How To Prune Hyacinths?

Some plants turn into jungles if you leave them – Hyacinth is not one of those, but it is still worth learning how to prune Hyacinths.

Should You Cut Back Hyacinths?

should you cut back hyacinths

Hyacinths don’t need “pruning” as such. They are hardly vigorous garden plants! However, they will benefit from a little trim.

  • Before you prune any plant, make sure that you are wearing protective gloves, and that your secateurs are clean
  • After between 8 and 12 weeks of those lovely flowers, you will notice the blooms starting to die.
  • When most of the flowers have turned dry and brown, you should cut off the entire centre stalk.
  • This is not the most attractive a hyacinth has ever been, so you can plant other flowers around them to hide the little stump.
  • If you notice that one or two leaves are starting to yellow while your hyacinth is still blooming, you can happily snip them back without damaging the plant.
  • As a general rule, you shouldn’t cut anything off your hyacinth until the flowering is all done.
  • If your plant is looking damaged or diseased, feel free to remove the affected foliage or flowers to prevent it spreading.

This handy gardening guide tells you the best way to “prune” your hyacinths.

When Can Hyacinths Be Cut Back?

As a general rule, you should not trim hyacinth while it is blooming, otherwise those famous scented flowers will not be at their best.

Wait until the flowers are dead and the foliage is brown, before you get your secateurs anywhere near your precious plants.

At this time, cut all the foliage and the flowering stem right off, until you are left with the bare bulb. You can either replant this in your garden right away, or leave it until the autumn.

Once your hyacinths are cut back completely, the bulbs should be lifted and stored correctly, so that they are at their best when you are ready to replant them.

If your bulbs are outdoors, you can safely just leave them to it at this point, planting other things around it if you don’t like the sight of the dying foliage.

You can, of course, remove a flowering stem if it droops because it is too heavy – this means that you can place them in your house to enjoy their beauty and scent!

If you keep your hyacinths in the garden, you should avoid cutting off their greenery, even when it is dead and faded.

Leaving the leaves attached to the plant will give it the energy it needs to come back with a vengeance the following year.

Leaving the foliage attached will give the plant a boost, but they too should be removed when they are totally brown, to prevent rot and fungal diseases.

Where Do You Cut Hyacinths?

where do you cut hyacinths
  • It is recommended that you cut off just the flower stem, and about 2 inches below it. Leaving the rest attached to the plant will give it vital nutrients.
  • However, if you are using your hyacinth for a cut flower display, it is advised that you cut it off as low as you can, so there is almost a piece of bulb still attached.
  • This method appears to make the blooms last longer, as they feel as though they are still attached to the plant.
  • If you are cutting down your hyacinths, you don’t have to worry too much about where or how you cut them!
  • When hyacinths are “pruned” they are literally just snipped off at the base of the flowering stem; you don’t have to worry about pruning any wild tendrils.
  • This being said, if your hyacinth has an unusual amount of leaves and you feel that these are affecting the growth of the flowers, then you can remove these.

Simply pinch off the leaf where it growing from the base of the plant (wearing gloves, of course!)

You can use this method if a particular leaf is looking yellow before its time, or if it has been infected with insects.

If you are cutting them for indoor flower displays, simply snip the stem off at the base, close to the bulb.

This sort of cutting is best done when the hyacinths are flowering, but they have not yet opened all their little florets.

This useful video shows you the best way to cut hyacinths, to ensure their longevity. It is simple and there are no verbal instructions, but it should give you a good idea:

How Do You Prune Hyacinths After They Bloom?

You don’t prune them as such, but they will require a little maintenance after their blooming is done.

  1. First of all, make sure you are wearing protective gloves. Hyacinth bulbs can irritate the skin, so avoid touching them with bare hands.
  2. Once the flowering is over and the leaves are starting to yellow, you can then start the pruning process.
  3. This is not a long or difficult job – unless you have a whole room full of hyacinths!
  4. All you need to do is remove the dead leaves, and completely cut the flowering stem.
  5. After this, you can either leave the bulb where it is if it is outdoors, or if it is an indoor plant then lift the bulb and replant it out in your garden.
  6. If you leave the flowers to go to seed, this will affect the plant’s performance the following year.
  7. Removing all the growth, and lifting the bulbs like this, will also help you to ensure that next year’s crop is the healthiest that it can be.
  8. When you lift the bulbs, brush the soil off and check them for damage or disease, and discard the ones that are no good.

Final Words

Hyacinths are not the type of plant that needs regular, aggressive pruning. If you have more than one plant you may wish to keep their leaves in trim – but these sweet little flowers won’t need a lot of maintenance!

4 thoughts on “How To Prune Hyacinths?”

    • This is not a plant that requires much pruning – in fact, there’s not much of them to prune! If you have cut it back a little over-enthusiastically after it has flowered, don’t worry too much – there is plenty of time for your plant to recover and grow again in the Spring.

      • I am trying to grow a hyacinth from a bulb from Trader Joes and the leaves are getting pretty long. May I trim them a bit at the top just to keep them from falling over? There is no flower yet.

        • You can trim back your hyacinth leaves before flowering, but a better option is to stake them up with a small stake, to stop them falling. Trimming back the foliage is best done when the plant has finished flowering. Best of luck!


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