Although the bulbs are, like others, planted in autumn, they require, against the nature of other bulbs, a quite solid and strong soil. And when they get this they usually grow four feet tall. But there are also species which only reach half this size, at the same time having narrower leaves and yielding smaller flowers. Those can be planted along the margin of the beds.
The beds must be dug and the distance at which the bulbs are supposed to be planted has to be fixed which has to be 8, 10 or more feet, as the garden is big and the roots which are to be planted are numerous. Then with a trowel a six inches deep hole has to be made into which the root is put so that the crown is pointing up. After that the soil is filled in around the root by hand, breaking up the clods and removing all large stones. When all roots are planted, the soil is levelled with a spade and the bed is raked.
After the roots are planted they don't need any further care since they are very durable. Frost never harms them, but they tend to rot if the soil is too wet in winter. Therefore, the beds should always be somewhat higher than level of the ground.
In February their shoots will show above the ground and if the weather is mild, they will grow tall quickly. In March, however, they will flower.
Since their stems grow tall and spring is generally windy, it is recommended to support them with a stick so that they don't break off. One should also not cut the flowers of this plant when they are open since this weakens its roots very much so that they don't proliferate and sometimes rest for two or three years before they flower again.
Every three years the roots should be transplanted since they bear quite strong young bulbs which are to be separated from the old ones. Those which are big enough to produce flowers can, alongside with the old roots, be planted in beds. The young ones, however, are planted in a propagation bed where they can stay until they are strong enough to flower. If the flowering bulbs are transplanted more often, they won't flower and proliferate as vigorously.
Because of its early flowering, the crown imperial deserves a place in the best flower gardens since among the larger plants, it is one of the first ones to flower. Its seeds ripen at the beginning of June and should be sown in July. How to do this is explained above where the tulip is treated.
The bulbs mostly show a cavity that goes through. Some gardeners use to cover them with a leaf when planting them so that, as they say, wetness can cause less harm. It seems, however, that this is a superfluous care and that nature did not produce such an opening for no reason.
Although the leaves of bulbs are usually left to wither before they are removed, in the case of the crown imperial it is advantageous to cut off the shoots that produce small flowers.
The seeds of this flower are borne in three compartments. It can probably also be propagated by those. However, it takes at least 9 to 10 years and seems hardly worth the