How to plant puschkinias
Also known as Russian snowdrops or striped squills, puschkinias are small hardy perennials producing clusters of dainty porcelain white flowers with blue stripes held on short stems. Perfect planted in the border, rockery or under trees in the woodland garden, these fantastic bulbs will carpet the floor with colour in early spring and will provide much needed nectar to early pollinators. Whilst they are not related to the snowdrops we all know, it is believed that puschkinias owe their name to the fact that they have been grown alongside them in the Caucasus and Russian regions since the early eighteen hundreds — they also flower around the same time. Excellent for naturalising, inexpensive and easy to grow, puschkinias should be cultivated more widely.
Plant around 10 to 15 cm deep in moist but well-drained soil in full sun to dappled shade — allowing for around 50 to 75 to a square meter. Feed every couple of weeks with high potash feed; if you garden organically, liquid seaweed is ideal as it is organic and comes from a sustainable source. If planting in grass, do not cut the lawn for at least eight to ten weeks. After the flowers have faded, the foliage should be allowed to die back naturally. In early summer, provide a layer of organic matter.
Always unpack and plant on arrival.
Potential problems, pests and diseases:
Puschkinias do not usually suffer from any serious diseases or pest problems. However, they may be affected by viruses. These can cause a number of problems ranging from the appearance of deformed leaves and flowers to colour patterns and streaking. It is advisable to lift and destroy any affected plant at first sight.