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Trillium - Growing Guide
Caring for Trillium
Commonly known as ‘Wood Lily’
Trilliums are one of the most popular plants which we sell in spring and autumn. We have given up selling these as dry corms in the autumn as customers were experiencing too many failures the following spring. We now offer only smaller pot grown plants which we have grown in the nursery. That is not to say that these are necessarily easy plants to grow if you do not know what they like or dislike.
The trillium which we offer originate from the woodlands of north America. As such they grow best in deep or partial shade. They are deciduous clump forming plants which need space to develop and no competition from other plants in the immediate area.
A moist, well drained, peat / leaf mould / compost rich soil is essential. Acid or neutral soil is preferred but trillium will tolerate slightly alkaline soil if the other conditions are what they like and need.
An annual mulch with leaf mould will serve to protect and feed the plants although they are perfectly hardy. Development of clumps of trillium takes place slowly in a woodland environment. The mulch will also serve to keep competitive weed growth at bay.
Trillium all have erect short stems with whorls of three lance shaped leaves and solitary flowers at their centre of varying shapes and colours.
Young leaves and new growth is particularly attractive to slugs and snails. One of the other problems we found with selling dry corms rather than plants was that these were sometimes eaten by mice, rats and even squirrels who we observed one day digging through pots in the nursery. Established small plants seem not to be quite as attractive to rodents. Trying to explain away a failure to customers with this excuse was seldom believed even if likely to be accurate! A cloche over new plants may be an idea.
Do not expect your trilliums to all flower in their first season. These plants develop and grow slowly although the end result in spring is spectacular in woodland borders or alongside water.