Hyacinth: Growing From Seeds

What You'll Need
10 lb. bag of potting soil
Planting trays 4x18-inches, made of biodegradable fiber
Landscape cloth
Garden staples
Precut glass sheet, 36x18 inches, 1/4 -inch thick
Compost fertilizer

Most varieties of modern hyacinth plants are propagated from bulbs originally developed in Holland. Growing them from seeds is very difficult, so be prepared for a low success rate of germination. Follow these suggestions to prepare and start the hyacinth seeds in their development.

Step 1: Find a Suitable Location

You will need a shady location, protected from wind and rodents, for germinating seeds outdoors starting in the spring. Soil should be a bit sandy for good drainage. Line the planting bed with landscape cloth to discourage the growth of weeds that will overwhelm the fragile seedlings.

Step 2: Measure and Prepare the Planting Bed

Dig out an area 3 feet long by 18 inches wide, to the depth of the planting trays. Line this area with landscape cloth, with an additional 3 inches at each long side to be folded over the edges of the trays. This area will hold 6 trays 18 inches long. Press the landscape cloth down into the base of the bed and secure it on the edges with garden staples.

Step 3: Prepare the Planting Trays

Fill the planting trays with:

  • 1 inch of potting soil in the bottom
  • 1 inch of mulch
  • Another inch of soil

Sow the seeds into the soil to a depth of 1 inch (12 mm), about ½-inch apart.

Step 4: Set the Planting Trays into the Planting Bed

Lay the planting trays in the bed, and fold the landscape cloth over the edges of the outer two trays. Pack in soil around all 3 trays in the planting bed. Thoroughly water all 3 trays.

Step 5: Cover the Trays with A Glass Sheet

Place a precut ¼-inch thick glass sheet over the planting tray to protect them from digging animals, rodents and other pests.

Step 6: Care and Maintenance

Keep the seed beds moist by watering twice weekly. The glass and landscape cloth will cut down on evaporation. The seeds should begin to sprout in anywhere from 1 to 3 months. Remove the glass after the first frost, and cover the beds with a cedar mulch. Lay another layer of landscape cloth over the top and loosely pin down to protect from ice. Allow the seedlings that do sprout to grow in the beds for a full year.  

Step 7: Prepare to Transplant

In their second year of growth, you can transplant the surviving seedlings. Find a spot in your garden with partial shade. Dig holes down 8 inches, put in ½-cup of organic mulch, and loosely sprinkle with soil. Plant the seedlings with full root structures 6 inches down in the soil.   

Step 8: Blooming

Hyacinths grown from seed will take from 3 to 6 years to produce flowers. Protect transplants with landscape cloth around the stems and organic mulch.