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Care of Hyacinth Bulbs

By Jenny Harrington ; Updated September 21, 2017

Hyacinth are considered spring hardy bulbs, as cold winter temperatures don't damage them and they bloom in early spring. Hyacinth bulbs come in a variety of colors, from the tight-petaled deep blue grape hyacinth to the range of color that hollyhock hyacinths offer. Hyacinth bulbs produce flowers in large clusters on single upright stems, adding a formal yet colorful appearance to early spring gardens. Proper care of your hyacinth bulbs ensures they will bloom profusely each year.

Plant hyacinth bulbs in fall six to eight weeks before the first expected freeze. Store bulbs in a cool, dark place if they can't be planted immediately.

Prepare a well-draining, full-sun bed for planting. Lay a 2-inch layer of mulch over the bed and till it in to a 10-inch depth. Apply 3 lbs. of 5-10-10 analysis fertilizer per every 100 square feet of bed and work it in.

Plant hyacinth bulbs 6 inches deep, spacing them 4 inches apart in clusters. Plant single types or colors in each cluster to give them more visual impact when in bloom.

Water thoroughly after planting, evenly moistening the soil. Apply a 2- to 4-inch layer of straw mulch over the bed to preserve moisture and prevent frost damage over winter.

Reapply mulch in spring once the foliage emerges from the ground, or replace it with bark mulch. Water as necessary to keep soil moist.

Fertilize hyacinth bulbs again in spring immediately after flowering. Apply 2 lbs. of 5-10-10 analysis fertilizer per 100 square feet. Work it into the soil between the bulbs but avoid getting it directly on the bulbs, as it may burn them.

Cut off hyacinth stems once the flowers have wilted. Leave the foliage in place until it yellows and dies off on its own, as it is replenishing the nutrients in the bulb for next year's bloom.


Things You Will Need

  • Compost
  • Fertilizer
  • Mulch
  • Shears


  • Rodents, squirrels and other pests usually do not dig up and eat hyacinth.
  • Hyacinths make excellent cut flowers. Cut the stem off low on the plant in the early morning and immediately place it in a vase of water.


  • Beds may be overcrowded, inhibiting blooming, every three to five years. When this happens dig up the bulbs and divide them.

About the Author


Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.