Scilla madeirensis, Madeiran squill, Rare exotic flower! 10 seeds 2022

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Scilla madeirensis is a rare species of hyacinth that grows on the island of Madeira, off the coast of Portugal. Until recently, there were only two ways to see this wonderful plant in flower: search for it on the rocky cliffs of Madeira or catch it in bloom at one of the few botanical gardens that have it in their collection.

Now Scilla madeirensis bulbs are being commercially propagated and available to the public.

Scilla madeirensis is exotic in every way - starting with the bulbs, which are dark purple! They are similar in size and shape to an amaryllis bulb and are grown in much the same way. Scilla madeirensis is a tropical plant and only hardy to zones 9-10.

How to Plant

Plant the bulb in fall, when daytime temperatures have cooled down. Choose a pot to comfortably accomodate the bulb, leaving at least an inch (2.5 cm) of clearance on all sides and at least 4" (10 cm) under the bulb for the roots. Put several inches of moist, high quality potting soil or growing mix into the pot and then settle the bulb on top. Fill in around the bulb, keeping the neck and shoulders of the bulb above the soil - just as with an amaryllis. Water to settle in the bulb and then water sparingly, keeping the soil barely moist. Put the pot in bright, indirect light.

It usually takes about a month for the bulb to come out of dormancy. The first thing you will see is a fat green sprout. Within a couple weeks the spike will have reached 12" (30 cm) tall and the sparkling, lavender-blue florets will start to open. While it's in bloom, keep the plant out of direct sunlight and in a relatively cool room (65°F) to extend the show.

After flowering, treat the bulb as you would an amaryllis. Cut off the flower stalk and continue watering sparingly. Keep the pot in bright, indirect light. The leaves will usually persist into early spring and then wither away as the bulb enters dormancy. Store the dormant bulb in a cool, dark, dry place until autumn, when you can repot it in moist soil and start again. Over time, the original bulb may produce daughter bulbs on the side. It's best to let the bulbs stay together in a clump, as this will give you a more dramatic display of blooms.


Germination method

Pre-treatment. Soak the seeds in water for 12-24 hours.

Potting medium. I'm using peat compost for seeds + perlite 1:1. Fill the pots with the soil mix (if you have a lot of seeds large fish containers about 25x40x10 cm wil do the job, remember to make dranage holes on the bottom) and water it until it is evenly moist.  Place the seeds and cover with ¼ inch (5 mm) of soil, then lightly water the top soil. Until the seeds sprout, make sure the top soil layer doesn't dry out.

They sprout best between about 65 and 77° F (15-25°C).  A little cooler at night is ok.  Avoid letting them get above 80° F (27°C) for prolonged periods.  The seeds should begin sprouting in about 4 to 6 weeks, but may take up to 12 weeks.

Lighting. Once your seeds sprout, move them to a bright spot, with protection from strong afternoon sun.  You may use a fluorescent bulb kept a few inches (10 cm) away, although they will need stronger lighting when they are a few months old.

Watering. Aim to the keep soil evenly moist throughout the growing season.  Avoid letting it dry out completely, but also avoid keeping it soggy.

Feeding. This species has moderate to average fertilizer requirements.  Feed about every 2-3 months with an all-purpose fertilizer, following the dosage on the package. 

Thank you Jeff from © for germination instruction