There is joy in the early spring when colorful plants, like grape hyacinths, surprise us. The foliage did not mind resting on the soil all winter, but the blue grape hyacinths amazingly shoot up through the foliage and thrill us. But there is a surprise.
The common name, grape hyacinths, comes from the way the clusters of the small, bell-shaped, blue flowers appear to look upside-down – like clusters of grapes. Each 4-8 inch bulb will produce 20-40 tightly packed flowers on each stem. When you look very carefully you will be able to see that each floret has a very thin white ban on the rim of each bell.
When I planted my first bulbs in the fall, I couldn’t wait until they bloomed in the spring. And they did send up lots of fine green foliage and beautiful flowers happily very early in April.
After the joys and colors of spring flowers, many of them ultimately die down, and the grape hyacinth is one of them. When June is passed almost all the foliage dies and disappears.
In late August little green shoots began to grow where the grape hyacinths used to show off their beautiful form and color. Are they weeds? Happily, no. In late summer and into the fall new shoots take over and will remain on the soil all winter long. I don’t have anything to do with them during the winter, and I have learned that in the spring this foliage will be there and happy in the spring. More grape hyacinth bulbs will bloom again.
This year I realized that when I saw new grape hyacinths beginning to shoot up, I noticed that the bulbs I had planted were increasing. That means there were more shoots, and there will be more grape hyacinths next spring. You can see I should pay more attention to the way plants work. But no matter. I look at the ‘old’ shoots, and the ‘new’ shoots and I can’t wait for an April spring and lots of beautiful new grape hyacinths.
This Post Has 2 Comments
Exciting! I look forward to their magic every spring! 🙂
Beth – I love grape hyacinths too, but I sure was surprised its schedule!