Safe to cut back hyacinth foliage yet?

New Milford, CT

My hyacinths appeared in March and were done blooming by mid-April. We'd like to put some impatiens in that bed over this long weekend, but the foliage is still green and huge. Too early to get rid of it?

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Yes, I'm afraid so. By coincidence, I have just come in from digging up my very green stemmed hyacinths, improving the soil, and replanting, watering and mulching them. I did that last year, and the bulbs are huge!

You could, however (and I do this too), dig them up, being careful to preserve the foliage, and putting them in an out of the way place until the foliage dries. You can stick them in anything that will hold them, and you do not have to preserve the soil, only the green leaves. Then you can remove the foliage and put them back in, or simply store them until fall. I have done this succesfully with tulips as well.

It depends on how many there are, how expensive they were and how hard they are to get. Mine are King Codro, a gorgeous double that is becoming rare and hard to find. So for me it makes sense.

And here is a short article that might help you.

http://www.flower-garden-bulbs.com/moving-hyacinths-in-the-spring-after-blooming.html

Donna

This message was edited May 28, 2010 10:52 AM

New Milford, CT

Thanks Donna, interesting article. I'm leaning to the "buy new in the fall" option. :-)

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

You are a sensible person! That's what I'd do if I had any sense.

New Milford, CT

Being a laaaaazy gardener, I decided against anything that would require replanting. :-) Instead I nudged the foliage aside and to the back, and planted my annuals in between. Even without my new plants bushing out, the bed looks much better now that the dying foliage isn't hanging over the lawn, hiding an alarming number of weeds.

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Way to go! Give the hyacinths some fertilizer along with the annuals, and you may be surprised at how good they look next year. I'd be curious to see.

Smart lady! Digging them up and replanting them was a pain. I wouldn't do it, but these are quite rare.

Donna

Thumbnail by DonnaMack
New Milford, CT

Donna, those hyacinths look AMAZING with the red tulips. Combining colors in flowers that bloom at the same time is next on my list of things to learn. I heart that photo. :-)

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

I should definitely write to you more often! Thanks!

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