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Veltheimia bracteata, photo courtesy of Chris Harris/Garden World Images
Veltheimia bracteata, photo courtesy of Chris Harris/Garden World Images

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Zone
Zones 13, 16-24
Partial Sun
Partial
Regular Water
Moderate

Veltheimia bracteata


Bulbs and bulblike plants, Perennials

Handsome foliage is reasonenough to grow this South Africannative. Each bulb producesa fountainlike rosette of wavy-edged,glossy green leaves to1 ft. long, 3 in. wide. In winteror early spring, brown-mottledflower stems to about 1 ft. highare topped by elongated clustersof tubular, drooping, pinkishpurple flowers tipped in green.Leaves turn yellow and die backin late spring; new growthresumes in fall. Most plantssold as V. capensis are actuallyV. bracteata; the true V. capensishas nonglossy blue-greenleaves and green-tipped, palepink flowers. It is also not ashardy and prefers full sun.

In frostless areas, veltheimiacan be grown in the ground, buteven there it is usually grownin pots. For each bulb, use apot large enough to allow about3 in. between all sides of bulband container edges. Plant infall, in fast- draining soil; set topof bulb neck just above soil surface.Fertilize every 2 weeksthroughout growing season.Keep soil dry during summerdormancy. Can remain outdoorswhere temperatures stay above25°F (–4°C); where light frostsare possible, give overheadprotection.

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