How to plant Sternbergia bulbs


Sternbergia flower in October, they are fully hardy and prefer to be outdoors throughout winter. They should be planted between September and early October for flowers in the first year. They can also be planted between October and early December although they will have missed their flowering time in the first year and will wait until the second year to flower. If planting after October, they will have shoots – they should be planted at the normal depth with the shoots intact, the shoots may be long enough to be exposed above the soil level. They will continue to grow normally.

— Sternbergia bulbs 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 shade.

— Plant the bulbs around 10-15cm deep with the pointed side or shoots facing upwards.

— Space the bulbs around 5-10cm apart from each other. They look great planted in clusters, groups or swathes.

— Cover back over with soil/compost. Water them in after planting to settle them. Unless it is very mild and dry, they will not require any further watering through winter. They will only require water in spring if it is warm and the soil is dry. If growing them indoors, water whenever the soil looks dry.

— After flowering, allow the leaves and stem to fully die back or turn yellow before removing it, as this is feeding the bulb for next year.

— Sternbergia are fully hardy and will be fine outside without frost protection throughout winter.

Plant calendar

  • Planting
  • Flowering

Gracy's tips: Sternbergia

"Is it a crocus? Is it a daffodil? Sternbergias are, in fact, neither of these. They'll flower soon after autumn planting, growing close to the ground but capturing attention with their vibrant blooms."

Planting instructions