Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Dutch Hyacinth
Hyacinthus orientalis 'Blue Festival'

Family: Hyacinthaceae
Genus: Hyacinthus (hy-uh-SIN-thus) (Info)
Species: orientalis (or-ee-en-TAY-liss) (Info)
Cultivar: Blue Festival
Additional cultivar information: (Multiflora group)

2 vendors have this plant for sale.


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

3-6 in. (7-15 cm)
6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:
Light Blue

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring
Mid Spring


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Flowers are fragrant
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
This plant is resistant to deer
Flowers are good for drying and preserving
Suitable for growing in containers

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

Click thumbnail
to view:

By Ispahan
Thumbnail #1 of Hyacinthus orientalis by Ispahan

By Ispahan
Thumbnail #2 of Hyacinthus orientalis by Ispahan


2 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Ispahan On Mar 28, 2012, Ispahan from Chicago, IL (Zone 6a) wrote:

This cultivar is extraordinary and must be one of the best kept secrets of the hyacinth world. Last fall, I planted 480 'Blue Festival' bulbs around my back garden. I purchased them from Van Engelen and they were much more expensive than regular hyacinth bulbs. However, it was obvious even from viewing the bulbs that these hyacinths were "different." One most of the bulbs received, the basal plate was actively producing countless bulblets. Many of these I separated and planted in a separate area. Much to my surprise, many of these tiny bulblets produced small floral spikes this spring!

But back to the flower. They are such a beautiful shade of blue, that inimitable "hyacinth blue" that vacillates between purple, indigo or blue depending on time of day and lighting. Fragrance is wonderful and can be smelled at all times of day and night. When I walk out my back door, I practically swoon in delight.

I have noticed that these blooms attract quite a number of bumblebees on sunny days, something which I was more than delighted to discover. This fall, I may even plant more 'Blue Festival' to fill in the gaps in my yard and to continue providing an abundant early source of nectar for the bees.

Rumor has it that this strain of hyacinths will perennialize and multiply well in most climates, a fact that cannot be argued for the common Dutch hyacinths. Judging from my experience with separating the tiny bulblets upon planting last fall and seeing them bloom this spring, I am fairly confident that this is true.

After experiencing these first hand, I am not sure why anyone would even bother with regular Dutch hyacinths? They seem frumpy, stiff and stingy in comparison. Each bulb of 'Blue Festival' has produced so many bloom spikes that it makes each plant look like a miniature hyacinth "shrub." And my neighbors' regular Dutch hyacinths look...well...frumpy and stiff!

Positive ladyrowan On Sep 24, 2004, ladyrowan from Garberville, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

Baby blue with darker blue midribs; frangrant and natrually multi-stemmed like the old-fashioned hyacinths.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Garberville, California
Chicago, Illinois
Greenville, South Carolina

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