Saturday, 13 February 2016

Bulbs Suitable for Sub-tropics

The hot, wet, humid summers of the Coffs Coast coupled with the lack of real winter chill makes growing bulbs quite difficult. Bulbous plants generally cannot abide continuously wet soils as they just rot. If you intend growing bulbs it is best to place them in raised beds for excellent drainage. 

Most bulbs behave nicely if given a little TLC - add about a teaspoon of blood and bone with added potash at planting time with a further dose of about a tablespoon per plant at flowering time. 

Most successfully grown bulbs can be divided up when the clumps get too big. You can also of course, propagate by seed which will take longer for a mature plant. 

Listed below are just some of the bulbs that can be grown in the Coffs Region: 

Pink Cyrtanthus are wonderful bulbs for the sub-tropics as they are evergreen and winter flowering with small pink tubular flowers - just delightful.

Commonly known as Day Lilies because each flower lasts for just a single day, this small genus of 15 species of rhizome-rooted perennials from temperate East Asia is part of the Hemorocallis family. Even though their flowers only last a day they are produced in succession from late spring through to autumn, guaranteeing a blaze of colour in the garden. 

November Lily lilium longiflorum (or Christmas Lily down south) flowers earlier here on the Coffs Coast so is better known as November Lily. There are also a pink form as well as the white as seen here in the image to the left.

If white is what you are looking for in an Agapanthus there is a pretty one called 'Gettys White' which is a real show stopper. These flower from October through to December and need to be dead headed late in December/January to keep them tidy. 

The simple-flowered Rain Lily, Zephyranthes flava is always a delight to see after heavy rain events.

Clivias are always good for a shaded spot and there are yellow (as seen in top photo) or Orange as seen right. There is also a variegated foliage form Clivia miniata. 

A hardy form of Crinum Lily C. moorei a South African native is pale pink with pretty pink and grey stamens.  

So hope you can find a bulb from this small list that will grow in your garden.

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