Hyacinthus, commonly termed ‘Hyacinth’, is a genus of fragrant, bulbous perennials belonging to the Asparagaceae family. This genus is indigenous to the eastern Mediterranean region, where Hyacinths represent spring and rebirth as decorations on the Haft-Seen table setting for the Persian New Year celebration, Nowruz, during the Spring Equinox.
Hyacinth should be planted 4 inches deep, with the widest end down. It is advised to plant Hyacinth 3 to 4 inches apart to give them room to grow. Hyacinth mature 6 to 12 inches in height and 3 to 6 inches wide. Stake taller variants to protect their tall stems from mechanical damage.
Hyacinth flourishes in growing zones 3 to 9. Choose a site that receives full sun to promote the large blooms and strong, straight stems. Hyacinth flourishes in aerated, moderately fertile loam.
Poorly drained areas cause hyacinth roots to rot, therefore watering when the soil is dry at a depth of 3 inches. For healthy Hyacinth, scatter an organic fertilizer over the topsoil.
Hyacinth bulbs store energy for growth and reproduction. To enhance blooming, deadhead the spent flowers. However, it is important not to remove healthy foliage. At the end of the blooming season, hyacinth foliage naturally dies back. To prevent fungal disease, prune the browning.
Pet owners should be cautious when planting hyacinths since these plants are poisonous to cats and dogs.
Daffodils, or Narcissus pseudonarcissus, have similar growing conditions to Hyacinth. Both plants prefer areas that receive plenty of full sun and have well-aerated soil. Like Hyacinth, Daffodils are spring bulbs found in hardiness zones 3 to 9.
Daffodils bloom once during a season. As the end of spring draws closer, their petals will begin to fade, and their foliage will die. Dig up the daffodil bulbs and store them in a cool, dry place until they are ready to be re-planted in the fall.
These plants require regular watering during spring. Take a break from this routine three to four weeks before daffodils go dormant during the late summer until early winter.
Their dormant phase prefers drier soils, making it easier for you to dig up their bulbs for storage. Lightly water Daffodil corms if there is no snowfall. Snow cover during the winter months provides sufficient water.
Bluebells, or Hyacinthoides, are, like hyacinths, spring bulbs found in growing zones 4 to 9. Hyacinth and Bluebells bear clusters of flowers atop elongated stems for five weeks before entering their dormant phase during the summer. These colorful blooms are known for their sweet fragrance.
Unlike Hyacinths, Bluebells prefer shadier areas and are commonly planted under deciduous trees. Bluebells need regular watering to moisten the topsoil.
However, overwatering may cause bulb rot; therefore, Bluebells must be planted in aerated soil. When buds appear, high-potassium fertilizer will promote healthy blooms.
Muscari armeniacum is also called ‘grape hyacinth’ because their bulbs grow in tight clusters that resemble grapes, and their blooms bear a striking similarity to hyacinth flowers. Like Hyacinth, Muscari is a hardy spring bulb that flourished in growing zones 4 to 8. Their colorful blossoms can be enjoyed for three weeks before returning to a dormant phase during the summer.
Muscari produces round green seeds during the summer that should be removed once blooms are spent to promote the plant storing energy for the next bloom period. Muscari foliage is a source of nutrition for the plant that should be left in place until the plants finish blooming the following spring.
Like Hyacinth, Muscari prefers areas of full sun with well-drained soil. Since these plants are susceptible to root rot, allowing the topsoil to dry out during the late spring is important. For healthy Muscari blooms, practice regular watering during the springtime and add bonemeal to the soil during the fall.
Lilium is a genus of perennial bulbs that share several preferences for growing conditions with Hyacinth. Both genera thrive in sunny areas with moist, well-drained soil and are successfully cultivated in growing zones 4 to 9.
While Hyacinth blooms exclusively during the spring, Lilies bare their blossoms from early summer to fall, depending on the variety.
Lilies rely on regular watering during periods of active growth, particularly in drier climates. While too much moisture will lead to root rot, Lilies benefit from covering the topsoil with a layer of mulch. To encourage healthy blossoms during the spring, add potassium-rich fertilizer and a thin layer of compost.
