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How to divide grape hyacinths

By: Garden Gate staff
Divide grape hyacinths to get more bulbs for free using these simple steps.

Get more grape hyacinth flowers

Why buy more bulbs when you can divide the grape hyacinths you have? When you want grape hyacinths (Muscari spp.) for other areas of your garden, lift established clumps and separate the bulbs. Even though some of the smaller bulbs will take a couple of years to reach blooming size, it's a faster stategy than waiting for the seedlings to mature.

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ht-d-grape-hyacinth-dig:After 3 to 5 years, bulbs have multiplied and the clumps can be divided.

Step 1: Dig up the grape hyacinth bulbs

  • In spring when the flowers are past but the foliage is still standing, it’s time to divide grape hyacinth. You can also divide this bulb in fall.
  • Slide a spade or garden fork into the ground a few inches away from the foliage so you don't damage the bulbs. If you loosen the soil all the way around the clump first, it won’t fall apart as you lift it.
  • You need to be able to see what you’re working with, so crumble the soil away until you see bulbs peeking through.

Check Out our Tips on How To Grow Beautiful Grape Hyacinth

ht-d-grape-hyacinth-divide:Break the big cluster into a few smaller pieces, then gently break off individual bulbs.

Step 2: Split the grape hyacinth bulbs apart

Above you can see the clump of bulbs and all the new offsets in a variety of sizes. The biggest ones will bloom next spring but the smaller ones will take a few years. Break the big cluster into a few smaller pieces, then gently break off individual bulbs.

Thinking About Buying Bulbs? See Our Tips on How To Buy the Best Bulbs

ht-d-grape-hyacinth-plant:When replanting the grape hyacinth bulbs, replant them at the same depth they had been growing.

Step 3: Replant grape hyacinth bulbs

The easiest way to plant your grape hyacinth is to put several together, as the photo shows. Plant the larger bulbs as singles and smaller ones in clusters.

  • Dig a wide, shallow hole, 3 to 4 inches deep.
  • Sprinkle a handful of bulb fertilizer on the bottom.
  • Brush some loose soil over it to avoid burning the bulbs.
  • Set your grape hyacinth bulbs a few inches apart.
  • Then refill the hole and firm the soil down.
  • Water the bulbs, and you’re all set for next spring.

Grape hyacinths usually send up new foliage in the fall, but don’t worry — they’re not getting ready to bloom out of season. That’s just their habit.

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