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Gladiolus

Posted in Bulbs

Rian Swanepoel
We are blessed with such an array of beautiful native plants in South Africa. We are sure you will not be surprised to hear that the gorgeous Gladiolus is on this list of homegrown beauties … and what a beauty! This stately lady, with her tall and straight stem produces a succession of large and very colourful funnel-shaped blooms. The sword-shaped leaves that adorn this long floral spike were the inspiration behind the naming of Gladiolus. The word Gladiolus derives from the latin gladius, meaning ‘sword’, and this description gave rise to her common name ‘sword lily’. Whether you refer to this South African gem as Gladiolus, sword lily or use its affectionate name of glads, we can all agree she is an absolute delight.

There are around 200 species of this eye catching bulb that derive mostly from southern South Africa, as well as other areas of Africa, Madagascar, southern Europe, the Middle East and western Asia. However, it is the Gladiolus that grows wild in our very own Cape that provides the tall and large-flowered hybrids that are popular garden plants and cut flowers worldwide. Gladiolus sometimes has the reputation of being tricky to grow but there are some exceptions, for example G. dalenii (Rhodesian gladiolus), which occurs naturally and is the most common species in our gardens. Most of us will not have the pleasure of wild Gladiolus, so luckily for us the modern hybrids available are even more stunning and are all very reliable growers. If you follow these simple planting and care tips you will have a garden full of colourful Gladiolus trumpeting the arrival of summer.

The bulbs are available from August through to October and can be planted in your garden from late September to late November. They look wonderful planted in clusters of up to 25 bulbs at the back of your border, and should be planted 15cm apart with 10cm of soil covering them. Gladiolus also looks wonderful planted in blocks of colour. Try to pick a position in full sun to plant your Gladiolus, as these South African natives love the sunshine.

The best soil for Gladiolus is a partially sandy loam that drains well, but they can grow in most soils as long as it is light and aerated. It is important not to let the sub soil dry out, especially during flowering time. The best way to keep your Gladiolus well watered is to follow “The Three F’s”; Water your bulbs with a sprinkler for Forty minutes, every Four days, and don’t Forget. This will ensure your bulbs will receive a nice deep watering all the way to root level.

Your beautiful Gladiolus will start to display her colourful flowers from November to March and will put on a wonderful show. They can grow up to 1m in height, so may need staking if you are expecting some strong gusts or they are planted in an exposed position. These tall stems make Gladiolus a brilliant cut flower, so why not pick a few for a vase? You can simply pull the whole bulb out of the soil and cut it away from the stem, remembering to discard the bulb straight away. It is not advisable to discard the bulb into your garden or on the compost heap because Gladiolus harbours pests and diseases that could spread to other plants. If you wish to grow your bulbs on, just cut the stem about 20 cm above the soil and this will ensure there is enough foliage left to support the plant.

We adore Gladiolus and just love a border bursting with these gorgeous bulbs. When they flower their elegant stems look like a colourful party of ladies swaying in your garden … simply divine! Creating an impressive display of Gladiolus is very affordable and simple to achieve, so why not try planting your own border of beautiful ladies this year?

Come see our Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/hadeco.bulbs, follow us on Twitter @HadecoBulbs, come shop with us at our Online Shop www.hadeco.co.za/shop or visit www.hadeco.co.za for more information.

Editor’s Note: For more information on this press release or more pictures please contact Roots SA at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please do not publish this information. For reader enquiries please feel free to publish the note above.

 

Growing Symphony Hybrids and Other Amaryllis

Posted in Bulbs

Rian Swanepoel
The beautiful Hippeastrum (amaryllis) we produce at Hadeco are grouped according to the size of their flowers, as described in our recent blog post. The original and largest of this amaryllis cultivar is classified in the group Symphony. Their spectacular flowers can have an impressive diameter that exceeds 16.5 cm. They are simply breathtaking. Their colour range is also a sight to behold, ranging from a pure white to soft rose, through a rainbow of pink, magenta, salmon, orange and red. There are even beautiful striped flowers!

One would think that flowers of such grandeur would be difficult to produce at home, however, amaryllis are wonderfully easy and fast to grow. Hippeastrum are most popular as pot plants, although they will grow successfully in the garden. Amaryllis bulbs are available from August to November and can be planted from September until January. Plant your Amaryllis before they begin to sprout. Select the perfect sized pot for the bulb; one that is just a little wider than the bulb itself will be ideal. Before planting, ensure each of your containers is clean and has a drainage hole. It is important to select a soil that drains well, is light, nutritious and contains no tree bark or fresh manure. A soil with a pH of 6,0 to 6,8 is best.

To plant, hold the bulb so that its roots hang down in to the pot, then sprinkle your soil in to the pot and around your bulb. Pat the soil down to ensure there are no air pockets around the roots. The soil must also be adequately firmed down so that the weight of the flowers does not cause the bulb to fall over. The most vital aspect of planting is to make sure the nose of the bulb is above the pot’s rim and the shoulder protrudes above the surface of the soil. Essentially, one-third of the amaryllis bulb will be visible above the soil once you have finished potting. After planting, the next step is to water the bulb well and pat the soil down again.

