December 2015: the Hyacinth is the Houseplant of the month

It is the last month of 2015 already! The final Houseplant of the month for December is the Hyacinth. You can promote this houseplant by using the accompanying POS material. You can download it underneath in the link

The story of the Hyacinth

The scientific name of the Hyacinth is Hyacinthus. The name Hyacinthus comes from the Greek name ‘Hyakinthos’, a mythological figure. Hyakinthos was a handsome boy who was deeply loved by Apollo and was also accidently killed. Apollo made a ‘Hyakinthos’ flower grow out of his blood which was spreading along the ground. The Greek word was then translated into Latin and became Hyacinthus.

Hyacinth production

When you think of the Netherlands, you will probably think of tulips, but the Hyacinth is one of the most important grown bulb crops in the Netherlands, with 46 million plants per year. The potted bulbs are taken from the cold stores and with enough light and warmth, quickly come into flower. 
The Hyacinth is a symbol of peace and power and originates from West Asia; Turkey, Syria and Lebanon. In Austria, the plant was first cultured around 1560. In the 17th and the 18th Century, the Hyacinth was only to be found in the homes of wealthy plant lovers. Thankfully the plant is now available for everyone.

What do you need to look out for when purchasing the Hyacinth?

•    Pot size and plant shape. The pot size, number of bulbs per pot/bowl, colour, maturity and the number of flowers per flower stem will determine your purchase.
•    Health. Make sure that the plant is free of pests and diseases. 
•    Roots. Sometimes the bulbs can be badly rooted and can be loose in the pot.
•    Buds and leaves. Look out for dried out buds at the top of the plant or yellow leaves. This has more than likely been caused during cultivation. A well-developed bud with colour has the least chance of drying out or not flowering.
•    Fungi. If there are fungi on the bulbs or in the soil, the Hyacinth has been too wet.

Range of Hyacinths

Hyacinths are mainly sold by colour rather than the name of the cultivar. The most common colours of potted Hyacinths are white, pink and blue. There are also increasingly more other colours available such as lilac, salmon, deep purple, soft yellow and red. In terms of flower shapes, there are single flowering and double flowering types available. An amazing type is the Multiflora, where multiple flower stems come out of one bulb.

Care tips for consumers

The potted Hyacinth is a lovely scented plant which can give enjoyment for a long time. To get it to flower for a longer period it needs to be in the coolest possible position. In the garden, it doesn’t have many requirements, it can be in the shade as well as in the sun. Ensure that the root ball never dries out, so give it regular water. Plant food isn’t really necessary because most of the nutrition required is already in the bulb. When the Hyacinth stays cool (for example in a bowl/basket near the front door) it will stay compact and sturdy. Don’t give it much water indoors, then it will also stay compact and there will be less chance of it falling over.

Creative tips for the Hyacinth

Because of its scented qualities and its budding bulb, the Hyacinth fits well with the Christmas message of new life. So arranging the flowering bulbs into wreaths, table decorations and Christmas arrangements is perfectly suited to this period.

You can download the images and poster (link)below for free: