Hyacinths are a favourite flower among many gardeners. Sprouting in late winter, they provide some of the earliest blossoms of the growing season. Hyacinths come in a wide range of colours and sizes and have a sweet fragrance. Once the hyacinth flowers have faded, what you do with the plants depends upon whether they are planted in a garden or in a pot.
After they have flowered, hyacinths produce the energy they need for the next season's blooms. Do not remove the plant, but cut the stems of the faded hyacinth completely to the ground. Continue to water the plants as the foliage fades naturally. Some gardeners plant other flowers to hide the foliage. Apply a general fertiliser or compost after the hyacinth flowers.
In late summer, you can dig up the hyacinth bulb and harvest the little bulb-ettes that form on the larger bulb to propagate future plants. However, it might take several seasons for these little bulbs to produce.
According to the National Gardening Association, hyacinth flowers will decrease in size after the first season. For this reason, many gardeners treat them as an annual and will replant new bulbs each fall.
Hyacinths planted in a pot generally will not produce flowers again. Once the hyacinth flowers have faded, remove the plant and bulb from the pot and discard them.
Some people with sensitive skin can develop a reaction from handling hyacinth bulbs; these people should wear gardening gloves when planting or discarding these bulbs.
- The Complete Garden Flower Book; Catie Ziller, Publisher; 2001
- National Gardening Association: Hyacinth