Your potted amaryllis can be placed in a spot that is constantly warm and receives natural light. A warm position of around 20°c is perfect and will encourage immediate and swift growth. When it comes to watering your amaryllis, their seconding watering should only occur about seven days after planting, as this will encourage new root formation. For the following two weeks, add tepid water around the bulb when necessary, but remember not to pour water over the bulb’s nose. The soil should be kept only slightly moist, as overwatering can be detrimental to root formation. If you are using a saucer ensure that excess water is tipped away. As soon as the flower stem has grown out from the bulbs you may water more frequently. Within six to seven weeks you will have beautiful flowering amaryllis! If you wish to keep your amaryllis bulbs for next year, our amaryllis website has a lot of information on further care.

A small cluster of amaryllis plants in pots will make for a stunning display in the center of your dining table, or perhaps line them up along a deep windowsill for the world to enjoy. Wherever you choose to position these exceptional flowers they will always put on the most beautiful of shows, so sit back and enjoy!

References:   Barnhoorn, Floris 2005, Growing Bulbs in South Africa                   

Come see our Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/hadeco.bulbs, follow us on Twitter @HadecoBulbs, come shop with us at our Online Shop www.hadeco.co.za/shop or visit www.hadeco.co.za for more information.

Editor’s Note: For more information on this press release or more pictures please contact Roots SA at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please do not publish this information. For reader enquiries please feel free to publish the note above.

 

Spectacular New Amaryllis Hybrids

Posted in Bulbs

Rian Swanepoel 
All of us at Hadeco are very proud and excited to announce the arrival of three new amaryllis hybrids … ‘Dynamite’, ‘Molto Bello’ and ‘Graffiti’. It is difficult to imagine that amaryllis could become any more spectacular, but wait until you see these three new beauties bloom this summer!

‘Dynamite’ is an addition to our Sonata group of hybrids, which are amaryllis that produce mid-size blooms of up to 16 cm wide. This dynamic amaryllis flowers with an explosion of deep red blooms. ‘Dynamite’ is a prolific stem and flower producer, livening up Christmas tables around the world.

Our second new amaryllis hybrid is named ‘Graffiti’. This pretty plant has elegant, pale lemon-green blooms, which are streaked with beautiful complementary red stripes. Her unusual colouring makes ‘Graffiti’ a very interesting and impressive addition to our Sonatini group of amaryllis hybrids. Sonatini hybrids are all true miniature amaryllis that produce flowers between 6 and 12 cm wide. In comparison to a lot of plants in the garden, a 12 cm wide flower is a wonderful size, but in the amaryllis world this is classed as miniature! Despite of its size ‘Graffiti’ packs quite the floral punch, as each bulb gives up to three stems that are each adorned with potentially 6 impressive flowers!

There is also another addition to the Sonatini group of amaryllis hybrids and her name is ‘Molto Bello’. This delicate gem offers us stems that are crowned with flowers that bloom in delicate cream hues with a hint of peach early in the flowering time. ‘Molto Bello’ has a certain understated charm and subtlety that makes her a particularly elegant amaryllis to grow in your home this summer. We certainly think she is ‘very pretty’ and we hope you do too.

We are very proud to share beautiful amaryllis hybrids like these with you, as they are testament to Hadeco’s commitment to producing the best and widest assortment of hybrids. Over the decades we have strived to improve on existing styles of amaryllis and create brand new and innovative varieties. Our breeding program is renowned around the world for producing exciting and unique hybrids.

‘Dynamite’, ‘Molto Bello’ and ‘Graffiti’, along with a wide selection of other amaryllis hybrids, can be found by visiting your local garden centre, supermarket or by browsing our online store . There is a gorgeous array of amaryllis to choose from and each will certainly brighten up your patio, balcony, garden or any room in your home. All you need to do now is select your favourites!

Come see our Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/hadeco.bulbs, follow us on Twitter @HadecoBulbs, come shop with us at our Online Shop www.hadeco.co.za/shop or visit www.hadeco.co.za for more information.

Editor’s Note: For more information on this press release or more pictures please contact Roots SA at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please do not publish this information. For reader enquiries please feel free to publish the note above.

 

Pixie Lily

Posted in Bulbs

Rian Swanepoel
This lovely group of lilies was named ‘Pixie’ due to the diminutive stature of the hybrids that compose it. In comparison to its loftier relatives the Pixie lily is a lot shorter; it will grow no higher than 60cm. But do not let the Pixie lily’s name or vital statistics fool you! This mighty bulb will produce flowers that rival the beauty of taller lilies. With its shorter stem and smaller foliage the Pixie lily’s flowers are accentuated and really jump out at the viewer. A lot of beautiful colour is packed into a small space! Clusters of the Pixie lily’s wide-flaring flowers sit atop strong upright stems, which are adorned with glossy green, narrow, lance-shaped leaves. Like the flowers of other lilies, the Pixie lily’s blooms have a gentle trumpet-shape with large reflexed petals.

