How To Plant Grape Hyacinth


Grape hyacinth (Muscari armeniacum) is an early spring blooming bulb. Flowers appear from April to May for three to four weeks. The 4- to 8-inch-tall plants produce dark green, grass-like leaves. A thick tube-like stem grows with a spike of bell-shaped purple and dark blue flowers. The blossoms resemble grape clusters. Grape hyacinths are used for front borders, rock gardens, walkways and woodland gardens.

Step 1

Clear an area in full sun to partial shade of all weeds and unwanted plants in the fall. This eliminates unwanted competition for nutrients in the soil.

Step 2

Loosen the soil with a shovel to the depth of 12 inches. Remove rocks and break up large soil clumps. Spread a 2- to 4-inch layer of peat moss on top of the soil. Work the peat moss into the soil and rake the soil level.

Step 3

Remove the top 6 inches of soil with a shovel. Pour 2 cups of bone meal in your hole and mix it into the bottom level of soil with a hand trowel. Spread 1 inch of sand on the bottom of the hole to reduce bulb root rot.

Step 4

Place your grape hyacinth bulbs 3 to 4 inches apart or 10 to 20 bulbs per square foot in the hole with the pointed end up.

Step 5

Fill the hole with soil, covering the bulbs with about 5 inches of soil. Gently firm the soil over the grape hyacinth bulbs with your hands. Do not compact the soil. Water the planting area thoroughly.

Tips and Warnings

  • Grape hyacinths suffer injury if the temperature falls below 5 degrees F. when planted in the ground. This bulb grows in USDA winter hardiness zones 3 to 8 without mulching during the winter.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Peat moss
  • Rake
  • Bone meal
  • Hand trowel
  • Sand
  • Grape hyacinth bulbs


  • NC State University Perennial Bulb Fact Sheet: Grape Hyacinth
  • University of Illinois Extension---Bulbs & More: Planting & Care
  • University of Wisconsin Extension: Grape Hyacinth PDF
Keywords: grape hyacinth, planting grape hyacinth, Muscari armeniacum

About this Author

Karen Carter has spent the last three years working as a technology specialist in the public school system. This position included hardware/software installation, customer support, and writing training manuals. She also spent four years as a newspaper editor/reporter at the Willapa Harbor Herald.