Perennials & Ornamental Grasses

Planting bunny bells - what you have to watch out for


The bunny bell is beautiful to look at, but also has its pitfalls because it is poisonous. There are a few things to consider before planting.

Whether lily of the valley, tulips or daffodils - everyone has a picture of how the variety of plants begins to blossom in spring and how the gardens and landscapes shine in new colors. For many people, tulips and lily-of-the-valley are part of spring like butter on bread - the same applies to the popular rabbit bells (Hyacinthoides), which are simply part of the spring picture. The flower color in white, blue-violet or pink often adorns the lawn in the garden or finds its place under hedges, shrubs and trees of all kinds. Surprisingly, they belong to the asparagus plants and are easy to maintain.

Caution: Bunny bell is poisonous

The rabbit bell belongs to the asparagus family and among them to the hyacinthoids, because the rabbit bell looks very similar to the well-known hyacinths. The herbaceous plant mainly appears as a harbinger of spring after winter, together with tulips and daffodils and is therefore symbolic of many people for this time of year. In contrast to many other garden plants, the rabbit bell has no roots, but survives underground with the help of the onion. Although the plant develops capsule fruits and exudes a lovely fragrance, they should not be consumed - at best you should also keep your hands off the crop. This is not only due to the fact that the rabbit bell is protected in Germany, but is also quite toxic in itself and should therefore not be eaten.

Irritation and allergy-like symptoms can occur on the skin after touching or picking. Especially with children playing in the garden, it is therefore to be avoided to plant the rabbit bells very easily accessible. But what else does the herbaceous plant have?

Rabbit bells - interesting facts at a glance

  • grows up to 40cm high
  • many different subspecies of the plant available
  • onion Family
  • Flowering can appear either white, pink or bluish
  • occurs naturally in Africa or western Europe
  • belongs to the asparagus family
  • develops many flowers
  • smells light
  • are slightly toxic and should therefore not be consumed
  • can irritate the skin and mucous membranes
  • uncomplicated plant that is considered a harbinger of spring
  • basically very easy to maintain and undemanding

  • emits a delicate fragrance in spring

  • impresses with appealing bell flowers, which are clustered like grapes and can come in colors such as white, blue and pink

  • like to spread out in the middle of the lawn or under woody plants

  • spread quickly by themselves in the garden

  • come back every spring
  • are slightly poisonous and therefore neither suitable for themselves nor in relation to their capsule fruits

  • can irritate the skin when touched or picked, as can the mucous membranes

  • in flower pots the bunnies overwinter only with a little help

Plant rabbit bells - ideal conditions

Once you have planted the bunny bell in an ideal location and it receives everything it needs from the soil and substrate, you can expect it to multiply intensively. This means that areas are quickly taken up by the uncomplicated plant - if you want to limit this, you should definitely intervene in good time by cutting off the seeds of the plant and thereby preventing them from germinating on the ground. If you have delimited a designated area especially for the rabbit bells, you do not need many bulbs to fill the whole field with the pretty plant soon.

If you have children or animals that like to play in the garden and run free, you should take special care that the rabbit bells are not in the middle of the lawn used. Otherwise animals could eat them or put children in their mouths, so that they not only suffer from irritation, but also carry health problems such as vomiting. Therefore, not only is it particularly important to be careful, but at best plant the bunny bell in a raised bed or in flower pots. If you want, you can also delimit the affected area with the help of a limitation, such as a children's fence.

What conditions does the rabbit bell need?

In order for the bunny bell to feel really good, the chosen location should be as bright and flooded with light as possible - however, full sun is not so good for the crop, which is why a partially shaded area is ideal. If you want to know where the best place for the plant is in the garden, you should think about where there is a lot of light in spring - here the bunny bell usually gets along well. That is, as long as it stays quite damp and not too hot, because the plant breaks down quickly without moisture. For this reason, it makes sense to select a forest edge or a hedge edge to plant the bulbs. If there is less midday sun at this location, you can usually enjoy the beautiful flowers and thus the lovely scent of the plant for a much longer time.

When it comes to the floor, the bunny bells are almost undemanding. The substrate should be as moist and permeable as possible. The rabbit bell also needs nutrients, but the soil does not need to be too rich in nutrients, even calcareous or acidic soil is often tolerated without problems. The plant can only thrive on sandy soils.

How is the bunny bell planted?

There are several ways to plant the onion of the bunny bell or to plant it by sowing the seeds:

  1. You can either plant the bunny bell in a flower pot or tub
  2. or you can put it directly in the garden.

The rabbit bell is usually planted in autumn so that the crop can bloom in the following spring. Since the bulbs of the plant can dry out very quickly, you should plant them immediately after purchase or at least put them in a flowerpot for now. If you put them in the ground, the planting hole must be about three times as deep as the onion is long - usually about 10 centimeters. The tip of the onion must be pointed upwards so that the rabbit bell can also grow out of the earth.

The onion should be kept moist, in winter, of course, watering is not necessary and no wintering efforts are necessary. Only rabbit bells that remain in the flowerpot need to be covered with brushwood and fleece or similar material for the winter and the pot should also be given warm protection. When planting, it is essential to keep a distance of at least four centimeters between the plants so that each plant has enough space to spread and grow. The small distances between the plants are covered very quickly anyway by the leaves and made invisible.