Grow This: Exotic Scilla Madeirensis


We recently received a shipment of some very special bulbs and you can be among the first gardeners in the world to grow them.

Scilla madeirensis is a rare species of hyacinth that’s native to the island of Madeira, off the coast of Portugal. The bulbs (which are dark purple!) resemble an amaryllis bulb and are grown in much the same way. The bulbs are tender and only hardy to zones 9-10, so they should be considered indoor bulbs or be grown in a cool greenhouse. Plant the bulb in a pot in early fall, when daytime temperatures cool down to 50-60°F. About a month after planting, the bulb will send up a 15” flower spike that looks like a lavender-blue magic wand. The shimmering little flowers open slowly from the bottom up, so the show goes on for several weeks. After flowering, treat the bulb as you would an amaryllis and it will re-bloom again each fall.
Until now, there were only two ways to see this wonderful plant in flower: search for it on the rocky cliffs of Madeira or catch it in bloom at one of the few botanical gardens that have it in their collection. Scilla madeirensis bulbs are now being successfully propagated in a commercial greenhouse and we have purchased some of the first mature bulbs to become available. The supply is limited, so if you’re interested, please order soon. And be sure to take some pictures – we will, too!
Want to learn more? All About Scilla madeirensis