Triteleia (Brodiaea) Planting Information
Loved In Europe, Unknown Here
Isn't it funny how we often fall in love with the exotic and ignore the delightful natives that are growing right under our noses? This is the case with triteleia.
While popular with gardeners in various parts of Europe, these sparkling little flowers haven't received much attention in the U.S. until recently. To their credit, triteleia are pretty, and undemanding, and are wonderful weavers for mixing with foliage plants like lady's mantle, perennial geraniums and short ornamental grasses. Snipped stems last 7-10 days in water.
Tuck a few into your garden this spring and you'll see why triteleia are finally get the attention they're due here in the States.
1. Find a location where the soil drains well. If there are still water puddles 5-6 hours after a hard rain, scout out another site. Or amend the soil with the addition of organic material to raise the level 2-3 inches to improve the drainage. Peat moss, compost, ground bark or decomposed manure all work well and are widely available. Triteleia corms must not sit in waterlogged soil or they will rot.
2. Site your triteleia where they will receive full sunlight. These plants will thrive in rich to lean soil.
3. Dig holes and plant the corms 5" deep at the base and 4" apart. This spacing works out to about 9-10 per square foot. Place the corms with the growing point facing upwards. (See image at bottom of page.)
4. After planting, water generously, thoroughly soaking the soil. Roots and sprouts will form quickly in warm soil. (If the soil is still quite cool, wait until it warms before planting.)
5. Triteleia tends to bloom in succession over several weeks. Enjoy their starry flowers in the garden or feel free to cut their slender stems for bouquets.
6. After blooming has finished for the season leave the sparse foliage in place; don't cut it off. Watering probably won't be required as these plants can comfortably handle late season drought. (In zone 6, mulch for extra protection from late winter's freeze and thaw cycles.)
7. Your triteleia will rest for a few months before beginning the next growing cycle next spring.