Bulbs forum: How to multiply hyacinth

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Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Deer Ferns Herbs Dragonflies
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Bonehead
Jan 29, 2017 8:14 PM CST
I was gifted with a pot of hyacinths one Easter several years ago, which I planted out in my garden. They reliably come up and bloom for me, but have not noticeably increased on their own, and I've now been gifted another hyacinth. Wondering how they increase - should I dig up the older plant and perhaps separate out bulblets? When would I do so? As they are emerging? Or in the fall? The new little gift I'll just go ahead and plant out somewhere, it's pink and the other is purple.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Sydney, Australia (Zone 10b)
Protoavis
Jan 30, 2017 12:55 AM CST
After flowering just check around the bulb for smaller ones. If you leave it too long they tend to be absorded into the parent bulb which will just get bigger as it stores more energy. I think it's largely the result of hybridization that's exaggerated a survival mechanism into being the norm behaviour rather than a stress behaviour.
Anyone with oryzalin (aka Surflan, Embargo), am looking for a small amount rather than 5litres from manufacturer (min size in Australia....)
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Jan 30, 2017 8:22 AM CST
Some of the heirloom varieties of hyacinth multiply more like we're used to seeing in daffodils (like Roman hyacinths), but typically the large headed modern hyacinths don't increase much on their own. These are propagated by scoring the basal plate of the bulb, which stimulates the production of bulblets around the wound. Although I've never attempted this intentionally, I have all too often injured bulbs while digging during their dormant season, and found several small bulbs sprouting in spring.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Jeanne
Lansing, Iowa (Zone 5a)
Vegetable Grower Birds Region: United States of America
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gardenglassgems
Feb 2, 2017 8:52 PM CST
Very interesting. I will have to check out my Hyacinths this spring and determine if they are increasing or not.
Thanks for the helpful suggestions. Thumbs up
Yard decor, repurposing, and flowers,
Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Deer Ferns Herbs Dragonflies
Spiders! Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Birds Fruit Growers Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Bonehead
Feb 2, 2017 10:48 PM CST
Yes. I will try these ideas as well. Thanks.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Oberon46
Feb 18, 2017 11:10 AM CST
So Neal, you dig your hyacinths each year after blooming? Store over remaining summer then replant in fall??
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Feb 18, 2017 12:14 PM CST
Mary Stella, I just leave them in place and most varieties return reliably. When I need to move some of the bulbs I do store them dry in summer and plant again in fall. Typically our summers are dry enough that hyacinths don't have rot issues. Last year was unusually rainy, but most look like they're sprouting.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Rick Moses
Derwood, MD (Zone 7b)
Hostas Ferns Garden Photography Plant and/or Seed Trader Forum moderator Region: United States of America
Region: Mid-Atlantic Region: Maryland Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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RickM
Feb 18, 2017 5:37 PM CST
I have to remember to dig my hyacinth after they start dying back this year. In particular, I want to try to increase the number of my newest acquisition... Dark Dimension. It's almost black. And it's an expensive sucker, although the price is starting to come down.
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Feb 19, 2017 6:15 AM CST
Rick, are you planning to score the basal plate?
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Rick Moses
Derwood, MD (Zone 7b)
Hostas Ferns Garden Photography Plant and/or Seed Trader Forum moderator Region: United States of America
Region: Mid-Atlantic Region: Maryland Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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RickM
Feb 19, 2017 1:07 PM CST
I was thinking about doing that with some of them. If there's another technique, I can try that on others.
(Zone 8b)
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sallysmom
Feb 19, 2017 6:09 PM CST
@RickM I bought 2 of the Dark Dimension. They are pretty expensive. I am anxious to see them in bloom. @gemini_sage I have never scored or chipped a bulb but like you have accidentally cut them. I just drop the pieces down in a hole and cross my fingers.
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Feb 20, 2017 7:44 AM CST
Sallysmom, I found out it works by accident too- I'm terrible about forgetting where bulbs are planted and digging in the spot, then hear that cringeworthy crunch like biting into an apple. D'Oh! I've never tried it intentionally, but it was a nice surprise. It took a couple of years for the new bulblets to reach blooming size.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
(Zone 8b)
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sallysmom
Feb 26, 2017 9:35 AM CST
@RickM - Thought I posted earlier but something happened to it. Anyway my Dark Dimension is blooming now.
Thumb of 2017-02-26/sallysmom/7d40d4

Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Oberon46
Feb 26, 2017 10:02 AM CST
@sallysmom So you keep yours in a pot? Or is it in the ground now. Lovely dark purple. I may give it another go this spring. I broke down and ordered some snowdrops (navilis) And may plant them in pots then bring them in each year to store in the crawlspace. Not especially cool (50F) but pitch black. Might do the same with hyacinths.
(Zone 8b)
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sallysmom
Feb 26, 2017 12:42 PM CST
@Oberon46 Actually we did it that way because voles decimated my bulbs last year. I paid too much for these to take a chance. We cut the bottom off and then put wire across the hole. Water drains through really well and no sign of voles this winter.
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Oberon46
Feb 26, 2017 1:39 PM CST
Sounds smart!!
Name: kathy
Michigan
Zone 4b, near St. Clair MI
Cottage Gardener Lilies Organic Gardener
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katesflowers
Mar 1, 2017 7:05 PM CST
I did plant bulbs late fall 2016. In the process I remembered the sound of my shovel slicing a prized bulb and vowed to place some bulb markers this time around. I bought golf tees, painted them lavender and drove them in by each planting. I'll easily see these markers when I brush the mulch aside to plant in years to come.
"Things won are done, joy's soul lies in the doing." Shakespeare
Name: Jeanne
Lansing, Iowa (Zone 5a)
Vegetable Grower Birds Region: United States of America
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gardenglassgems
Mar 1, 2017 8:09 PM CST
Good idea. I think I will have to give this a try. Paint them different colors and write down what colors are what flower in each individual garden. Thanks for this suggestion.
Yard decor, repurposing, and flowers,
Sweden
Bulbs Lilies Bee Lover Irises Hellebores Deer
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Photo Contest Winner: 2016
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William
Nov 7, 2017 5:31 PM CST
A "little" late replying here, but I have been monitoring the hyacinth bulbs I've dug and had in summer storage. I noticed quite a lot of the large bulbs of the mix called Etouffee actually produced small offsets during storage. This is not the first time I've seen this, but this year is the first for me digging so many bulbs.These were undamaged bulbs of mixed cultivars. I did not score them or scoop them, but I did clean the basal plate. They were planted last year.


Etouffee mix

Now over to my own mix that I had for a few years. Most of these bulbs have died over the years, but I still have some left in a very dry area next to a pine tree. These have been multiplying on their own. I think you can see some extra foliage in the picture below.
Thumb of 2017-11-07/William/2436c3

These were all smaller bulbs that had divided and now where growing very crowded. I didn't notice and offsets on them in storage. Despite their smaller size I did notice that one of the bulbs were in the process of dividing. This was easy to see as I was so late planting that the new shoots were coming out of the bulbs. Hilarious! Hilarious! Hilarious!

As these were mixed bulbs I do not know which one has reproduced or not, but you can see from the pictures that my own mix only contains less common cultivars and not the usual dark blue that usually is the strongest in my garden.

I also should mention that I do not know if the small offset will grow into a mature bulb or not. It is possible that they would develop better with a more shallow planting as you would do with those specialized techniques above, but I planted at normal depth.

I'm not going to claim that all hyacinths reproduce on their own, but I think that a clear majority of them do, if they are kept happy enough. However I do not think that most hyacinths are very happy in normal garden conditions so I think this will give the impression that hyacinths don't reproduce well on their own.

HyacinthFan
Aug 27, 2018 11:24 PM CST
sallysmom said:@RickM - Thought I posted earlier but something happened to it. Anyway my Dark Dimension is blooming now.
Thumb of 2017-02-26/sallysmom/7d40d4



Wow! Lovely plant and colour. One to look out for next season.

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