Camassia Growing Guide

Camassia species

Camassia

Crop Rotation Group

Miscellaneous 

Soil

Fertile, moist soil enriched with compost, with a neutral to slightly acidic pH.

Position

Full sun to partial shade.

Frost tolerant

Yes, camassia is a hardy perennial bulb, tolerating cold to -30°F (-34°C).

Feeding

None generally needed. If a clump lacks vigor, drench it with a liquid organic fertilizer when plants emerge in spring, and follow up with a granular bulb fertilizer in the autumn.

Spacing

Single Plants: 10cm (3") each way (minimum)
Rows: 10cm (3") with 10cm (3") row gap (minimum)

Sow and Plant

Plant dormant camassia bulbs in autumn, after the soil has cooled, setting them 4 inches (10 cm) deep. Container-grown plants can be set out first thing in spring. Camassias resent root disturbance and rarely need dividing. To increase your supply, dig bulbs from the outside of the clump in early spring and transplant them right away.
Our Garden Planner can produce a personalized calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area.

Notes

Camassias bloom in late spring, after daffodils but before summer perennials, and the foliage dies back in midsummer. They are best when allowed to naturalize, often forming thick clumps that persist for many years. Camassia bulbs were once a major food source for indigenous people and early settlers in the Pacific Northwest region of North America. Named varieties, selected for superior bloom, are widely available.

Harvesting

Gather stems for use in cut arrangements as you need them.

Troubleshooting

Camassias can tolerate wet soil better than drought. The plants die back naturally in midsummer. The bulbs are considered to be rodent resistant, and deer rarely eat the foliage.

Planting and Harvesting Calendar

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Pests which Affect Camassia