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Stringy grape hyacinths?

Posted by lilokiegardener 7 (My Page) on
Wed, Mar 31, 10 at 12:46

Hi all, i recently found a few clumps of grape hyacinths in my aunts back yard (1 acre) and she let me save them from being mowed over.. However, they are quite stringy.

From the GHs ive seen, they are short and cute and they point straight up. These have grown quite long and look stringy, and some of the flowers and/leaves lay down. Im wondering if it has to do with their location, maybe not enough sun? Or does this sometimes happen after not being divided?

They are in a sunny spot now, and i divided the clumps up with my fingers and separated some bulbs and planted them.

Any info would be great! I cant find anything on it! Thanks!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Stringy grape hyacinths?

This is a classic not-enough-sun symptom. It's called etiolation.

RE: Stringy grape hyacinths?

theloud, is this something that will be fixed maybe next season when they come back, now that they are in a full sun spot?

That would be great!

RE: Stringy grape hyacinths?


It's generally a bad idea to transplant bulbs when they're leafy and flowering. It's better to wait until they're dormant. However, the best time is really whenever you have the opportunity to rescue some bulbs.

Given that they're already transplanted, and probably have some damaged roots from that, you might want to keep an eye on them and give them some water this season if the weather turns hot and dry. Next year they should be fine.

RE: Stringy grape hyacinths?

lilkiegardener - you might be interested in this thread over on the perennials forum.

I would temepr some of thelouds statements a little insofar as grape hyacinths, certainly in my climate, are very untidy growers and their foliage can be a mess.

Secondly, some bulbs, such as snowdrops, are actually considered to be best moved when growing ('in the green') Grape hyacinths are so tough that I think you can safely move them at any time. Trying to get rid of them might be your ultimate problem.

Here is a link that might be useful: Grape hyacinth thread

RE: Stringy grape hyacinths?

For me grape hyacinths are summer dormant, though there is barely any time that there aren't active roots.

I don't find them invasive but they certainly bulk up quickly so I either keep them in pots to keep the singles and doubles separate; or I dig them up each year and remove most of the spawn-bulbs, plus adding some not-too-rich compost. The individual bulbs can reach golf ball size, though they're often smaller. The bigger bulbs make for longer flowering in this zone.

Full sun. Excellent drainage. Average to poor soil. Start leafing up in late summer and are green over winter. Certainly frost-hardy to -5C and probably lower.

If you have dreams of 'ribbons of blue' - keep them away from the flop of Narcissus leaves.

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