How to grow Crown Imperial Lutea
When we were in Aberdeen the orange forms of the Crown imperials grew very well, I never could find success with the yellow forms.
Here in our Fife garden, I have finally found the yellow form of Crown imperial Lutea does indeed bloom. Is all well, hmm, let’s talk about that further down..
Our Crown imperial bulbs arrived last November, I planted them in good-sized pots and placed them in the sunny front garden.
The blooms were showing colour by late March and in full bloom by the second week of April.
This bulb grown plant (Fritillaria imperialis) Crown Imperial Lutea is quite stunning and looks terrific planted with Daffodils and Tulips. They are quite extraordinary and majestic looking, almost exotic.
Plant details and how to grow Crown Imperials
Fully hardy in the UK
Grows to around 3 ft/90 cm
Any reasonable garden soil, preferably on the alkaline side, must be free draining or the bulbs will rot
Flowers and foliage
Umbels of yellow bell shaped flowers topped by a crown of green leafy bracts, blooming April/May
Best in full sun
Country of origin
Mountainous regions of Turkey
Planting and general information
The bulbs are very susceptible to rotting and must be planted deeply, 8/10 inches. Also grows well in pots using a good quality compost with 20% of grit added and planting deeply.
Plant the bulbs on their side, this will help prevent wet rot and will have no ill effect on flowering performance.
These perennial plants require rich soil and will bloom every year. In early Spring, when the shoots are a few inches above the ground, add blood fish and bone fertilizer. When flower colour first starts to show, start feeding fortnightly with a high potash liquid feed, tomato food will do fine, or Richard Jacksons Flower Power. Doing this will make for strong, healthy bulbs next year.
Do not be tempted to cut back the stems and leaves after flowering, only do this when the plants have completely died back.
Just to sum up
Every Spring garden should have a few clumps of Crown Imperials, in fact I will strive to perfect the performance. This brings me to the deception of the Crown Imperial pictures which I have published.
I think they look not bad, however in the garden they look quite feeble, less than half the height they should be, and the flowers are actually very small and insignificant.
Why is this, well when I opened the bulb packs when they arrived the bulbs were very small, they should be big and chunky premium bulbs. Hopefully with my feeding regime they will be greatly improved next year.
I have just found that the Dutch Bulb Company have top size Crown Imperial bulbs.
I also purchased an orange variety (Taurus) pictures below, apart from the colour everything else is identical.
Crown imperial Taurus
Another eye-catcher in the front garden
The ornamental Cherry tree Prunus ‘Accolade has grown so well in the five years we have been here.
Thompson & Morgan contacted me about an article they were doing about Wisteria. They wanted to add a post that I had done on the subject. Well, I wasn’t going to refuse, was I. Here it is amongst other fine articles. Thompson and Morgan – Aberdeen Gardening