How to Grow Grape Hyacinths

By Meagan Michi , last updated December 21, 2011

Grape Hyacinths are actually a part of the lily family; their name results from the fact that they look like hyacinths. From the genus Muscari, these easy to grow bulbs are winter hardy in zones 3-9. One bulb results in a single flower, which reaches about 10 inches in height. For maximum impact, consider planting a large grouping of grape hyacinths. In addition to a pretty landscape, you’ll also enjoy the lovely musk-like scent each time you wander past.

Plan to plant your grape hyacinths in the fall so they will bloom in the spring; they need to overwinter in the soil in order to bloom. Select a location that has well-drained soil and lots of daytime sun. You can naturalize them in grass or plant them in beds or borders.

Loosen the soil in your chosen location with a handheld shovel or spade, removing any weeds, roots or stones as you work. For best results, plant a dozen or more bulbs in a single grouping, but be sure to space bulbs at least two inches apart. Dig a small hole about three inches deep for each bulb, and place it in with the flat side facing down. Fill the hole with soil and pat lightly with the back of your hand shovel.

Water the planting area well, but do not drown the bulbs. Grape hyacinths do not do well in waterlogged soil as it will cause the bulbs to rot. You may notice that leaves begin to emerge long before spring; leave them be. You may choose to cover the planting area with a layer of mulch, leaves or compost.

After blooming, allow the foliage of your grape hyacinths to die back naturally. This will ensure that they gather all of their strength to survive the winter and come back to greet spring next year.

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