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Transplanting muscari

Nana PatNana Pat Posts: 26
I have had some new plants delivered today from my local garden centre and, being somewhat of a novice, I am wondering what to do with the white 'Esther' grape hyacinths which have no care labels with them. The garden centre is closed during the current 'lockdown', apart from contactless deliveries, so I can't ask any of their knowledgeable staff! The muscari are currently in small pots of eight bulbs, in full flower (about 9" tall), with three quarters of the bulbs visible above the soil level. I want to transplant them into the garden underneath a Magnolia Stellata but I'm not sure how deep to plant them. I suppose I would be lucky to keep the flowers this year by transplanting them now, but I like to think they would come back next year if the bulbs were deep enough - I assume that would mean burying a portion of the leaves and flower stems? Any help and advice would be gratefully received! Many thanks in anticipation.
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  • BiljeBilje Posts: 797
    Yes in my opinion plant them now, if you were planting bulbs in the Autumn the rule would be to plant the bulb with twice its depth above it...as your plants are growing I'd plant them at the same depth even though you are burying part of the leaves. Depending on how dense the pots are planted you might want to gently split them into smaller clumps. 
    Keep them well watered and perhaps a feed or two of high potash fertiliser ie tomato plant food. Leave the leaves to die down naturally. As the flowers fade this year snip them off so the bulbs can feed themselves but in future years you can leave them to self seed if you want. 
  • Nana PatNana Pat Posts: 26
    Thanks, Bilje - your advice is much appreciated! The eight bulbs in each pot are packed tightly together so I'll aim to split them up as I plant them. 
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,891
    I'd echo that advice from @Bilje.
    These plants are often forced so that people can buy them at certain times - in this case, it would be Easter. They're quite easy to separate too, and then you can have them where you want them, after you've enjoyed the flowers  :)
    Mine aren't in flower yet, some in pots and some in the ground, but I'm thinking of putting the potted ones in the ground now, as I could use the pots for something else. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....



    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Nana PatNana Pat Posts: 26
    Thanks for your reply Fairygirl! Fingers crossed that both yours and my bulbs are happy in their new homes and come back up next year - hopefully we'll be well out of the other side of this awful pandemic by then. Stay safe!
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,891
    I'm sure they'll be fine @Nana Pat, and hopefully we all will be as well  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....



    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • herbaceousherbaceous Posts: 2,318
    If it is any consolation @Nana Pat the muscari are the only survivors from a Mothering Sunday basket from my daughter 10 years ago.  They are in poor soil, exposed sunny border and they are taking over. They seem to be pretty tough!
    "The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it."  Sir Terry Pratchett
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,891
    The white ones aren't quite so keen on world domination as the blue ones though  ;)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....



    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • WilderbeastWilderbeast Posts: 1,415
    @Fairygirl to be fair world domination by a pretty blue plant isn't so bad (I have marestail, creeping buttercup and couch grass in profusion), definitely could be worse. We were given a handful of blue muscari a couple of years back and we have managed to divide and spread them around, they a lovely bright blue and fill the gap between very early flowers and later spring 
  • Nana PatNana Pat Posts: 26
    Thanks, Herbaceous - that's very encouraging to hear!
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,891
    @Wilderbeast - except that I don't like blue.... ;)
    I make an exception for bluebells, although I don't have them here. I do grow the 'Scottish bluebell' - harebells, as they remind me of the hills when I can't be on them  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....



    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
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