Caring For Hyacinth

The care information provided in this section represents the kind of practical advice is available for all the plants in this web site if you subscribe to the monthly customized newsletter Yardener’s Advisor.

Fertilizing Hyacinth
Hyacinths, like most bulbs, do best when they are fed twice a year-- in the early fall and again in the early spring just after they have emerged from the ground. Sprinkle about a tablespoon of a granular fertilizer per bulb or a slight handful per clump on the soil around the bulbs. Use fertilizer formulated especially for bulbs. Do NOT feed hyacinths immediately after flowering when the bulbs can least use the nutrients--that just encourages disease. Of the two feedings, the fall one is the most important to encourage strong root growth for next spring. Bulbs get much of their nutrition through their leaves after they bloom. Allow them to die back gradually. Do not cut them when you cut off dead bloom stalks.



Mulching and Weed Control
A 1 or 2 inch layer of organic material such as chopped leaves, shredded bark, or wood chips, spread over the bulb bed as a mulch, controls weeds and conserves soil moisture. Mulching also prevents dirt from splashing up on the flowers during heavy rains. For more information see the file on Using Mulch

Watering Hyacinth
Ideally bulb beds should get about 1 inch of water a week from rain or from a watering system. Hyacinths don't need much water while they're flowering, but later, regular water encourages rooting and helps the bulb store up nutrients for next season. If you plant bulbs just before a good soaking fall rain, you won't need to water. During hot, dry weather, water thoroughly once a week. For information on products see the file on Choosing Watering Equipment

Pruning and Grooming Hyacinth
Hyacinths, like most bulbs, require very little care. However, because they are tall and top heavy when in bloom, they may need staking in blustery spring weather. Also, it is important to cut off the flower head after it has bloomed to prevent seeds from forming. Leave the stalk and the leaves to age and die naturally, so that the bulb can acquire and store energy for next year. After three or four years the bulbs may be crowded and will benefit from being dug up and divided, then replanted. Although hyacinths more than other bulbs tend to "wear out" and need to be replaced, a regular fertilizing program will keep them vigorous for several years.