Growing Fritillary Plants In Your Garden
Fritillary plants are genus of plants that includes about 100 different species. Most species are found in warm regions of the Northern Hemisphere. The plants have bell-shaped flowers and often an unpleasant smell, but often are still used in gardens. Fritillary plants grow best in cool climates and are very cold hardy. They like rich, moist, well-drained soil and grow in full sun or partial shade. Though they bloom in spring, these bulbs should be planted in fall. The tallest varieties should be planted eight to 10 inches deep, while the smaller specimens are okay to plant three to four inches below the soil line. The bulbs are customarily planted on their sides because there is a cup-shaped divet at the top where the flower stalk comes out that will fill with water and cause the bulb to rot. It is also helpful to mix a bit of sand or finely ground gravel into the planting hole to help with drainage and avoid rotting the bulbs.
Fritillary plants need regular water, especially while they are flowering. And, they will flower better if fertilized in early spring – look for a fertilizer formulated specifically for bulbs. After the flowers are spent, cut the stalks to the ground, but leave the foliage at the base to photosynthesize and store energy for next season’s growth. Established patches of fritillary can be divided and transplanted in fall. The bulbs are very sensitive, so try to maintain as much soil around them as possible when moving. Unlike tulips and many other bulbs, it is not recommended to store fritillary bulbs indoors for the winter, as they rarely remain viable.
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