Last Updated on October 29, 2022 by Plant Mom Care
Siberian squill is considered to originate from Russia and the Caucasus area. It was brought to North America in 1796 and has been cultivated since then, becoming invasive in many areas.
This cold-hardy plant flowers early and doesn’t get bigger than 4 – 8 inches and 3 – 6 inches wide, but it makes up for its small size by blooming abundantly and spreading fast.
It grows from tiny bulbs that easily multiply and also self-seeds, making it relatively easy to grow and naturalize. It requires very minimal care or maintenance other than keeping it from becoming invasive.
Thin leaves grow out from the plant’s base and arch outwards, letting the bell-shaped flowers have an unobstructed display. The abundant flowers grow on short stems, with around 3 – 5 stems on each plant.
The 6-petaled blue flowers are one inch across. The round seed pods are green, turning brown when mature, and contain many red-brown seeds which are released when the pods burst open.
The flowering season is usually in early spring, from March to April. These cold-hardy plants can flower in frosty and even snowy conditions. These small plants have a strong fragrance and attract pollinators to the garden.
Bulbs can be planted in autumn to bloom in the following spring. The plant grows relatively fast and reaches maturity within the first weeks of spring.
Siberian Squill Light Requirements
The plant grows better under full sun, even partial shade under trees, although they can be planted anywhere as their flowering season finishes much before leaves appear on the trees.
In addition, the sun isn’t hot or sharp enough to burn the leaves or petals so early in spring, so you don’t have to worry about the plant getting too much sun.
Siberian Squill Watering
It needs regular watering when it is first planted in mid-to-late autumn to help the bulb get established. After that it won’t need watering and becomes drought-tolerant.
Do not over-water the plant as it doesn’t like waterlogged soil, particularly during summer when it goes dormant.
Siberian Squill Humidity
It has no special humidity requirements.
Siberian Squill Temperature
This perennial can easily deal with low winter temperatures of -49°F. It needs a cold winter spell and grows best in places where temperatures drop down about 23°F to flower and thrive.
It has been found growing in the Arctic circle. Temperature. Ideal zones for this plant are between 2 – 8.
Siberian Squill Soil
It’s not very exacting regarding its soil, other than it must drain well to prevent bulb and root rot. Add some gravel to help it drain better. You can also give it a boost by mixing organic compost with the soil when planting it in autumn.
Siberian Squill Repotting
4 inches deep 2 inches between Repotting isn’t necessary as the foliage dies down when the plant becomes dormant in summer. Empty the pot and collect the bulbs for planting in autumn.
Use a terracotta or clay pot and add a layer of gravel first to help drainage capacity, because the bulbs will rot if the soil gets water-logged. Fill ½ the pot with soil and place the bulbs 2 inches away from each other with the flat end down.
Keep at least 3 – 4 inches of space from the top of the bulbs and the lip of the pot. Add soil to just below the pot’s lip and water thoroughly until excess water runs out. Move the pot to a sunny location.
Watering potted plants needs some judgment as these plants are drought-tolerant when they’re established yet they will dry up in pots. Water them only when the topsoil is dry.
Siberian Squill Propagation
These plants are easily propagated from bulbs as well as seeds. In autumn, dig up a spot in the garden about 6 inches deep and mix some organic compost with the soil. Plant the bulbs around 3 – 4 inches deep about one bulb every 2 inches apart.
The bulbs are not very large, so you might want to plant several to have more impact. Keep watering until shoots emerge then stop watering them once they’ve established and grown well.
To collect seeds, let the seedpods dry on the plant and harvest them before the pod bursts open. You can sow seeds by scattering them over a garden bed and covering them with soil.
No particular care is needed as they germinate easily as they do in the wild. Just water them until new shoots appear then stop watering.
While these plants grow well on their own and easily naturalize anywhere, you can give them a little boost by feeding them in winter or spring using any fertilizer specially designed for bulbs.
They don’t live past spring so very little maintenance is needed.
Wait 6 weeks after flowering before cutting down the foliage as the plants will store energy in their bulbs for the next season, before becoming dormant. Dig up the bulbs and store them in a dry location for planting in autumn.
If you don’t want them spreading too much, deadhead the flowers before setting seed.
Siberian Squill Common Problems
This plant is vulnerable to bulb and root rot, which will stop the plant from absorbing water and nutrients, eventually killing it. The disease can only be confirmed by examining the roots and bulb – they will be discolored and soft.
Rotting occurs if the bulbs are sitting in water-logged soil when they are dormant in summer and autumn. To prevent this from happening, either dig the bulbs up to store them or stop watering.
Crown rot occurs due to the same problem that causes root rot – too much moisture when the plant is dormant. Symptoms of crown rot include yellow, dying leaves and rotting plant tissue at the base of the plant. Preventing this is similar to root rot – dig the bulbs up and store them or stop watering.
Is Siberian Squill a perennial?
This plant is a perennial flowering bulb that returns every year and can naturalize itself very easily as the bulbs multiply easily. It also self-seeds by scattering seeds that germinate wherever they land.
How long does Siberian Squill bloom?
The flowering season for these plants is around 2 – 3 weeks. Flowers emerge soon after the leaves in spring.
Is Siberian Squill a wildflower?
This plant is a very cold-hardy wildflower and easily withstands snow, frosty conditions, and freezing temperatures.