South African Bulbs and Tubers
No doubt you will have noticed that I am now selling seeds of many bulbs and
tubers. It is no coincidence that the majority of these originate from
Southern Africa. Indeed many of our most popular garden bulbs, especially
those flowering in the summer or early autumn, originate from Southern Africa.
Most of us are familiar with such plants as Gladiola or the Red Hot Poker - but
how many of us have heard of the Blazing Star, Bugle Lily or Cape Hyacinth?
Read on to find out more of the background of how some of our most
spectacular garden subjects originate from Southern Africa and how for a small
price and some TLC how you too can bring an exotic flavour to your garden.
Autumn or Spring Sowing - Summer or Winter Flowering
What a difference the rains make...
The bulbs can be divided according to when the
rains come to that particular area.
Those subjected to mainly winter rainfall
are the Winter Flowerers and should be sown in the Autumn, although that
period can be extended with minimal equipment and thought. These will
generally grow well in the Northern Hemisphere as container grown bulbs
where the amount of water received can be moderated and protection can be
given from the harshest of the weather.
Those hailing from the mainly summer rainfall areas are the Summer
Flowerers and they should be sown in the Spring. Again this period can
be extended and the bulbs kept in leaf for much of their early life to boost
the size of the bulb and to bring forward first flowering. With these
types the strict dry resting period is not as critical early on. These
grow well in the Northern Hemisphere in open ground, where necessary extra
drainage can be provided. Deeply rooted specimens will survive all but
the harshest winters (where the ground actually freezes at depth), all other
types may be lifted and stored frost free.
Most of my listings will state which type of bulb it is, in terms of
rainfall area/flowering period.