Height 23-30cm (9-12in)
Planting distance 7.5-15cm (3-6in)
Flowers late winter to late spring
Any light or well-drained
Bulbs available early to late autumn
The large-flowered Dutch hyacinths have largely replaced the wild species, Hyacinthus orientalis, from which they are descended. They have deliciously scented spikes ofthat make them popular for window-boxes and containers in late winter and early spring, or for bedding schemes in sunny formal borders in late spring. The compact flowers, on stems 23-30cm (9-12in) high, have a long flowering period, from late winter until late spring.
A substantial number of Dutch hyacinth varieties are available. Early garden flowering varieties include ‘Pink Pearl’ (pink) and ‘Jan Bos’ (red). Popular mid-season varieties include ‘Lady Derby’ (pink), ‘Blue Jacket’, ‘Delft Blue’ and ‘Ostara’ (blue) and ‘Yellow Hammer’ (cream). Late season varieties include ‘Carnegie’ (white) and ‘City of Haarlem’ (yellow).
Plant 12-15cm (5-6in) deep in autumn in any light well-drained soil; a sunny location is best. Set them 7.5-15cm (3-6in) apart if they are being grown alone in a group, and a few centimetres further apart if they are among other plants. Dead-head after flowering. Allow leaves and stems to die down naturally.
Propagation by division is rarely successful, and stock is best increased by planting new bulbs or leaving the hybrids to increase naturally.
Pests and diseases
Grey bulb rot can occur if the bulbs are planted too soon, in warm soil.