Colchicums Report On Time


I love being on time, which means being just a few minutes early. 

I do not like the opposite of being on time, which is being late.

So I am happy to see the colchicums are right on time, maybe a tiny bit early.

They are lovely flowers. The foliage comes up in the spring and dies back by mid-summer. My recollection is the foliage came up good and strong this past spring so this nice clump of flowers should not be surprising.

Most of my colchicums were sent to me by Kathy from Cold Climate Gardening. She knows a lot about them and I'm guessing it is through her that I even know about them.  

Several of us think she should write a book about colchicums and the closely related autumn crocuses. If you agree, leave a comment to encourage her.

Another flower that is on time this fall is the toad lily, Tricyrtis sp.

Dee Nash and I discussed toad lilies in one of our podcast episodes. They are lovely flowers, though, like colchicums, they are not native flowers.  

But, neither the colchicums nor the toad lilies are the least bit aggressive. Both come up in the spring and bide their time until the end of summer to bloom.  

The colchicum foliage dies back by mid-summer and then the blooms show up in late summer.  They are generally planted as bulbs in late summer/early fall. If you buy them via mail order, they will, or should, tell you to plant them right away.  That is good advice as the bulbs might dry out otherwise.  

Most of them will bloom within a few weeks of planting.

You can also move colchicums "in the green" in the spring if you change your mind about where you planted them in the first place. It happens.

Toad lilies are usually purchased as container-grown plants and can be planted anytime, but keep them watered and give them some shade.

Anyway, colchicums and toad lilies are here. Fall is coming, right on time.



  1. I keep meaning to plant some of these but can never find them. I guess mail order would be the answer.

    1. Yes, Brent and Becky's sells them, and so does McClure & Zimmerman.

  2. Lovely, both of them! They have the delicacy of spring bloomers. I've killed a few toad lilies in my time, trying to find my garden's happy spot for them (no luck). But I've not tried colchicums yet... there's always next year!

  3. I had some toad lilies that were doing pretty well until the deer or rabbits discovered them and continually ate them to the ground until the gave up. And some rodent spent the early summer digging up almost every kind of bulb so pretty soon my entire garden will just be weeds.


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