Hyacinth (Hyacinthus orientalis)

The Hyacinthus orientalis is a bulbous plant belonging to the Asparagaceae family, commonly known as Hyacinth. It is characterized by the ease of its cultivation; which added to the fact that its beautiful flowers, emanate a pleasant fragrance, have made this species one of the favorites of gardeners.

Origin and habitat

The hyacinth is native to the Mediterranean regions, the Middle East and Central Asia. Due to its attractive and fragrant flowers, today it is widely cultivated in all temperate regions of the world.

Characteristics of the Hyacinthus orientalis

The Hyacinthus orientalis presents at the end of winter a foliage of thin, thickened, erect, dark green leaves and a cylindrical flowering made up of abundant flowers that emanate a very pleasant perfumed aroma, its flowers are presented in a great variety of colors; There are red, white, pink, orange, lilac and blue.

In relation to height, these are very small plants that can barely reach 20 to 30 centimeters. In the extended nature species, the floral landscape can have 7 to 10 flowers; while in hybrid species, the flowers are stacked close to each other, forming a compact panicle, with countless flowers that can range from 25 to 30.

The foliage and flowering of this plant herald the arrival of spring. In the middle of the modern age the Hyacinth was considered the flower of prudence and a symbol of the Virgin’s mercy, later a symbol of luxury and today it is a symbol of love and fidelity.

Planting and care

It is an easy-to-grow plant, suitable for both gardens and outdoors, it can also be grown in water or forced in winter. For best results, it is important that you grow it in full sun, in pots or in the open field. In relation to the soil, it must be fresh and loose.

Hyacinth flowering occurs in late winter, usually during the month of March. If you notice that the soil is dry, then you should water it, always seeking a fresh substrate until the end of flowering. However, as the flowering season is usually humid and cool,  irrigation is generally not necessary, especially if it involves plants planted in gardens.

When the flowers begin to wither, remove the damaged ones and water the plants when you think it is necessary; then you can suspend the watering. At that time you can dig up the plants and put them in a cooler, drier and darker place until the arrival of fall. This practice is very appropriate, especially when it comes to crops in pots; Now, if they are grown in gardens, then you can leave them without any concern in that state of nature.

It is normal that hyacinths that remain in soils that become more compact with the passage of time, tend to produce inflorescences less dense and abundant in flowers, however, these retain their usual color and fragrance.

If you want your hyacinths to always produce flowers in abundance, then apply specific fertilizers for bulbous plants during flowering, but at half the measure indicated in the presentation. Another significant recommendation is that you dig up the bulbs every two years, once you have removed them proceed to place larger bulbs in the same place, once you have worked the soil efficiently and that it becomes soft and with good drainage.

As with other bulbous plants, Hyacinthus orientalis has been hybridized for years in many regions of the world, especially by Dutch growers. Hence, there are an extensive number of varieties of Hyacinths on the market, which offer lovers of this flower, a variety of colors.

Diseases and pests

This plant is susceptible to diseases and parasites of different species. One of the most frequent cases are the cases of slugs and snails that particularly parasitize on their leaves, from which they take food, which endangers the growth and life of the plant.

On the other hand, the attack of gray mold  ( botrytis hyacinthi ) favored by stagnation of water is also frequent. The affected plants have grayish spots on their leaves and bulbs. Although less common, they can also be attacked by bacteria that manifest as rot and yellowish spots.

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