London (change)
13 messages
02/04/2014 at 22:33
I have a large collection of sempervivum in my rockery, which give me a great deal of pleasure. But they are now completely covered by grape hyacinths. These will disappear very soon of course - but are they harming the houseleeks - and if so, should I get rid of them? Presumably I'd have to dig everything out?
02/04/2014 at 22:37

I wouldn't think they would compete - the muscari will die back down and lay dormant beneath the soil til next spring.  Sounds like a good combination to me 

02/04/2014 at 22:51

Get rid of the muscari.  They are a weed...ok a beautiful weed....and take over very easily.  

Easier said than done I guess.  My garden was full of muscari.   I propagated them with zeal, loving that blue colour.  Then I realised my folly and remove every one I can.  

They will spoil your houseleeks Berkeley.  They will simply multiply and dominate. Can you clear one or two houseleeks?  Dig up and remove the bulbs as you see them?  How big an area are we talking about?  Perhaps start at the top and clear them there?  

You should be able to lift houseleeks and replant intact.

If you can't face it right now perhaps at summer's end?  The bulbs will still be visible 

Good luck 

02/04/2014 at 23:08

Forgive my ignorance, but how will they spoil the houseleeks?  Aren't they just like daffodils that you can plant things on top of for later in the season??

03/04/2014 at 03:07

I'm with Verdun. I agree they're an invasive weed. Pretty enough, but so are the flowers of bindweed, ditto Celendine are pretty in their way too, but weeds nonetheless.

03/04/2014 at 05:29

muscari will multiply quite beyond reason but if you rip the foliage off as soon as they finish blooming it slows them down considerably-i wouldnt be without them-and they make excellent mulch-the white muscari have good manners and are wonderfully pretty

03/04/2014 at 09:37

I read somewhere the other that the gardener gives them a hair cut, .just remove some of the leaves until you think its tidy.  The bulbs will still come up next year.

03/04/2014 at 15:58

They do get a bit out of control and you can move them to other places otherwise they will take over.

03/04/2014 at 16:41

I like both but I wouldn't let the Muscari in with my Sempervivums............they won't actually kill them but they will bulk up and take over.  Also as the Muscari leaves die down they will drape themselves over the have a nice display of your Semps, you will then need to pull off all the rotting Muscari leaves.  Apart from anything else, the 2 species like different conditions

03/04/2014 at 16:41

I'd been thinking of removing some large clumps of grape hyacinths in a new border I made last autumn.  So I took them out and planted the area up with some free bulbs I got, including some called muscari.

I have to admit I laughed when I saw them start flowering last week.  Another lesson learnt.

03/04/2014 at 16:43


03/04/2014 at 17:38

Oh Tonks... I think we have all done that...and not just once

03/04/2014 at 21:54
Thanks to everyone who showed interest in my problem. I was torn between the two different viewpoints expressed - but when I saw how the grape hyacinths were lying as a soggy mass over the houseleeks this morning, I knew it couldn't be good for them....I think I've pleased everybody: I must have removed about two million and probably left just as many behind! The whole operation took me four hours, but the sempervivum look happy again and I've replanted the largest hyacinth bulbs in an ideal (and isolated) spot. Many thanks again to all.
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13 messages