Showing posts with label fragrant bulbs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fragrant bulbs. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Heliotropium arborescens and Hyacinth flowers

Heliotropium arborescens "marine" is a a very fragrant compact annual/perennial flower. Flowers cover the whole plant and vanilla fragrance is very strong. I bought seeds from chilterns seeds UK and sowed the seeds in October 2012 and it germinated in November 2012. It started flowering in March 2013. An annual in cold areas but tender perennial in warm climates like mine. Not sure how it will handle the extreme summer heat and monsoon humidity but the fragrance is really worth it. I will save seeds if it forms seeds.

Talking of fragrant flowers, Hyacinth is very fragrant spring bulb. It grows very good as annual in lahore. It is also successfully forced in special water jars. It is amazing that each color of hyacinth has unique fragrance. Sometimes hyacinth gives second flowering stalk too but that it not often. Hyacinth bulb is not worth saving for next year and must be bought again.

For more macro pictures, visit Lisa's Chaos

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Growing Society garlic, Tulbaghia violacea in warm climates

There are not many bulbs capable of flowering in the summer heat of May and June in lahore. When temperatures are over 100F very few plants grow well. Society garlic, Tulbaghia violacea is one of these. From garlic/onion family, this south african bulb is very heat tolerant and a perennial in warm climates. It grows from a rhizome just like most onions and garlic do. Flowers are fragrant though some people do not consider the scent to be pleasant.

This is how the rhizome looks like.
tulbaghia rhizome

The planting depth around 2 inches deep so that the shooting points are just above the soil. I plant whole rhizome into the soil leaving just the tips above. It flowers only after few months of planting.
tulbaghia violacea flowers

It does go down in monsoon rains which shows that it does not like much water although drainage is good in my soil bed. It does not need protection in lahore winter and becomes dormant for a short while. It multiplies fast.

There is another tulbaghia which is tulbaghia fragrans, also a fragrant tulbaghia. It has same mauve flowers but flowers are little different. It also comes in white form. The name tulbaghia is derived from Tulbagh a town in south africa.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Growing freesia in warm climates

This is 7th article in this series of growing warm climate flowering bulbs. Freesia is the most heat tolerant flowering bulbs in hot climates. And if you are new to flowering bulbs, close your eyes, plant the freesia bulbs and sit back to watch them blooming in a few months time. As easy as it can be. And it will not fail to bloom no matter what you do or don't do. A must for your garden. Here are few reasons why freesia is at the top of other spring flowering bulbs:
1- It is perennial. Yes, unlike hyacinth and tulips, it will naturalize in warm climate zones 9 and greater.
2- One of most fragrant flowers. Yes, it has one of most fragrant flowers among others. The spicy fragrance wafts through the air. And a few plants will fill your whole yard.
3- It is very heat tolerant. Unlike other flowering bulbs, which start withering upon arrival of summer heat, freesia will take the heat and continue blooming.
4- Offsets: Freesia produces offsets almost every year, so you will get new plants every year.
5- They are great container plants well.
6- Many beautiful color combination are there. 

Growing them is very simple. Prepare the soil having fertilizer and potting mix. water the soil thoroughly and let the water get absorbed. Next comes bulbs planting. Choose healthy bulbs, fat and firm. If there are offsets or child bulbs attached, do not remove them, they will flower next year. Plant them in well drained soil in fall. We plant them in late october and november here in lahore. Leave them in either full sun or partial shade, but not in full shade. They will flower in full shade but flowering capacity will reduce. Do not water again until you see green shoots appearing. Remember, water the flowering bulbs as less as possible until heat arrives.

Freesia bulbs

This one is in clay pot on my terrace.

This one is growing on my terrace in clay pot.

This one is growing in my soil bed.

Full double freesia bulbs have often less fragrance. The new hybird varieties have less fragrance although the bloom size is large. So go for semi double which are fragrant as you can see in above pictures, they are all very fragrant.

Growing freesia from seed: Freesia can be grown from seed as well. The seed sown in fall will flower in spring. Here in lahore, seed sown in october should flower in march and april. Very easy to grow from seed as well.
After freesia has flowered, keep it in the soil. Let the leaves get yellow and then shred all its leaves after it will go dormant in summer. You can keep it in the soil or dig them from soil, wrap in paper and place somewhere cool and dry. They survive in room temperature in lahore if temperature is not very hot. Plant again in fall.

Next bulbs: Sparaxis

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