Hyacinths are one of our favorite spring flowers and come in such a wonderful array of colors. Many people are familiar with white, lavender and blue hyacinth colors, but they also come in yellow, peach and while more rare, you can even find bright red and dark (almost black) purple colors. Fresh cut hyacinths are a beautiful flower to use in arrangements and they are easy to care for as long as you know what to do! Follow our hyacinth care and handling tips and you’ll be a hyacinth pro in no time!
1. Hyacinths arrive in bud form
Our fresh cut hyacinths arrive in bud form so don’t be surprised when you don’t see any open blooms. They ship best in this form and the stubby base you see at the bottom of the stem is actually a part of the hyacinth bulb. When hyacinths are harvested, each stalk is carved out from the bulb.
2. Wear gloves if you have sensitive skin
Hyacinth bulbs can cause skin irritation for some people, so if you have particularly sensitive skin, avoid contact with the base of the hyacinth stems. If you want to be extra careful, wear gloves when handling hyacinths.
3. Unwrap and remove bands
On arrival, immediately unwrap the hyacinths. You’ll find that they are typically grouped in 5 stem bunches. Carefully cut away any elastic bands holding the stems together and remove any loose foliage from the stems. You may sometimes find a little sand or dirt around the base of the stems. If you want, you can give them a quick rinse to remove any debris (be sure to keep the blooms dry).
4. Do NOT cut hyacinths!
Contrary to most flower care, you should NOT cut hyacinths! The bottom of the stem is called the basal plate and leaving it intact is best for hyacinths. They’ll hydrate better and have a longer vase life if left uncut. I know it sounds strange, but just leave the stems as they are.
5. Place in clean water
Place the hyacinths in a clean vase filled with 3 to 4 inches of cool water. Make sure to use a vase that is tall enough to support the hyacinths. Similar to tulips, hyacinths continue to grow and so the longer stem and the weight of the opening blooms will sometimes cause the stems to naturally bend. You can minimize this effect by arranging them in a vase that is tall enough to support the stems upright. If you keep them in too short of a vase, the hyacinths will bend out and over the edge as they bloom.
If you’re planning to arrange the hyacinths with other flowers, you’ll want to let them hydrate at least overnight before using them in centerpieces or bouquets. You can cut them (if needed) before arranging them and we recommend wearing gloves if you have sensitive skin. Hyacinths have a sap that can be irritating to skin, so avoid contact!
6. Enjoy the blooms and fragrance!
Hyacinth blooms will begin to open up after a day in water (sometimes sooner). Make sure you don’t pack the stems too closely so they have enough room to bloom. Hyacinths have a lovely fragrance which will be more noticeable as the blooms open up.
For best vase life, you’ll want to keep your hyacinths in a cool place away from direct sunlight and drafts. Hyacinths are also sensitive to ethylene so don’t keep them near fruit (ripening fruit releases ethylene gas). You will not need to cut the stems, but change out the water every couple days to keep the flowers fresh. With proper care, most hyacinths can last up to 5-7 days.
I hope you find our hyacinth care and handling tips helpful. As you can see, they are easy to care for (no cutting shears needed!) and they have such gorgeous and fragrant blooms. You can find our full collection on our Hyacinth page and they’re available winter through spring. If you have any questions, just shoot us a note and we’ll be happy to help!