Pretty Blue Spring Bulbs

I love the small blue spring bulbs. Their pretty blooms and fresh foliage are appreciated while many other plants are just breaking dormancy.

Chionodoxa luciliae (glory of the snow) is in bloom this week in the garden.

Chionodoxa luciliae (glory of the snow)

This bulb blooms in early spring with star shaped flowers of purplish blue with white centres. This photo is a bit misleading, just like the ones in catalogues. The blossoms are actually a bit more lavender blue than the photo. While this is a dainty plant, the blooms face upward and can be easily viewed without getting on your hands and knees. The foliage is narrow and somewhat grass-like. They look great with the other spring flowering plants. This bulb is very easy care and reliable.

Scilla siberica “Spring Beauty’ (Siberian squill) is another petite bulb.

Scilla siberica \'Spring Beauty\' (Siberian squills)

This bulb has a true blue colour. The flowers are star shaped with darker blue lines down each petal and faint white areas to either side. The overall effect of a swath of Scilla is of a sheet of rich sky blue. This variety ‘Spring Beauty’ seems to have slightly larger flowers than my other S. siberica which has no variety name.

The leaves of the squills are narrow and strap like, and have the advantage of dying back fairly quickly to make room for perennials. This habit makes it easy to integrate them into the garden with other plants, giving longer interest and colour. The bulbs are small and easy to tuck in around the perennials in the fall. You can see how closely these resemble Puschkinia (striped squills), to which they are related .

Puschkinia, Chionodoxa, Scilla and Muscari are all members of the Hyacinthaceae family, and bloom in that order in my garden. The Muscari (grape hyacinth) should be flowering in another week or so.

I find that all 4 of these are very reliable in a northern garden, returning year after year. They are all worth planting in the fall. In the spring, when you see their pretty blue flowers, you will wish that you had planted them in even larger numbers.

10 thoughts on “Pretty Blue Spring Bulbs”

  1. Such lovely flowers. After a long, cold winter there’s nothing like the arrival of spring flowers! My muscari are just blooming now so you’re just a little bit behind me.

  2. I love the blue of the Scilla too ! Spring bulbs really set the garden season off nicely. This was the first year for Minnow daffodil in my garden and they were absolutely gorgeous. I enjoy seeing Spring bulbs all over again in your garden now .. thanks !
    Joy
    PS .. thank you for stopping by my garden too ! : )

  3. Amy, the Muscari are on the north side of my house, so they might be even more behind than the rest of zone 3.

    Joy, the Minnow daffodils sound like just what all the blue bulbs need, a little yellow to set them off.

  4. Love all of those small bulbs. Is there a blue any bluer than the scilla? Chionodoxa is a baby blue beauty! As for the puschkinia, I love the blue striped one and have a few. Must add more! Oh, and as for fiddleheads, love to eat them!

  5. You asked me if anything caught my eye at Chelsea and there was one little flower that made my heart beat faster. I thought you might like it too: Triteleia ixioides ‘Starlight’. Triteleias normally come in shades of blue apparently, and they flower around now in the UK (so possibly a bit later where you are?) This one was pale yellow. Imagine an allium with stems bearing star-shaped flowers. I’d never heard of triteleias, but I have to have one! The nursery told me they were very easy to grow.

  6. Layanee, blue flowers are one of my favourites in the garden. They seem to coordinate so well with many other plants.

    Victoria, T. ixioides ‘Starlight’ sounds great. What a bonus when a beautiful plant is also easy care.

  7. Thank you! I moved into an apartment with a great big yard in the fall, and was delighted to see a carpet of vibrant blue flowers show up last week – now I know that they are Scilla Siberica. [London, Ontario]

  8. Roisin, they are a wonderful bulb, and look great in large patches. Since they bloom so early, and their foliage dies back quicker than other bulbs, they are also easy to plant around and under perennials. They make a good start to the spring garden. London has a head start on Edmonton. Sprouts are just beginning to appear in the garden here now.

  9. I LOVE these 2 bulbs! Actually, they are my favorite flowers :) Do you know if it would be possible to grow these in a pot indoors? I’d love to have them in my yard and also in my home, if possible. Where can I buy these bulbs in the US? Thanks!

    1. Jessica, the beautiful blue colour of these bulbs makes them some of my favourites, too. They need a cold period to bloom, so if you get the bulbs in the fall and chill them, you could force them to flower indoors. To get them to flower inside, you can put them in a paper bag, or other medium, and place them in your fridge or other cool spot. Then plant them in pots in December, and bring out to show in a room when the flowers appear. After forcing, though, it is hard to get them to bloom again the following year, as it is usually hard on them. Do you have a cold period over winter where you live? You probably want to plant separate bulbs in your outside garden. I don’t have particular US sources for these, but they are generally available in the autumn where other fall planting bulbs are sold. There are some more photos of these spring bulbs in this updated article, and it shows them with a related bulb, Puschkinia, that you might like, too.

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