Potted hyacinths are one of the most popular indoor spring flowers, turning up in florist shops and grocery stores in late winter. They’re easy to care for and with some effort can be kept to bloom again in future years.
Potted hyacinths take about 3 weeks to start blooming once they have begun sprouting. Potted Hyacinths will bloom for 8 to 12 weeks before their flowers fade, and can then be transplanted to the garden or kept in their pots to force again the following winter.
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How to Care for Potted Hyacinths?
1. Keep the sprouting bulbs in a location with bright, indirect light and temperatures around 60°F (15°C).
2. Water when the top half inch of the soil has dried out.
3. Once they start blooming, keep them out of the direct sun and water regularly, but never let the pot stand in water, as that can rot the bulbs.
4. Once the flowers fade, cut them off but leave the foliage intact. Set the pot outside in a lightly shaded location. You can dig a hole in a garden bed and set the pot into it.
5. Feed every 2 weeks with a diluted liquid fertilizer until the foliage dies back.
6. Let the bulbs dry out and store them in a dry, cool location until it’s time to replant them in the fall.
Can Hyacinths Survive the Winter in Pots?
While hyacinths are hardy to zone 3, that’s for bulbs that are planted directly in the ground, where they are insulated by the surrounding soil. Hyacinths in a pot are more likely to be killed by freezing temperatures.
For best results, either sink the pots into holes in a flower or vegetable bed, and mulch them well until it’s time to force them indoors in late winter.
Alternatively, you can bring the pots inside to a cold room or unheated garage where they will get the chilling phase that they need without being exposed to temperature extremes.
Potted Hyacinths Temperature Tolerance?
Potted hyacinths are very cold-tolerant, and in fact need at least 13 weeks of temperatures between 35-48°F (2-9°C) or they will not bloom.
When planted in the ground they will survive zone 3 winters, but potted bulbs need more protection.
Do Potted Hyacinths Come Back Each Year?
Potted hyacinths will come back for several years when given proper care.
The foliage must be allowed to die back naturally after the flowers are finished. During this period, water and feed the plants regularly so that next year’s flowers can form inside the bulb.
Once the foliage dies back, trim it off and remove the bulbs from the pot, and let them dry out. Store them in a paper bag in a cool, dry location until it’s time to replant them in the fall.
When Should You Plant Hyacinths in a Pot?
In the fall, take your stored hyacinth bulbs and repot them in fresh soil. Then, set the pots in an unheated garage, cold room, or refrigerator for 13 to 16 weeks so that they can chill. Without that chilling period the bulbs will not bloom.
If you do not have room to chill your pots, you can simply place the bag of bulbs in a refrigerator to chill, and then pot them up in late winter when they start sprouting. However, be sure not to keep any fruit in the refrigerator, as the ethylene gas produced by ripening fruit will inhibit blooming.
How Long Do Potted Hyacinths Take to Grow?
Once their chilling period has ended, you will start to see sprouts emerging from the bulbs. Move your pot to a cool, bright location, and within a month you should see the first flowers emerge.
How Long Will Potted Hyacinths Last Inside?
Potted hyacinths will last the longest when they are kept in a cool location with bright, indirect light. If you set the pot in the hot sun, or in the direct path of an air duct, their flowers will fade much faster.
Under ideal conditions, each flower may last for a couple of weeks, with the complete flowering lasting for a couple of months.
The flowers will last longer if you move the pot to a cooler spot 50°F (10°C) overnight.
The fragrant, colourful flowers of potted hyacinths are a welcome sight in late winter and early spring. If you’ve purchased a pot of these lovelies, let them finish their blooming, and then use a few simple tricks to keep them flowering in the years to follow!
Read my related potted plants articles:
- How Long Do Potted Gerbera Daisies Last?
- How Long Do Potted Easter Lilies Last?
- How Long Do Potted Hydrangeas Last?
- How Long Do Potted Daffodils Last?
- How Long Do Potted Geraniums Last?
- How Long Do Potted Azaleas Last?
- What to Do with Potted Plants at End of Season?
Janice is a retired High School teacher who is spending her leisure years keeping busy with all sorts of projects. Aside from freelance writing, she’s an enthusiastic amateur chef, home wine maker, and tends a large raised-bed vegetable garden, while at the same time running a Bed & Breakfast.