Growing Summer Hyacinth

Botanical Name:
Galtonia
Life Cycle:
perennial bulb
Planting Time:
spring or fall, depending on zone
Height:
2' to 4'
Exposure:
full sun
Soil:
rich, well-drained
Hardiness:
zones 8-11
Bloom Time:
mid summer
Flower:
a vertical cluster of 30 to 40 fragrant flowers on 2' to 4' spikes
Foliage:
long, green, blade-like leaves that grow 2 to 3 feet in length and die back in fall
Propagation:
division and seeds
Suggested Use:
shrub borders, beds, accents and cutting flowers
Growing Hints:
Zones 7 and north should plant bulbs in the spring for mid-summer bloom. Zones 8-10 should plant bulbs in the fall for spring blooms. Plants prefer sites with full sun and rich, well-drained soil. Bulbs should be planted deeply (7 inches) and spaced about 15 inches apart. Cooler zones should lift bulbs after leaves die back naturally (or before the first hard frost) and store them in dry peat moss or vermiculite over winter. Summer hyacinths propagated from seeds will take several years to flower. Propagate by division in spring or fall.
Interesting Facts:
According to Greek mythology a young boy named Hyacinth was killed with a discus while playing a game. A hyacinth sprang from his wound as he lay in the arms of the god Apollo, who was wailing in grief. Wild hyacinths have letter-like patterns on their petals, which look like the "A" in Greek which indicates the sound of wailing.
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