Cape Hyacinth

In a country blessed with many horticultural treasures Lachenalia, the Cape Hyacinth, holds a place of its own. Lachenalias may be short in stature, their flowers growing on spikes about 25 cm high, but they more than make up for this with their vividly coloured blooms.

This makes them ideal subjects for pots or for edging borders or pathways and an added bonus is that the blooms are long lasting – often up to five weeks. They should be planted in well-drained soil that is preferably on the sandy side, with plenty of compost added. The plants are tolerant of light shade, but prefer to grow in full sun – especially in coastal areas.

Place the Lachenalia bulbs just a few centimetres under ground level, quite close together. They should be watered every 4 days with a sprinkler for 40 minutes. All watering should cease in the summer months.

The Gardener