The Pixie lily displays the typical six petals, six anthers and stigma found on the flowers of most other lilies. The Pixie lily is available in bright shades of yellow, red and orange that will pop out from your border or container. When your Pixie lilies bloom this summer you will see that this gorgeous little gem certainly packs a beautiful punch!

The easy to grow Pixie lily is actually a tough and hardy dwarf Asiatic lily and requires the same planting conditions as other varieties. Like other specially cultivated dwarf varieties, the Pixie lily can really make an impact in your garden, especially when planted in strategically positioned pots and at the front of a border. They are a wonderful addition to any display particularly if you plant their taller relatives behind them. You can also place containers of these pot lilies on your veranda or patio if you do not have space in your garden.

Follow the same guidelines to grow and care for Pixie lilies as you would any other lily variety. They require soil that drains well and has ample amounts of humus. Always remember the lily maxim, “head in the sun and feet in the shade”. Lilies like to have their roots kept cool, which can be achieved by planting the bulbs 7-10 cm deep with a good layer of mulch on top. Planting your annuals over the top of the bulbs will also help. If you use a compost mulch to keep the soil cool this will have the added benefit of releasing vital nourishment to the roots when watered. In summer, when growth is most vigorous, supplying a complete fertiliser to the top of the soil is also very beneficial.

Aside from their soil requirements Pixie lilies also love a lightly shaded to full sun position for their foliage and blooms. When growing Pixie lilies in pots it is important to remember that they must be protected from heat and direct sun. As with all your bulbs it is essential to recall the Three F’s when watering your lilies: water with a sprinkler for forty minutes, every four days and don’t forget!

Come see our Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/hadeco.bulbs, follow us on Twitter @HadecoBulbs or visit www.hadeco.co.za for more information.

Editor’s Note: For more information on this press release or more pictures please contact Roots SA at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please do not publish this information. For reader enquiries please feel free to publish the note above.

 

Ipheion and Muscari

Posted in Bulbs

Rian Swanepoel
This week’s lovely duo, the ipheion and muscari have similar roles to play in our gardens. Historically, they both formed part of the Liliaceae family. Modern classification tends to differentiate them so that ipheion is in the Alliaceae family and the muscari is part of the Hyacinthaceae family. The ipheion is fondly known as the ‘spring star flower’ as it blooms in exquisite throngs of dainty sky blue, star-shaped blooms. When these little flowers appear it will look like your garden has been sprinkled with purple-blue stars fallen straight from the night sky. The muscari have an equally pretty and dainty appearance, as they bloom with deep blue, tiny bell-shaped flowers borne in dense pyramidal clusters on top of slender stems. When you see these blooms, it becomes immediately apparent why muscari is also called the ‘grape hyacinth’, as the flowers’ resemblance to miniature bunches of plump grapes is remarkable. If you stoop to bring your nose closer to their flowers you will also notice their lovely scent. The name muscari in fact comes from the Latin word muscus, since their lovely fragrance is said to resemble musk.

Ipheion are tolerant of a range of soils, from loamy to sandy. Ensure that the soil is loosened and kept well watered. They are ideal for creating a blanket of colour to cover a bank, and can be planted in full sun or dappled shade in a woodland setting. Plus, they look lovely when grown in pots. Muscari prefer richly composted and well-drained soil, however, they are versatile with regard to the locations in which they can be planted. Their vivid blue colour can be used to great effect when planted along the front of a border with a backdrop of other brightly coloured blooms, for example, daffodils. They look equally wonderful when flowering in sweeping drifts in a woodland setting. You may also wish to plant them in pots and bring them indoors when they bloom, this will work a treat and look stunning.

Both of these lovely bulbs are winter-growing and available now, check out our online store. Be ready to plant the ipheion and muscari from mid-April to late May and await their beautiful blooms from August to September. These bulbs can be left in the ground for a few years, where they will multiply freely. Provide bulb food particularly in the second half of the winter active season. When the bulbs become a little overcrowded they can be lifted and replanted to give them more space. Lift the bulbs at the onset of dormancy in early summer and store until the next autumn. (To learn more about lifting and storing read the following article we recently featured: http://on.fb.me/LiftingAndStoring.) You will get many years of joy from these lovely bulbs, they are simply wonderful to look at and make a cheery addition to any garden.

As with all your bulbs, don't forget the Three F's: Water your bulbs for Forty minutes, with a sprinkler, every Four days and don’t Forget.

Come see our Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/hadeco.bulbs, follow us on Twitter @HadecoBulbs or visit www.hadeco.co.za for more information.

Editor’s Note: For more information on this press release or more pictures please contact Roots SA at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please do not publish this information. For reader enquiries please feel free to publish the note above.