Optimum Planting Time: September – November
Flowers: February - April
Height: 5-7cm (2-2½in)
Where to plant
Also known as winter aconites, Eranthis will grow in both sun and shade in a moist but well drained soil. They look best grown in large numbers for a naturalised effect.
How to plant in the ground
1. Soak the tubers in tepid water overnight before planting.
2. Use a spade to dig over the soil before planting, incorporating leafmould or a good quality garden compost.
3. Using a trowel or bulb planter, dig holes 5cm deep and approximately 5cm apart. Place a tuber in each hole. (Don’t worry about which way is up, as with these tubers it can be very difficult to tell!)
4. Fill the holes with soil and water well to settle the soil around the tubers.
How to plant in containers
Eranthis have shallow roots and tubers which grow just below the surface of the soil, so they are ideal for pots and even windowboxes.
1. Choose a container with good drainage holes and fill it with multipurpose compost mixed with grit for added drainage.
2. Plant the tubers 5cm deep and 5cm apart.
3. Water well to settle the compost. Ensure the compost stays moist over autumn and winter.
4. Place in a sunny spot in February and March when shoots start to appear.
1. Eranthis need very little aftercare. Ensure the soil stays moist, even in summer and mulch with leafmould or compost in late spring.
2. Allow the foliage to die back naturally, to feed the tubers for next year’s growth. If growing Eranthis in lawns, avoid mowing the lawn until their foliage has died back.
3. When established, Eranthis will spread easily by seed. Established clumps can also be lifted and divided immediately after flowering is finished.
Pests and Diseases
Eranthis is virtually pest and disease-free, but may be susceptible to smuts, a range of fungal diseases that leave dark marks on the leaves and stems. Any affected plants should be removed promptly. Avoid planting Eranthis in soil where plants have previously been affected by smuts.