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Care of the plant Veltheimia bracteata or Forest lily.

Care of the bulbous plant Veltheimia bracteata or Forest lily

The genus Veltheimia, family Asparagaceae, includes 2 species of bulbous perennial plants native to South Africa: Veltheimia bracteata and Veltheimia capensis.

Common names: Red hot poker, Sand onion, Forest lily. This species is native to the Eastern Cape, South Africa.

They are herbaceous plants with a thick bulb that reach 50 cm (19.68") in height. The leaves are arranged in a rosette, are shaped like wavy ribbons and are lustrous green in color. The showy hanging tubular flowers appear in spikes and are pink, red or orange in color. They bloom in winter and the flowers can last 2 months.

They are used in pots as a houseplant or greenhouse and to create groups of bulbous plants combined with Clivias, Plectranthus and Streptocarpus. They can be grown like hyacinths, in glass containers with water.

Veltheimia bracteata needs a semi-shade, shade, or filtered light exposure without direct sun. The temperature should not be less than 3 ºC (37.4 ºF).

The soil can be a mixture of commercial indoor plant substrate, coarse sand, and peat. The planting of the bulbs is done in autumn with the tip of the bulb out of the substrate. Transplant every 3 years.

Water moderately, waiting until the top layer (3 cm/1.18") of the soil is dry. Reduce watering when the leaves start to wilt and do not water when they have dried.

Fertilize once a month with fertilizer for bulbous plants during the winter.

Prune the dry leaves in the dormant period (summer) and leave the bulb buried.

They are sensitive plants to excessive watering that can rot the bulb.

They are propagated from the bulblets that the plant itself produces (plant in early autumn) and by seeds sown in autumn.

Images of the bulbous plant Veltheimia bracteata or Forest lily

Veltheimia bracteata
Veltheimia bracteata