How to plant Scilla bulbs


Most Scilla are fully hardy will be fine outdoors without frost protection throughout winter. Scilla peruviana prefers a sheltered spot but can still cope with temperatures down to -10C. They should be planted between September and late November for best results. If you’re not ready to plant them as soon as you receive them, you can store them in a cool, dry place for a short while. They may start to deteriorate from late November onwards so it is best to get them planted before then - they won’t store until the following year.

Please note: Scilla madeirensis is tender and should be grown indoors.

— Scilla bulbs (apart from Scilla madeirensis) can be planted directly outside in borders or patio containers.

— If you have a heavy soil or soil with a high clay content, it is a good idea to incorporate plenty of compost and some grit or sand prior to planting to aid drainage.

— If planting in containers, we recommend using peat-free multipurpose compost.

— Choose a position in full sun or partial/dappled shade.

— Plant Scilla peruviana bulbs around 10-15cm deep with the pointed side or shoots facing upwards. Scilla peruviana often starts to grow shoots in autumn, the shoots should be kept intact and the bulbs should be planted at the normal depth. If the shoots are long enough, they may be exposed above the soil surface after planting, otherwise it is fine for them to be covered after planting as they will continue to grow. Space the bulbs around 10-15cm apart from each other.

— Other Scilla varieties grow from smaller bulbs which should be planted at a depth of around 5-10cm. Space the bulbs around 5-10cm apart from each other. Plant them in individual holes or dig a wide hole and scatter a handful of bulbs into it before covering over.

— If the soil is very dry, it’s a good idea to water them in after planting to settle them. They will not require any further watering through winter unless it is very mild and the soil becomes dry. They will only require water in spring if it is warm and the soil is dry.

— Leave the bulbs planted in the ground throughout the year. After flowering, allow the leaves and stem to fully die back or turn yellow before removing it – whilst it is still green it is feeding the bulb for next year.

Plant calendar

  • Planting
  • Flowering

Gracy says: Scillas

"Scillas are charming little plants that happily weather the years. It would be difficult to find more intense shades of blue, and like grape hyacinths, they make striking companions for taller blooms."

Planting instructions