Hyacinth are beautiful, but let’s face it – they are mainly grown for their delicious smell! So without further ado, let’s learn how to harvest Hyacinth for fragrance.
How Do You Harvest Hyacinth Flowers?
Harvesting hyacinth is an easy process, and one that will reward you for a long time to come:
- Cut the stems close to the bulbs, right at the bottom of the stem, so that they are long enough to be placed in water.
- The best time to cut hyacinths for flower displays is when two or three of the lowest florets have started to open, but the flowering is not quite in full swing.
- They will continue to open and release their gorgeous scent even after they have been cut, so it’s best to cut them before they have reached their peak.
- Even if you don’t want to cut your hyacinth for displays, you should remove the flowering stems before the plant has gone to seed.
- If your hyacinth goes to seed, it can affect the plant’s performance the following year, so all flowering stems should be removed when they die back.
If, by any chance, you are interested in pruning your own hyacinths, this article has some useful tips.
What Do You Do With Hyacinth Cuts?
Hyacinth flowers are glorious to look at, plus they bring a beautiful, unmistakable scent to any room they are placed in.
- It is best to keep the hyacinths by themselves – they are beautiful and striking enough that they don’t need any other flowers in a display with them.
- There is no need to trim the stems after you cut them off, as you would with some other flowers.
- You should use a tall, supportive vase for your hyacinth stems, so that they do not droop because of the weight of the flower heads.
- Keep the hyacinths in a cool place, that isn’t directly in the sun, so that they release the maximum scent and last as long as they can do.
- Cut the flowers when they have already opened, but before they have reached their peak, so that they continue to open in their vase.
You can enjoy the flowers in their own right, or you can dry them and use the petals to make drawers and cupboards smell good.
Hyacinth flowers also make very good pot pourri, because they are so strongly scented and pretty.
If you are so inclined, you can press the flowers too, to use in artwork or just for remembering the time when you grew that amazing plant!
How Do You Make Hyacinth Perfume?
Making perfume is a delightfully easy process, and once you know how to do it with one flower, you’ll be doing it with the whole of your garden!
Making your own perfume is not only satisfying and fragrant, but also great in that you know exactly what has gone into it – no chemicals or dodgy additives!
Surprisingly, you need very little in the way of ingredients to make your own perfume. All you need is the flowers you want, plus some grape or olive oil.
An oil that does not have much of a natural scent is your best bet, but you also want something that is high quality. Don’t use your standard vegetable oil for this!
Remove the flowers from the plant, at the height of their scented-ness. If you leave it too late your perfume won’t have much if a smell.
- Pluck the flower petals away from the greenery – the petals have a smell but the leaves don’t, so make sure you remove each bloom from every bit of greenery.
- Place the flower petals into a clear plastic bag, squeeze the air out of it and seal it well.
- Press the outside of the bag firmly, so that the petals are damaged – don’t go too far so that they are squished to a pulp though!
- This will help the petals release their natural oils, and thus, their delicious scent.
- Place the bruised flowers into a large jar – a quart jar is recommended, but basically go for the biggest jar you have.
- Add a cup full of your chosen oil to the jar. There should still be head space – if there is not then transfer to a larger jar.
- Now for the easy part: set the jar in a warm place, preferably where it gets a great deal of sunlight, and leave it there for four weeks.
- Remember to give it a good shaking about, at least once a day, more often if you remember.
- After a month, bring the jar indoors, and strain the contents through a fine sieve or a coffee filter.
- Pour the resulting oil into dark colored glass jars – if you don’t have any dark glass ones, you can cover clear ones with black tape.
- Store your jars for around six months, to allow the scent to develop. If, once you open one, you decide it is not strong enough, leave it for a little longer.
- If the scent is too strong, you can dilute it with a little distilled water.
And that’s it! You can use this method to make perfume out of any of your favorite flowers; it doesn’t have to be limited to hyacinth.
This video shows you how to extract fragrance from flowers – it is not specific to hyacinths, but this is a great introduction to the process. It also has a few other ideas beyond the soaking in oil:
Hyacinth scent is one of the most recognizable of the plant world. It is wonderful, whether growing from the plant, or as cut flowers.
There are a good many people who want to know how to harvest hyacinth for fragrance, and now that you know how you can enjoy it with the best of them!