Charming and versatile, muscari flowers are some of the easiest spring-blooming bulbs to grow. Also known as grape hyacinths, muscari grows 6-8 inches tall and produces bell-shaped flowers in grape-like clusters. Although blue is the most common color, these little wonders are available in pink, yellow and white hues too. When planted in groups, many varieties perfume the springtime air with a sweet, musky fragrance. They're wonderful cut flowers, too.
While muscari are easy to grow and multiply easily, you'll get the best color show if you start with larger, quality bulbs. Larger bulbs can store more nutrients and produce bigger flowers and foliage. K. van Bourgondien offers muscari bulbs for sale that are large, up to 8-9 cm, and plump.
Like other flower bulbs, muscari bulbs do best when planted in well-drained soil and in full sun to partial shade. Because they bloom in mid-spring, muscari can be planted under deciduous trees. They also add charm and color when planted in rock gardens, mixed perennial beds, in borders, along paths and in containers. Planting them en masse creates an impressive effect in the springtime. Muscari look best when planted in groups of at least 10 bulbs or more and are great companions for snowdrops, daffodils and tulips. When planting muscari, keep in mind that muscari flowers are low growing so avoid planting taller flowers in front of them.
Muscari planting is done in the fall before the ground freezes. Plant muscari bulbs 3-4 inches deep and 3 inches apart, preferably in clumps of 10-12 bulbs. Do not fertilize. Usually fall rains provide enough moisture for the muscari bulbs.
After planting muscari in the fall, they require virtually no care until they burst into bloom in mid-spring for several weeks. After muscari blooms in the springtime, allow the foliage to fade back naturally. The foliage provides the nutrients for next year's flowers. Muscari naturalize and multiply freely. If they become crowded, you can dig up the muscari bulbs in late spring after they finish blooming, divide the bulbs and replant elsewhere. Many gardeners like to share their extra muscari bulbs with friends.
Muscari flowers require little care after blooming. Usually rainfall provides enough water, and mulching helps suppress weeds and retain moisture. While they aren't heavy feeders, they'll benefit from some compost in the fall. In the fall, it's quite common for muscari to sprout some green foliage. Just leave it. In the springtime, you can expect another color show. Muscari multiply freely and can be left undisturbed for years.