After a long winter, the early spring arrival of sapphire-flowered Siberian squill is a true delight. Each small bulb produces several slender stems topped with 1 to 5 nodding flowers of pure deep blue. Even the pollen is blue!
Along with the flowers, Siberian squill produces a few narrow, deep green leaves that die back within a month. As with many minor bulbs, the best garden effect comes from planting large groups of Siberian squill bulbs.
This hardy charmer spreads both from seeds and bulb multiplication and will naturalize readily. Grow them in rock gardens, perennial beds or naturalized in the lawn.
Common name: Siberian squill
Botanical name: Scilla siberica
Plant type: Bulb
Zones: 3 to 8
Height: 4 to 6 inches
• Sun: Full sun or partial shade
• Soil: Well-drained loam or sandy loam
• Moisture: Average
• Mulch: None
• Pruning: None
• Fertilizer: Work in bonemeal or other phosphorus fertilizer before planting bulbs; apply a balanced fertilizer in early spring.
• Dig and divide bulb clumps
Pests and diseases
• ‘Alba’ has pure white flowers.
• ‘Spring Beauty’ is a widely available cultivar with large, deep blue flowers.
• Siberian squill looks spectacular planted in mixed drifts with other early minor bulbs like striped squill (Puschkinia scilloides) and snow crocus.
• Plant in raised beds, rock gardens, or atop retaining terraces to get a better view of the delicate flowers.
• In some regions, Siberian squill can become invasive in natural areas—check with local experts to find out more.
All in the family
• Siberian squill has previously been listed as a member of the Liliaceae or Hyacinthaceae, but it’s now included in the broader Asparagaceae (asparagus family).
• Other familiar spring bulbs in this family include hyacinth, grape hyacinth (Muscari) and glory of the snow (Chionodoxa).
• Warm-region (Zones 8 to 10) gardeners can enjoy the spectacular giant scilla (Scilla peruviana), which has domed flower clusters the size of softballs.
Where to buy
• Bluestone Perennials, bluestoneperennials.com
• John Scheepers Beauty from Bulbs, johnscheepers.com
• White Flower Farm, whiteflowerfarm.com