In praise of Eucomis

donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)September 2, 2011

Hi, folks. I ordered Eucomis bulbs about 3 years ago, more out of curiosity than anything. I ordered 3 or 4 varieties, but only 2 survived, as far as I can tell. (tags, of course, long gone) They have had time to settle in now, and this year, they really showed their worth. They came up in nice tight clumps and put on great big beautiful bloom stalks lined with white flowers in early June. They looked rather like yuccas, but with blooming stalks instead of leaves. The blooms stayed fresh for several weeks, even though June was extraordinarily hot and dry, even for here. Then the blooms fell off and the seed pods began forming. I now had beautiful chartreuse green stalks that stood in their beautiful glory until I finally cut them down yesterday. And not because they weren't still quite attractive, but because they had flopped. I tell you this bulb is a keeper!

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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

They really are a durable plant, that multiplies generously. I have them here for about 10 years, pretty much ignored except when in bloom. Last year my son helped me change some of the paths and I had to dig them all up. I had planted three bulbs originally from one of those boxes from Costco. I dug up more than 20 big fat bulbs. Replanted they did not skip a beat and bloomed as well as ever, About half in one gallon nursery pots. My only complaint is their falling over after reaching full bloom. Al

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 10:17PM
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denninmi(8a)

Yes, they are nice plants. I have a number of them in large tubs that I have been hauling to the basement each winter. Three years ago, I planted some in the ground as an experiment, suspecting they probably would survive my Michigan winters, based on the fact that the most common species is rated to Zone 6. And they have, in fact, done fine. I'm going to plant the rest in ground this fall and be done with the hauling in and out. I have both the traditional green flowering variety and one with a burgundy tint. I do have a miniature one I bought last year at a local big box in the floral area as a potted plant in bloom, because I'd never seen this one, very small, with about a dozen stems in a 6" pot, total height about 8 inches, and purple flowers. Very cute. This one I will winter indoors this year, just to make sure it makes it, and then probably plant part of them out next year to see if its hardy here.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 1:08PM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

I am glad to hear that they divide easily! I can tell that the clumps are increasing rapidly. I will probably give them one more year and then spread them around. Anybody figure out a way to support them?

    Bookmark   September 5, 2011 at 7:33PM
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