How to Grow and Care for Silver Squill Plant

How to Grow and Care for Silver Squill Plant

Introduction to the Silver Squill Plant


Silver Squill (Ledebouria socialis) is a hardy, geophytic bulbous perennial plant that grows in summer and fall-winter rainfall zones. Ledebouria socialis is native to the Eastern Cape, Lesotho, Swaziland, and Transkei. It gets its name from the patterns and marks on its leaves. Some of the plants in the Eastern Cape and Kwazulu-Natal have brown leaves (pers. obs.). This plant grows in very dry savannas with full sun to deep shade in grasslands or forests. It likes fine to medium-grained, shallow to deep, well-drained, humus-rich soils.



Characteristics of the Silver Squill Plant 



Characteristics of Silver Squill Plant

Common Name

Silver Squill, Wood Hyacinth, Or Leopard Lily

Scientific Name

Ledebouria socialis


Eastern Cape Province of South Africa


Fine to medium-grained, shallow to deep, well-drained, humus-rich arid savanna in summer rainfall zones

Preferred Location

Shade, closed evergreen woodland

Growth Type

Geophytic species of bulbous perennial plant


Teardrop-shaped roots that grow above ground. Lance-shaped leaves with purple undersides and silver spots.

Flowering Season


Flower Color

Small greenish flowers


10 inches (30 cm)

Special Attributes

An attractive, vibrant, and structurally distinctive houseplant that is drought-tolerant but not succulent



How to Grow Silver Squill Plants at Home 


How to Grow and Care for Silver Squill Plant


To grow silver squill at home:


  • Use a soil-based, peat-free potting mix to plant silver squill plants.
  • Plant the bulbs in pans or half-pots. Repot bulbs in the spring, planting three in a 10cm (4 in) pot. Spread the bulbs uniformly throughout the surface, burying only the lower part of each bulb in the potting mixture. 
  • Do not feed the plants for the first 4–6 weeks. Water sparingly, allowing the top half of the potting substances to dry in between waterings
  • Once the new roots have established themselves, continue with normal care. 
  • Overcrowded clumps should be split apart every two or three years.


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Different Types of Silver Squill Plants


How to Grow and Care for Silver Squill Plant


Silver squill comes in a few different types, but there aren't any specific names for them. Each has its own set of traits that make it stand out. The common types of silver squill plants are:


  1. Ledebouria socialis 'Juda': Ledebouria socialis 'Juda' has vivid, deep green leaves with bands ranging from light green to lime.
  2. Ledebouria socialis 'Miner': This plant is also known as the 'Minor' variety. It stands out for its diminutive size, which rarely exceeds 8 inches. A wonderful solution if you have limited room.
  3. Ledebouria socialis 'Paucifolia': Paucifolia is a cultivar that grows from a rhizome with roundish tubers. The leaves are short and wispy, very pale silver-green with confetti-like markings that make the plant resemble a party hat!
  4. Ledebouria socialis 'Violacea': It is a traditional and popular terrarium plant. As the name implies, it features a silver-white leaf surface with dark green dots on the top leaf side and a deep violet bottom leaf.


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How to Care for a Silver Squill Plant


How to Grow and Care for Silver Squill Plant


Learn how to care for the silver squill plant using the key care guide mentioned below. Learn about sunlight, watering, and other care instructions to make your plant decorative, healthy, and happy.


  • Sunlight Preference: The ideal lighting conditions for the silver squill plant are bright, indirect sunlight. 
  • Temperature Requirement: Maintain the indoor temperature of the silver squill plant between 60 and 75°F (15 and 23°C), or let them drop to 30°F (-1°C) outside.
  • Watering Needs: The water needs of the silver squill plant are moderate once established. Don't water in the spring or summer until the top inch (2.5 cm) of soil is dry. Winter is a dormant period, so water plants only need it when the top inch of soil is dry.
  • Humidity requirement: Indoor humidity of the silver squill plant should be regulated between 30-45%, and if the air becomes too dry, you can place the plant in a pebble-filled tray of water.
  • Fertilization requirements: Give the silver squill plant a balanced 20-20-20 liquid fertilizer in the summer and spring. Half-strength fertilizes the plant every 5-7 weeks in summer and spring. Avoid fertilizing the plant in the winter.
  • Pruning: Trim the silver squill plant by removing dead or yellow leaves periodically. Remove damaged, contaminated, or rotting parts to prevent diseases like leaf infections.
  • Over-wintering preference: Place the silver squill plant pot in bright but not direct sunlight for 4-5 hours a day. Dry the soil somewhat with a minimum of watering. If winter temperatures drop below 30°F or -1°C, bring the plant inside before frost.


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Benefits of the Silver Squill Plant


Explore how the silver squill plant can not only make your surroundings look better but also offer many benefits, such as being aesthetically pleasing and possibly improving your health. The benefits are:


  • Aesthetic Appeal: Silver Squill's foliage is one of its most visually appealing features. The leaves are silvery green with a wavy texture. It can be grown both indoors and outdoors (in warm locations).
  • Air purification: Silver squill, like many other plants, can remove toxins including formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene to clean the air.
  • Versatile Plant: Silver Squill is a resilient plant that thrives in most circumstances with well-drained soil. Although it enjoys strong but indirect sunshine, it may also thrive in a shady or low-light environment.
  • Health Benefits: Silver squill has long been used in traditional medicines, notably in traditional African medicine, to treat respiratory infections, headaches, and fevers. Some research indicates that the plant has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. This plant also has other various medical characteristics, including its ability to treat respiratory issues, manage blood pressure, aid digestion, and relieve constipation.


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Silver Squill is a visually appealing perennial plant with silver streaks on its teardrop-shaped roots and lance-shaped leaves. It grows well in an organic potting mix with moderate indirect sunlight, regular watering, and fertilizing. It comes in many different varieties. The silver squill can withstand harsh environmental conditions. Moreover, it not only purifies the air but also provides many health benefits.

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