How to plant hyacinth bulbs indoors

How to plant hyacinth bulbs indoors

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How to plant hyacinth bulbs indoors

Thursday, 10 February 2013 | 09:59 AM

Posted Feb. 10, 2013

Many North Carolina homeowners are finding a wide variety of uses for bulbs planted during the late fall and early winter months. In addition to fresh and beautifully-coloured flowers throughout the spring and summer, bulbs planted as a landscape accent are available for several months.

Among the many popular spring bulbs to be planted at this time are hyacinths. Hyacinths are typically planted from late November through January to spring when they're in bloom. Some species are also available as winter bulbs. Although hyacinths will bloom all year, they will generally be in bloom later in the winter, so planting them in mid-November to mid-December is considered an optimum time to plant them.

Hyacinths are perfect for landscaping a wide variety of garden areas from woodland and shade gardens to areas with sunny exposures. Unlike many spring bulbs, they grow well and bloom at temperatures as low as 50°F. Once they have been in bloom for a few weeks, the bulbs can easily be divided and planted to expand the flowering area.

Planting information

Hyacinth bulbs can be planted in a variety of areas, including:

Garden bed borders or borders around existing plants

Paths, walkways, or other areas where you can't grow more than a single species

Border or container gardens

Landscape beds

Shade gardens, woodland gardens or areas requiring low-light conditions

Pathways, raised beds or other areas where bulbs will be planted in wet areas

Outdoor sculptures and other types of structures that are planted

Fruit trees or nut trees that have to be in a certain spot

Hardscape that won't shift or allow for bulb growth

Staking and protection

Because hyacinths bloom quite early in the spring, you must carefully consider where and how you plant your bulbs, both for protection of your bulbs and your plants from being crushed by heavy snow. During a late-winter, cold winter, plants can be removed and stored for later planting in the warmer spring. Hyacinth bulbs do not tolerate dry conditions. They must be protected from very cold or wet weather or they will be very hard and brittle. Protect bulbs when moving them or planting them in the ground with mulch.

Thickness of bulbs

Hyacinth bulbs are thick-skinned and grow about three to five inches long. This size is very desirable for landscape purposes. For other purposes, the bulbs can be planted in smaller containers or groups so the depth of the bulbs will be less. Hyacinth bulbs should not be planted too close together, as their bulbs will rub against each other when blooming. An attractive addition is to plant bulbs in clusters of three, six or nine bulbs so that the stems of the flowers intermingle.

Choosing bulbs for your area

Hyacinth bulbs have a range of colours and varieties. It is important to determine what you want before purchasing bulbs. The bulbs can be grouped according to the colour, and you will be able to find a colour that will work well in the garden for many months. Light bulbs range from very delicate and pale blue to bright white and yellow, which work well in shady areas. Darker-coloured bulbs are excellent choices for areas that require less light. Long-term bloomers are the most common hyacinths. They will bloom for several weeks after the bulbs are planted.

If you like to have a garden with blooms all year round, look for long-term bloomers that are three or four years old. These bulbs are planted in late November or early December and will bloom until mid-April or early May. Sometimes a wide variety of long-term bloomers are available.

Hyacinth bulbs should be planted about six inches deep and 18 inches apart in rows. Large clusters of hyacinths should be planted closer together than a single row of bulbs. Plant hyacinths at the same depth all along the garden border, rather than plant them at different depths in different areas of the border. Keeping the bulbs evenly spaced will help make the flowers and foliage appear more symmetrical.

To divide hyacinth bulbs, remove each bulb and gently snap off the part