Trillium: how to plant and groom outdoors

Table of contents:

Trillium: how to plant and groom outdoors
Trillium: how to plant and groom outdoors

Characteristics of the trillium plant, tips for planting and growing in a personal plot, general rules for reproduction, how to protect the garden from diseases and pests and fight them.

Trillium (Trillium) is part of the genus of perennials, which are included in the Melanthiaceae family, which united the monocotyledonous representatives of the flora. This means that the embryo of a plant contains one single cotyledon in itself. However, according to other sources, trilliums belong to the Liliaceae family. There are about 38 species in the genus of botanists. All of them prefer to grow mostly in the northern hemisphere of the planet, where a temperate climate prevails.

There is an opportunity to meet trilliums in deciduous and coniferous forests stretching across Asia, from Afghanistan to the Far East. There are such forests on the North American continent. In the vastness of Russia, you can find 2-3 varieties that grow precisely on the lands of the Far East.


In Asia, only 7 species of trillium grow, and the rest are common in North America, but those that are found on both continents do not exist in nature.

Family name Melanthia
Growing period Perennial
Vegetation form Herbaceous
Breeds Using seeds, dividing the bush
Open ground transplant terms Delenki at the end of August at the beginning of September
Landing rules Seedlings are placed at a distance of 20-25 cm from each other
Priming Moist and Nutrient Rich
Soil acidity values, pH 6, 5-7 (neutral), slightly above 7 (slightly alkaline)
Illumination level Penumbra, planted under large trees
Humidity level Elevated
Special care rules Fertilizers are applied twice a season, moisture stagnation is harmful
Height options Up to 0.6 m
Flowering period From spring to autumn, depending on the species and variety
Type of inflorescences or flowers Single flowers
Color of flowers Snow-white, greenish-white, yellow, pinkish or crimson
Fruit type Three-nested green box
The timing of fruit ripening Aug. Sept
Decorative period Spring-summer
Application in landscape design In flower beds and flower beds, in group plantings and mixborders and next to stones in partial shade
USDA zone 5–6

Trillium is named after the Latin word “trilix”, which means “triple”. This is because the practical part of the plant has three parts: leaves, petals, sepals, an ovary with three nests.

All types of trillium have a herbaceous form of growth, and their height does not exceed 50-60 cm. Plants are characterized by a shortened thick rhizome. Stems grow erect, characterized by the presence of a large number of leaf blades at the base, which have scaly outlines. On the stems themselves, the foliage is collected in whorls of three pieces. The color of the stems is green, but it happens that there is a reddish tint at the top. The deciduous mass has a rich green color. The shape of the leaf plates of the trillium is broadly ovate, while the leaf is pointed at the top, and the base is characterized by a heart-shaped contour. Veins are clearly visible on the surface of the leaves.

Depending on the timing of flowering, trilliums are divided into:

  • early, buds that open in April days;
  • late blooming in the last week of May;
  • other types of trilliums delight with flowers in early May.

The very process of flowering in this plant stretches for a period from 5 to 15 days. The flowers of the plant contain three sepals, petals and the same number of stamens and carpels. The perianth consists of three pairs of lobes, of which three pieces that grow outside are characterized by a green color, and the other three internal ones resemble petals and can take on a white, reddish or dull yellow tone. The inner lobes are longer than the outer ones. Trillium flowers are located singly and have a snow-white, greenish-white, yellow, pinkish or crimson hue.

To distinguish between types of trillium, an important indicator is the position of its colors:

  • there are varieties devoid of pedicels, their flowers seem to sit on the surface of the foliage;
  • other species are characterized by flowers crowning straight pedicels, and their corolla looks up;
  • some varieties have drooping pedicels, with the corolla of the flower facing the soil.

After pollination of the flowers, the formation of fruits begins, which are a three-nested box, colored green.

Despite the fact that plants have been cultivated for a long time, it is almost impossible to find them in the gardens of our latitudes. This is because it is quite difficult to propagate a trillium. Even if a large number of seeds capable of life are formed, they have an underdeveloped embryo. In order for the seeds to fully develop, several seasons are needed and only in the third year the seedlings will be able to germinate. But, despite such difficulties, many gardeners are engaged in breeding such a colorful representative of the flora, which will undoubtedly become an adornment of any garden corner.

It can be noted that trilliums reach their peak decorativeness only after several years, until their rhizome grows enough, but the plant does not require transplants and in one place can please for many years (up to a quarter of a century). Below are the requirements for successfully growing these flowers.

Trillium planting and growing tips, outdoor care

Trillium blooms
  1. Choosing a landing site. This plant is perfect for a garden, most of which is in shade. Such a site can be a flower bed under the crowns of tall trees, contributing to the formation of an openwork shade. But it is important to note that loneliness is contraindicated for trilliums and the location should be thought out in such a way as to ensure group landings, and also not to change locations for many years. When early spring comes, and trees (for example, such as maple or linden, ash, chestnut or oak) have not yet acquired foliage, then the above places are characterized by diffused light, sufficient moisture and coolness are also provided there. It is these conditions that will contribute to the blooming of the trillium. It is important to note that such a plant is a stenotope and requires certain environmental conditions.
  2. Trillium soil. If you want to enjoy the abundant and bright flowering, then you should maximize the conditions in the garden that resemble natural ones. So the substrate must be chosen fertile and moist. When the planting site is under deciduous trees, the soil will be saturated with humus from rotted foliage. It is preferable that the acidity is in the range of pH 6, 5-7, that is, the substrate is neutral or slightly alkaline. If the soil on the site is heavy, then river sand can be added to it for looseness, a small amount of clay can increase the moisture capacity, and leaf humus can be mixed for nutritional value.
  3. Trillium landing. Plants should be planted in late summer or early fall. The planting hole is dug in such a way that the root system of the seedling fits easily into it.First of all, a good drainage layer is laid at the bottom, which in the future will protect the root system of the plant from waterlogging during prolonged precipitation. Such material is expanded clay or pebbles, you can use medium-sized crushed stone or pieces of crushed brick. The thickness of the drainage should be about 3-4 cm. About 2 cm of soil mixture is poured onto the drainage and a trillium seedling is installed. When planting, it is recommended to pour a nutrient mixture made up of superphosphate and lime, taken in a tablespoon, into the hole. After that, soil is poured around in the pit and squeezed a little to completely fill the voids. Then abundant watering is performed. For planting seedlings, the recommended distance between trillium seedlings is 20–25 cm, while the depth of the hole is maintained within 8–10 cm.
  4. Watering when cultivating trillium, it is necessary to carry out in such a way that the soil is constantly in a slightly moist state. In this case, so much water is needed so that it does not stagnate in the substrate. If this stagnation of moisture is prolonged, it will have a detrimental effect on the plant. For this, the area on which the landing is carried out must have good drainage.
  5. Fertilizers when growing trillium, they are used depending on the soil in which this representative of the flora grows. If the soil is rich in humus, then top dressing is most likely not useful, except for the introduction of complete mineral complexes with the arrival of spring (for example, Kemiru-Universal or Fertik +), or you can use other preparations intended for flower and ornamental garden plants. The dosage indicated by the manufacturer is not violated. The same fertilization will be needed again at the end of flowering.
  6. General advice on care. When growing trillium in the garden, it is recommended to cover the bushes with fallen dried leaves for the winter. They will not need another shelter, since the plants are characterized by good frost resistance and are suitable for growing in various zones of Russia, characterized by different climates. After each watering or rain during the spring and summer, it is recommended to loosen and keep it in a moderately moist state.
  7. The use of trillium in landscape design. Such plants look unique in group plantings. They can be used to decorate the soil next to tall shrubs or under the crowns of deciduous trees. It's a good idea to plant trilliums in shaded, rocky areas. The best neighborhood with such flowering and ornamental plants will be the planting of corydalis and windweed, as well as kandyk and other flowers, whose buds bloom in early spring and have the ability to form a bright carpet. However, it is worth noting that, unlike other representatives of the flora, in which vegetative activity occurs in the spring (the so-called ephemeroids), trilliums are characterized by the ability to maintain their green leaf plates until the beginning of autumn days.

