The Q&A Archives: Growing Crown Imperials

Question: How do I plant the crown imperials?

Answer: Fritillaria imperialis, or crown imperial, is a majestic plant growing up to 4 feet tall with clusters of flowers that form just below a terminal crown of leaves.

In the fall, plant 5-6" deep and 8" apart in a well-drained, alkaline, deep, sandy loam enriched with organic matter. Plant in a lightly shaded, sheltered area. Remove the dead flower heads before they go to seed. Water deeply in spring; refrain from watering in the summer. Bulbs should be left undisturbed. Bulbs and foliage have a pungent (somewhat skunky) odor so you may want to plant it a distance from the house. This pungent odor is a natural deterrent to rodents in the garden. Grows 24-48" tall. Flowers spring. Hardy in Zones 5-9.

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