Watsonia plants grow from hardy bulbs. They range from 30 cm to 1.7 m (12 to 70 inches) in height.
The foliage resembles sword shaped leaves. Watsonia bloom towards the end of summer.
Watsonia by faeparsons.
When in bloom, they carry trumpet shaped flowers on spikes. The flowers may be red, pink or white.
Watsonia borbonica by Enez35.
A commonly used name for Watsonia plants grown in the garden is the Bugle lily.
Watsonia borbonica (Cape Bugle-lily), photograph by Forest and Kim Starr; CC.
Close up of Watsonia Borbonica flower, picture by Bernard DUPONT; CC.
When growing Watsonia species such as Bugle lilies, it is easiest to use bulbs purchased from a garden center or that someone has given you.
Watsonia bulbs should be planted at a depth of about 10 cm (4 inches) in the autumn.
If growing from seed, then be aware that it will take about three years until they will first flower.
Seeds should be sown at a depth of 3 mm (1/10th inch) in the autumn.
The Watsonia plants should be spaced about 30 cm (1 foot) apart, in a sunny part of the garden. This should have a moist soil that has been enriched with manure.
If you first want to grow indoors, then start off about two months in advance. It should take from one to six months to germinate at 12 to 18 degrees centigrade (54 to 64°F).
Transplant the Bugle lilies outdoors following the last frost of spring.
As Watsonia plants are quite large, they should be staked once they have become established.
They are both hungry and thirsty, so supply them with a liquid fertiliser, once when they are growing, and keep well watered.
If you require more plants then more lilies can be propagated by division of the cormels at the end of autumn.
I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Watsonia plants. You may also enjoy the following Gardener's HQ growing guides: How to grow CrocosmiaGloriosa, and Schizostylis plants.