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Nerine bowdenii
Photo by Impy Kent UK

Nerine bowdenii

This Entry Has been Viewed 2079 times since 07/03/2002

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Information submitted by Eric Allison

Do you like surprises in the flower garden? Then this spring plant, the Nerine bowdenii bulbs for a real treat this fall. The flowers are long lasting, 3 weeks or more in a pot of soil, or 2 weeks as a cut flower in a vase of water. At the end of the season when most plants are about to give up flowering, this plant is just beginning. Planted in the spring the bulb makes leaves 10 inches to 12 inches long and 1 inch wide in a clump. During the summer, enjoy the foliage and wait, as flowers don't develop until September. You are planting in pots because the bulb is not winter hardy and because it is flowering late in the season. If the weather gets frosty the flowers are done for the year but in a pot you can bring it inside the house to extend the blooming period. When the flowers go by, store the potted plant in your basement until spring. No water is needed while dormant. In May bring outdoors, water and fertilize to repeat the process. Nerine is a autumn-flowering member of the amaryllis family. The flowers are pink, narrow, crinkled, long lasting and resemble a sparkler on the Fourth of July. The stems that hold the flowers are 12 to 20 inches tall depending on your soil. If you condition the soil with compost, and animal manure before planting in containers the plants will grow better and be more productive. When planting be sure to let the neck of the bulb stick out of the soil, just like you plant the Giant Amaryllis bulb in the house. Bulbs will multiply easily.

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