Hyacinths are beautiful perfumed flowers that grow from a bulb planted in autumn. But you don’t even need soil to grow a hyacinth: all you need is a container of water. 

  1. Start by choosing a bottle or jar that’s the right size for your hyacinth bulb to sit on top of. You can buy special hyacinth ‘vases’.
  2. Fill the jar with water almost to the top. The water should sit just underneath the bottom of the bulb.
  3. Carefully place the hyacinth bulb on top of the jar so that it’s just above the water.
  4. Put into a dark cupboard and check regularly. If the water gets too low, you’ll need to gently move the bulb to one side and pour more water in.
  5. The water will begin to fill up with white roots and then a shoot will appear from the centre of the bulb. When it’s about 4cm high, you can move the jar and bulb out of the cupboard and into more light (close to a window but not in sunlight).
  6. After about 14 weeks the shoot will develop leaves and a flower spike. Then the bell-shaped flowers will open around the stem. 
  7. After the flowers have finished, the bulb can go into the compost.

Special warning: Hyacinths can sometimes make your skin feel itchy so always wash hands after touching the bulb or, better still, wear gloves.

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Hyacinths (Hyacinthus orientalis) are one of the most versatile spring flowering bulbs.