Growing Trilliums question

I have a row of massive Pines growing near my home. We have typical Wisconsin clay soil. I would love to have either trillium or ferns growing underneath. Without spending a fortune, does anyone know a reasonable source for plants and does anyone have a similar success story doing this.

  6 answers
  • Nancy Turner Nancy Turner on Mar 12, 2018
    You could sink good sized pots in the ground and plant them in the pots. That will get around the clay soil. If you planted in pots above the ground, they would have to be brought in for the winter, potted perennials don't do so well, there roots get frozen and rot.

  • Carey Carey on Mar 13, 2018
    Check out Garden web for trading of plants. I have made some truly nice friends through the Garden Web as well as enjoying some lovely plants that were traded!

  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Mar 13, 2018
    Here in Georgia we also have clay...requires some work to have good plantings, but it can be done. Think big, start small and work hard!
    Start with a manageable size planting area. Shovel up and break up the clay. Add abut 4" of good top soil, another couple inches of sand...and add in some WATERING CRYSTALS...these are not really expensive at the big box stores, can be brought home in the trunk of your car and are easy to handle. Mix it together really good and shape the bed which will be slightly raised.

    I like perennials that come back every year but also love the brilliant color of the annuals . I am at the age I can no longer bend and stoop for yard work, so I am going to large posts for plantings...I use the lighter weight resin ones. They are not expensive and are easier to handle. Places some large rocks or any kind of filler in the bottom of the pot so you don't have to use so much soil. This keeps them lighter too.

    Caladium are work free plants for pots as well as in the ground. Plant them in bunches...they love being close. They do not replant well, but have brilliant colors all summer long. You cannot beat them for color, ease of care and long lasting beauty!

  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Mar 13, 2018
    P.S. If you want to cheat as I have done before, open a bag of Miracle Grow top soil (cut off one of the corners of the bag wide enough to allow for a good flow), walk backwards and pour about a 6-8" pile of soil as you walk. (A curving line with a few bends turns out extremely pretty.) Then put in your plants in a toward the front and one toward the back. This works great for annuals. Mixing about 3-4 different varieties of annuals with the taller toward the back, will be stunning. Hubs, Sister and I planted about 31' like this in about 1 hour! I did both sides of my front yard in one afternoon!!!

    For Caladium, pour a large pile and plant about 5-6 bulbs inside the mound...move over about 9" or so and repeat. When finished, cover lightly with mulch or straw! Be careful to keep the dirt mounded. That dirt will be there in the future to help with your clay soil.

  • Zaj26137573 Zaj26137573 on Mar 13, 2018
    I live in Michigan and have clay soil. I have trillium growing all around my wooded area. I would suggest digging in a little compost. When I want to add a new plant that is all I do. I have thriving gardens all around.

    • Peter Zielinski Peter Zielinski on Mar 15, 2018
      Best answer, thanks. Do you know when the best time to transplant Trillium? Pictures of your woodland?

  • Zaj26137573 Zaj26137573 on Mar 15, 2018
    The BEST time is late summer or early fall when they are dormant but honestly I have transplanted whenever I have time. If it's too soon in spring they may not bloom that year but should following year or bloom will die off.