Plant of the Week
Each week, OGV sub-committee member, Gayle Parkes presents the 'Plant of the Week'. She also posts to OGV's Instagram - make sure you check back weekly for her latest post. This week Gayle brings us the spectacular nerine.
Nerines are popular bulbs that belong to the Amaryllidaceae family. These bulbous perennials produce funnel-shaped flowers with each spherical umbel containing six or eight individual flowers, and each flower having six colourful narrow curved petals that radiate outwards with wavy edges.
I currently only have one small pot of white nerines in my new garden, and for me that is just not enough! I will certainly be purchasing some new bulbs when the time is right and will place these pots around my garden to guarantee much pleasure throughout the cooler months. I think I will try some of the reds … they should look fabulous against my charcoal coloured fence.
This flowering plant is well-suited to our climate and will survive the harshest winter weather conditions. Nerines are frost-hardy, tough and easy to care for. They are trouble-free and will certainly cheer up a cold rainy day.
The rules of growing these rewarding bulbs are simple. They enjoy full sun and like to be planted with the neck of the bulb about an inch above the soil surface. They need to be watered during their growing period of autumn and winter and kept perfectly dry during the summer months. As well as in a sunny spot in the garden, they are also perfectly happy in pots which is great for balconies, decks and courtyard gardens.
Foliage starts to appear around late February to March and flowers pop up just in time to cheer us up in autumn. Depending on the variety, these gorgeous pops of colour can last in our gardens right through winter. Their flowers are found in a variety of shades from pure white, pale pink to deep rose pink through to crimson to scarlet red. The leaves will die down in late spring and the bulb lies dormant throughout the summer.
Over time they will form sizeable clumps. They like to be crowded so don't feel compelled to divide them unless flower production decreases. At that point clumps can be dug, split apart and moved to other parts of your garden ... or you could surprise a friend with a few bulbs in a pretty pot!