Growing sparaxis in warm climates

This is 8th article in the series of growing warm climate flowering bulbs. In this post i will share tips for growing sparaxis in warm climates. Sparaxis is a south african native flowering bulb endemic to south africa. It is also called Harlequin Flower. It goes dormant in summer and grows actively in winter and flowers in summer. There are many species suitable to lahore and other hot climates but sparaxis tricolor is the most common one.

1- Choose fat, large bulbs. Discard soft bulbs.Try to buy sparaxis bulbs not from same vendor but from different vendors, this way you would have better chances of different color combinations in flowers.
2- Try to buy those bulbs which are either very fat or those bulbs which have their offsets (child bulblets) attached. The offsets will flower next year. Plant bulbs in fall. Try some bulbs in november and some in december so you will know which one does better. In my experience, December is better than november.
3- Good drainage is essential for all flowering bulbs and sparaxis is no exception. For extra drainage, you can out a fine layer of sand beneath the bulb although this is not necessary for loamy soils.
4- Water the soil before planting the bulbs. When water is fully absorbed in soil, plant the bulbs. Planting depth is 1-2 inches below the soil.
5- After first watering, do not water the soil until the foliage starts appearing.
6- Few hours direct sunlight preferably morning sun is essential for flowering. But they will still flower in full shade. Avoid full sun when heat arrives in late march.


7- One or two stalks per bulb and there will be 1-3 flowers per stalk. Sadly the flowers do not last very long, just two days. But planted in masses they are most beautiful flowers.
8- Sparaxis is a perennial in lahore and other warm climates. Keep it in soil, it will grow again next fall. You can also leave it in container. Keep watering in summer.

Ixia and sparaxis are from same family. Will try ixia in fall and share my experience with you.

This post is included in Roses and Stuff by katarina. Do visit her for other blooming friday posts.
Also visit Tootsie time for fertilizer friday. This post is also included there.

Note: For those who are reading this, there is a free heirloom tomato seeds away week in first week of April on my blog. So do come back if you want to grow tomatoes in your yards. First come first basis after i announce it in first week of April. Happy planting.

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6 Responses

  1. Willow says:

    What a beautiful flower. I have never heard of it before. Thank you for sharing.

  2. TYRA says:

    Very interesting post and the flowers are so pretty!

    Remember it is The Earth Hour today!

    Tyra @ Tyra’s Garden

  3. Heisann!

    Stange tulips with interesting design.
    Beautiful.
    Have a nice weekend ;:OD)

  4. Gunilla says:

    Thanks for a intresting post.

    Have a nice weekend
    Gunilla

  5. Ash says:

    Was wondering if I could plant these now? In early spring? How long does it take for foliage to show up?

    Ash

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