Alphabetical Plant Listing

Hyacinthus orientalis (Dutch Hyacinth)

Dutch Hyacinth, Common Hyacinth, Spring Bulbs, Spring Flowers (Hyacinthus Orientalis)


Rich and heavily fragrant, hyacinths are spring-flowering perennial bulbs that produce gorgeous spike-like flowers that mostly cover their stem with a multitude of florets. They have been developed from Hyacinthus orientalis, a species named in 1562, and which originates in central and southern Turkey, North Western Syria and Lebanon.

  • Floating atop erect, lance-shaped bright green leaves, hyacinths produce one flower stalk that reaches 8-12 in. tall (20-30 cm).
  • Hyacinths bloom once each year in early to mid spring and last about 2 weeks, depending on the weather. 
  • There are 3 types of hyacinths: single hyacinth (with closely-packed single florets), double hyacinth (with closely-packed double florets) and multiflora hyacinth (with loose floret arrangement and multiple flower stalks). They offer a wide range of colors, including blue, pink, lilac, purple, yellow, apricot, red and white.
  • Hyacinths grow back year after year and gently spread and multiply under good growing conditions, creating drifts of colorful flowers. This is because hyacinth bulbs produce new little bulbs (bulblets) that develop on the mother bulb. Hyacinth bulbs, however, will generally only last 3 or 4 years.
  • Hyacinths thrive in moderately fertile, well-drained soils in full sun or part shade. Best flowering occurs with at least 6 hours of direct sun per day. In partial shade, they will do well the first year, but they will bloom less and less in the following years.
  • Keep the soil moist during the growing season. Do not plant your hyacinth in waterlogged soil (it is susceptible to rot).
  • Hyacinths are perfect for beds and borders, underplanting shrubs and roses, patio containers or window boxes. Plant them close to paths, walkways or doors so you can enjoy their heady perfume. For best visual impact, plant your hyacinths in groups of 5-9 bulbs.
  • Hyacinths also make long-lasting cut flowers that will perfume an entire room.
  • Hyacinths should be planted in the fall, from September to November, depending on your geographic location. Basically, any time after your first fall frost and before the ground freezes. 
  • Hyacinths can also be forced for indoors blooms in the winter.
  • No serious pest or disease issues. Keep an eye out for slugs or squirrels.
  • Propagate by removing offsets when dormant in summer.
  • Hyacinths make gardening easy. Once planted, there is nothing left to do: these bulbs can stay right where they are and produce flowers year after year. After blooming, remove the faded flowers, but do not remove the foliage until it withers. Cutting off the foliage before it has died back naturally may prevent the bulbs from storing enough energy for next year’s bloom. As a result, your hyacinths may not bloom next spring. 
  • Hyacinths contain oxalic acid — a substance that makes them deer or rodent resistant. Ingestion may cause severe discomfort. They are toxic to dogs, cats and horses.
  • Handling hyacinth bulbs can also cause mild skin irritation. Protective gloves are recommended. 

Learn How To Plant, Grow, and Care for Hyacinth

Find when to plant Hyacinth bulbs, how and where. Learn how to force hyacinths indoors. Discover what to do after blooming is over and how to best enjoy gorgeous flowers.
Read More

Guide Information

Hardiness 4 - 8
Heat Zones 1 - 9
Climate Zones 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10
Plant Type Bulbs
Plant Family Hyacinthus - Hyacinths
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid)
Height 8" - 10" (20cm - 25cm)
Spread 4" (10cm)
Spacing 5" - 6" (12cm - 15cm)
Depth 4" - 6" (10cm - 15cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Fragrant, Showy
Tolerance Deer, Rabbit
Landscaping Ideas Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Coastal Garden, Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.

Guide Information

Hardiness 4 - 8
Heat Zones 1 - 9
Climate Zones 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10
Plant Type Bulbs
Plant Family Hyacinthus - Hyacinths
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid)
Height 8" - 10" (20cm - 25cm)
Spread 4" (10cm)
Spacing 5" - 6" (12cm - 15cm)
Depth 4" - 6" (10cm - 15cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Fragrant, Showy
Tolerance Deer, Rabbit
Landscaping Ideas Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Coastal Garden, Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage
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