Growing Fritillaria Michailowski in a Pot

Although the blooms are not quite fully opened, I could not resist posting a picture of my Fritillaria michailowski in bloom just this morning. I’m really excited about this plant! It’s the one I was most concerned about at planting time, so I figure it’s all smooth sailing from here… at least where the fall bulbs are concerned.

I planted the bulbs back in the late fall and placed the pot in our unheated, south-facing covered porch, aka “The Greenhouse.” Fritillaria michailowski is a cold tolerant flower from Turkey that likes very well draining soil and sun. I opted to grow these in a pot rather than in the ground because I was concerned that they would be lost in our empty backyard given their diminutive size (about 4″). We seem to have inherited soil that is on the loamy side of sandy, which is a pretty excellent texture for bulb growing. If you’ve got heavier soil, I’d suggest going with pots.

I’m considering transferring the bulbs to the backyard garden later this year once it is up and running and the beds have been defined.

Growing in Pots

I used a commercially prepared cactus soil and topped it off with a gravel mulch. The gravel I used is leftover from a freshwater aquarium that I shut down and sold off a few years back.

The pot (6.5″ deep) is made of something like a soft terracotta and is meant to look like stone. I bought it for $5 at a used items store and drilled holes in the bottom for drainage using a masonry bit.

I purchased the bulbs from Garden Import, but I no longer recall how much they cost. There were five bulbs in the package at planting time, but only four came up so you can see this growing experiment wasn’t a total success. Regardless, four out of five gorgeous, healthy plants is good enough in my book.

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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6 thoughts on “Growing Fritillaria Michailowski in a Pot

  1. Gayla, I was delighted to see these frits in a container–I had them for a few years probably ten years back, and they dwindled away, being not-real-pleased with my original planting site and iffy drainage. I like them so much, however, and love the pot. So you’ve inspired me for next year!

  2. I like the flowers, but I really like that pot! I realize that was actually made as a planter, but I really love it when plants are growing out of something re-purposed or unexpected. and at first glance, your fritillaria look like they’re growing right out of a hollowed rock!

  3. One of the names used in Turkey for this plant can be translated as “flower of the crying bride”. I saw that visiting Turkey is on your to-do list, do it now, because the flora won’t last long. There are 2000 hydroelectric powerplants in construction, on 400 rivers (basically every single one), destroying every natural wildlife zone and archeological site.
    this video shows the destruction and the reaction of the citizens.

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