Black flowers are a novelty in the garden and for the most part, you love them or you hate them. Black flowers, like deep burgundy foliage and flowers, can be very subtle and understated to the point of being hard to see. But what an impact they make when paired with contrasting colors. So Hyacinth ‘Midnight Mystic’™, the first black hyacinth should be a big hit in the spring bulb border.
Introduced in the 2007 Thompson & Morgan catalog, ‘Midnight Mystic’ has been in development for some 16 years.
Thompson & Morgan figured they were on to a good thing when the first 3 bulbs of ‘Midnight Mystic’ were sold for nearly $300,000 US! They've come way down in price, but although they are now affordable for the average gardener, Thompson and Morgan has a waiting list for the bulbs. There just isn't a large enough inventory - yet. It will be a trophy plant for at least the first few years.
Black ‘Midnight Mystic’ is a cross between a pure white variety and an unnamed blue seedling. It appears to have a purple tinge up close, but it’s black enough to cause a stir. I can’t wait to see it paired with pale pink daffodils or with yellow daffodils and bright orange tulips. Or maybe a classic black and white combination?
How To Grow Hyacinth
Hyacinth are grown from bulbs which are planted in the fall, for spring bloom
- Plant hyacinth bulbs any time in the fall or winter, until the ground freezes. The earlier you can plant them, the hardier your plants will be in the spring, since they will have had more time to develop a strong root system.
- Plant in full sun or in partially shaded spot that gets at least 3 full hours of sunlight.
- Plant the bulbs about 6 - 9 inches deep and about 6 inches apart. Don’t over crowd them, since they can spread quickly.
- Toss some bulb fertilizer into the planting hole or work it into the top layer of soil at planting.
- Water well and then sit back and wait for spring.
Spring Hyacinth Care
- Hyacinth flowers can become top heavy and staking them will keep them from being tossed and bent in spring winds. An easy way to do this is to insert a piece of wire right through the flower stem.
Deadhead the flowers after blooming, to begin putting the plant’s energy back into the bulb and its root system.
- Allow the foliage to die back naturally. This holds true for all spring bulb plants. The bulbs need the energy and fuel produced by the photosynthesis of the leaves. Cutting back the foliage too early will result in smaller and less blooms in subsequent years.
- Once the foliage turns yellow and dies back, it can be removed. Usually the leaves have come loose from the bulb and can removed by gently pulling. If they resist, cut the leaves off at ground level, to avoid injuring the bulb by tearing.
- After 3-4 years you will notice your plants and blossoms declining, because they need to be divided. Carefully dig the bulbs, separate the newly formed side bulbs and replant them.
Fertilizing Hyacinth Bulbs
The best times to feed your bulbs are:
- In the fall when you plant them and
- In the spring, when new growth appears.
Most gardeners remember to feed their spring bulbs when they are cleaning up after they have bloomed, but by then the bulbs are going dormant and don’t really benefit from the fertilizer.
Unfortunately, hyacinth plants are not particularly long lived. So dividing and replanting the newly formed bulbs is the best means for having your hyacinth for several season.