By: Jackie Carroll
Siberian squill (Scilla siberica) is one of the earliest spring bulbs to come to flower. Use the bulbs in rock gardens, naturalized areas and as an edging for flower beds and walkways. They look stunning in large drifts. Let’s learn more about how to grow Siberian squill bulbs.
As you may have guessed, the Siberian squill plant is native to Siberia, as well as other parts of Russia and Eurasia. Extremely cold-hardy, the plants thrive in USDA hardiness zones 2 through 8 and never require lifting for winter storage. They can also be chilled and then forced into bloom indoors any time of year.
Siberian squill plants naturalize well. Little tufts of grass-like foliage emerge first, reaching heights of 6 to 8 inches. The foliage is soon followed by stems of about the same height that hold up to three royal blue flowers. Once the flowers fade, the plant produces seeds that take root where they land. In fact, the plants reproduce themselves so readily that they may become invasive or weedy in some areas.
Plant Siberian squill bulbs pointed end up in the fall in holes that are 5 inches deep. Space the bulbs 2 to 4 inches apart. Expect blooms that last for two to three weeks in early spring.
Grow Siberian squill in a location with full sun or morning sun and afternoon shade. They need a well-drained site to prevent root and bulb rot and soil that is rich in organic matter. You can improve the organic content of the soil by working in a 2-inch layer of compost before planting.
Siberian squill grows well under deciduous trees where they will complete their bloom cycle before the trees leaf out. You can also try planting them in lawns where they will usually complete their bloom cycle before the lawn needs mowing. Try to wait until the foliage begins to die back before mowing, and if you must use a weed killer, do so in fall rather than spring. They combine well with other early spring-blooming bulbs, such as crocus and daffodil.
Siberian squill is practically carefree when planted in a good location. Fertilize the plants when the foliage emerges in late winter or spring with a bulb fertilizer or a granular fertilizer that is low in nitrogen and high in phosphorus.
You can deadhead the faded flowers as part of your care of Siberian squill to reduce self-seeding and prevent overcrowding and unwanted spreading. Leave the foliage to die back naturally. The plants are short, so the dying foliage is easily hidden behind other plants as they emerge in spring.
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To determine if a plant is sufficiently cold hardy, the USDA created numbered zones indicating winter low temperatures the lower the zone number the colder the winter.
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As soon as your order is placed you will receive a confirmation email. You will receive a second email the day your order ships telling you how it has been sent. Some perennials are shipped as potted plants, some as perennial roots packed in peat. The ‘Plant Information’ section describes how that item will ship. All perennials and spring-planted bulbs are packaged to withstand shipping and are fully-guaranteed. Please open upon receipt and follow the instructions included.
Perennials and spring-planted bulbs are shipped at the proper planting time for your hardiness zone. Perennial and spring-planted bulb orders will arrive separately from seeds. If your order requires more than one shipment and all items are shipping to the same address, there is no additional shipping charge. See our shipping information page for approximate ship dates and more detailed information. If you have any questions, please call Customer Service toll-free at (800) 925-9387 or contact us by email.
|Plant Habit:||Herb/Forb |
|Life cycle:||Perennial |
|Sun Requirements:||Full Sun |
Partial Shade to Full Shade
|Water Preferences:||Wet Mesic |
|Minimum cold hardiness:||Zone 2 -45.6 °C (-50 °F) to -42.8 °C (-45°F) |
|Plant Height :||3 to 8 inches|
|Plant Spread :||3 to 6 inches|
|Leaves:||Spring ephemeral |
|Fruit:||Other: Round pod with three seams turns purple when ripe and splits, releasing teardrop-shaped seeds. |
|Fruiting Time:||Late spring or early summer |
|Flower Color:||Blue |
|Bloom Size:||Under 1" |
|Flower Time:||Spring |
|Underground structures:||Bulb |
|Uses:||Cut Flower |
|Resistances:||Drought tolerant |
|Propagation: Seeds:||Stratify seeds |
Sow in situ
|Propagation: Other methods:||Offsets |
We made it! Winter is over and it's springtime! Let's celebrate with a special week dedicated to these beautiful bulbs that brighten our gardens every spring, and we open that week with a look at the most popular of these plants.
In Minnesota, this is considered an invasive species. It forms thick carpets of leaves in the woods, and chokes out the native spring ephemerals. The bulbs are very hardy, despite our consistently below-freezing winters they will survive even if they're sitting right on top of the soil and are blown on by the dry and freezing winter winds. The plants spread by seed, and seedlings bloom after 4 or 5 years. Seedlings pop up in random spots several feet away from the parent plants. There are no natural pests.
However, carpets of Siberian squill are beautiful in April when they're in full bloom they look like sky-blue mist above the ground. So some people don't mind the fact that the plant is invasive. A spring lawn covered in Siberian squill is prettier than a lawn with just grass.
