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Heirloom Hyacinth Bulbs

From America’s Expert Source for Heirloom Flower Bulbs
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All bulbs for fall 2019 are SOLD OUT. Thanks for a great season!

Order these fall-planted bulbs NOW for delivery this OCTOBER.


SAVE THE HYACINTHS! — Hyacinths are the most endangered garden bulbs. In 1886, D. M. Ferry offered 135 — twice the number of tulips and ten times the number of daffodils. But today you’ll find very few in most catalogs and gardens. What a loss!

Fragrant and quaint, hyacinths bring a rainbow of color into the garden well before tulip time. Wind a drift through your perennial border or force a few indoors and see if you don’t agree that they’re just too wonderful to let go extinct.

HYACINTH HISTORY, EXTRA-EASY FORCING, & TIPS FOR SUCCESS


Even Rarer Hyacinths — Every year we get a handful of spectacular bulbs that are so rare we offer them Web-Only. For an alert the moment they go on sale, subscribe to our free, monthly email newsletter.

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DOUBLES DELIGHTSampler

Bursting with extra petals, double hyacinths were once the most prized. Rediscover their antique charms with this sampler of 4 unique jewels (clockwise from top left): ‘Madame Sophie’, ‘Chestnut Flower’, ‘General Kohler’, and ‘Hollyhock’. Save the Doubles! For zones 5a-8a(10bWC).

For 2, 3, or more of each, order additional samplers. Hyacinth care.

COF-35
1/$14
2/$26.50
3/$38
4/$47.50
5/$56

EASTER BASKET HYACINTHSSampler

Sample the rich colors and fragrances of these under-appreciated treasures. Easy to force and great in the garden in zones 5a-8a(10bWC). We’ll send five different singles, our choice, all terrific!

For 2, 3, or more of each, order additional samplers. Hyacinth care.

COF-02
1/$14.50
2/$27.50
3/$39
4/$49.50
5/$58

ANNA LIZA, 1972Rarest

Mauve? Lavender-pink? Soft rosy violet? Although ‘Anna Liza’s color may be hard to describe, it’s distinct and beautiful. And though it’s not very old, true stock is increasingly hard to find – so here it is! 10-12”, zones 5a-8a(10bWC), from Holland. Chart and care.

HY-54
3/$7
5/$11
10/$21
25/$49.50
50/$93.50

BLUE GIANT, 1935

“Blue giants” are the brightest stars in the universe, and the radiant, pearly-blue flowers of this Depression-era classic make it a worthy namesake. We’ve also found it extra easy to force. 10-12”, zones 5a-8a(10bWC), from Holland. Chart and care.

HY-39
3/$6.50
5/$10.50
10/$19.50
25/$46
50/$86.50

double CHESTNUT FLOWER, 1880

The starry, overstuffed florets of this Victorian double are a lovely “dawn pink.” Though double hyacinths were once the most sought after (learn more), today only a handful survive – and ‘Chestnut Flower’ is one of the best. 10-12”, zones 5a-8a(10bWC), from Holland. Chart and care.

HY-12
3/$10
5/$16
10/$30
25/$71
50/$133

CITY OF HAARLEM, 1893

The wonderfully soft, baby-chick yellow of ‘City of Haarlem’ makes every hyacinth rainbow lovelier. Named for the bulb district’s grandest city, ‘Haarlem’ has been a favorite for well over a century. 10-12”, zones 5a-8a(10bWC), from Holland. Chart and care.

HY-01
3/$7
5/$11
10/$21
25/$49.50
50/$93.50

double GENERAL KOHLER, 1878

The opulent, lavender-blue bells of this rare double look as if they’ve been sculpted out of Bavarian sugar-frosting. Once discarded as freaks, double hyacinths rocketed into vogue in the early 1700s and remained the world’s most popular bulb for 150 years. 10-12”, zones 5a-8a(10bWC), from Holland. Chart, care, and learn more.

HY-15
3/$10
5/$16
10/$30
25/$71
50/$133

GYPSY QUEEN, 1927

“If I could grow only one hyacinth,” wrote Rand Lee in The American Cottage Gardener, “it would be this.” He praised its “luminous” apricot color, the “melon undertone” of its “considerable fragrance,” and how it “naturalizes effortlessly” in his dry, zone-6a Santa Fe garden. 10-12”, zones 5a-8a(10bWC), from Holland. Chart and care.

HY-16
3/$7
5/$11
10/$21
25/$49.50
50/$93.50

double HOLLYHOCK, 1936

Small and cute, with double, pug-faced florets of vivid rose, ‘Hollyhock’ is unmistakably antique. Always the last hyacinth to bloom, it extends the fragrant season. 8-10”, zones 5a-8a(10bWC), from Holland. Chart and care.

HY-32
3/$12.50
5/$20
10/$37.50
25/$88.50
50/$167

double MADAME SOPHIE, 1929

An intricately carved ivory relic, a flurry of fat snowflakes, a bed piled high with down pillows – that’s double ‘Madame Sophie’. How can white look so voluptuous? 10-12”, zones 5a-8a(10bWC), from Holland. Chart, care, and learn more.

