Hyacinths prefer well-drained, moderately fertile soil, in full sun. Bulbs should be planted in early autumn for flowering in March and April. Plant 10cm (4in) deep and a minimum of 7.5cm (3in) apart
Blooms should be removed as soon as they begin to brown, but the leaves should be allowed to die back naturally
Bulbs can be lifted once all foliage has died and stored in a cool dry place
Bulb performance and flower quality usually falls off from the year after planting as the spectacular flowering of fresh bulbs are due to the fertile conditions under which they are grown and post-harvest heat treatment that induces dense spikes of large flowers
The size of bulbs planted will have a significant impact on the size and number of bells per stem. Hyacinth bulbs are graded by the suppliers into several sizes depending on the circumference of the bulb.
Bulbs graded 17/18/cm and above, which are often used for indoor containers have been grown by the producers for an additional year to achieve these larger sizes and these bulbs will usually be slightly more expensive to buy than the smaller size bulbs 14/15/cm which are better suited for use in the garden or outside containers, where the slightly smaller stature of the flower spike will more readily cope with adverse weather conditions.