BABIANA

These are half-hardy bulbs with flowers resembling an Ixia. They may be grown in pots in a greenhouse or planted outdoors in well-drained, light, sandy soil. Babianas often survive the winter in the West Country, elsewhere the bulbs should be protected by covering with ashes or bracken. Alternatively, they can be lifted at the end of October and replanted in April. Most species bloom in early summer. Babiana stricta rubro-cyanea has blue and crimson flowers, growing to about 1 ft. Increase by offsets which may be detached in September.

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