Hyacinths are not only one of the most fragrant plants you can bring into your home, but also one of the easiest to grow. However many people seem to have a real problem getting them to flower properly, with good strong, well matched blooms. Following a few simple guidelines should help.

Bulbs for flowering indoors can be planted any time between September and end of November, but for flowering at Christmas you need to purchase prepared bulbs and be sure to plant by early October. later plantings will flower happily but not until early spring. You can use special bulb planting compost, however a good multi-purpose compost works just as well. Plant the bulbs with their noses just above soil level. These containers then need to go into a cool, dark place such as under a box in a garage or shed for 8 to 10 weeks during which time they will produce a strong root system. Don’t keep them in a warm room. Make sure the compost stays moist and watch out for mice.

Leave in the dark until the shoots are approx 50cm / 2 inches tall then move to a cool well lit position. If you take them out too soon you could end up with stunted blooms. Your hyacinths should be in bloom in 3 – 4 later depending upon the temperature then just sit back and enjoy the fragrance.

To get top value from your bulbs remember remove flower stems when they fade and add plant food when watering as soon as you bring them into the light to build up a strong bulb to flower the following year. If you feed the bulbs properly they will flower for many years to come either in containers of planted out in the garden.