Botanical name: Hyacinthus
With their distinctive scent, hyacinths are among the most popular spring bulbs. Suitable for borders, rock gardens and containers, they can also be grown in pots of bulb fibre indoors. Specially prepared bulbs can flower around the turn of the year.
The sturdy flower stems are packed with waxy, tubular flowers that form a dense, elongated head, typically 25cm (10in) tall. Colours include white, pink, purple, blue, red, yellow and soft orange. The blooms are surrounded by thick, upright green leaves.
Hyacinths grow in any ordinary garden soil that drains easily, preferring a position in full sun. Indoors, these bulbs prefer a well-lit cool room of about 18°C (55°F).
Bulbs will rot in excessively wet soil and growth will be stunted in very dry soils. They will not flower in shade.
Did you know?
Indoors, hyacinths can be grown in special vases that hold the bulb at the top and allow their roots can grow down into the water below. After flowering, all indoor hyacinths (including prepared bulbs) can be planted in the garden, where they will flower the following spring.
You may want to wear gloves when handling the bulbs as they may aggravate skin allergies and all parts of hyacinths can cause stomach upset if eaten.
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