Are Hyacinths Considered Annual, Biennial, or Perennial Plants?

Hyacinth flowers are popular spring bulbs with stunning and brightly colored flowers. But will they come back after you plant them, or are they a one-season flower? Find out if hyacinth is considered an annual, biennial, or perennial flower before you start planting them in your garden this season.

Purple and Pink Hyacinth perennial bulbs growing in garden sun

Hyacinths are iconic for the beautiful colors they produce and the lovely scent of their flowers. However, many farmers, flower enthusiasts, and gardeners may have trouble getting the flowers to blossom as they wish. But are hyacinths considered annual, biennial or perennial plants? And what’s the difference? Will they return year after year, or will you need to replant them each season?

Hyacinths come in many colors and sizes. Hyacinths commonly flower in blue, white, pink, and yellow. Coloration can also mix to create wild-looking flowers that are definitively striking. Solid hues like blue, red, and orange hyacinths are rare. They can be grown both indoors and outdoors if they are provided proper care.

So, will these spring blooming bulbs return each season after planting? Or will you need to replant them every year to enjoy their beautiful scent? Let’s take a deeper look into the life cycle of the hyacinth, and what you can expect once you plant them this season.

The Short Answer

Hyacinths are considered perennial bulbs. Once planted, they will rebloom each season if they are provided proper care and grow within their required hardiness zones. Typically, hyacinths will survive in the ground through winter in hardiness zones 4-8.

The Long Answer

Purple flowers blooming in garden with many small light purple petals.
Enjoy these beautiful, rich, perennial blooms year after year in your garden.

There are typically three types of plants: annuals, perennials, and biennials. All three plants have different timing and will regrow in different seasons.

An annual plant lives its entire life and dies within one year. The plant, stem, flower, and root will die within the year and regrow from dormant seeds left behind.

A perennial plant keeps coming back for multiple seasons. Usually, this type of plant will wilt and die, but the roots will live in the soil. These roots will bring the plant back to life for another season. Many perennial plants may see their flowers die, but leaves may live on and protect the root system underneath.

Biennial plants are those that need two years to finish their lives. Within the first year of a biennial plant, leaves may grow. The second year will see stems sprouting and lengthening before flowers and seeds sprout from the plant. The plant, roots, leaves, and stalk will die as the second-year ends.

Hyacinths are considered perennial plants, making them an ideal choice for any flower garden. These flowers are beautiful with bold and rich colors and provide striking varieties. However, they also thrive for multiple seasons without the need to replant.

Hyacinth Life Cycle

Light purple petals on flower growing close to the ground. Green foliage grows all around at the base of the plant.
Although they are beautiful to look at, these flowers are toxic and can irritate your skin.

Hyacinths originate from the Mediterranean and Africa, commonly found in Turkey and along the Mediterranean Sea. Most hyacinths have around four to six leaves from the underground bulb and grow upward.

While beautiful, hyacinths are toxic and can irritate the skin. The bulbs of a hyacinth plant hold oxalic acid. Emergency medical attention should be sought if a pet or human eats any part of a hyacinth plant.

Hyacinths are also incredibly hardy plants that can survive in freezing temperatures. These spring blooming perennials grow best in plenty of moisture and soil well-drained, located in full sunlight. Light shade is best for hyacinths, but they may begin to wilt if they spend most of their time in the shade.

Hardiness Zones for Hyacinths

Blue and pink flowers growing on the ground, with dark green foliage at the base. Some of the foliage is out of focus, with the many blooms on the stem in bright pink as the focus of the image.
Make sure to check your zone before planting these flowers in your garden.

Hardiness zones are designated areas in the United States where plants can and cannot survive. Hardiness zones can show you exactly which plants can thrive in what areas, making it easier for gardeners and farmers to map out their crops and flowerbeds.

Hyacinths are notoriously hardy, but they cannot survive everywhere. Refer to this list of hardiness zones to see which zones can accommodate hyacinths:


Hardiness Zone
Treated as Perennials
Hardiness Zone 1 No
Hardiness Zone 2 No
Hardiness Zone 3 Yes, with mulch to insulate
Hardiness Zone 4 Yes, with mulch to insulate
Hardiness Zone 5 Yes
Hardiness Zone 6 Yes
Hardiness Zone 7 Yes
Hardiness Zone 8 Yes
Hardiness Zone 9 No
Hardiness Zone 10 No

Hyacinths can grow in most states in the United States. However, there are extreme conditions in which they will not survive. The coldest temperatures are found in zones one, two, and three. Alaska consists almost entirely of these zones, and hyacinths are unlikely to grow outside in these areas.

