Pushkinia / Striped Squill Planting Guide

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!

Choosing a Growing Site

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.

Soil Prep for Striped Squill

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.

When to Plant Pushkina

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.

How to Plant Pushkina Bulbs

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.

During the Growing Season

Pushkinia need about 1” of water a week from rain, irrigation or a combination of the two.

At Season’s End

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.

Forcing Bulbs & Pre-Chilled Bulbs

Planning to force your bulbs or plant pre-chilled bulbs in winter? Read this! Forcing Bulbs & Pre-Chilled Bulbs

Insider Tips

  1. Plant 10-12 pushkinia bulbs per squre foot. 
  2. Beyond easy, and remarkably inexpensive, these shold be grown almost everywhere.
  3. Plant pushkinia this fall and forget about them. Be delightfully reminded next spring. And the one after that. And then again the following spring. . .
shop pushkinia
shop pushkinia

Success Snapshot

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

GUIDE: Pushkinia / Striped Squill Planting Guide

They Start Out Looking Like This: