Veltheimia are hardy bulbs that reach from 30 to 45 cm in height.
They bloom at the start of spring when they carry drooping clusters of tubular shaped flowers, these are usually red or yellow.
They are a native of southern Africa, and so perform best in zones 8 to 10.
Veltheimia bracteata by Derek Keats.
For quickest results grow Veltheimia from bulbs as seed grown plants will take about three or four years to flower. Bulbs should be buried two thirds deep in the autumn (keep the top third out of the soil).
Space at about 30 cm apart and locate in a sunny or partially shaded part of the garden. Ideally the soil that Veltheimia plants grow in will be acidic and have good drainage.
If growing from seed either sow outdoors in the autumn, or start off indoor at the start of winter; sow the seeds and then lightly cover. If growing indoors then germination should take from one to three months at a temperature of 12 to 18 degrees centigrade. Transplant seedlings into the garden in mid spring.
Although Veltheimia takes a little looking after it is fairly easy work. They require a liquid fertiliser every couple of weeks from spring until the end of the growing season (stop in summer). If you live in a very cold area then bring Veltheimia indoors for the winter, they will not tolerate extremely cold temperatures.
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