How to Grow Trillium


Trillium is a low-growing, clump-forming perennial that bears three-petaled purplish-pink to white flowers in spring. The flowers stand erect just above diamond-shaped green leaves.

Trillium thrives in partial shade. It wants humus-rich well-drained soil.

Trillium is suitable for moist, shady borders or woodland gardens.

Trillium is a genus of about 30 species of rhizomatous, deciduous perennials native to mainly woodlands and srub in North America.

Get to Know Trillium

  • Plant type: Spring-blooming bulb
  • Growing Zones and range: Zones 4-8
  • Hardiness: Hardy of 0°F (-18°C)
  • Height and width: 1 to 2 feet tall and wide
  • Foliage: Lance-shaped or elliptoic to ovate net veined silver- or purple-marbled leaves
  • Flowers: Upright or nodding terminal funnel- or cup-shaped flowrs
  • Flower colors: Usually white and pinks, burgundy, and mahogany
  • Bloom time: Spring
  • Uses: Woodland garden; thrives in shade
  • Common name: Trillium, wake-robin
  • Botanical name: Trillium spp.
  • Family: Liliaceae
  • Origin: Scrub and woodland in North America

Where to Plant Trillium

  • Plant trillium in light to medium shade.
  • Grow trillium in humus-rich, moist soil that is neutral to acidic.
  • Grows well under deciduous trees and large shrubs.

Trillium Uses and Companions

  • Grow Trillium in moist, well-drained shady places. It is suitable for a shady border or woodland garden.
  • Good garden companions for Trillium include Doronicum, Hosta, Mertensia, Polygonatum, Primula, Pulmonaria.
White trillium, Trillium grandiflorum
White trillium, Trillium grandiflorum

When to Plant Trillium

  • Set trillium rhizomes in spring or set out established plants.

Planting and Spacing Trillium

  • Space trillium 1 to 2 feet apart.
  • Plant rhizomes 4 inches deep.
  • Work ample aged compost into the soil at planting time.

How to Water and Feed Trillium

  • Trillium needs abundant water; keep the soil evenly moist.
  • Add aged-compost to planting beds and add aged compost around plants each spring.

Trillium Care

  • Mulch around trillium to keep the soil evenly moist.
  • When trillium is dormant, divide clumps to create new plants.
  • Trillium is commonly pest and disease-free.

Trillium Propagation

  • Divide rhizomes after flowering; this will stimulate formation of new offsets.
  • Trillium can be grown from seed but it take about 2 years for germination and another 5 to 7 years before plants flower.

Trillium Varieties to Grow

  • Trillium grandiflora has showy flowers 2-3 inches across.
  • Trillium erectum, Trillium sessile, and Trillium chloropetalum grow to 2-feet tall.

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