Hyacinth bulbs are planted in mid to late fall, at the same time as tulips and daffodils. Choose a planting location with well-drained soil that never gets soggy.
Full sun is best, though hyacinths will also grow in light shade.
Plant the bulbs in groups of 5 or more, spaced about 5″ apart on center, and buried 4 to 5″ deep. In hardiness zones 6 and warmer, hyacinths grow well in outdoor containers, on their own, or mixed with other spring bulbs. Consider planting extra hyacinth bulbs to cut and enjoy indoors.
Like tulips, hyacinths always look their best the first spring after planting. For this reason, most gardeners plant fresh bulbs every year or two. While the bulbs will usually rebloom for several years, they will gradually revert to the original species, with single florets that are widely spaced along the stem.
To help the bulbs save energy for future flowers, cut off the flower stalks after the blossoms fade and allow the foliage to grow until it dies back in early summer.
How to force indoor blooms
Growing hyacinths indoors lets you get a jump on spring, with fragrant blooms that last for weeks. Plant the bulbs in late fall. Use pots that have drainage holes on the bottom and are approximately 6 inches deep. Fill them with moist growing mix (not garden soil) and plant the bulbs 2 inches apart with the top of the bulb about 1″ below the soil surface. Water lightly.