However, hyacinths will thrive the most in zones four, five, six, seven, and eight. Zones nine and ten are too tropical and may cause hyacinths to dry out and die.

Growing in Cold Regions

Purple flower blooming in the snow. There is snow on the bloom and on all the foliage at the base of the plant.
With extra care hyacinths can survive the cold weather, however they will do best indoors during these conditions.

Hyacinths can survive in freezing or extreme temperatures, like in Alaska. However, they may require an intense amount of care. If you live in an area prone to freezing temperatures, you may benefit from growing your hyacinths inside in pots with ideal drainage and loose soil. You may also require a lamp to give your hyacinths light on cloudy days.

Because hyacinths require full sunlight, gardeners living in cold regions may find themselves without the sun for many days and need a solution to keep their hyacinths alive.

If this is a circumstance you find yourself in, you can find a plant lamp to provide your hyacinths with the ultraviolet light they require so that they do not wilt and die.

Hyacinth bulbs require exposure to a specific range of temperatures to sprout and grow. This requirement can make a cold environment beneficial for growing hyacinths. For around three months, hyacinth bulbs must remain somewhere that maintains a temperature of 40 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

If temperatures are not this cold yet, you can chill your hyacinth bulbs in a chiller or refrigerator until it is time to plant them.

If temperatures drop below -25 degrees Fahrenheit, you may see your hyacinths wilt and die, as this temperature is too cold for them. Use extra mulch to help insulate your hyacinth garden bed against unexpected cold and freezing temperatures.

Indoor Growing

Bulbs in containers indoors are sprouting with green leaves at the top.
Make sure to provide the right living conditions when planting these flowers indoors.

Hyacinths can grow well indoors. They are often kept indoors for their enticing scent. They can thrive as houseplants – as long as they get everything they need. These needs can be simple and easy to implement:

Indoor Care Needs

  • A spot where the sun shines nearly all day.
  • Loose potting soil.
  • Flower food.
  • A pot with good drainage.

If you manage a hyacinth plant’s needs, hyacinths can bloom again and again. In some cases, blooms may not rely on the season or time of year since they will not be subject to outdoor elements.

Multiple hyacinths can be within the same pot. However, they will need plenty of space to ensure that the bulbs are not touching each other. If the bulbs are too close together, they may not grow. They may rot and die without enough space to thrive on their own.

Additionally, you will want to ensure that your pot is not too shallow and has plenty of room for growth. A small container may only accommodate one hyacinth, but a larger container may accommodate two or three.

Proper Growing Conditions

Gardener planting flowers in the garden. She is wearing a brown sweater, holding a pot full of purple flowers. On the ground is a small hole with a hand trowel used to dig holes in the garden.
These flowers will need proper drainage and sunlight in order to reach their full potential.

Hyacinths will need a garden bed or pot with good drainage alongside full sunlight. More than a small amount of shade per day may have your hyacinths wilting.

Mulch atop your hyacinth bed may aid in drainage and insulation from poor weather. Additionally, placing stones underneath the soil of your hyacinth bed or potted hyacinth may increase drainage and improve the conditions of a flower’s life.

Loose soil with plenty of maneuverability for the roots system to expand and grow. Planting in low areas that do not drain well will result in your hyacinths rotting and dying.

Hyacinths will bloom year after year without too much trouble if they are in the right conditions. However, these flowers will need proper care and treatment to continue blooming. Flower food and fertilizer may assist you in caring for your hyacinths needs.

Add Hyacinths For Color

Purple, red and yellow flowers growing low to the ground in the garden. The purple is a light lavender color, and the yellow blooms are pale yellow, almost white in color.
These flowers have a sweet aroma and come in many different colors.

Whether indoor or outdoor, Hyacinths can blossom with beautiful colors that will leave your guests awestruck. These perennial plants can liven your outdoor garden or an indoor plant stand and have a pleasing aroma that can scent your home.

Crossbreeding your hyacinths can also produce richer, bolder coloration within your home. These flowers can be grown in cold regions within a home or indoor facility, making them a clear choice for all hardiness zones.

Final Thoughts

Hyacinths are ideal for residents of hardiness zones three through eight. Although those in zones three and four may wish to use plenty of mulch to insulate the root system. Hyacinths are notoriously hardy and do well in outdoor, cold temperatures. Hyacinths are a clear winner for gardeners who want beautiful flowers in colder climates.

Whether you are looking for a sweet smell outside your home or a flower bed of notorious beauty, hyacinths are the best choice. These flowers can withstand challenging temperatures and storms while maintaining their structure and beauty.

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