How to Plant and Grow Fritillaria Flowers

The fritillaria includes more than 140 species of plants. These representatives of the flora received their names because of the variegated color of the petals.

The Latin name of the genus Fritillaria is derived from the same Latin word "fritillus", meaning a glass for dice, from which dice are thrown on the table. This is because it resembles the corolla of these flowers.

The vegetation period of the fritillaria is short – in spring, it forms a stem, leaves, blooms, and, having formed a bulb, dies out until the following season. During this period, some species are dug up and stored until autumn; some may not be dug up. Plant it among the flowering perennials to disguise after the loss of decorativeness.


The underground part of fritillaria is a rounded or slightly flattened bulb with fleshy covering leaves without covering scales. The emerging stem is always erect and unbranched. One of the main species differences is the height of the shoot. Among Fritillaria, there are "midgets" and "giants." The first barely grows to 10 cm, and the second – easily overcomes a meter mark.

There is one leaf in the root zone; the rest of the leaves are on the stem. Leaves are arranged in sequence or whorls. Leaf blades are colored in shades of green; they are narrow and sessile. The leaves of the plant have the function of collecting and delivering water to the roots.

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Fritillaria blooms in early spring. Gathered in inflorescences or single flowers appear at the top of the stem. Bell-shaped flowers come in white, orange, purple, and greenish colors. Spots of contrasting color, arranged in a staggered pattern, make them incredibly decorative. After flowering, a fruit is formed – a capsule filled with flat seeds.

All Fritillaries are highly ornamental plants. But only a tiny part of the genus has made it into the culture. The reason lies not at all in the difficulty of care but in the fact that the beauty of fritillaria is short-lived. Beautiful flowers delight the eye for only one month a year. Nevertheless, these plants decorate flowerbeds, squares, and rocky hills for 30 days.

Growing of Fritillaria

Fritillariais grows well in any soil. The primary and only requirement for the soil is moisture permeability. Accumulating liquid in the upper layers of soil leads to bulbs' rotting and the plant's death. It is necessary to take care of a drainage layer.

After flowering, the flower stems should be cut off, and if the leaves turn yellow, the whole above-ground part should be cut off. Dig out the bulbs for the resting period: large ones annually and small ones – once in 2-3 years. They should be cleaned from the soil and dry. If rot is detected, it is necessary to carefully remove the damaged areas and treat the "wounds" with fungicide. Store in a dry place at +25-30°C in a box with sawdust, peat, and sand. The fritillaria is ready for planting as soon as the bulb has young roots (usually at the end of August).

The Fritillaria bulb forms several daughter bulbs. The offspring have to be reared for several years. Often for reproduction, the bulb is simply divided – broken apart. Parts are dried and planted in the open ground.

Multiplication by seeds is also acceptable. Therefore, already in July, they should be sown in containers. The appearance of seedlings should wait a whole year, and full flowering will come only in 3-4 years.

Species of Fritillaria

There are 150 species of Fritillaria in nature, all of which are incredibly good-looking, but gardens usually grow all a few species.

  • Goldfinch (Fritillaria aurea)
    In the wild, it is found on mountain slopes in central and southern Turkey. The plant is 10 – 20 cm tall, and the flowers are yellow with red speckles on the inside. The bulb is large, 10 – 20 cm in diameter. Prefers dry, sunny sites, ideal for rockeries and alpine rock gardens. Unstable species can fall out in unfavorable winters. Requires covering over the winter with dry leaves.

  • Fritillaria Amana
    In the wild, it is found in the mountain forests of Turkey. This Fritillaria is the epitome of tenderness. Its flowers are greenish gray, with brownish-purple stripes and a pale checkerboard pattern around the edges. It likes dry places. It grows quickly, so it needs to be replanted every 2 to 3 years. Ideal for alpine slopes and stony gardens. Requires covering in winter with dry leaves.

  • Fritillaria Pudica
    The name fully corresponds to its appearance – it is a small plant, even with a flower stalk that does not exceed 20 cm. Its flowers are yellow and straightforward, but this species has a garden form of Fragrance with a delicate odor of violets. This is an excellent rarity because usually, Fritillaria does not smell anything. Prefers dry, sunny sites. Looks good on stony slides. Requires covering for the winter with dry leaves.

  • Fritillaria Camschatcensis
    The species name of this ruffed Fritillaria speaks for itself; it is found in Kamchatka and inhabits Sakhalin, the Kuril Islands, Primorye, the Japanese islands of Hokkaido and Honshu, and the temperate zone of North America. It prefers to settle on damp peaty soils along seashores, in bogs, birchwoods. This is a very showy species; it grows to 35 – 60 cm. It has large flowers of an incredible chocolate shade, similar to those of lilies. Because of this, it is popularly nicknamed "chocolate lily." Currently, there are several garden forms of this Fritillaria, which differ in the color of the flowers – they can be lemon and purple.

