Plant FinderPlant Finder Graphic
Veltheimia bracteata (photo courtesy of Chris Harris/Garden World Images)
Veltheimia bracteata (photo courtesy of Chris Harris/Garden World Images)

Click to Enlarge

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

Veltheimia bracteata


Bulbs and bulblike plants, Perennials

The handsome foliage is reason enough to grow this South African native. Each bulb produces a fountainlike rosette of wavy-edged, glossy green leaves to 1 ft. long and 3 in. wide. In winter or early spring, brown-mottled flower stems to about 1 ft. high are topped by elongated clusters of tubular, drooping, pinkish purple flowers tipped in green. Leaves turn yellow and die back in late spring; new growth resumes in fall. Most plants sold as V. capensis are actually V. bracteata; the true V. capensis has nonglossy blue-green leaves and green-tipped, pale pink flowers. It is also not as hardy and prefers full sun.

In frostless areas, veltheimia can be grown in the ground, but even there it is usually grown in pots. For each bulb, use a pot large enough to allow about 3 in. between all sides of the bulb and container edges. Plant in fall, in fast- draining soil; set top of bulb neck just above the soil surface. Fertilize every 2 weeks throughout the growing season. Keep soil dry during summer dormancy. Can remain outdoors where temperatures stay above 25°F (–4°C); where light frosts are possible, give overhead protection.

You Might Also Like...

Veltheimia bracteata

The handsome foliage is reason enough to grow this South African native. Each bulb produces a fountain...

Beschorneria yuccoides

This Mexican native looks like a yucca, with rosettes of 2-ft.-long, 2-in.-wide gray-green leaves that...

Chorisia speciosa

Grows to 3–5 ft. a year for the first few years, then more slowly to an eventual 30–60 ft....

Find Your Sunset Climate Zone

Find Your Sunset Climate Zone

View Maps Learn More

Advertisement