Q Can I grow trilliums in Gloucestershire?
Sue Tovey, Cheltenham
Trilliums are really the North American equivalent of our bluebells and most grow in similar conditions. So, ideally, you want a deciduous woodland with plenty of wonderful leaf mould. Fortunately, a number of species will do well in garden conditions. A spot between shrubs with good, indirect light is suitable, but they don’t want to be competing with too many roots. They won’t tolerate waterlogging, but mustn’t dry out when in growth.
Improve the soil with plenty of well-rotted manure, garden compost or old potting compost bulked out with sharp sand. Plant with the rhizome about 7.5cm (3in) deep. Top dress each spring with organic matter and some Vitax Q4 fertiliser.
Some species are very demanding, so start off with the white-flowered T. grandiflorum, the yellow-flowered T. luteum or the burgundy-flowered T. erectum, T. sulcatum and T. kurabayashii. Lifted tubers are widely available from bulb specialists but they’re often too dry and many fail to grow away so it pays to invest in pot-grown plants. Try Beeches Nursery, www.beechesnursery.co.uk; tel: 01799 584362.
Trilliums are a woodland plant, but given the right conditions will thrive in the garden