SCELLA

The plants of this group of hardy and half-hardy flowering bulbs are grown for their pretty blooms and glossy leaves. Some flower in spring and others in summer and autumn. They do well in grass and in rock gardens.

Suitable site and soil. Plant 5cm – 2in to 8cm – 3in deep in any soil that is well-drained yet moist. The planting distance for the smaller plants such as S. bifolia and S. siberica is about Ocm – SVkin and about 18cm – 7in for larger plants, including S. peruviana. They thrive in sun or partial shade.

Cultivation and care. After the bulbs have been planted in autumn they need very little care.

Scilla

Propagation. Can be grown from seed but more easily from offsets lifted in late summer and quickly replanted.

Recommended varieties. S. sibcrica ‘Spring Beauty’ grows up to 15cm – 6in and spreads 5cm – 2in. It has striking, intense blue, bell-shaped flowers produced on stems in spring after the glossy leaves. S. peruviana grows to 30cm – 12in and spreads to 20cm – 8in; it produces dense heads of attractive, flattish, small blue flowers in early summer. S. bifolia flowers in early spring when each bulb puts forth a single stem with a number of star-shaped flowers which are usually blue but can be pink and white; it grows to 20cm – 8in and spreads 5cm – 2in. S. scilloides bulbs produce a spike of attractive small pink flowers in late summer and autumn; it grows to 30cm – 12in and spreads 5cm – 2in.

Pests and diseases. Prone to fungal diseases, smut and rust.

BLUEBELL OR SCILLA?

The English bluebell was once named Scilla nonscripta. But it is now properly classified as Hyacinthoides nonscripta. It does, in fact, bear a great similarity to Scilla siberica.

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