Taller Lilies should be staked to assist in supporting heavy bulbs and protect stems from strong gusts. Poor air circulation and too much moisture cause gray mold.
While some varieties are virus-tolerant, others are vulnerable to viruses carried by aphids. Since lilies are susceptible to garden pests, plant the bulbs in buried wire cages for protection.
5. Terrestrial Orchids
Members of the Orchidaceae family, like Hyacinth, have elongated stems that bear clusters of vibrant flowers. Furthermore, many Orchid varieties also have a dormant phase during colder months. During this phase, it is imperative to reduce fertilizing since Orchids need to conserve energy to strengthen their root systems, grow leaves, and rebloom every eight to twelve months.
Orchids grow freely in the ground in habitats specific to their variety; however, Orchids are popular houseplants that thrive when their individual preferences for light, air, water, food, and rest are met. Healthy green leaves and flourishing blooms indicate that the plants are receiving bright, indirect light.
Orchid varieties are resistant to pests but susceptible to root rot. Their environment must be highly ventilated to help evaporate stagnant water containing microbiota and alleviate intense light that burns leaves.
Like Hyacinth, Freesia is a perennial bulb that flourishes in sunny areas with fertile and well-drained soil. However, Freesia cannot tolerate colder climates as Hyacinth only survives in growing zones 9 to 10.
Freesia flowers are popular additions to bouquets. Like Hyacinth, Freesia blossoms have a rainbow of vibrant colors with a sweet fragrance.
It is best to plant Freesia bulbs when they enter an active growth phase during the fall. You can expect Freesia blooms 12 weeks after planting and enjoy their spectacular blossoms during spring and summer.
These native African bulbs prefer a light watering routine. When sprouts are growing, the soil must be kept moist but well-aerated to avoid root rot. When flowering, Freesias need to be watered once a week, but Freesias require drier soil and less water outside bloom periods.
7. Bearded Iris
Iris germanica is famous for its tall stems that bear eye-catching blooms during spring. These perennial bulbs are best planted in early fall since they enter a dormant phase early to mid-summer like Hyacinth. Both Hyacinth and Irises thrive in growing zones 3 to 9, where they are likely to receive full sun.
Irises are notoriously hardy plants that can grow in a range of soil types. However, to avoid root rot, plant Irises in raised beds and add compost to the soil to provide adequate drainage. Encourage healthy blooms by adding a low nitrogen fertilizer and bone meal to their soil.
Pet owners should plant bearded Irises with caution since the plants are toxic to cats and dogs. It is important to seek medical help should your pet ingest Irises, as this can be fatal.
Tulipa varieties are commonly grown with Hyacinth since these species share numerous traits. Both plants are perennial bulbs that boast vibrant blossoms during the springtime. Gardeners choose to plant Tulip varieties with different bloom periods to enjoy their blossoms during early to late spring.
While Tulips prefer warmer hardiness zones where they receive full afternoon sun, Tulips are cold-hardy plants that can benefit from snow cover during winter months since it discourages growth and protects foliage.
In climates with heavy weekly rainfall, avoid watering Tulips. Overly moist soil causes their roots to rot, which encourages disease.
Adding a layer of rough material, such as shredded pine, improves soil drainage. However, in drier areas, water Tulip bulbs weekly until the ground freezes.
9. Pulmonaria ‘Raspberry Splash’ (Lungwort)
Pulmonaria species, like Hyacinth, are perennial bulbs that bloom during the early spring. Their bell-shaped blossoms initially grow in pink clusters, which mature to a brilliant violet shade. Plant Pulmonaria during the fall to enjoy their springtime blooms.
Both Hyacinth and Lungwort can be cultivated in growing zones 3 to 8. They thrive in areas with partial shade and aerated, organically-rich humus. These plants need to be moderately watered and receive a mixture of compost to encourage healthy blooms.
