Winterlings, Eranthis hyemalis - plants and care

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Winterling - Eranthis hyemalis

Fragrant winterlings are like golden yellow shining buttercups in the miniature format, equipped with a green ruff. Already in late winter, they defy brave frost and snow, to announce the approaching spring. If the pretty flowers break through the thin blanket of snow, the gardener has done everything right in advance. For Eranthis hyemalis to flourish in the bed, it depends on skilful plants and a careful care. The following instructions explain in practice how the cultivation of Winterlings succeeds exemplary.


Winterlings take one to two years to start developing their desired flower carpets. If the small yellow flowers above a green cervical ruffus appear only sporadically, this deficiency does not necessarily mean that there are neglects during planting and grooming. So interpretive wild stocks always point to an old-established garden. The same applies to the cultivated winterlings who immigrated from southeastern Europe. If you follow this guide, you will need a little more patience until Eranthis hyemalis reach their full potential.

Planting time and seedlings

Unlike other early flowering plants, winterlings do not spawn onions but nodular rhizomes. These come in the freshest and most moist condition in the ground. With dried, shriveled tubers, the chances are bad that it will develop into a vital Eranthis hyemalis. The ideal planting times are the months of September and October. Alternatively, purchase early seedlings in early spring for use in January or February.


The choice of an adequate location determines the success of the cultivation of winterlings in the bed. Assign a position to the tubers or young plants with these conditions:
  • Partly shady, spring-pale location
  • Ideally in the protection of late expelling deciduous trees
  • Fresh-moist, nutrient-rich soil, rich in humus
  • Light to medium lime content is an advantage
In the immediate vicinity of coniferous or moorland plants, such as rhododendron, the soil is too sour for winterlings. In addition, avoid a place in dry-sandy soil, as it dominates in the pebble or rock garden. After light and sun, the miniature flowers require only during the growing season. After they have collected all the flowers and leaves in June, the location can easily be in the deepest shade.
Tip: Winterlings are highly poisonous in all parts. It is therefore mandatory to wear gloves when doing any kind of work around plants and grooming.


Winterling - Eranthis hyemalis

Experienced hobby gardeners immediately attack the plantation of winterlings when they hold the freshest seedlings in their hands. It is an advantage if the tubers can swell in water a few hours earlier. This time can be used to prepare the earth at the chosen location. Thorough weeding as well as the careful removal of roots and stones are just as important. How to Plant Winterlings with Expertise:
  • Small planting holes dig at a distance of 5 cm
  • Enrich the excavation with compost or Lauberde
  • Heavy loam soil optimize with sand
  • In each case plant a tuber 5-7 cm deep
  • After casting, cover with a little peat moss
In a bed of winterlings should not be hacked as possible, since the sensitive roots are damaged. Therefore, mark the planting site in order to pluck out any weeds that appear here.

Protection against voleurs

Since voles like to attack the tubers of winterlings, the planting with a vole cage is recommended. The close-meshed wire mesh are available from specialist retailers or are designed with a little manual skill. The planting holes are dug a little deeper in this case with 15 centimeters. After placing the vole basket in the pit, a 2 cm high layer of sand follows first to fill in the excavation and to plant the tubers in the described manner. On a wire mesh as a lid, you can do without, because the pests do not penetrate to the surface.


In the focus of exemplary care is the regular water supply, because with dryness winterlings can not come to terms. The gift of fertilizer is viewed critically by most gardeners. It is feared that additional nutrients will only cause increased foliage growth, at the expense of a vital flower. In addition, in this case, compost excludes natural fertilization, as near Winterlingen should not be handled with the rake. The incorporation of the material is thus hardly possible.
A pruning of Eranthis hyemalis is unnecessary, as the buttercup plants move their aboveground plant parts independently. Avoid prematurely wilting withered flowers and leaves.By turning yellow, they release valuable nutrients into the subterranean rhizome. From this a winterling forms reserves to bloom again next year.

Winter protection in the planting year

If the tubers of winterlings are planted in autumn, it is advisable in rough locations for the first winter, a light protection against frost and snow. To do this, cover the planting area with leaves, straw or fir-trees. Alternatively, garden fleece or jute serve as a protective cover. It is important to note that winter protection should be removed in time if temperatures rise above zero degrees. Otherwise, condensation could form which leads to the formation of mold.


Winterling - Eranthis hyemalis

Winterlings take 10 years or more to develop dense flower carpets as part of the wilderness. If that takes too long, the early bloomers with a targeted multiplication under the arms. Hobby gardeners have the choice between the following two methods:
This approach comes into consideration when the winterlings have already conquered a larger bed area. How to do it right:
  • After flowering, cut out individual specimens including root ball
  • Cut the root ball into several pieces, roughly fist-sized
  • Planting holes dig at intervals of 20 to 30 centimeters
  • Plant and pour in the rhizome pieces
During this procedure, leave the leaves on the winterlings so that the remaining nutrients they contain can be assimilated into the tuber until June.
If in March the flowering comes to an end, small follicles form in a star-shaped arrangement instead of the flowers. In the period from late March to early May, these fruits release several easily recognizable seeds. These can be harvested and sowed. Here, a little sense of proportion is needed. Those who wait too long to harvest will lose out, because the seeds will be thrown out when rain hits the ripe fruit. How to sow:
  • At the recommended location, treat the soil with a fine crumb
  • Sprinkle the freshly harvested seeds
  • Only work the light germ with the rake a bit
  • Water the seedbed with a fine shower
To protect against pecking birds or voracious pests, a close-meshed net or a garden fleece serves.

Sociable neighborhood

Winterlings spread a magical, springlike flair in the garden in the company of snowdrops. The two aromatic plants compete for the first flower of the year. Eranthis hyemalis also maintain the best neighborhood with the following early flowering season:
  • Spring Anemone (Anemone blanda)
  • Crocus (Crocus)
  • Bush Anemone (Anemone nemorosa)
  • Snow shine (Chionodoxa forbesii)
  • Fingered Larkspur (Corydalis solida 'GP Baker')
  • Snow Crocus (Crocus chrysanthus)
  • Dog's tooth (Erythronium dens-canis)
  • Checkerboard flower (Fritillaria meleagris)
An immediate proximity to magnificent perennials, however, is not recommended, because the presence of Winterlingen complicates the maintenance work but very. In contrast, Eranthis hyemalis know best to stand between tall ferns and create a striking green-yellow color contrast during flowering.
Indispensable guests in early spring are the golden yellow flowering winterlings. Give the small fragrant flowers enough time to develop a magnificent carpet of flowers under tall deciduous trees or along protected slopes. For the planting to be successful, the tubers should be placed as fresh as possible in the soil. As a planting time, both the autumn and the late winter offer. In vulnerable situations, protection against vole is recommended. As long as the care is limited to regular watering and the bed is not hacked, the busy Eranthis hyemalis present themselves every year. In order to accelerate the spread, uncomplicated propagation methods are considered, such as the division or sowing of self-harvested seeds. In all work around plants and care of winterlings the poison content should not be underestimated.

Video Board: Timelapse - Eranthis.

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