The Q&A Archives: Hyacinths

Question: I live in zone 5. Last year I planted a mix of Hyacinth bulbs in a sunny to mostly shady location. They sprouted up but instead of smelling wonderful they shriveled up and died. Should I dig them up and replace them since I've heard they only last a year and also should I put them in a sunny location?

Answer: The typical large flowered hyacinths do grow better in a sunny location and some of the varieties do perennialize better than others. Usually, the blooms will be smaller in subsequent years. They also appreciate ample moisture when they are in active growth, so it is possible the dry season we have been having caused them to dry up prematurely, or perhaps there was some damage to the flower stems that caused them to dry out? Allow the foliage to grow to its fullest and then dry and shrivel fully before removing it or disturbing the bulbs. If you truly want a good display in that particular location, you probably should replace the bulbs each year for the most predictable results.

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