Dividing hyacinth bulbs on a fairly regular basis—about once every two or three years— reduces crowding and also promotes the growth of healthier younger bulbs. Division is essential to maintaining the hyacinth’s health. Not to mention, division allows you to give away beautiful bulbs as gifts, or make use of them in your own garden. Dividing hyacinth bulbs is a fairly delicate process which should be executed in three steps.
Step 1 - Prepare for Division
Since the hyacinth plant isn’t outlandishly fragile or particular about its roots, you may divide the bulbs even during the plants blooming cycle. After deciding upon a day to divide the bulbs, you should acquire the necessary tools and plan what you will do once the bulbs are out of the ground.
You may choose to give the bulbs away or use them in your own garden. If you wish to plant them back into your own garden it is a good idea plan the bulb’s future location. If you choose to give the bulbs away as gifts, you should prepare a bag to deposit the bulbs into. The only tool you need for this division is a small shovel and your hands (if you don’t want your hands getting dirty wear gardening gloves).
Step 2 - Execute the Division
Locate the hyacinth bulb and use your handheld shovel to gently shove the spade straight into the ground as far as the shovel will penetrate. This will help you avoid accidentally cutting the bulb during this process. Patiently and slowly pull back on the handle of the shovel to bring the bulb to the surface of the soil.
Once the bulb has surfaced you should see one large bulb surrounded by several smaller bulbs. The smaller bulbs will be attached the large bulb and must be removed. Take care to gently remove the smaller bulbs; carelessness results in damaged and useless bulbs. Before returning the large bulb to its hole, use your hands to feel around for any stray small bulbs. Sometimes the smaller bulbs fall off during the division process.
Repeat the aforementioned process with all of your large hyacinth bulbs until they are all replanted and you have your hyacinth bulb harvest.
Step 3 - Plant New Bulbs or Appropriately Store Them for Winter
If you have no interest in gifting or planting the newly acquired bulbs you may store them for winter. Brush off all of the excess dirt from the bulb; do not wash with water because the water will cause the bulbs to rot. Acquire a card board box to store the bulbs in; gently layer the bulbs in the box with a piece of newspaper between each layer.
If you have room in your garden and wish to replant your freshly harvested hyacinth bulb, re planting is simple. Dig holes that are six inches deep into the ground and deposit one or two bulbs into each hole. Gently cover the bulbs with soil and press down on the earth to compact the soil. The next blooming season you will be able to appreciate the division.