Festival Hyacinths or Hyacinthus Orientalis

junco1102(5b)September 27, 2011

I love Hyacinths and have been thinking about buying some Festival Hyacinth bulbs this fall, but they seem to be pretty expensive. Are the Festival Hyacinths worth twice the price of the Hyacinth Orientalis? I was looking at Blue Festival or Hyacinth Orientalis Sky Jacket, but with the other bulbs (alliums, erenurus, tulips and narcissus) that I am ordering, I really can't afford both types of hyacinths. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.


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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

I have grown both. I would stick with the Orientalis. The festivals are fine, but they don't really look like hyacinths. They have returned two years for me but I don't see any increase in plants, at least not yet.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 1:02PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

I had never heard of Festival hyacinths so I Googled. They look to me similar to my Orientalis hyacinths in their second and subsequent years after I put them into the garden after forcing. Lankier with more widely spaced blossoms. I actually like that look. I don't really like the crowded Orientalis flowers except in pots indoors where their artificial appearance doesn't matter. Outdoors I prefer the more natural look.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 1:52PM
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I have always found that the cheaper the bulb, the easier it is to grow.

It makes sense because; nurseries have too many to of the naturalizes to deal with and customers would scoff at a high price for something that multiplies rapidly anyway.

But I personally always take an extra look at the cheaper bulbs because they'll probably thrive at home, spread, and put on a really good show after a few years. An expensive, delicate, exhotic-looking plant is more likely to peter out and die in the garden with conditions that are less ideal than the grower's field.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 1:31AM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

I have the pink Festival Hyacinths as well as Orientalis. The Festival Hyacinths naturalize like crazy. That's the biggest difference I've found. I started with a dozen, now I must have hundreds, and have dug them up and given many away, too. The offsets just bloom a little smaller (= fewer florets). Where as the Orientalis I have tend to peter out, and get fewer florets over time, and certainly have never naturalized. The one thing I don't like about the Festival Hyacinths is that they are much taller. They flop easily as they mature and grow taller. I just let them go, or stake a few up if they are in a prominent spot.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 12:05AM
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Ispahan Zone6a Chicago

I agree with linnea56's assessment above. I have the Blue Festival hyacinths and they are very vigorous and rapid multipliers. When I first planted them I noticed that a lot of the bulbs were actually composed of several "cloves" surrounded by an outer brown sheath, much like garlic. These are taller, more graceful and more wildflowery than common hyacinths and the fact that they naturalize is a wonderful bonus. The fragrance is fantastic. I have really enjoyed these and one day hope to add the pink and white versions to my garden as well.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 8:28AM
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Thank you so much for your input. I purchased 20 Blue Festival hyacinths and can't wait for spring to see them bloom.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 2:14PM
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