Tuberose, Vallota and Watsonia

THE TUBEROSE

Though it will bloom quite happily outdoors in the south under the shelter of a wall facing south, it is more satisfactorily grown in a cool greenhouse. The lovely white blooms carry a rich perfume, similar to orange blossom in its strength.

Tuberose

The bulbs may be brought into bloom in batches throughout the summer, the first being potted early in April, the final batch being potted at the end of May. They like a compost comprised of half-fibrous loam to which has been added some sharp sand, and half cow manure and peat in equal parts. The bulbs should be planted to the neck and the compost made quite firm. The pots are then placed beneath the greenhouse staging and should be brought into full light as soon as growth begins. Or they will bloom equally well if the pots are placed over a hot bed covered by a frame and lights. In the greenhouse the bulbs may be grown cool or forced at temperatures around 650 F. Under forcing conditions the plants will require copious amounts of water and should not be grown on a second year after flowering.

VALLOTA

Producing its spikes of brilliant scarlet during late summer, the Scarborough Lily, as it is called, is a grand plant for a cool greenhouse. The bulbs are planted into a compost similar to that enjoyed by the Nerine. After flowering the plants should be grown on throughout winter and early spring by keeping the compost slightly moist, but in no way must it be allowed to dry out completely. The bulbs do not like disturbing when once established in the pots. All they require is to be kept free from frost during winter which may be possible by transferring the pots to a dry room in the home. V. purpurea major is the true Scarborough Lily.

WATSONIA

This is the Southern Bugle Lily, a native of South Africa, and happiest in dry, well-drained soils. The flowers are carried on

stems and in appearance are very similar to the freesia and also in their cultural treatment. The bulbs may be grown in pots in a cold greenhouse or in frames. Planting takes place in early April and until growth appears, little or no water should be given and the bulbs should be shaded. As growth advances, the bulbs are given full light and plenty of water. They will come into bloom in midsummer and should be supported by thin canes as the spikes tend to fall as the flowers open.

The plants should be grown as cool as possible from the beginning and should be given shade if the sun makes the greenhouse temperature excessively high.

In sheltered gardens of the south, the Watsonia will bloom in the open during July, but it is advisable to lift the bulbs in October and winter them in a frost-proof room. There are a number of interesting species. Some of the easiest being:

  • Watsonia aletroides. Bears a long stem covered with blooms of rich scarlet.
  • W. ardernei. Produces its glossy white blooms on long stems and is an easy grower.
  • W. moreana. A hardy species, producing an attractive spike of orange pink blooms on 3-ft. Stems.
  • W. rosea. The more commonly known pink Watsonia found in the natural form around Table Mountain in South Africa. There is also a most attractive white form, W. alba.

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