Grape hyacinth, or muscari, is very cute short bulb flower.
Key Grape Hyacinth facts
Height – 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm)
Exposure – full sun
Soil: ordinary – Flowering: early spring
Caring for grape hyacinth from planting to blooming is easy and its ornamental effect is guaranteed.
→ Also: growing common hyacinth
Planting grape hyacinth
Get the planting of your Muscari bulbs right because the blooming depends on how well it’s done.
These bulbs must be planted in fall.
Plant them in large groups to form clustered spots of color.
- You can spread them across different exposure levels in various parts of the garden, this will stage their blooming.
- Favor full or part sun exposure.
- Bury grape hyacinths bulbs about 3 times as deep as the bulb is tall.
- They resist cold temperatures very well, and can even cope with snow.
- Let the flowers bear seed. When they drop, there’s a chance the flowers will re-seed on their own.
Grape hyacinth in a pot
Simply follow the same steps described above, but use regular flower plant soil mix instead of garden soil.
After the blooming wilts away, keep the grape hyacinths in the pot until the leafage also turn yellow and dries out completely.
Caring for grape hyacinth
For grape hyacinths grown in pots, remember to water as soon as the surface soil is dry.
The following best practices will help you have beautiful sustained blooming over the years.
- Cut leaves back only when they have turned yellow.
- Divide bulbs every 3 or 4 years to regenerate the grape hyacinths.
- Soil conditioner added in fall will make blooms denser and more abundant.
Watering grape hyacinth
It’s important to water during the phase that leads to blooming: from sprouting to the moment flowers wilt.
- In the ground: if there’s no rain during this time, water every 3-4 days, in moderate amounts.
- In pots, water twice as often (every other day).
Once flowers have dropped or are forming seeds, you don’t need to water as much. Too much water at this stage will quickly lead to bulb rot.
- In the ground: water every 10 days or so at this point.
- In pots: again, half as often: every 5 days.
In any case, make sure the soil drains well: it shouldn’t stay soggy. If it does, consider raising your grape hyacinths up a bit (6 inches or 15 cm is fine) so excess water drains to the side.
Learn more about grape hyacinth
This little plant is special for its cute small bell-shaped flowers. It is perfect for flower beds, along edges, or in rocky ground.
- As they grow to great numbers, they form a magnificent colored carpet.
- Plant dozens bulbs in the same place and the resulting effect looks amazing.
The species that is most common in gardens is Muscari armeniacum or Armenian Muscari. It is also often called the Mediterranean muscari. Other flowers bear the name “muscari” because their blooming is so similar: Liriope muscari is a good example of this.
There are other amazing grape hyacinth varieties, such as:
- Muscari botryoides,
- Muscari neglectum,
- Muscari comosum and more.
Depending on the variety, some grape hyacinths can grow anywhere from 8 to 24 inches (20 to 60 cm), but most grow to an average height.
Grape hyacinths are often available in flower shops for indoor blooming in winter, but these are usually forced. This forcing makes them bloom earlier, but usually weakens them to the point of not being able to survive, even if planted outdoors.
Smart tip about grape hyacinth
No need to water, grape hyacinths don’t need it unless they’re indoors where it doesn’t rain!
However, in pots, water as soon as the surface of the soil dries out.