See also guidelines for planting and caring for a grouse outdoors or in a pond.

Trillium flower propagation rules

Trillium in the ground

To get such flowering ornamental plants in your personal plot, it is recommended to use sowing seeds or dividing the bush.

Trillium propagation using seeds

Sowing is carried out immediately after the seeds are harvested. But since the embryo in them is underdeveloped, germination is very difficult. Germination takes place underground. The foliage can be seen after two or even three years from the moment of sowing. Flowering is possible only when four years have passed, after sowing the seed.

To accelerate the germination of trillium seeds, they are stratified.To do this, in August, sow the seeds in seedling pots or other small containers filled with a disinfected mixture made up of chopped sphagnum and peat chips. The pots are wrapped with transparent plastic wrap and placed in cold conditions (for example, on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator), where the heat values ​​will be in the range of 0-5 degrees. This cold content is necessary for 2-3 months.

At the end of the stratification, containers with trillium crops are transferred to a dark place where the heat indicators will not go beyond 20-24 degrees. When leaving, the soil should remain moderately moist. When three months have passed, the seed pots are put back in cold conditions for another 3 months. Only with the arrival of May will the seeds germinate, then they are carefully moved into seedling boxes filled with a peat-sand mixture, and transferred to open ground. After about two weeks, you can see the first shoots of the trillium.

For simplicity, some gardeners, at the end of the period of warm stratification in a warm room (where the temperature was 18–20 degrees for two months), bury containers with crops in the garden, the main thing is that the place is shaded. Trillium seedlings will sprout already with the arrival of spring, after natural freezing and thawing from snow have passed.

Seedlings are characterized by high care requirements; it is recommended to plant them in the autumn and to grow them for several more years. Flowering can take a long time.


The easiest way is to wait for the self-seeding of trillium bushes after three years from planting.

Trillium propagation by dividing the bush

This method is not so laborious and time-consuming, and also invariably leads to a positive result. At the end of summer or with the arrival of autumn, the bush must be dug up and the rhizome divided. Delenki must have apical buds. With the separation of all growth points, the dormant buds are stimulated, they awaken, and then the reproductive rate increases.

After dividing, it is recommended to sprinkle all the sections on the trillium divisions with charcoal powder for disinfection. Disembarkation is carried out at a prearranged place in the garden.

Protecting trillium from disease and pests in the garden

Trillium grows

These plants are quite hardy, but some difficulties can still arise during cultivation. The problem with growing this representative of the flora is that while the trilliums are young, they can be affected by diseases of a fungal origin in a rainy summer. These can be:

  1. Gray rot in which the causative agent is the fungus Botrytis cinerea. Due to this disease, brown, as if depressed spots are formed on the stems, which grow rather quickly in size. A grayish fluffy bloom appears on the surface of such marks. The disease quickly spreads to leaves and flowers, which completely rot. For treatment, it is recommended to use fungicides such as Gamair or Fitosporin-M.
  2. Powdery mildew - a disease manifested by the formation of a whitish coating on the leaf plates and stems, resembling a dried lime solution. This plaque does not allow oxygen to reach the foliage and all photosynthesis processes stop. Leaves turn yellow, dry and fall off. For treatment, it is recommended to use fungicidal preparations (for example, Fundazole or Bordeaux liquid), after removing all affected parts of the trillium.

Since the plants are mostly planted in semi-shady areas and prefer moist soil, trilliums can suffer from attacks by snails or slugs. These pests gnaw foliage and flowers, and even become the cause of the death of flower plantings.To get rid of gastropods, it is recommended to collect it manually or use metaldehyde preparations such as Meta-Groza or Bros.

Among the trilliums, there are many species that are natural for cultivation in our latitudes, you can find out about such a variety in our article "Trillium: the most popular species for cultivation in the open field"

Related article: Popular species for growing trillium outdoors

Video about growing trillium in open field conditions:

Trillium Photos:

Trillium Photos 1 Trillium Photos 2 Trillium Photo 3 Trillium Photos 4 Trillium Photos 5

Popular by topic