Grape Hyacinth: Singin' the Blues

If you’ve ever planted spring bulbs, you know the joy they bring when they begin to pop up and herald spring’s arrival. But some bulbs are considered delicacies by our furry garden visitors, often struggling to see the light of day in certain areas. There are some bulbs, however, with tastes so bitter that mice and rats won’t go near them.

Blue Magic Grape Hyacinth

Spring bulbs such as daffodils and oxalis fall into this category, but one of the best rodent-resistant bulbs is the grape hyacinth, or Muscari. This bulb will deter not only rats and mice, but deer will avoid them too.

There are 30 members of the grape hyacinth family, which is so named because of the blooms’ resemblance to grape clusters. Although hardiness varies, most members of the family are hardy in zones 4-7. The grape hyacinth is easy to grow. It blooms in late spring and offers up long-lasting, fragrant, dark blue or brilliant purple flower clusters.

Generally low maintenance, the grape hyacinth prefers full sun and fertile, moist, but well-drained soil. It adds interest to mixed borders, deciduous woodland gardens, and wildflower gardens, Plant groups of bulbs 4” deep in the fall. Divide clumps in summer and early autumn, when the plants are dormant. They will multiply and provide beautiful blue color year after year.

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