Hyacinths Hyacinthus orientalis originate in the Eastern part of the Mediterranean, south & central Turkey, north-west Syria and the Lebanon. The bulbs were introduced into Northern Europe in the 16th century by Leonhardt Rauwolf, a German, who when visiting Anatolia (Turkey) came across the plants. They have been cultivated ever since and were particularly popular in the 18th-19th century. At the moment 95% of the world Hyacinth bulb production takes place in the Netherlands.
Most of us buy Hyacinth bulbs just before Christmas and in early Spring to have some spring flowers inside or in pots on our patio. If you want to keep the bulbs for next year it is very important that you cut off the flowerstalk after flowering.
Wait for the leaves to die back completely. Leaves are necessary for hyacinth bulbs to store up the energy for next year’s blooming and digging them up too early may damage the bulbs.
Try not to nick the hyacinth bulbs while digging them up. Lift them out of the soil and brush off excess soil. Dispose of any rotten or diseased-looking bulbs.
Lay the hyacinth bulbs on newspaper without them touching each other. Leave the bulbs in a dry area out of sunlight for three to five days until they dry out. Brush off the remaining soil.
Store the bulbs in a mesh bag hanging in a cool, dry place until it’s time for replanting in the autumn.
If you have Hyacinth bulbs planted out in the garden, it is necessary to separate Hyacinths bulbs every two to three years. After the leaves have died down, dig them up carefully and proceed as above.
The bulbs need an annual feed of compost/fertiliser.
Ancient Greek legend describes the origin of the Hyacinth: Two of the Greek gods, Apollo & Zephyr, adored a handsome young Greek called Hyakinthos. Apollo was teaching Hyakinthos the art of throwing a discus. Zephyr, the God of the West Wind, was overcome with jealousy and blew the discus back. It struck Hyakinthos on the head and killed him. From his blood grew a flower, which the Sun God Apollo named after him.