Bulbs are valued for large showy flowers and beautiful foliage and are much easier to grow provided some basic garden activities are carried out regularly. These have short stems with fleshy leaves and underground storage. In larger spaces such as public parks and gardens, bulbs are traditionally planted in flowerbeds. When planting in flowerbeds, use one colour for visual harmony, synchronised bloom and uniform height. In a home garden, bulbs are grown along paths, pavements, in borders, or in groups. These are also very good pot plants but do not forget to rotate these periodically. If you have missed their plantation, now is the time to pick up from nurseries.
Known by the scientific name of crinum asiaticum, the tall bulbous perennials with strap-shaped leaves have scented spidery-looking pristine white flowers. Admired for their foliage as well floral beauty, these grow 6-8 inches across in a cluster of about 20 flowers or more.
- The plants, three to four feet tall, flourish in marshy areas in warm humid conditions (not water-logging) and are sensitive to extreme cold and dry weather.
- These are best suited for pots, borders, water bodies or as pool-side plants.
- Crinum bulbs are large, roundish, 12-16 inches in length with a long tapering neck.
- A stalk of flowers bloom for weeks, curving at the edge, some bell-shaped, some curved and some spidery-looking.
- Individual flowers last only for a few days but the whole flowering period unfurls over an extended period of time.
- Once the bloom is over, the plant does not die back. Wait for the new growth to appear, and then remove the old leaves. This is also the best time to repot the plant. Keep into consideration the size of the bulb.
- While planting, keep the tip of the bulb out of the soil. It is generally disease and pest-free bulbous plant.
Scientifically known as haemanthus multiflorus, it is a 45-60 cm tall plant with oblong dark green smooth leaves. The football-like blood-red globular head is a multi-flowered umbel (flower cluster).
- A sunny spot with light and well-drained soil is best for its growth.
- It is a good idea to add leaf mould manure at the time of planting. Thereafter, it does well even without fertilisation.
- It is best suited for pots, borders and shrubberies.
- The bulbs are planted in February-March.
- These bloom once a year and the flowers last for 10 to 15 days.
- Keep the soil moist, but do not over water, else it can cause the rotting of the bulbs.
- Once the bloom is over, watering is withheld and the bulbs may lie buried in soil for years.
- In extreme winter, protect these from frost.
- The dormant bulbs should not be buried too deep in soil.
- Football lilies are deciduous, and not evergreen, so these should be allowed to rest. Multiplication is by division of bulb.