Lungwort is used in traditional medicine to treat lung, gastrointestinal, and kidney conditions. However, pet owners should plant lungwort with caution since this species contains chemicals that are toxic to dogs and cats.
Trillium, more commonly known as wake robin or wood lily, are herbaceous perennials native to North America and Asia. Like Hyacinth, these plants boast an array of colorful, delicate blossoms during spring. Wake robin is grown in cooler hardiness zones where they thrive in partial shade and moist loam.
While Trillium does not require fertilizer, these plants rely on organic matter for healthy blooms. During planting and blooming periods, it is advisable to add a compost mixture to the soil. Compost maintains a moist, nutrient-rich growing environment.
Trillium leaves are a popular addition to salads; however, parents and pet owners should take caution when planting Trillium since their roots and berries are toxic.
11. Yellow Corydalis
Corydalis lutea, commonly called Yellow Corydalis or rock fumewort, is native to Europe and cultivated in hardiness zones of 5 to 7. Like Hyacinth, these plants bloom during the springtime; however, Yellow Corydalis continues to bear bright yellow blossoms during the summer and fall months.
These plants flourish in areas in partial shade where there is humus-rich, aerated soil with an alkaline pH. Yellow Corydalis relies on consistent watering during the growing season; however, they need drier soil during winter since Yellow Corydalis is susceptible to root rot during dormant phases.
Adding an organic fertilizer, compost, or manure to the soil during growing seasons encourages healthy blooms.
12. Bleeding Heart
Lamprocapnos spectabilis is a herbaceous perennial fittingly named ‘Bleeding Heart’ because of the delicate heart-shaped blossoms hanging from their stems. These plants tolerate warmer hardiness zones of 9 but prefer cooler zones where they are grown in full shade. Bleeding Heart relies on rich, moist soil with an acidic pH.
Like Hyacinth, these plants bloom during spring and remain flowering for several weeks. Bleeding Heart foliage enters dormancy when temperatures rise during the midsummer. While Bleeding Hearts do not rely on fertilizer, adding a layer of leaf mold to the soil encourages healthy blooms.
Bleeding Heart is resistant to most garden pests, although aphids and powdery mildew can lead to unhealthy plants. Shearing back damaged foliage, improving soil drainage, and spraying a soap-and-water mixture to remove bugs.
13. Silver Squill
Ledebouria socialis, or Silver Squill, is a hardy perennial bulb native to Southern Africa. These bulbs are closely related to Hyacinth, thus share a springtime bloom period. However, while Hyacinth grows in a range of climates, Silver Squill exclusively grows in hardiness zones 10 to 11.
Silver Squill thrives in areas with sandy, humus-rich soil that receives plenty of bright, indirect light. These plants require minimal watering because of the ability of their bulbous stems to store water. To promote healthy Silver Squill blooms during their growth phase, apply liquid fertilizer to the soil.
Silver Squill is a popular house plant. When their bulbs outgrow a pot, you can separate the bulbs into new pots. However, wait until their blooms are spent to un-pot the plants before gently separating the bulbs.
Crocuses are low-maintenance perennials that bear dainty, vibrant blossoms during the winter and spring months. Both Hyacinth and Crocuses flourish in hardiness zones 3 to 8 and prefer areas of full sun with loamy soil.
To encourage healthy blooms, apply an organic fertilizer to the soil during early autumn or after blooming during the late winter, depending on the spring climate. Crocuses should be watered regularly in drier regions. Before the winter, mulch can be added to beds to protect Crocuses during early winter and removed in late February to allow shoots to break through the snow.
Use coverings, such as plastic milk jugs, to protect Crocus blossoms during severe winter weather. Crocuses tend to attract garden pests that feed on the corms. To ward off hungry pests, plant your Crocuses in buried wire cages.
15. Checkered Lily
Fritillaria meleagris is a springtime perennial bulb belonging to the Fritillaria family. Like Hyacinth, Checkered Lilies thrive in hardiness zones 3 to 8 and sunny areas with organically rich, moist soil. Checkered Lilies need regular watering during their growing season but rely on good drainage to avoid root rot.
