Perennials & Ornamental Grasses

Multiply checkerboard flower - 3 possibilities presented


If you already have checkerboard flowers in your garden, it will be easier to reach the target when propagating. Our guide explains exactly what to do.

© farbkombinat -

The checkered flower (Fritillaria meleagris) catches the eye with its bell-shaped flowers reminiscent of a chessboard pattern. The plants have a long history, were popular garden plants in the Middle Ages and suddenly went out of fashion in the 19th century. Today chessboard flowers are threatened with extinction and the scarce occurrences that are still found in the wild are strictly protected.

The propagation of the checkerboard flower is not only a gardening challenge, but also a valuable contribution to being able to continue to admire this pretty plant. How the checkerboard flower reproduces and what should be observed can be read below.

If the chessboard flower is given a free hand, it virtually does the multiplication itself. Bulbs are formed underground. If the flowers are left on the plant until the seed pods have ripened, the plant sows itself.

The propagation of the checkerboard flower can be done by the following methods:

  • Brutzwiebeln
  • scale-proliferation
  • seed

Propagation by broilers

This propagation method is particularly simple and easy to understand even for inexperienced hobby gardeners. If the plant is sufficiently well developed, it will take control of its own growth and form brood bulbs for this purpose.

These small bulbs can be easily dug out and planted separately again. In this way, new plants can be obtained with little effort.

Propagation by dandruff

Propagation by onion scales begins in August. However, you will need to be patient as this method will take twelve months to complete.

What is needed?

  • well-developed checkerboard flower bulb
  • Charcoal or sulfur powder
  • culturing vessel
  • potting soil
  • foil cover
  • patience

Multiply checkerboard flower - step by step instructions

1. Dig up the flower bulb
2. Carefully peel the onion scale
3. Seal the onion and plant it back in place
4. Plant the onion scales
5. Transplant onion scales after root formation
6. Overwinter young onions
7. Plant out in late summer

Propagation by onion scales is less common and cannot be carried out on all plants. The hobby gardener benefits from the scale-like structure of lily plants, which include the checkerboard flower.

For this method of propagation, the flower bulb must be taken out of the ground. Then several outer scales are removed from the existing onion. Care should be taken to avoid damaging the onion.

➔ Tip: After removing the scales, the nut onion can be rubbed in with charcoal or with sulfur powder and sealed with it.

The correspondingly sealed onion can now be brought back to its old location in the earth. A growing container is now required to plant the onion scales. For example, a flat bowl that is filled with growing soil is suitable. A mixture of sand and peat can also be used.

Half of the onion scales are now placed in the ground. The planter should be set up in a room-warm, partially shaded location and kept evenly moist. At the same time, high humidity must be ensured.

➔ Tip: A cover made of plastic film ensures high humidity.

If roots form on the onion and, with a little luck, even small broilers, they can be transplanted into separate plant pots. Only the tip of the new onion should still be visible. Temperatures five degrees above freezing are sufficient for wintering. At no time should you forget to keep the planter evenly moist. To accelerate growth, liquid fertilizers with a low concentration can be given monthly.

In the coming spring, the plant pots can be placed outdoors. Strong onions developed by late summer, which can then be planted out.

Propagation by seeds

If you want to multiply the checkerboard flower by seeds, leave the flowers on the plant and take the seeds from the capsule fruits that emerged in June.

What is needed?

  • Checkerboard flower seeds
  • Plastic bag
  • sand
  • fridge
  • potting soil
  • planters

What happens to the seeds?

The seeds are removed from the capsule fruits. They are then packed in a plastic bag filled with damp sand and deposited in the refrigerator. The sand must be kept evenly moist so that the seeds do not dry out.

1 Checkerboard flower (Fritillaria meleagris) 25 seeds 2 reviews2,99 €To the shop
2 Set of 2 - Fritillaria meleagris - Chess Flower -… No reviews at the moment6,70 €To the shop
3 Seed gift set: 'Spring bloomers to overgrow' 4… No reviews at the moment14,95 €To the shop
➔ Tip: Storage in the refrigerator is necessary because the checkerboard flower is one of the cold germs and this cold stimulus is required by the seeds for germination.

After about five weeks, the seeds are removed from the refrigerator and placed in plant pots filled with growing soil. The seeds are only thinly covered with soil and kept evenly moist. First of all, the seeds should slowly get used to rising temperatures in a cooler room.

Germination can be accelerated if a cover made of plastic film is put over the planter. The seeds need temperatures of around 20 degrees for germination.

➔ Tip: Not all seeds will germinate. Experience has shown that only half of the seeds of the checkerboard flower will germinate.

What happens after germination?

If the young plants show several pairs of leaves, they are transferred to individual planters and hibernated in the house. The planting in the bed can then take place next spring.

Overview of the propagation of checkerboard flowers

Brutzwiebeln+ fast multiplication
+ simple and uncomplicated
+ good chances of success
- lengthy
- The plant can be injured when the scales are detached
Dandruff increase+ several plants can be grown
+ little effort
+ very good chances of success
- If you don't have a plant, you have to buy the seeds
- It takes patience for young plants to grow from the seeds
- The maintenance effort is higher than with root division
seed+ Seeds can be obtained from existing plants- only 50% of the seeds germinate
- Complex process due to the necessary cooling
- quite lengthy