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Watsonia borbonica
Watsonia borbonica

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Zone
Zones 4-9, 12-24, 26, 28-30
Full Sun
Full
Regular Water
Moderate

Watsonia borbonica

Iridaceae
Bulbs and bulblike plants, Perennials

WATSONIA

These natives of South Africa are somewhat similar to gladiolus, but there are differences. Watsonia’s sword-shaped, 2 1/2-ft.-long leaves are less rigid, and it has taller, slimmer flower spikes set with smaller, more trumpetlike, fragrant blossoms.

Tolerates many soils but prefers good drainage. Plant in early autumn, setting corms 4 in. deep and 6 in. apart. Where hardy, corms can be left undisturbed for many years. 

Watsonia borbonica

Deciduous. Blooms in late spring, bearing 2 1/2-in. flowers in pink, rosy red, or white on 4–6-ft. stems. Hybrid forms have pink, red, or lavender blooms. Foliage dies back after bloom, reappearing in fall. Does not need regular moisture during summer dormancy but accepts it if soil is well drained. In colder areas, treat like gladiolus: plant in spring for late spring and early summer bloom, then dig and store after the foliage dies down.

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