My Hyacinth Is Turning Brown – Caring For Browning Hyacinth Plants

Browning Hyacinth Plant
brown hyacinth
(Image credit: alfimimnill)

One of the most welcome signs of spring is the emergence of the fragrant and stout hyacinth. Whether grown in the ground or indoors in a pot, the flowers of this plant promise the end of cold temperatures and frost to gardeners everywhere. Unfortunately, problems aren’t uncommon, with the hyacinth plant turning brown among the most frequently encountered. Find out if your hyacinth has a real problem or if it’s just going through its normal lifecycle in this article.

Help! My Hyacinth is Turning Brown!

Before you panic because your hyacinth is browning, take a deep breath. Browning hyacinth plants aren’t always a cause for concern. In fact, it’s often just a signal that they’ve done their thing for the year and are getting ready to shed their flowers or go into dormancy. If your plant is turning brown, check these things before panicking:

  • Light. Indoor hyacinths need plenty of light, but they shouldn’t be in a window with direct sunlight. Too much light can cause brown leaves on hyacinth, as well as not enough.
  • Water. Root rot is another major problem with indoor hyacinths. Overwatering can cause the root system to turn into mush, inhibiting its ability to move nutrients through the plant. Yellowing and browning are signs of this problem. Unpot your plant, check the roots, and repot into it dry medium if you want to save it. Never allow plant pots to stand in water in a dish; instead, allow the excess water to drain out the bottom of the pot.
  • Frost damage. Outdoor hyacinths are sometimes kissed by frost when they’re first emerging from the ground. This will usually manifest as brown spots that later grow into blotches. Prevent these spots by providing a 2- to 4-inch (5-10 cm.) layer of mulch to protect tender growth early in the season.
  • Insects. Hyacinths are generally pest-free, but once in a while thrips or sap-sucking insects will attack them. Look for small insects under the leaves and inside open flower buds. If you detect movement or see what appears to be woolly or scaly growth on wilting areas of the plant, spray it with neem oil weekly until the bugs are gone.
  • Fungal infections. Infections like Botrytis fungus can cause brown blooms on hyacinths. The spots from this disease are gray-brown and will rot quickly. Increasing the air circulation around the plant and watering it properly will dry out this type of infection.
Kristi Waterworth

Kristi Waterworth was a regular contributor to Gardening Know How for many years, answering countless queries on plant pests and diseases.