Grape hyacinths add colour to spring gardens. The plant produces spikes of tightly formed small purple blossoms that resemble grapes. It is often planted in bulb beds with other spring flowers such as daffodils and tulips. They grow from an underground bulblike structure called a corm, which stores the nutrients the foliage collects each year. The corm then supplies nutrients to the following spring's flowers, ensuring a healthy blooming period. The hyacinth requires proper trimming to bloom successfully while remaining an attractive addition to the garden.
Disinfect your pruning shears in a solution of 1 part bleach combined with 9 parts water. Rinse in clear water and allow them to dry. Disinfecting the shears prevents them from spreading diseases in the garden.
Trim back the flower spikes with the shears once the hyacinth flowers begin to wilt and die. Cut the stem off beneath the lowest set of flowers on the spike.
Cut back the foliage to the ground after it turns yellow and begins to die back naturally, usually six to eight weeks after blooming completes. Removing the foliage sooner prevents the hyacinth from collecting needed nutrients.
Grape hyacinth spikes can also be cut when in full bloom for use in flower arrangements and bouquets. Plant early blooming annuals in front of the hyacinths to camouflage the yellowing foliage as the hyacinth completes its seasonal life cycle. If you are digging and dividing the corms later in the year, mark their location with plant markers before cutting back the foliage. Otherwise, they can be difficult to find.