How to plant hyacinth bulbs in a pot

Updated April 17, 2017

Hyacinth bulbs aren't just for growing outdoors. For a burst of colour and fragrant blossoms anytime, you can plant hyacinth bulbs indoors. If you plant your bulbs in October or November, you should have blooming bulbs by February or March. A quick guide for determining when your hyacinth will bloom is to subtract four months from the time you want your bulbs to bloom. That will tell you how soon you need to get them into a pot and into cold storage.

Choose bulbs that feel firm and have no soft or rotten spots. If you buy the prepared or pre-chilled bulbs, the bulbs will need a ten-week chill time. If you purchase regular bulbs, they need a chilling time of thirteen weeks. Try to pick the same sized bulbs. The general rule is the bigger the bulb, the bigger the plant will be.

The size of the pot depends on how many bulbs you are going to plant and how big they are. For one bulb, a 4- to 5-inch pot is the right size. If you are planting several bulbs in one pot, then you can use a 6- to 10-inch pot. Coose a pot that is three to five times deeper than the bulbs' height. Make sure your pot has holes in the bottom for drainage or your bulbs may rot.

You need soil that drains well, retains moisture, and anchors the bulbs. A good growing medium or soil should contain equal parts of potting soil, sphagnum peat moss, and perlite.

Soak your bulbs in water while you put fill your pot half full with potting soil. Be sure to put a piece of shard or a rock over the drainage holes to keep the soil from washing out of the pot before filling with soil. Add a handful of superphosphate fertiliser in the soil. Take a bulb, and with the pointed side up gently push the bottom end into the soil. When you have your bulbs in the pot, make sure two thirds of the bulb is below the soil's surface. If you plant more than one bulb, leave space between each bulb. Cover the bulbs with soil, but leave the tips uncovered. You should have one inch left between the surface of the soil and the rim of the pot. Water the pot thoroughly.

Bulbs need to have a cooling period in a place where the temperature is between 1.66 to 12.7 degrees Cor 10 to 13 weeks. If you live in an area where the temperatures aren't that cool, simply place them in an old working refrigerator for that length of time. Leave in the cool location until the root system forms and leaves have 1 to 2 inches of growth.

Place the pot of hyacinths in a sunny location where the temperature is between 12.7 and 15.5 degrees C. In order for your hyacinth to flower, it will need eight hours of sunlight every day. After it blooms, fertilise the hyacinth plant. It will need fertiliser every week to keep it healthy.


Wear gloves when planting hyacinths, because the bulbs may cause skin initiation. Keep apples and pineapples away from the plants; they produce ethylene gas, which can prevent your bulbs from flowering. Once you force the bulbs you may not be able to force them into bloom again. Plant them outdoors and they may re-bloom.

Things You'll Need

  • Hyacinth bulbs
  • Container
  • Planting medium
  • Shard or rock
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About the Author

Gail Delaney is a writer in South Dakota and has articles published online at various websites. She is the garden editor for BellaOnline, with years of gardening experience. Being the caretaker of her parents led her in the direction of medical issues, especially natural remedies.