Ledebouria socialis (Baker) Jessop
Silver Squill, Wood Hyacinth
Scilla socialis, Ledebouria violacea, Scilla laxa, Scilla paucifolia, Scilla violacea
Ledebouria socialis is one of the most widely cultivated bulbs favored by succulent growers. It grows up to 10 inches (25 cm) tall. Bulbs are teardrop-shaped and usually entirely above the ground. Leaves are fleshy, lance-shaped, and up to 6 inches (15 cm) long. They are bright gray-purple with green blotches above. The underside of the leaves is all purple. In spring and summer, 20 to 25 small flowers with greenish petals with white markings and purple stamens rise on delicate pink stalks just above the leaves.
USDA hardiness zone 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Silver Squill is often cultivated as a houseplant and grows well with minimal care. However, it requires bright light with 3 to 4 hours a day of direct sunlight.
During the active growth period, interior temperatures are fine for Silver Squill's grown as houseplants. Outdoor plants can withstand winter temperatures down to 30°F (-1°C). Try growing Silver Squill outdoors during spring and summer when ambient temperatures are at least 60°F (15°C). In cold regions, move the plant back indoors.
Use a soil-based potting mixture and plant Silver Squill bulbs in pans or half-pots. Pot up the bulbs in the spring, but no more than three bulbs in a single 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) pot. Space the bulbs evenly over the surface and bury only the bottom half of each bulb in the potting mixture. During the first 4 or 6 weeks, do not feed the plants and water sparingly, allowing the top half of the potting mixture to dry out between waterings. When the new roots should be well established, treat the plants in the normal way. Break up overcrowded clumps every 2 or 3 years.
See more at How to Grow and Care for a Silver Squill.
This species is native to the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa.
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