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How To Plant Brodiaea Queen Fabiola? (Complete Plant Guide)


Brodiaea Queen Fabiola (formerly Brodiaea; family Liliaceae) is a genus of flowering bulbous perennials native to the American prairies and undergrowth. The Brodiaea Queen Fabiola appears as an erect clump with fine, linear and deciduous foliage, with a dormant period when it disappears completely.


The flowering, spring or summer, is composed of pretty umbels at the end of fine and rigid stems, with blue campanulate flowers, open in stars.


Planting of Brodiaea Queen Fabiola

Where to plant it?

Cultivate it in full sun or very light semi-shade, in light, fertile, well-drained, rather sandy soil. The soil should remain cool throughout the growing season and dry during the dormant period.


In a mountain or continental climate, reserve a warm spot, sheltered from heavy frost, against a wall facing south, for example.


When to plant the Brodiaea Queen Fabiola?

Plant the corms in the fall or late winter before foliage appears. These bulbs are generally sold in autumn with the spring bulbs (crocus, narcissus, tulips…) or in spring with the summer bulbs.

Prefer spring planting, when the soil is well warmed, in cold climate.


How to plant it in the ground?

Allow a minimum of a dozen corms for a nice effect quickly.


Weed the soil carefully and lighten it with coarse sand and gravel if it is heavy and clayey. Also bring a handful of ripe compost. Be careful not to use fresh manure or badly decomposed manure, bulbs hate it.


Install the corms 3-4 inches deep with 4 inches spacing. In cold climates, place on a slight slope for easy drainage and cover with mulch to protect from heavy frost.


How to plant Brodiaea Queen Fabiola in a pot?

Use a porous container with good drainage and a light, fertile, bulbous or Mediterranean-type potting soil.


Place a layer of clay balls at the bottom of the pot and check for good drainage by checking for drainage holes. Press the corms between 2 and 4 inches deep. In cold regions, leave the pot in a frost-free room until the end of winter (bulbs are more sensitive to cold in pots than in the ground).


Growing Brodiaea Queen Fabiolas

Brodiaea Queen Fabiola is an easy to grow bulb, relatively tolerant on its growing conditions. It tolerates sandy to fairly clayey soils, even a little heavy, and is hardy down to 10 °F and even beyond. It likes the sun, or in mid-shade, and even in light shade for example under deciduous trees or shrubs.


The bulbs of Brodiaea Queen Fabiola are moved or planted during their resting season in summer. It is best to plant them as soon as possible after purchase. They are buried under 3 to 2 inches of soil and do not need to be taken out of the ground between 2 growing seasons. Their resting period leaves a space, which can be filled by more summer growing neighbors, for example Geranium sanguineum in perennial or annual flowers in direct seeding.


For bulbs purchased in September, buy them as soon as possible, as soon as they arrive in the store. Their first flowering is often later this first year than the following ones.


What uses?

Brodiaea Queen Fabiolas bulbs are gathered together to create a floral clump effect in the ground or in a pot, in a bed, border or rockery. They are perfect bulbs for perennials and/or annuals to be combined for example with perennial geraniums or erodiums.


One can marry them with nérines which are of a similar look and culture with a later complementary flowering.


Which soil?

The Brodiaea Queen Fabiola likes light, fertile, fresh and drained, rather sandy soils.


Which exhibition and which location?

It is a plant of full sun which tolerates the light half-shade.



Planting is done in autumn, or at the end of winter in the coldest regions. The soil is worked with coarse sand and compost and the bulbs are planted at a depth of 3/4 inches, at a rate of one bulb every 4 inches approximately.

A light potting soil, a porous container and clay balls are used for drainage.


Multiplication of Brodiaea Queen Fabiola

Take advantage of the summer and fall dormancy period to recover small corms by gently scraping the earth. Replant them in the desired location.


It is also possible, if one is patient, to recover ripe seeds during the summer and sow them at the end of summer or winter, in a cold greenhouse or under a frame, on the surface of a good sowing soil. A temperature around 59°F is sufficient to allow germination. Grow small Brodiaea Queen Fabiolas for several years in pots before installing them in the garden. The first flowers are obtained after 3 to 4 years of cultivation.



The Brodiaea Queen Fabiola looks like a small agapanthus with its umbels of blue-violet star-shaped flowers blooming in late spring. It is easily naturalized as long as it is in the sun and cool during its growing season and dry in winter.


The majority of bulbs appreciate a well-drained soil under penalty of rotting, especially when humidity is combined with frost as in winter. But how do you know if the chosen location is suitable for them?


Observe the soil 5 or 6 hours after a heavy rain, if there is still a puddle or the surface is very wet, the place is not draining enough. Change location or improve drainage by raising the soil level by 2 to 4 inches with mature compost, compost, gravel, etc…


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