on a sunny windowsill. This makes them a favorite for wintertime gift-giving, or for brightening up your own home with a touch of spring!
Hyacinth comes in many varieties, although they all bear a close resemblance to one another. Flower spikes are cone-shaped, featuring many small, dense blooms. Blue is the most traditional color, although purple, lemon, peach, deep pink, light pink and white varieties are readily available. Plants are compact, reaching only twenty to thirty centimetres in height. Leaves are long and broad.
Outdoors, hyacinth bulbs should be planted in the fall, before most other bulbs; these bulbs need extra time to develop strong roots. Plant the bulbs with their flat sides facing down, approximately 20 centimetres deep and five to seven centimetres apart. Soil should be well-worked with fertilizer before planting, and covered with a light layer of mulch in colder areas. When plants appear in the spring, you may want to use stakes for support, as hyacinth blooms are very heavy.
Hyacinths are most commonly used for winter gift-giving and as outdoor accents. If you want to give them as gifts, chill your bulbs in the refrigerator for eight to ten weeks. Then simply prepare pots with high-quality soil and fertilizer and plant your bulbs approximately four to five weeks before you want to give them to friends and family. Tie a colour-coordinated ribbon around the pot and give the gift of springtime in the dead of winter!
Hyacinth blooms are a softly perfumed, petite bloom which are often used in winter/spring wedding bouquets, and delicate hairpieces, corsages and buttonholes. They can also be coaxed to grow in glass vases. Be sure to keep the bulb itself out of water as this tends to start rot, but simply sit the bulb in the top of a vase that has a smaller 'waist'/bottle neck where the bulb can sit just above the water line. This will encourage the hyacinth roots to grow downward toward the water. This makes a very interesting display as the absence of soil allows you to watch the growth of the plant, and allows the display to appear especially fresh.