Ledebouria Socialis (syn. Ledebouria violacea, Scilla socialis, Scilla violacea) is one of the most widely cultivated bulbs, favored by cactus and succulent growers. It is found in fine to medium grained shallow to deep well drained humus rich sandy soil in the transition zone between the Eastern and Western Cape. It usually grows in shade mostly in closed evergreen woodland. A few populations occur in evergreen scrub forest. J. S. Jessop, in African Bot. 36:253 (1970) lumped the various described forms into a single species with small epigeal (exposed) bulbs, erect inflorescences with small flowers and strongly reflexed tepals. He considered the basic green mottled, and silvery mottled leaf forms to be of the same species.
Common names are “silver squill” and “wood hyacinth”. The species was first described by John Gilbert Baker as Scilla socialis in 1870 and was put into the genus Ledebouria by Jessop in 1970.
Flowering and Fragrance
During the summer and spring season, the silver squill plant sprouts long thick clusters of 20 to 25 flowers above the leaves.
These petals of these flowers are greenish with white marks, and purplish stamens.
Light & Temperature
For optimal growth, place the silver squill in a location in partial shade where it enjoys bright light for about three to four hours during the day. A south window is perfect.
When the silver squill is actively growing, room temperatures work well when used as a houseplant.
The outdoor plants are able to tolerate temperature as low as 30° degrees Fahrenheit (-1° C) in the winter season.
When growing outside, the ambient temperatures during the active growth period of spring and summer season must be around 60° degrees Fahrenheit (15° C).
The USDA hardiness zones of this plant are 10a – 11b.
Watering and Feeding
Water this plant moderately throughout its active growth period. Let the top of the potting mixture completely dry out between watering.
During dormancy, water these plants merely to avoid the potting mix from drying out.
Feed this plant once every month using a liquid fertilizer throughout the growth period.
Soil & Transplanting
Silver squill thrives in well-drained soil, rich with nutrients. It grows well in different types of soil as long as the potting mixture provides good drainage.
The majority of bulbous plants start rotting when left in a high amount of moisture for a prolonged time.
Grooming and Maintenance
The Wood Hyacinth is mostly grown as a houseplant and needs minimal care. Although throughout the winter season this plant is in dormancy, its leaves are still decorative.
In extremely cold weather, move outdoor plants inside.