The Natural Life Cycle of Puschkinia
Before learning about forcing Pushkin bulbs, it is necessary to understand the life cycle of this flower. The flower, commonly known as striped squill, is a spring flower.
It is native to the Middle East region. Typically, puschkinia bloom at the very end of winter or early spring.
To bloom right then, you will see the seeds being planted in the autumn season. It goes through a one-month germination period before the plant starts maturing.
If you are planting the flower from seeds, you will need to wait about four years before you can finally see the bloom. Planting Pushkin demands the gardener’s patience.
Required Tools for Bulb Forcing
You may need to prepare some tools before forcing Pushkin bulbs. Here are some items that you need to make the job a lot easier:
- Pot with a good drainage system
Potting the plant is important during the bulbing phase because burying the plant in the ground maintains its temperature. When potting the puschkinia, you must ensure that the plant is inside the ground from the neck.
- Cool place
If you live in a cool climate, it is recommended to chill the bulb outside. However, you can do the task inside a refrigerator, preferably one dedicated solely for this task. The recommended temperature is 40-60°F.
- Paper bag
It is necessary if you are using a regular refrigerator. The paper bag protects the bulb from other items (usually food items) in the fridge. The bulb should not mingle with fresh fruits.
Steps to Force Puschkinia Bulbs
In forcing Pushkin bulbs, there are steps you need to follow, designed according to the flower’s life cycle.:
- Put the bulb inside a well-drained pot to cover the lower part of the bulb.
- Give a cool treatment to the bulb by keeping it in a cool area for about 15 weeks (it can be longer).
- After the chilling process, the temperature needs to be slightly raised, and the plant should be given indirect sunlight.
- Once the bulb starts to shoot up, move them to a warm place that receives enough sunlight.
For forced puschkinia, it will take about 2 to 3 weeks to bloom from the last step of this process. You can enjoy the flower in a cold winter if you force the bulb safely.
Taking Care of the Forced Bulbs
Here are some tips to make sure that your forced Pushkin bulbs remain healthy:
- Keeping the plant in partial shade
Puschkinia should not be placed under direct sunlight. Doing so will increase its temperature significantly and cause dehydration. It is advised to provide partial shade for optimum growth.
- Consistent watering
The flower is a type of plant that demands a damp living environment. Its soil should be in a moist state most of the time. Thus, consistent watering must be done. To prevent rotting roots, you must place them in a well-drained pot.
- Use organic fertilizer
To fertilize puschkinia, you are recommended to obtain an organic kind of fertilizer. Preferably, this fertilizer is water-soluble, so you can apply it during watering. For Pushkin, fertilizing is often done in springtime. It ensures next year’s bloom.
The Puschkinia Flower Features
Puschkinia is not a popular home garden flower despite its beauty. The flower has several characteristic features: muted white and blue color and a fragrant smell.
Gardeners learn about forcing Pushkin bulbs because such beauty will make one’s winter garden perfect.
Aside from that, other characteristics should make you consider growing it in the garden. This plant is relatively trouble-free.
It can resist most pests and diseases. Additionally, the seeds are inexpensive. It will not break one’s bank to plant plenty of it.
The recommended placement for puschkinia due to its features is at the borders or on the lawns.
To maximize its aesthetic features, you may want to consider planting it in mass. When the flowers bloom, your garden will look spectacular.
Preparing the Flower for the Next Season
It is advised against cutting the flowers when they are fully bloomed. This practice is going to weaken your Pushkin. The plant will still be able to bloom next year, but you may not get a good yield like the previous year.
The flowers will fade at the end of the season. You need to leave the foliage on the tree until it turns yellow and falls naturally. You can put mulch over the base in autumn to prepare for the winter.
Your puschkinia will continue to bloom for many years. However, if you see flower production dwindling, there might be an issue that you need to take care of.
Your planting soil is likely overcrowded. If so, you need to divide your flowers.