Sunday, October 21, 2007

Little white soldiers

Here you are a little plant that a lot of people grows up but not everybody really look after it.
In fact it is so generous and need so scanty care, that many people thinks it has no value at all.
How wrong they are!

A couple of years ago a friend of mine told me: “Listen, I give you this bulbs, I have so many that I dont’t know what to do with them. Just sow them any place... spotted leaves and little flowers. If you don’t like them, just throw them out.”

When leaves start appearing I saw them tender, brilliants, spotted as a frog.

And then, still with a few leaves, springs up a flower stalk!

Flowers themselves are inconsiderable, but in the total plant context, are irreplaceable.

Nowadays those tree bulbs have become sixteen; I must repoted them twice, and I’m grateful of having them home.

Their real name is Drimiopsis maculata or Ledebouria petiolata or Scilla schlechteri, on Hyacinthaceae family. Comming from semi-arids africans areas, they tolerates drough.
Ideal temperature: between 60 to 85º F, but tolerates 20 or 25º F. Stand well in zones 7 to 10.
As they are deciduous plants, you can grow them in colder areas, taking care of mulching and don’t watering them during the coldest months; will re sprout successfully on next spring.

Accept morning sun, semi-shade or shade locations. Are ideal as shade growncovers, and accept gladly to be situated indoors, where probably they won’t loose their leaves in winter.
Giving them good soil conditions (sand and humus in equal parts, a moderate watering and a very good drainage), will prosperate quickly dealing to a great clump in a few years, but they can be separated each year if you want so.
They are also sayd to be resistant to pest and desease, and in my experience, it's true.

See you soon, bye bye!
Mama Flora