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Have you planted your indigenous bulbs as yet?

Every year from March to middle June we have another opportunity to add wonderful winter- and spring-flowering bulbs to our gardens. We all know and love the old favourites – daffodils, anemones, ranunculus, muscari, iris and snowflakes. These are all exotic bulbs, meaning that they originally came from elsewhere in the world.

But the buzz word is indigenous, and we should also promote and plant our world-famous indigenous bulbs. On the list you will find bulbs you already know: the fragrant freesia, the dainty ixia, the funky babiana, the artistic sparaxis and the fabulous tritonia. They can all be bought and planted now.

If you have a forgotten packet of bulbs in the garden shed from last year, do not get your hopes up – bulbs grow and flower best from freshly bought bulbs. Therefore, do not be tempted to buy up old stock from nurseries or hardware stores at the end of the planting season – you will not be able to plant them next year!

The big secret of successful bulb growing is the watering. Bulbs that dry out for any length of time after they have been planted, might still give you plants, but probably no flowers. Some bulbs, like muscari, snowflakes, daffodils, liliums, sparaxis, tritonia, ixia and babiana, will flower for a few seasons when you leave them in the soil, while others will probably not flower again, so you have to replace them next season. You can lift all your bulbs and store them in a dry place for replanting next season, but you have to wait before taking them out of the soil until all foliage has turned brown completely. Never cut bulb foliage off to make a flower bed neat – they need their leaves to make food for next season.

Categories: Gardening

Published in: Linprop News

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