I planned on postponing this post for a little while, at least until I was finished editing the YouTube video to go along with it – but as always, I changed my mind.
Using Hyacinths as Cut Flowers
I have a kind of weird love of hyacinths. I love them because I think they’re totally cute and fragrant. However, I’ll admit that I don’t like the fragrance as much as that of some other flowers. Regardless that I sometimes find them a little overpowering, I think they’re beautiful and worthy of space in the garden.
If you do a Google search of “Hyacinth arrangements” you’ll quickly notice that many of them have one thing specifically in common – the base of the stem is frequently hidden. Now, while this obviously may just be a design choice, it’s turns out that hyacinth will last longer when the bulb remains attached to the flower.
If you’ve ever seen a bunch of hyacinths that are used by florists, it’s possible that you may see that the bulb has been sort of “cut away” or trimmed given the stem an extended white appearance at the bottom. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not familiar with this process, at all. I definitely avoid it for the reason that it’s very hands on. Hyacinths are TOXIC. Bulbs, especially, can cause issues by simply touching them. I always recommend wearing gloves, washing hands, avoiding contact with eyes, and other common sense practices when handling bulbs and plants! So, I definitely won’t be talking about it here. If you want to know more, however, what I am talking about – you can click the link here. It seems like a lot of work to me!
Now, let’s talk about some easier options:
Cutting: Hyacinths can be cut just as any other flower, but there’s a chance they’ll flop. For me, hyacinths that I’ve cut from the base of the plant don’t last as long in the vase and will wilt. I was told (from another garden friend) that hyacinths, like daffodils, need a good period of conditioning before being added to a mixed arrangement. I don’t actually know if it’s true, but regardless, I do it (in a bucket of water overnight) and I’ve never had any issues making the arrangements with lots of different flower parts. In many cases, hyacinths will come back and bloom again when foliage has been left to die back and yellow naturally (just like daffodils). Though the next year’s bloom is sometimes of lesser quality, cutting the flower spike from the plant and leaving the leaves will allow the plant to gather energy for next year’s show.
The second option is to just leave the bulb on! Which explains why there are so many “flat” spring arrangements. Believe it or not, leaving the bulb on has shown, for me at least, to be the best option for a long vase life. Since hyacinths can be forced in water inside the house, it doesn’t seem like too much of a stretch that this would also work. Keeping them in a nice cool place will also help the blooms last longer, as well.