Muscari, or Grape hyacinths as they’re often referred to, make outstanding border plants, and are fantastic for Naturalising.
We recommend to always plant plenty of bulbs (at least 25) in a group to obtain the best visual effect. A spot under deciduous shrubs is another place where grape hyacinths will be attractive.
After all, the flowering period for grape hyacinths comes at a time when the shrubs are still bare.
Using grape hyacinths as bedding plants is not done so often anymore, although they are obviously perfect for fulfilling this role. For such a massive color effect, they have to be planted closely together. Bedding arrangements using combinations of late-flowering yellow daffodils and red tulips, for example, are very pretty.
Muscari are also perfect for planting in containers. All kinds of combinations are imaginable, but one of our favourite combinations is the use of miniature daffodils and low-flowering tulips.
Muscari planted in a favorable location where no water can settle during the winter can naturalize easily. One drawback, however, is that the leaves often emerge before the winter season. The frost damage thus produced remains visible during the flowering period although the flowers themselves are seldom damaged. A famous planting of them at Keukenhof gardens in Holland is known as the “blue river”; this is a dense planting of muscari that winds through the shrubs, some of which bloom at the same time. Year after year, this is one of the most photographed scenes in this spectacular park.
Muscari planting guide…
- Muscari’s will thrive in full sun to part shade - under deciduous trees is always popular.
- Plant in well drained soil, 3-5cm deep. Ensure that the soil is loosened to at least 10cm, and add in some Bulb food.
- Water well to begin with, but avoid over-watering… as long as the soil is moist, and not too damp, they’ll perform well.
Muscari will Naturalise well, so there is no need to lift Muscari Bulbs, however if you have grown them in pots, you may wish to.
Ensure that you let the foliage die down naturally prior to harvesting the Bulbs - the best time to harvest Muscari is late December through to late January.
Once lifted, let them dry for a few days, and store them somewhere cool and dry until planting time, which is around late March/April.