Muscari Mountain Lady: A fragrant plant for your containers and garden
Worthy of close inspection, these fragrant, artfully detailed blossoms are soft blue with white tips. Force them in containers for an enchanting preview of spring, or plant them out where you can enjoy them up close.
Muscari Mountain Lady are handy, hardy, vigorous little spring bloomers that should, like Crocuses, be staples in every garden. They thrive in full sun or deciduous shade, tolerate practically any soil, and seem to live forever. They are ideal companions for taller bulbs or flowering shrubs and look marvelous in loose sweeps all by themselves. For information on the care of Grape Hyacinths, click Growing Guide.
Grape Hyacinths (Muscari) are easy to grow in well-drained soil. If left undisturbed, the blue-flowered varieties multiply rapidly. Bulbs often send up grasslike leaves in fall. This growth is normal and should not be cut or mowed off until browned by frost. Great for forcing. It is not unusual during storage for blue-green penicillin mold to grow on the surface of Muscari bulbs. The mold does no harm, and it dies as soon as you plant the bulb. If the bulb is firm, you can plant with confidence. Space them 2–3″ apart and 2–3″ deep.
Growing Muscari: Planting Tips
The most important things to remember about Muscari bulbs is that They Are Not Fussy!
They are happy to grow in sun to almost full shade, in soil that has been amended with compost or not. Best of all, they only need to be planted 3 inches deep, and 2-3 inches apart, making them quick and easy to plant. Muscari flowers will grow and thrive in zones 3-9. Plant them in the fall, a few weeks before frost.
While Muscari flowers resemble hyacinth flowers, they are a separate genus, even though their common name is grape hyacinth. They are deer resistant favorites that, when happy, can spread (naturalize) to form dense carpets of spring color. Flower spikes are a plucky 6-8 inches tall, making them a perfect companion for tulips and daffodils.
Muscari flowers stay in bloom for a long time! Many flowers last for a full month, making them abundant sources of spring color. Muscari flowers are also good sources of spring pollen for honeybees and other small beneficial insects. They make lovely cut flowers too.
Growing Muscari: Caring For Grape Hyacinth Bulbs
As soon as the flowers fade, cut them back with scissors, leaving the stems to nourish the bulb. Apply a layer of compost in the fall and if they sprout leaves in the fall, not to worry, they’re just gathering a bit more bulb fuel. Let them die back naturally.
Let your imagination be your guide as you experiment with these resilient, easy care plants.