    Plant these Fritillaria should be in the penumbra, in very wet places. If there is a pond or swampy lowland on the plot, that is where it belongs. Under the snow, it winters perfectly, but in the case of a snowless winter, it is better to mulch the plantings with dry leaves.

  • Fritillaria Michailovskyi
    This species occurs naturally in Armenia and northwestern Turkey. The plants are fragile and graceful, no more than 15 – 25 cm in height. Each flower stalk may have up to 6 flowers. They are colored brownish-burgundy and have a yellow border along the edge of the petals.

    The species is very unpretentious. Perfectly winters and even snowless winters do not require shelter. It propagates wonderfully by seeds and often gives self-sowing. The ideal place for it in the garden is alpine hills and rockeries.

  • Fritillaria Assyriaca
    In nature, this Fritillaria is found in Turkey and Iran. It is one of the most variable species – its flowers can be greenish, dark red, purplish brown, sometimes striped, sometimes yellowish inside, and sometimes with straight or bent petals. The plants are 35 – 45 cm tall.

  • Fritillaria Meleagris
    It is the most famous in Russia; it occurs throughout Europe except for the extreme southern and northern regions, in the European part of Russia and Western Siberia. Its flowers are purple with numerous speckles resembling a chessboard – hence its species name.

  • Fritillaria Imperialis
    Most Fritillaria is relatively modest, but this species is a giant! Its flower stalks reach a height of 1.2 m! And it looks different than its congregation – the stem with many leaves is topped with a "crown" of 3 – 5 large bell-shaped flowers and a bunch of leaves on the very top. And its bulbs are also massive – up to 12 cm in diameter.

    It is native to Asia – it occurs in nature from southern Turkey to northern India. It usually grows in meadows. In nature, imperial Fritillaria flowers are red or orange, but there are varieties with other petal colors.

Planting Fritillaria in the Open Ground in the Fall

  • Timing: The optimal timing of planting Fritillaria is from mid-September to mid-October. But here, it is not the dates but the weather that matters. Do not plant the bulbs in damp and cold soil – they will rot. Wait for warm weather days.
  • Location: The vast majority of Fritillaria prefer dry places, so if water stagnates on the site in spring or after rains – make a barrier. The only exception is the rock Fritillaria – it likes dampness and can be planted even in a saturated area. The Fritillaria looks best in the garden, collected in groups of 5 – 10 pieces of one species. They should not be planted in a mixture – they do not harmonize with each other.
  • Preparation of bulbs: Before planting, it is helpful to soak Fritillaria bulbs in a weak solution of manganese and then powder them with ground coal or ash – this will protect them from rotting.
  • Peculiarities of planting: The bulbs of mountain ash are planted according to the general rules – to a depth equal to 3 diameters of the bulb. To prevent the planted bulbs from rotting, they need to be surrounded with coarse river sand (fine sand will not do, it can rot roots). Do it this way: at the bottom of the hole, pour a layer of sand 2 – 3 cm, put a bulb on it, and fill it with sand – from the sides and top by about 1 cm. And already on top of the sand, the soil is poured.

Care of Fritillaria in the Open Ground

Most Fritillaria is natural plants, but several features should still be considered.

  • Watering: As a rule, they do without watering, but in a sweltering arid summer, they are
    necessary, even after the above-ground part withered – once every 2 – 3 weeks.

  • Feeding: During a season, the ruffed Fritillaria need only one additional fertilizer, applied
    immediately after flowering – 10 to 15 g of superphosphate and potassium sulfate per 1 m2. Fertilizer is spread over the surface, incorporated into the soil with a rake, and then watered. Such fertilization is necessary to make the Fritillaria bloom the following year.

  • Pruning: After flowering, you need to cut off the flower stalks of Fritillaria so that they do not waste energy on the formation of seeds. If this is not done and the seeds mature, Fritillaria will not bloom the following year.

    A little later, the leaves are removed – when they are completely withered.


Bulbous plants of the genus Fritillaria, popularly called grouse, bloom in May, so they are planted to create bright spots in the spring area. They will not only decorate the area but also scare away moles, bears, and other pests with their smell. If planting and caring for fritillaria in the open ground take into account its biological characteristics, then in the spring, it will become a decoration of the yard territory.


How do you propagate Fritillaria?

The easiest way is by daughter bulbs, formed by the mother bulb. Another option is by seeds. But remember: a plant on which seeds matured this year will not bloom next spring – it skips a year to rest and gain strength.

Can Fritillaria be planted in spring?

Bulb Fritillaria are planted only in the fall. In spring, they can be transplanted from one place to another only with a good clump of soil.

How to take care of Fritillaria flowers?

The care of Fritillaria is simple, in many ways similar to the care of lilies. Watering. Water in dry weather, not too abundantly, ensuring the soil does not dry out. Do not stop watering even after flowering: the bulb needs to gain strength and grow.