Nerine

Nerines are splendid bulbous plants for the cool greenhouse giving a colourful display from August into the autumn. The umbels of distinctive flowers, up to a dozen in each cluster, now include pink, salmon, orange and white as well as red.

The Growth Cycle

Nerines flower best when the bulbs are pot bound. Potting up should be done in July and August when the bulbs are dormant, four to five being planted in a 6-in. pot. John Innes No. 3 Potting Compost can be used and the bulbs should be positioned to leave them half-exposed.

Place the newly potted bulbs in a sunny, unheated greenhouse and water sparingly at first, increasing the amount as growth appears. The showy flowers will appear in a month or two, before the leaves have developed, and will continue into October and sometimes November. As the flowers fade the leaves will increase in size and as soon as the plants have filled their pots with roots, they should be fed once a week. Keep the plants growing steadily in a minimum temperature of 4°C. (40°F.), giving plenty of ventilation and full sunshine. It is during this period that the plants are building up a supply of food for flowering the following autumn.

In May the leaves will begin to die down. Watering should stop, and the pots should be stood on a shelf near the glass so that the bulbs can ripen in the sun. No more water should be given until growth starts again in August, when the pots should be thoroughly soaked, and the growth cycle repeated. Repotting should be done every three to four years when the bulbs be-come overcrowded.

Offsets

Propagation is by offsets removed from the plants when repotting.

01. March 2012 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Featured Articles, Greenhouse Gardening, Plants & Trees | Tags: , | Comments Off on Nerine

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