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White with a sky blue stripe down the center of each petal, pushkinia flowers are a sweet, cheerful, remarkably easy and super inexpensive. Add a couple of packs to your garden this fall and watch the patch grow larger and prettier with each spring!
Choose a site with full sun to ¾ day sun. Since puskinia plants are active in the spring and slip into dormancy by late April or May, areas near/under open-branched or limbed up deciduous trees are ideal. These areas can be sunny and perfect before the trees are fully leafed out. In warmer areas, a little protection from afternoon sun will extend the blooming window.
These little darlings will also thrive in the soil under a black walnut tree where very few plants will grow due to to a toxic substance - juglone - in the tree's leaves, branches and especially in the roots.
Look for a site that drains well. Pushkinia are happy in average garden soil, and as with most bulbs, good drainage is important to avoid bulb rot. If your soil is heavy (clay or compacted) consider digging in generous amounts of soil amendments such as a mix of course sand and compost, leaf mold or well-rotten manure. (Your local cooperative extension office can recommend good mixes that are appropriate for your local soil conditions.) Note: we do not recommend using bone meal as it encourages pets and pests to dig up the bulbs you just planted.
Plant in the fall, when soil in your area has started to cool. Typically, pushkinia can be planted right up until the soil freezes, although earlier planting provides more time for bulb roots to grow. Note that the roots on winter hardy bulbs continue to grow, albeit more slowly, when soils are chilly, but not yet frozen.
Dig holes 5-6” deep and add a handful or two of compost to the soil you removed. Add a bit of the amended soil back into the holes and plant your pushkinia bulbs with their bottoms about 5” below the soil line. Place the bulb in the hole with the pointed end facing up, fill the hole with soil, pat to eliminate air pockets and water well to settle the soil around the bulb. While there won’t be any visible growth in the fall, the bulb’s roots will be growing and creating a network for absorbing nutrients and moisture.
Plant 2-3" apart. They'll naturalize nicely and expand the patch from there over time.
Pushkinia need about 1” of water a week from rain, irrigation or a combination of the two.
After flowering, your pushkinia leaves will photosynthesize and create food for next year’s show. Then the bulbs will go dormant and sleep through the summer.
Feel free to remove the foliage after it yellows in late spring. These plants don’t need, or benefit from, any extra moisture while dormant. When fall temperatures cool, the bulbs will develop new roots and then wait for spring rains and warmth to prompt the next cycle of growth and blooms.
Planning to force your bulbs or plant pre-chilled bulbs in winter? Read this! Forcing Bulbs & Pre-Chilled Bulbs
Light: Full sun to ¾ day sun
Soil: Average, well drained
Depth: Plant bulb base 5” deep
Water: Average moisture
Uses: Beds, pots and borders
Tip: Plant these where they can naturalize into sweeps
They Start Out Looking Like This:
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