Eranthis hyemalis is the botanical name for winter aconite, a buttercup-like bloom with a frill of deep green, lance-shaped leaves around its neck. Aconite will bloom in the early spring, even before the frosts and slushy sleet have subsided. Grow winter aconite where you want a burst of sunny yellow color before the other flowers have awakened from their winter slumber.
Choose a planting site in part shade to full sun. Aconite will thrive under tall tree canopies, but dappled sunshine or the boarders of treed areas may produce better blooming results.
Prepare the soil by tilling it with organic compost to provide nutrients and room for roots to spread out. Add fertilizer, at the rate of 1 lb. per 100 square feet of area, and combine well into the soil.
Plant aconite bulbs with other spring blooming bulbs in the fall. Small bulbs like E. hyemalis should be planted in groups of six or more at a depth of 2 to 3 inches below the soil.
Water the bulbs after planting, but do not add excessive moisture late into the fall after temperatures drop. Wet bulbs in winter soil can lead to bulb rot or death.
Divide aconite when the flowers do not seem as large or healthy as in years past, or when the area appears to be too crowded for existing blooms. Once flowering is complete, dig up the bulbs carefully. Aconite grows from a bulb called a tuber, which will divide over time to create many small tubers connected to the mother root. Cut the tubers apart into clumps of small tubers and re-plant. Divisions may not flower the following season while they re-establish themselves.