An exquisite little bulb that is an excellent source or early spring bee forage for native bees. Will naturalize and spread by seed very easily but, in my experience, will never choke out other plants. It sets seed and the unobtrusive foliage dies down rapidly soon after flowering. I love this plant!
Love seeing the bright blue flowers every spring and love the bright blue pollen they have. These beautiful flowers haven't been invasive in my flowerbeds and are a joy to see blooming wherever they're seen blooming. Great for bees in the spring. I''ll have to remember to notice the bees that are around the flowers to spot the blue pollen on their legs.
Clean up fallen leaves -- don't ignore them. Allowing leaves to accumulate on grass can kill it. Piled on sidewalks, decks, and driveways, fallen leaves create slippery footing and can stain.
Scilla siberica (Siberian squill) is a delightful perennial bulb that produces dainty spikes of delicate, bell-shaped flowers atop clumps of compact, narrow-leaved foliage with upright, purplish stems. Flowering from April to May, with up to five pretty blooms per stem, the violet-blue petals have a darker hue running up their spines. These hardy bulbs can create an enchanting carpet of nodding blue flowers, when even a breath of wind can make them dance.
Reaching a height of up to 20cm, they are well placed in the front of beds and borders, rock and gravel gardens, or underplanting hedges and shrubs. Perfect for naturalising, plant them in drifts in grassy or woodland areas. They are equally good for planting in containers.
Being native to Russia, this hardy perennial is vigorous and easy to grow. Clumps will form quickly, with a spread of 5-10cm. By early to mid-summer, foliage will die back, at which time offsets can be divided and replanted. The plants lie dormant through autumn and winter, re-emerging the following spring in ever-greater numbers.
Immensely pretty and fully deserving of its RHS Award of Garden Merit, Scilla siberica's nectar and pollen-rich flowers are great for attracting bees.
Supplied as a pack of 40 bulbs, this woodland favourite will return year on year, with bigger and better displays. Plant them with other spring-flowering bulbs for wonderful contrast.
Supplied as a pack of 40 bulbs ready for planting.
Flowers in April-May, reaching 20cm height and 5-10cm spread.
Bloom Period and Seasonal Color
Early spring in colors of blue, white and pink
Mature Height x Spread
4 to 6 inches x 4 to 6 inches
attracts beneficials, deer resistant
Siberian squill is a hardy bulb that is most noted for naturalizing in lawns and gardens turning the ground a carpet of blue, pink or white in early spring. I often see this bulb naturalized around old farmhouses in Vermont where it has taken over the landscape in spring. This low growing, small bulb isn’t fussy about growing conditions and is tough enough to bloom through snow and cold. It easily spread by seed and can turn into a spring ground cover in your garden. The sword-like leaves emerge in early spring and a flower stalk bearing 3 to 5 umbrella-shaped blooms soon follows. The flowers fade in a few weeks. Bees love the early blooming flowers, but deer seem to leave them alone.
Where, When and How to Plant
Siberian squill hale from Russia so naturally is hardy throughout our region. Purchase bulbs in fall from a local garden center and plant with other spring flowering bulbs in a full to part sun location on well-drained soil. Plant groups of bulbs 3 to 5 inches below the soil spaced a few inches apart for the best effect. Mix a small amount of bulb fertilizer in each hole.
Siberian squill needs little fertilization once planted. Keep the bulbs consistently moist after planting. Once established, squill needs little supplemental water. To allow them to naturalize, let the flowers fade and seedpods form to disperse seed. Let the leaves naturally yellow before mowing them down about 6 weeks after they bloom. If you don’t want them to spread, remove the spent flowers, but don’t cut the leaves until they yellow.
Regional Advice and Care
Siberian squill look best when naturalized in a broad area around your yard. Throw bulbs around an area randomly and plant them where they fall to give the planting a natural look. You can transplant clumps of Siberian squill to move them and naturalize other areas of your yard in late spring after the blooms fade and the leaves start to yellow. Keep the clumps well watered the first year. Protect newly planted bulbs from squirrels by adding a small amount of crushed oyster or crushed seashells to the planting hole.
Companion Planting and Design
Plant Siberian squill in lawns, woodlands, and rock gardens and in front of shrub and flower borders. Plant many bulbs at once to have a truly dramatic effect. Plant them where other spring flowers grow, such as glory-of-the-snow, crocus and snowdrops under spring flowering shrubs, such as flowering quince, daphne and forsythia and with perennials, such as bleeding hearts and iris.
‘Spring Beauty’ has large, bell-shaped with a true blue colored flower. ‘Alba’ features bright white blooms. ‘Rosy’ has pale pink blossoms.
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