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Scilla Plant Care Guide

Scilla Planting Guide

Glorious Blues

ScillaMost gardeners love blue. It mixes brightly with pinks and whites, and contrast crisply with yellows and golds. The scilla family offers some of the best blues to be found anywhere. From the giant, eye-catching blue of Scillia Peruviana to the smaller, carefree blues of tubergeniana and blue-purples of amethystine these sparklers belong in every garden that celebrates spring. Help yourself!

Outdoor Beds

  1. Find a location where the soil drains well. If there are still water puddles 5-6 hours after a hard rain, scout out another site. Or amend the soil with the addition of organic material to raise the level 2-3 inches to improve the drainage. Peat moss, compost, ground bark or decomposed manure all work well and are widely available. Scilla bulbs need to have good drainage and will not grow well in water logged soils.
  2. Scilla thrive in a variety of light conditions, from full sun to partial shade to dappled shade. Site your bulbs where they will receive good light. Check individual product pages for additional exposure information.
  3. Dig holes and plant the bulbs 3-4″ deep and 4″ apart. The bulbs are rounded, with small points on the tops; these points should be placed facing up.
  4. After planting, water well to settle the soil around the bulbs. Roots will form in the autumn. Leaves and flowers will develop in the fall for Peruviana and in the spring for other varieties.
  5. When in bloom feel free to cut flowers for colorful bouquets. This will not hurt the plants.
  6. After blooming has finished for the season leave the foliage in place; don’t cut it off. The leaves will gather sunlight and provide nourishment for next year’s show. Water as needed during active growth periods; about 1″ of moisture per week is a good estimate.
  7. By early to mid summer the leaves will yellow and die back as the plant slips into dormancy. (Peruviana leaves often stay green year round.) The foliage may be removed at this point. Your bulbs will rest for a few months before beginning the next growing cycle.

Pots, Barrels, Tubs & Urns

  1. For Peruviana, use large containers and plan to leave the bulbs in place for several seasons so they can develop into big clumps. For other spring blooming varieties of scilla, plant in containers with other bulbs that flower early in the season like Ice Follies or Golden Bells daffodils.
  2. Fill your containers with good quality, well-drained soil. Almost any commercially available potting medium will work fine. Make sure there are adequate drainage holes; scilla bulbs must not sit in water logged soil or they will rot.
  3. These bulbs thrive in a variety of light conditions, from full sun to partial shade to dappled shade. Site you bulbs where they will receive good light.
  4. Dig holes and plant the bulbs 3-4″ deep and 4″ apart. The bulbs are rounded, with small points on the tops; these points should be placed facing up.
  5. After planting, water well to settle the soil around the bulbs. Roots will form in the autumn. Leaves and flowers will develop in the fall for Peruviana and in the spring for other varieties.
  6. When in bloom feel free to cut flowers for colorful bouquets. This will not hurt the plants.
  7. After blooming has finished for the season leave the foliage in place; don’t cut it off. The leaves will gather sunlight and provide nourishment for next year’s show. Water as needed during active growth periods; about 1″ of moisture per week is a good estimate.
  8. By early to mid summer the leaves will yellow and die back as the plant slips into dormancy. (Peruviana leaves often stay green year round.) The foliage may be removed at this point. Your bulbs will rest for a few months before beginning the next growing cycle.

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More on Scilla ~ By LoveToKnow

scilla

Scilla has been cultivated for centuries. For current horticultural information, see Squill.

from the Victorian Gardener

Scilla – Beautiful spring flowers and bulbs, mostly natives of the colder parts of Europe or the Alps, and some precious for our gardens. These all flower in spring, and are of the simplest culture. In early autumn, when the plants are at rest, they should be planted a few inches deep in any good garden soil, not too heavy. They need not be disturbed for years, except, perhaps, for a slight yearly top-dressing of manure. Some kinds, especially the many-colored varieties of the Spanish Scilla, are suited for planting by the sides of woodland walks, or on the margins of shrubberies, and in the wild garden. Offsets may be taken from established clumps during summer. Raising Scillas from seed is interesting, though slow. In some seasons seed is plentiful, and many improvements in size and color have been obtained in this way. We retain the name Scilla as far prettier than the English one of “Squill.”

The following are best kinds:-

Star Hyacinth

Star Hyacinth (Scilla Amcena) – This flowers in early spring, opening about three weeks after S. sibirica. It is less ornamental than any other kind, for its flowers have none of the grace of S. campanulata and the varieties of S. nutans, nor the dwarfness and brilliancy of S. sibirica. The leaves, usually about half an inch across, are about 1 foot high, and easily injured by cold or wind, so that a sheltered position is necessary. It is not exactly suited for the choice rock garden, though worth a place on sunny banks in semi-wild spots. Tyrol. Seeds or separation of the bulbs.

Scilla Bifolia

See Scilla Bifolia

Wood Hyacinth

Wood Hyacinth (Scilla Festalis) – Though this abounds in many woods, its good varieties are uncommon. Among the best are-the white variety, alba; the rose-colored variety, rosea; the pale blue variety, coerulea; and a pleasing “French-white” variety. There are now selected large-flowered strains of all these color varieties, mostly distinguished as major or grandiflora. All these kinds should be planted here and there in wood or copse and along the margins of shrubberies. Syn., S. nutans.

Spanish Scilla

Spanish Scilla (Scilla Hispanica) – One of the finest of early summer flowers, and one of the most robust of the family. It is easily known by its strong pyramidal raceme of pendent, short-stalked, large, bell-shaped flowers, usually of a clear light blue. A variety major is larger in all its parts, and is a noble flower; still larger is a new form, Excelsior, with large deep-blue bells, and Skyblue, with flowers of a paler shade. S. hispanica is never better seen than in the fringes of shrubberies. The shelter so received protects its large leaves from strong winds. It deserves to be naturalised by wood-walks and in the grassy parts of the pleasure ground. S. Europe.

Italian Scilla

Italian Scilla (Scilla Italica) – This kind, with its pale blue flowers, intensely blue stamens, and delicious odour, is one of the best of the Scillas. It grows from 5 to 10 inches high, the flowers small and spreading in short conical racemes, which open in May. It is hardy, thriving best in warm soils. Divide and replant in fresh positions every three or four years, not oftener. It is easily naturalised in meadow grass. S. Europe.

Siberian Scilla

Siberian Scilla (Scilla Sibirica) – A noble spring flower essential in every garden where spring flowers are cared for. It grows freely in ordinary soils, and is hardy. Asia Minor.

 

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