The crown imperial is a unique and very decorative flower bulb.
Core Crown Imperial facts
Height – 8 to 40 inches (20 to 100 cm)
Exposure – full sun, part sun
Soil – ordinary, well drained
Flowering – April to June
Its inflorescence is spectacular and it grows very well in our climates.
Its early blooming makes it one of the first flowers to bloom in spring.
Crown imperial has evolved into a great number of species, but each of them blooms in spring.
Planting crown imperial
One preferably plants crown imperial bulbs in September-October, to a depth of at least 4 inches (10 cm).
Just remember that the planting depth is more or less always 3 times as deep as the bulb is tall, that’s why it varies from 4 to 8 inches (10 to 20 cm) in depth. Space each bulb 16 inches (40 cm) apart.
This plant is a perennial and will bloom again from one year to the next.
- Prefer rich and well-drained soil because crown imperial detests sitting water.
- Adding organic matter (bulb plant fertilizer) upon planting is a good idea.
- Crown imperial loves high sun exposure.
- Follow our planting guidelines for bulbs.
In order to extend its lifespan and see the flowers bloom innumerable and luminous, regenerate the bulbs every 2 or 3 years.
- To do that, multiply the plant through bulb division in fall, when the leaves have completely withered away.
Caring for crown imperial
The crown imperial requires rich soil, which is why you should fertilize the ground whenever you notice that your plant is diminishing in vigor.
As for watering, it will only be needed in case of extended dry spell, but since the flowering usually takes place in spring, this is really exceptional in temperate climates.
Trimming crown imperial
The leafage must not be cut off until it has withered away completely. Indeed, the phase where the leaves turn yellow is exactly when the plant stocks up on nutrients for the next blooming cycle.
- Cut the leaves short before winter and mulch with dried leaves to protect it from the cold.
All there is to know about crown imperial
It puts forth remarkable distinctive flowers, with very long scapes bearing drooping bells that are yellow, red or white depending on the variety.
Crown imperial also has the added characteristic of keeping rodents at bay, possibly because its bulbs have a very pungent smell.
- You’ll be thrilled by this very unique perennial.
- Plant it in small clusters that will make your flower beds rise to the next level!
- Among the most interesting varieties, you can try the crown imperial or “Fritillaria imperialis“.
Smart tip about crown imperial
For the tallest scapes, feel free to stake them so that they don’t bend over, especially if you live in a windy spot!
Crown imperial on social media
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Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Rich orange bloom (also on social media) by Jana V. M. under Pixabay license
Army of yellow crown imperials by A. Krebs under Pixabay license