Growing and Caring for Grape Hyacinths

Growing and Caring for Grape Hyacinths
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Growing Grape HyacinthsGrape Hyacinths, muscari armeniacum, are tiny, but charming bulbs. They are VERY easy to grow, and have a lovely fragrance. They grow about I0 inches tall, and 8 inches wide, with a grassy foliage and flowers that look like a miniature bunch of grapes-upside down! They bloom in early spring, for two to three weeks. Zones 4-8 can grow grape hyacinths; they tolerate 0 degree temperatures.

I learned the hard way that you need to plant a nice, large grouping or they get lost. The deep purple blooms can be planted under trees, where they receive sun before leaves form, in rock gardens, pots, or with other spring bulbs. When planting consider how the entire "clump" will look, not just the individual flowers. The more you plant the more their scent will fill the air!

Plant your bulbs, where they won't be too damp in the winter, to avoid rotting. They like full sun or partial shade, but in hot climates plant them where they will be shaded, which will prolong the bloom time. They like rich, fertile soil, so add compost and other amendments when planting.

They don't need fertilizer however, after planting. Squirrels and other rodents will eat the bulbs, so plant with daffodils, cover with a mesh wire, try using moth balls, or crushed hot pepper around the soil. They will come back each year and multiply as well. Allow the foliage to die down, and then simply rake it away-at this point it should pull away without tearing.

There is also a white variety, M. botryoides album, which can be mixed in with the purple for a neat display. You can plant grape hyacinths in windowboxes or other containers. Again, make sure you leave the foliage on until it browns, even if you have to move the container to an out of the way location.

Image: Wikimedia.org

 

About The Author

Brenda Hyde is a freelance writer living on ten acres in rural Michigan with her husband and three kids. She is a mom, grandma, gardener, cook and writer. She blogs on all of these topics at Harvestmoongazette.blogspot.com.

 
 

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