Checkered Lilies are a popular choice of cut flowers because of their uniquely stunning blossoms. These plants boast red, purple, and white blooms during the spring. To encourage healthy flowers, add upgraded black peat to the soil.
16. Winter Aconite
Eranthis hyemalis is a tuberous perennial that boasts bright yellow blooms during the spring. Like Hyacinth, Winter Aconite is successfully cultivated in hardiness zones 3 to 7 and relies on receiving at least 6 hours of full sun per day.
Winter Aconite is notoriously resilient as it tolerates most soil types, requires moderate watering, and has no humidity preference. Planting Winter Aconite in consistently moist, aerated soil rich in organic matter will promote healthy blooms.
Winter Aconite flowers respond to temperature changes by opening in warmer weather and remaining closed in cold, overcast weather. However, their growth phases do not depend on warm spring and summer weather.
Puschkinia, more commonly known as Striped Squill, share several traits with Hyacinth. Both species are perennial bulbs that bloom during the springtime. Furthermore, these plants share a preference for areas of full sun in hardiness zones 4 to 8.
Striped Squill requires aerated nutrient-rich soil. Including sand or gravel in the soil mix supports sufficient drainage. Puschkinia bulbs rely on moisture during their bloom period; thus, they should be consistently watered.
Like Hyacinth, Puschkinia have elongated stems that bear delicate clusters of flowers. Once their blooms are spent, it is best to allow the foliage to yellow as Puschkinia enters a dormant phase. Covering bulbs with mulch during colder months will protect them from frost.
18. Ornamental Allium
Allium is a genus of bulbous plants that includes hundreds of varieties. Many ornamental Allium species bloom during the spring, but certain varieties bear their flowers during the fall. Including various Allium species in your garden will allow you to enjoy a range of stunning blooms throughout the spring and fall.
Like Hyacinth, Allium species are healthiest in sites that receive full sun. Furthermore, these plants are sensitive to root rot, therefore, rely on well-drained soil. Add organic matter to the topsoil when planting to improve drainage while facilitating enough water to reach the bulbs.
Allium flower heads are clusters of colorful florets. Varieties have varying stalk heights, with some as short as 5 inches and others as tall as 4 feet. The differences in stem height allow Alliums to be landscaped in several ways.
19. Society Garlic
Tulbaghia violacea, like Hyacinth, is a tuberous blooming perennial that produces clusters of vibrant, delicate flowers atop tall foliage. However, Society Garlic has a longer bloom period than Hyacinth.
These lilac, star-shaped flowers can be enjoyed from early summer to fall. Its garlic-scented foliage overpowers the sweet scent of garlic onion blooms.
Both Hyacinth and Society Garlic rely on areas with full sun and well-drained loam. However, while Hyacinth can be cultivated in a range of hardiness zones, Society Garlic prefers warmer hardiness zones 7 to 10.
These low-maintenance bulbs require slow, deep watering during warmer months. Society Garlic plants need regular watering during growth phases and less irrigation when flowering.
Society Garlic is susceptible to root rot, therefore relies on dry soil during winter dormancy. Working organic compost into the soil during early spring will improve drainage and enhance flowering.
20. Spring Starflower
Both Hyacinth and Spring Starflowers are hardy spring bulbs that are popular cut flowers because of their colorful, scented blooms. While Spring Starflowers do not bear clusters of flowers like Hyacinths, they have long, grassy foliage. Both species can be cultivated in hardiness zones 5 to 9.
Spring Starflower, or Ipheion uniflorum, relies on a good planting site, soil drainage, and preliminary bulb care to flourish. These bulbs need areas that receive full sun and partial shade with aerated, nutrient-rich soil.
Like Hyacinth, Spring Starflowers enter a dormant phase during the late spring. Divide clumps every few years for more dense colonies.
Starflowers need regular watering until sprouts appear; after that, they need irrigation when the topsoil is dry. These low-maintenance bulbs do not depend on additional organic fertilizer when planting. Instead, keep these blooms healthy by tilling and amending the soil when planting.
