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Grape hyacinth seeds - what to do with them?

ErgatesErgates Posts: 2,401
I had a couple of pots of grape hyacinths, blue and white. The flowers have died down, but there are loads of seeds on them. I’m very happy to have more of these in the garden. Is there a fuss free way to plant them? Can I just stick them in the ground, or do they need proper cultivating. I shall be planting the original bulbs out soon.


  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,295
    I doubt if they're ripe yet. If you leave them on when you plant out they will seed them selves

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,541
    be careful what you wish for. I don't even let mine flower for fear of the invasion of self seeders.
  • ErgatesErgates Posts: 2,401
    The white ones have completely finished flowering, and the seeds are falling off round them. The blue ones aren’t as advanced. I’ll just scatter the seeds around and see what happens. I’d be quite happy to have an invasion of them, lots of trees, grass ( ie Moss) and shrubs in the garden, but relatively few flowers.Thanks all.
  • WoodgreenWoodgreen Posts: 1,273
    If you really don't mind the idea of them in grass, scatter away. I have just a few of the standard blue in my orchard but find that this one, muscari latifolium, (broad leafed muscari) increases very well in the grass. To prevent it overpowering other little plants I do dead head it now (as much as is practical.) It increases  better than the ordinary grape hyacinth here, but I'm sure your seeds will want to grow wherever they land!

  • bertrand-mabelbertrand-mabel Posts: 2,523
    @Woodgreen Very interested in your photo showing so many great plants.
    we have tried to get fritillaries to grow in our "wildlife"area but no go.
    We eventually got them to grow in the bog garden with some insectivorous plants and today they are flowering very well.
    However why can't we grow them like you do?
  • WoodgreenWoodgreen Posts: 1,273
    Glad you have got some fritillaries growing @bertrand-mabel. The reason they grow so well here is that the soil is moisture retentive, and there is occasional flooding in one part of the orchard. But even in those areas well above the flooding they have done very well. Last spring after a wetter winter they were even more numerous, the best I can ever remember and will be again after wet winters (as Monty Don pointed out only last Friday on Gardeners World.)
    They have increased year on year by self-seeding. I collect seed from along the edge of the long grass as it would be wasted dropping onto regularly mown paths etc. Then I scatter some of it back on after strimming the orchard and removing the hay in July. 
    I started to plant the bulbs about twenty-five years ago, I would buy some every year and planted them very deep, to protect them from pheasants (though they never seem to try to dig them up here, touch wood.) But deep planting must help to prevent them getting too dried out I think. Moist, or even wet ground is the key, hence you succeeding in the bog garden. Conversely the orchard can get very dry in late summer but apparently they dont mind the dryness then. I never cease to be amazed at how many there are, and they flower in succession -- there are still hundreds just in bud. I havent planted bulbs now for many years. Do keep trying, scatter the seeds and you never know!
    Incidentally, one half of the orchard is not left to grow wildflowers, then cut in July (simply because the soil there is too rich and grows grass better than wildflowers!) so I cut that half at the beginning of May, using a mower which has a high setting. So far the fritillaries still keep coming back and I'll put the collected seed on there to try to ensure more plants, as I am cutting them down straight after flowering. I used to leave it long but strimming rough grass is hard work and there was no benefit of wildflowers to make it worthwhile, unlike the other half which can be really good.

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