Muscari – Bulb of the Year

By Mary Ellen Ellis | October 24, 2019
Image by iBulb
by Mary Ellen Ellis
October 24, 2019

Who doesn’t love spring flowers? Summer blooms are great, and flowers that persist into fall are also beautiful, but nothing beats those early flowers that emerge sometimes even before the snow has melted. And one of the best, easiest ways to get spring blooms? Plant bulbs. Even beginners can do this, and there are so many options, like the striking Muscari spring flowering bulbs. Here’s what you need to know about them to get started.

What is Muscari?

Hyacinth is a popular type of spring-blooming bulb. These early flowers produce spikes of pretty, clustered blooms and have a delightful, perfume-y fragrance. Muscari, on the other hand, also known as grape hyacinth, is a different plant but one that can be every bit as popular and beautiful.

The flowers on Muscari are purple, small, and round, resembling clusters of grapes. In fact, the flowers on this plant include two types: on top are sterile, lighter colored flowers, and on the bottom, you’ll see the dark purple blooms that are fertile. While purple is the most common color seen in grape hyacinths, they come in many shades of blue and white and pink too.

Muscari in the Garden

This is a great bulb for anyone but especially beginner gardeners or anyone who has never worked with bulbs. Unlike some other bulbs, animals like squirrels and voles are uninterested in chomping on Muscari while they overwinter. And they’ll multiply where you plant them and return year after year, with no intervention on your part, other than some fertilizing not and then.

Use Muscari bulbs anywhere you have full sun. They look especially nice contrasted with some of the yellow daffodil varieties that come up in the spring. Muscari are also great for naturalized plantings in lawns and other areas, as they tend to spread. They even do well in containers.

Looking for an interesting Muscari packing some real flower power? Give Mountain Lady grape hyacinth bulbs (Muscari ‘Mountain Lady’) a try. These very unusual, individual flowers are white on top turning to blue farther down the stem. Hardy in zones 4-9, they’re ideal for borders, rock gardens, naturalizing or companion planting with tulips or daffodils. Like other Muscari bulbs, they’re also container friendly and the pollinators love them too.

Planting and Caring for Muscari

This gorgeous spring flower is easy to grow. Plant the bulbs in fall, to a depth of three to four inches (7.6 to 10 cm). Just make sure the pointy end is facing up in the ground. Plant the bulbs in a sunny spot where the soil drains well.

They won’t need much maintenance once established, and be sure to leave the foliage on plants until it starts to yellow. The bulbs need those leaves to produce the energy for making next year’s blooms. If your flowers get crowded after a few years, you can dig up bulbs after they’ve bloomed in late spring and re-plant them somewhere else in the garden.

To learn more about Muscari and other types of spring flowering bulbs, check out the information at Here you’ll find a lot of great resources and everything you need to know to get into bulb gardening.

The above article was sponsored by iBulb. The information contained in this article may contain ads or advertorial opinions.
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