Chionodoxa is a genus of bulbous perennial plants that, like Hyacinth, belong to the Asparagaceae family. Known by its common name, Glory of the Snow, these bulbs produce large, vibrant blooms during spring. Both Chionodoxa and Hyacinth flourish in full sun and are cultivated in hardiness zones 3 to 9.
These plants require consistent moisture throughout their growth phase. During the summer, their dormant phase is drought-resistant and does not need watering.
Chionodoxa relies on gritty, aerated soil with a pH of 6. While these plants prefer moist, fertile soil, they are susceptible to root rot. To improve drainage, add compost and coarse sand to the soil.
The Glory of the Snow is a hardy bulb that is pest and disease resistant. However, their flower bulbs are sensitive to rot when their growing environment includes high-nitrogen fertilizer, poorly drained soil, or damaged bulbs.
22. Grecian Windflower
Anemone blanda, like Hyacinth, is cultivated in hardiness zones 4 to 8, where it produces low-growing mats of flowers during the spring. These tuberous-rooted perennials are indigenous to southeastern Europe but are effortlessly grown in rich, moderately moist soil and full sun to partial shade. Grecian Windflowers derive their common from the Greek word ‘anemos’, which translates to ‘wind’.
To ensure healthy windflowers, soak tubers in water before planting. Because of their impressive spread, windflowers are often used as ground cover plants. Despite their name, Windflowers need protection from strong gusts.
Windflowers enter a phase of dry dormancy after their blooming period ends. It is ideal to regularly water these bulbs during blooming and restrict irrigation during dormancy to create sandy soil. Grecian Windflowers are susceptible to rot and disease; thus, they rely on well-drained soil and careful removal of diseased foliage to prevent the spread of disease.
Clivia miniata, or the Natal Lily, is a herbaceous perennial that blooms with Hyacinth during the springtime. Native to Swaziland, South Africa, these plants prefer warmer climates in hardiness zones 9 to 11. Both Hyacinth and Natal Lillies produce showy clumps of flowers atop elongated foliage.
Clivia may be grown outdoors but are a popular choice of house plant since they are notoriously low-maintenance. Clivia is best suited to partial shade when cultivated outside and indicates light deprivation through vertical splits in its leaves. They require consistent, deep watering during the summer months but can be left to dry during the winter.
Parents and pet owners should carefully consider planting Natal Lillies since, like Hyacinth, Clivia is toxic when ingested in large quantities.
Hippeastrum is a genus that includes bulbous plants that bear colorful flowers atop tall stems. Many of these varieties have a strikingly similar appearance to Hyacinth and are therefore common substitutes in flower arrangements. Unlike Hyacinth, Hippeastrum varieties prefer warmer areas with hardiness zone classifications of 8 to 10.
Both Hyacinth and Hippeastrum varieties thrive in humusy, aerated soil. While these varieties need direct morning sun, excessive heat in the afternoons damages them.
Moderate, consistent moisture during bloom periods enhances their brilliant, orange blooms. However, watering must be reduced during their dormant phase.
Like Hyacinth, Hippeastrum bulbs require a dormant period to replenish their energy after blooming has ended. It is best to deadhead spent flowers but to leave the foliage intact.
Tuberose, or Polianthes tuberosa, is, like Hyacinth, a member of the Asparagaceae family. Both Hyacinth and Tuberose thrive in fertile, moderately moist, and well-drained soil.
These species rely on full sun to produce clusters of delicate blossoms. However, unlike Hyacinth, Tuberose prefers warmer hardiness zones 7 to 10.
To encourage plenty of blooms, water Tuberose consistently throughout the growing season. As Tuberose foliage yellows during fall, you can gradually decrease watering and dig up rhizomes for storage. Adding a layer of mulch and a phosphorous-rich fertilizer will ensure healthy Tuberose plants.
Tuberose is notorious for its exotic floral scent, which is why it is a popular addition to bridal bouquets. These sought-after blooms are refined to a luxurious essential oil, which is a common ingredient in fragrances.