Propagating a Hyacinth
A hyacinth is a bulbous plant known for its vibrant colors and fragrant flowers. It can be easily propagated using simple methods and tools. The only drawback is the fact that this plant can take years before its flowers can bloom. Nevertheless, horticulturists recommend hyacinth for would-be gardeners to practice on.
Being a bulbous plant, the hyacinth can be propagated either by using its seeds, which generally have excellent viability, or by growing the offset bulbs produced near the basal plate of each plant.
Growing Hyacinths by Seed Propagating
Propagating this plant using its seeds is easy. In fact, this method is more favored by enthusiasts and gardeners compared to using offset bulbs. Aside from the fact that all hyacinth varieties can be grown by sowing seeds, this method of propagation has been proven to ensure that the resulting hyacinth plants are true to their type. Make sure that you only use seeds that have ripened.
Once you have the seeds, spread them in large gardening trays filled with soil compost. Cover the sown seeds with washed gardening grit. After watering the seeds, put the planting trays in a cool greenhouse or any cold place, where you will leave them undisturbed for one year. After their first year, the young hyacinth seedlings can be transplanted into pots or garden beds. This time, you have to wait for another two to three years for your hyacinth plants to flower.
Growing hyacinth by seed propagation, while easy to do, is not recommended for developing hybrid or better varieties of the plant. If you want to develop better cultivars without waiting for years, it is best to propagate hyacinth plants by using their offset bulbs.
Cultivating Hyacinths Via Offset Bulbs
As your hyacinth plant grows, you will notice that younger offset bulbs develop at the base of the plant’s main bulb. You can actually use these younger bulbs not just for the propagation of the plant, but for developing new cultivars that can produce fancy flowers later on. You will need a good number of offset bulbs to effectively cultivate hyacinths. For this, you can use a technique called scoring to tremendously enhance the growth of offset bulbs in a hyacinth plant.
To score the main bulb in a hyacinth plant, make two to four cuts through the basal plate. Within approximately three months, new offset bulbs will develop around the area where the cuts were made. These new bulbs can now be used to propagate new hyacinth plants.
One technique you can use involves re-planting the parent bulb along with the new bulbs into a deeper pan. Just allow the offset bulbs to mature for a few weeks. When replanting, make sure that the younger offset bulbs are covered by thin layer of compost. In a few months, the new bulbs will sprout and grow while the parent bulb slowly decays, leaving you with several younger hyacinth plants.