Real World Gardener Fabulous Nerines are Plant of the Week

June 1st, 2017



Nerines; Guernsey Lily (Nerine bowdenii)

Some garden writers describe this next plant as one of the most exotic of bulbs for the Autumn garden.

Although it’s a bulb, it looks nothing like the flowers of regular common bulbs such as daffodils or tulips.

Instead in belongs in the Amaryllis family, which includes agapanthus and alstroemeria. Nerines.jpg

Let’s find out more… 

I'm talking with the plant panel :Karen Smith, editor of Hort Journal and Jeremy Critchley, The Green Gallery wholesale nursery owner. 


Did you know that exposure to cold temperatures can cause the flower heads to turn slightly blue?
If you like planting bulbs that you can set and forget, then Nerines are your thing.
Plant them with Cyclamens and Colchicums which are lower, as the stems of Nerine flowers are very tall, between 30 – 50 cms.


What Nerines Like

Nerines like a position in sun or part-shade.

Plant them in light, gritty, well-drained soil, with the neck of the bulb exposed.

Hardy to moderate frosts, even down to -15 C.

In cold areas, growing in pots is another option.

Water well during the growth period but keep dry when dormant.


Nerine varieties & flowering time:

Bowdenii: A softer, clear pink. Excellent colour for the Autumn garden. (Flowers April) Most frost tolerant. Can withstand -150 C

Gold `Nerine` (Which is actually a very closely related Lycoris): Flowers of golden, sunshine yellow. This variety is excellent for growing in warmer climates. 

In cool/cold climates, this variety likes a nice warm & sunny spot. Flowers Feb-March.

Fothergill Major: Brilliant tangerine with a golden sheen to each petal as if dusted with gold. Flowers Autumn (Feb-March)

Fothergill Minor: Brilliant florescent orange-red blooms that appear in March-April.

Note: In very cold climates (eg: Tasmania) plant the bulbs in a warm spot.. This is a new dwarf variety to only approximately 20cm- 25cm tall.

Salmonia: Salmon pink blooms. The many frilly petals (up to 30) make beautifully shaped umbels. Flowers April.

White: (Alba) Their Winter blooms appear whiter-than-white against the dull colours of Autumn. Flowers Autumn. (May)

Winter Cheer: The strong pink of these flowers which appear in in Winter do indeed add `Winter cheer` to the garden. Flowers June

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