HY-23
3/$10
5/$16
10/$30
25/$71
50/$133

ROMAN PINK, 1573Rarest

Like all true Roman hyacinths, this soft pink charmer is fragrant, graceful, and – maybe best of all – it will multiply into a clump that gets bigger and more beautiful every year. A little less cold-hardy than regular hyacinths – zones 6a-8a(10bWC), 8-10”, from the Hortus Bulborum. Chart and care.

HY-37
1/$9
3/$25.50
5/$40.50
10/$76.50
25/$180

ROMAN WHITE, 1597Rarest

After decades of searching, we’d all but given up hope of ever offering true white Roman hyacinths, but our prayers were finally answered by the Hortus Bulborum! Once so popular they were exported by the millions from the south of France, white Romans are graceful, deliciously fragrant, slightly less cold-hardy than regular hyacinths – zones 6a-8a(10bWC), 8-10”, from the Hortus Bulborum– and they multiply eagerly! Chart and care.

HY-52
1/$9
3/$25.50
5/$40.50
10/$76.50
25/$180

SKY JACKET, 1976Rarest

Soft, silvery blue tinted with lavender, ‘Sky Jacket’ glows when touched by spring sunlight. Although nearly 2500 acres of hyacinths are grown in the Netherlands, only 5 are devoted to this once leading variety. 10-12”, zones 5a-8a(10bWC), from Holland. Chart and care.

HY-53
3/$7
5/$11
10/$21
25/$49.50
50/$93.50

VUURBAAK, 1948Rarest

Favorites of the Victorians, so-called “red” hyacinths like this ‘Fire Beacon’ are actually deep, deep rose – the Tyrian purple of ancient times – and offer a dramatic counterpoint to spring’s many pastels. 10-12”, zones 5a-8a(10bWC), from Holland. Chart and care.

HY-35
3/$8.50
5/$13.50
10/$25.50
25/$60
50/$113

WHITE PEARL, 1954

Tests at Cornell University rated this mid-century beauty one of the ten best hyacinths for perennializing, and – unlike older, widely available, but scentless ‘Carnegie’ – it smells good! 10-12”, zones 5a-8a(10bWC), from Holland. Chart and care.

HY-49
3/$7
5/$11
10/$21
25/$49.50
50/$93.50

ROMAN BLUE, 1562Rarest

One of our most sought-after bulbs, this graceful, cinnamon-scented wildflower multiplies happily year after year. It’s been passed along since colonial days, and though counterfeits are rife, ours from the Hortus Bulborum are 100% true. Slightly less cold-hardy than regular hyacinths – zones 6a-8a(10bWC), 8-10”. Chart and care. If you’d like to be notified when it’s back in stock, sign up for an email alert.

HY-31 1/$8.50 3/$24 5/$38 10/$72 25/$170 SOLD OUT

HISTORY — Hyacinths came to Europe from Turkey in the mid-1500s, and by 1730 some 2000 varieties were reported. From about 1780-1880 they were more popular than tulips. First grown as mixed collections of choice specimens, they later starred in the 1800s rage for forcing and were planted en masse in Victorian pattern-beds.

For the whole fascinating story, from their wild beginnings to the Ottoman Empire, Mme. de Pompadour, and beyond, see our Hyacinth History page.

HYACINTH ARCHIVES — For customer tips and raves, the stories behind the bulbs, links and books, history, news, and more, see our Hyacinth Newsletter Archives.

HYACINTHS AS CUT FLOWERS — Hyacinths are fabulous in bouquets. For tips on making them last, see our Bulbs as Cut Flowers page.

EASY FORCING — Forcing hyacinths into winter bloom became a great rage in the 1800s, and it’s a pleasure you can easily enjoy today. For simple instructions, see our Forcing Bulbs page.

TIPS FOR SUCCESS OUTDOORS — Hyacinths like rich, well-drained soil that’s dry in summer and full sun. Best in zones 5-7, they can succeed in zones 4 (well-mulched) and 8, too. Most grow 10-12 inches tall. We send 15-17 cm bulbs, the best size for gardens.

Some people are allergic to hyacinth bulbs, developing a localized itch, so you may want to handle them with gloves. Plant in mid-fall. If necessary, store till then in open bags in a cool, dry spot.

Hyacinths do best when DRY (but not hot) in summer. Choose a sunny site with well-drained soil, avoiding or improving clay or damp soil, or plant in raised beds. Plant bulbs with base 6-8 inches deep and 5-7 inches apart on center (or closer for a lush look). Scratch a tablespoon of bulb fertilizer into the surface soil (slow-release 10-10-10 is ideal). Water.

A light, airy winter mulch such as straw, oak leaves, or pine boughs is helpful in colder zones to minimize root damage from soil repeatedly freezing and thawing.

For best results, re-fertilize lightly spring and fall, and assure even moisture then. After bloom, strip off spent florets but allow foliage to yellow (to feed the bulbs for next year’s bloom) before removing. Close the hole left in the soil by the withering foliage to deter pests. And keep those bulbs dry!

Five-Second Staking — All hyacinths — even wild ones — topple eventually. Usually it’s no big deal, but if the weather is unseasonably warm it can be disappointingly premature. To counter this, take a thin green bamboo stake about 12 inches long and run it along right next to the stem from the top of the bloom-spike down into the soil a few inches (but not so deep that you hit the bulb). The florets will clasp the stake and you’re done!


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