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Talkback: Planting snake's head fritillaries

donutsmrsdonutsmrs Posts: 484
After seeing these on Gardeners World last week, I would really love to have a go at growing these. They look so pretty and delicate dancing about in the breeze. I will be honest, I haven't really given them a lot of thought before, but after seeing them on GW I would love them in my garden.


  • oldchippyoldchippy Posts: 244
    Hi Kate the first time I saw Snakes head fritillaries they were growing in a clay pan under cover in a Alpine house in some ones garden in Crawley,I had no Idear how small they are.I have seen today my second Painted Lady feeding on Ivy growing on the garden wall in the park.

  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 4,297

    Sadly the bulbs you see on sale in packets in G/C's are virtually dead. If you want them, either buy them when they are first dug up (Bridgemere often have them and if you go early they are still alive) or buy them already growing and plant out from pots.

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,003

    It helps to soak bulbs bought now overnight in cold water to rehydrate them but even then success is patchy.  Better, if you can, to buy them in pots next spring and plant them out where you have suitable gaps.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Matty2Matty2 Posts: 4,817

    Now I read all this. Yesterday clutching this months GW went into garden and planted some. Wish I'd known about soaking, Makes sense.

  • Alina WAlina W Posts: 1,445

    The other trick is to plant them on their sides so that water doesn't sit in the middle and rot them.

  • I have  heavy clay soil and i grow these.those pesky red beetles lily beetles have been trying to destroy them but they flower on in spring.I have just planted another variety called vua -vulpis hope its as good.image

  • jo4eyesjo4eyes Posts: 2,058

    I have to admit to not knowing abouit the soaking pre planting too. image  Have added to mine this autumn, but after all the rain we've had the soil was very wet, not damp! Makes sense as they do like water meadows- think of the ones in Oxford, wonderful sight.

    Am lucky though, as have mine in an area of my part shade garden where there is some clay soil. I noticed last spring that they have spread to an adjacent border, which is dryer- definitely didnt plant any there.

    Lily beetles are a pest, I just try & catch & stamp on as many as poss. Some years worse than others. J.

  • Alina WAlina W Posts: 1,445

    Mine thrive and spread happily at the edge of my rockery, which is fairly dry.

  • I saw some packets of fritillarie seeds at the GC this week. Would be cheaper if you wanted a lot but I don't know how successful they would be.

  • Alina WAlina W Posts: 1,445

    I've never tried sowing the seeds, but they seem to self-seed readily where the soil suits them.

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