Deadheading Hyacinth Bulbs
Hyacinth is a hardy perennial flower that grows from bulbs. Hyacinth flowers smell great and come in a variety of colors. The fantastic blooms last two to three weeks long and serve well as cut flowers. They make great potted house plants or you can grow them outdoors in you flower beds. Deadheading hyacinth will improve the health of your patch and produce more abundant and longer lasting blooms.
What Hyacinth Looks Like
Hyacinth repeats an annual cycle that begins in the winter with a dormant bulb. Come early spring the bulb begins producing roots, leaves and stems. The stiff upright stalks grow eight to ten inches tall. By mid spring each stalk reliably produces multiple star shaped flowers in sky blue, dark blue pink and white.
Finally, the flowers produce seed and that is when the sequence reverses. First the flowers die. Then the stalks and leaves yellow. Lastly, the foliage dies back ready to lie dormant through another winter.
Where to Grow Hyacinth
Hyacinth can be planted indoors or out. Indoors it can be potted and placed in a sunny spot away from direct sun. Protect your indoor hyacinth from drafts.
Outdoors, hyacinth is most suitable for growing zones four through eight. Choose a location with plenty of indirect light, well drained and fertilized soil.
How to Grow Hyacinth
Choose your bulbs carefully. Larger bulbs produce larger flowers. Select bulbs that are firm. Reject bulbs with soft spots. If you are planting outdoors, plant your bulbs in the fall a few weeks before the first frost to give the bulbs a chance to set roots before lying dormant over the winter. Hyacinth grows better in bunches rather than rows. Space your bulbs at least six inches apart.
If you are planting hyacinth indoors, bury bulbs about six inches deep with the pointed edge up. Place in a cool spot for a few weeks then move them to a sunnier spot. Place wire mesh under the planting area to protect it from digging critters.
Why Bother Deadheading
After hyacinth blooms, the flowers produce seed. Then the flowers turn brown and die. Producing seed draws essential energy away from bulbs. Deadheading the hyacinth flowers just before they go to seed prevents self reseeding and averts vital sun energy and nutrients back into the bulb instead of wasting it on seed production
Hyacinth bloom intensity naturally degenerates in the second year. Deadheading offsets this effect and creates a neater appearance in your flower garden by illuminating the brown spent flowers before they go to seed. Deadheading the spent flowers will also extend the bloom season and can produce a second late summer bloom.
How to Deadhead
While the flowers are in full bloom, cut the stem at the base, leaving the leaves behind to yellow and wilt. Place the cut flowers in a vase to enjoy and sweeten the air in your home.
Alternatively, you can pinch off the spent flowers at the base, where the flowers meet the stem, using your thumb and forefinger