The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Hyacinths in the garden

hyacinths enjoying a sunny wallI always plan to plant my hyacinths in the garden immediately after flowering indoors. They are put outside the back door and often forgotten. About fifty percent survive there. Sometimes I discover a forgotten pot the next year, bravely flowering, The stems pinched and weak, the bulbs nibbled by mice and slugs.

If I’m galvanised, the indoor hyacinths are quickly transferred from their pots to the borders when the flowers fade. This year I cut off the dead flowers of my indoor hyacinths and put the pots in the greenhouse. I can’t forget them if they are there. I hate seeing bulbs going to waste.

There’s another problem. Up until now, I have dotted the bulbs around the garden in tiny groups. These have never thrived and just a few stems seem to get lost in a border. Recently I found the answer. Hyacinths looks best planted in large groups in a well drained, sunny area.

These hyacinths are planted along the front of Anna’s south-facing house. I’ve watched them over the last few weeks, coming into bud and finally flowering. The flowers are sturdy and look stunning, as there must be a hundred or so. They clearly like the dry area beside a warm wall where they are flourishing.

When my garden hyacinths have finished flowering I plan to shift them to the sunny wall at the front of the cottage. Hyacinths should be planted at a depth of four inches outdoors (this will leave two inches of soil above the average bulb). Like any other bulb, they would appreciate an extra feed (I will lightly fork in Vitax V4, a small handfull per square metre ). It will take a few years for them to get established but I’m already looking forward to a decent show.

Tricks and tips:

  • After flowering, indoor bulbs can be transferred to the garden as soon as the flowers have faded. Leave the leaves on the bulb as these will transfer nutrients to the bulbs
  • The planting period is September to December for planting dormant hyacinth bulbs outside.

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1 Comment

  1. helen smith

    Very interesting. However, what should I do with the hyacinths that I have transferred from indoors to outdoors and that hav now finished flowering outdoors please

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