Merwilla plumbea or Scilla natalensis / Blue Squill / Seeds

(Code: KB_027)
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Merwilla plumbea or Scilla natalensis / Blue Squill / Seeds

This is a striking and rare plant originating from Southern Africa and used for centuries as an ornamental plant and popular traditional medicine.  Merwilla grows from large bulbs; parts of which sit above the soil. The bulbs produce lance-shaped leaves and tall flower spikes up to a metre with lots of star-shaped blue flowers along each spike.  Flowers form in early to mid summer.

Merwilla likes a sunny or partially shady spot and is particularly effective in groups of plants, in pots or rockeries.  It likes a well drained rich soil.  It is considered hardy to -7C, so will need protecting in colder areas, by mulching or lifting the bulbs over winter and replanting in spring.

Pack of 15 seeds.  Sow in spring to autumn. Flowering starts in Years 3 and 4. Sowing instructions and a colour photo are printed on the packet.

Caution: Toxic if eaten / skin & eye irritant

See how your seeds are packed.

Hardiness Hardy to half-hardy deciduous perennial
Flowers Early to mid summer
Height 50 - 100cm
Spread 50 - 80cm
Conditions  Full sun and in rich and moist well-drained soil.

Sow in spring to autumn in a tray or small pots of seed compost, covering lightly with compost. Germination takes 1-2 weeks at room temperature.  Natural warmth is better than a propagator.  Transplant seedlings into pots when they are big enough to handle and into pots or the garden after the last frost.   


Plants take 3 to 4 years to form large enough bulbs to flower.  The bulbs should sit naturally to 2/3rds above the ground. The bulbs will not survive prolonged or severe frost, and they can be lifted in autumn, stored in a frost free place and the replanted in pots in early spring, for taking out into the garden in late spring.  Bulbs can be left in the soil over winter in warmer Mediterranean climates.  Mature plants produce off-sets which can be removed when the bulbs are dormant and grown on into new plants.