Fragrant and colourful, hyacinthus plants belong to the small genus of bulbous and blooming perennials.
Part of the Asparagaceae family, they’re commonly called hyacinths. They naturally grow in the east of the Mediterranean, i.e. from Bulgaria’s north to the north of Palestine.
However, throughout the years, they’ve been naturalized in many other places, including Serbia, Croatia, France, the Netherlands, Macedonia, Greece, Albania, etc.
They’re one of my favourite recently-discovered plants and I fell in love with their colourful flowers and stunning fragrance. From blue and pink to white and purple, they can be found in various colours.
You can easily grow them indoors, either in soil or in a vase with water. And, they’re relatively easy to care for.
Hyacinth care indoors involves a bit of planning ahead so that they bloom successfully; they need chilling, several weeks left in a dark and cold area.
Still, you needn’t do this if you don’t want to-you can find pre-chilled or prepped bulbs.
They’re also natural air fresheners; their distinctive, sweet aroma fills up the space and masks odors really well.
Despite needing darkness when chilled, after this, they need brightness without too much direct sunlight to bloom and develop full color flowers.
Good to Know:
This plant is toxic upon ingestion so make sure you place it out of reach of children and pets!
How to Care for Hyacinths
After the chilling is done or if you simply bought prepped bulbs, you should find a bright area that’s not too exposed to direct sunlight and place them there.
They’re early bloomers, i.e. in late winter or early spring, which depends on the hardiness zone you’re living in.
To make sure they flower indoors the longest possible, keep them in a room where the temperature is in a range between 60 and 65 degrees F.
Of course, this is unless you’re forcing the bulbs indoor which will require more darkness and cold temperature.
Water & Humidity
After you’ve planted them, water the soil well.
And, keep watering it through winter, but only when the soil has gone dry. In spring, they’ll need water, but just enough so that the soil doesn’t entirely dry out.
Since they appreciate a fair share of humidity, occasional misting or a tray with pebbles and water may be a good option if your home has a drier air.
Although they’re not too fussy about the pH of the soil I plant them in, I’ve noticed that they prefer a soil that drains well and that’s on the looser side.
Still, they dislike a constantly wet soil.
And, though organic matter can be beneficial, don’t overdo it because the stalks to go loose.
When you have new hyacinth bulbs, it’s smart to feed them with some bulb food when you’ve planted them.
You can use a store-bought fertilizer for bulbs or simple bone meal.
You can do it once more in the spring when you spot the new growths. Apply it into the soil and then water the plant.
If you want to change pots, it’s important to do it once it’s gone into dormancy. You cut off all of its foliage when it has died off naturally.
This is usually some six weeks after it has bloomed.
Flip over the pot and then knock onto it gently to remove the soil. Take out the soil until you see the dormant bulb of the plant.
Wipe it using a rag or a towel and check for the offsets. Cut them off and plant them in fresh soil, with the tip faced up. Water them regularly.
These bulbs live around three to four years. So, if you want to propagate them, wait until late summer and gently lift them up.
Take the small pups around their edges and replant them. But, be patient, sometimes, it may take several years before they bloom.
Best Hyacinth Species
Hyacinth Blue Jacket
Known for its strong fragrance, this frequently awarded variety has dense spikes of blue flowers with purple stripes on its petals.
Blue Jackets bloom for 2 to 3 weeks in the middle of the spring.
City of Haarlem
The city of hyacinth is an award-winning hyacinth variety, it has beautiful and soft yellow flowers, also known as nails. It’s a good late forcer.
Hyacinth Delft Blue
I have to confess-this is my personal favourite!
I love its single, light blue flowers and the gentle fragrance it releases. I often force them for indoor use in winter. It makes a great combo with daffodils and tulips.
Other Hyacinth Care Indoors Tips
Did you know that you can also grow these beauties in jars or special forcing glasses?
These glasses are shaped like hourglasses to ensure the bottom of the bulb is dry and the roots are into the water.
You can also grow it without soil in a bowl with pebbles. Put the bulbs on top with their roots down and fill up with more pebbles, as you would do with soil.
Keep adding until only a top third of the bulbs is out. Then, you add water, sufficiently to keep the bulb just above it.
When forcing them in soil indoors, check for white roots coming out of the bottom draining holes. This is when you should move them out of the cold room.
Trouble Shooting- Common Indoor Hyacinth Care Issues
Problem: foliage is dying, the bulb is going brown
Cause: Basal root, i.e. a fungus.
Solution: Make sure the soil isn’t constantly too warm and too moist. Cut off the ill bulbs
and pause the feeding.
Problem: broken petals with streaked colours
Cause: Mosaic virus.
Solution: Dig up and remove the infected parts. And, use an aphid-controlling insecticide as they’re known to contribute to the disease.
Problem: the foliage developed spots
Cause: It often happens because of late frosts, after the foliage appears.
Solution: Mulch the bulbs in autumn after the ground freezes.
I hope that you’ve enjoyed this hyacinth care indoors article and that you might now consider caring for this beautiful flowering plant indoors.