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Gloriosa growing and care


By meanie


I get quite a lot of interest in my Gloriosa photos, and as it looks so exotic people assume that it must be tricky – it’s not!

Planting; As far as the medium goes I just use ordinary multipurpose compost with nothing added. My only stipulation is that it must smell “clean”. Plant on their sides about 50mm deep in a largish pot. The end of March is a good time to plant up. For the first and second year (when I had one and then two tubers) a 30cm diameter/deep pot was sufficient. This year I have four tubers, so its now 40cm.
Before covering, mark safe areas (I use bamboo cut to 15/20cm) where it will be safe (ie not where the tubers are) to put canes in for support later.

After planting, water in and keep the pot in a warm room or conservatory. On warm days (such as today) put them out in the sun. Water only occasionally from the top until you see signs of life, but keep them in a reasonably deep saucer which you top up with tepid water every day or two.

At some point you will have to provide support – how you do this is up to you, but bear this in mind; G.superba will grow up to eight foot high in a good season, G.rothschildiana four to five foot.

From May onwards, it should be safe to leave them out at night too, although keep an eye out for nights where the temperature does dip (eight centigrade is a ballpark) and bring them in if needed.
Try to protect from winds and heavy rainfall at all times. You may have to help the tendrils on the leaves find each other sometimes too, as the stem doesn’t tend to twist itself around the support.
As far as watering goes, give them plenty of water. But once a month I’ll allow mine to get to the point of drooping before watering. This seemed to produce more flowers for me.
Feeding? If I remember! You’ll only use this soil for a season, but they did get a couple of feeds with Chempax no.3 (20/20/20).
As far as light goes, the books say to shade from the midday sun, but this is not an option that I have.

Mid September is when I withdraw water. When the leaves go brown I cut the stems.
Before the frosts arrive bring them indoors. The pot can sit in the conservatory or any other airy room until the soil has thoroughly dried out, at which point it can go under the stairs, in the spare room, bottom of the wardrobe or wherever for the winter.

Which brings us to this time of year again. Lift the tubers and discard the soil. Clean them up, divide the new tubers from the old (it’s ok to snap them apart) and return to the top of this page!

It is that easy!

My Gloriosa photos are here>>

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very helpful, thank you

25 Mar, 2011


What a well informed blog, Meanie - it will be a great help to anyone wishing to grow these beautiful flowers.

26 Mar, 2011


well explained meanie, im sure it will help those wanting to grow them :o)

26 Mar, 2011


That's great advice Meanie, but I have to say that this is what I did and my gloriosas never grew at all....very sad. Do you find they take a long time to start growing, was I just too impatient?

3 May, 2011


Only a month in the conservatory Karen. More outside.
The tubers must be perfectly smooth "skinned" or they're a waste of time.

3 May, 2011


OK, perhaps I'll try again one day, I love them so much! Saw some gorgeous ones in Amsterdam but resisted!

4 May, 2011


Go for G.superba - grows taller, and in my opinion, better flowers too.
Of my four tubers, three have now come through with one of those giving me two shoots, which is a first for me.

4 May, 2011


lovely, it's great when it all goes to plan isn't it. I took pics today of my marsh orchids. Planted this winter and all three are growing, two in flower already. Sadly they are both white, so no colourful display, but still.....and the Epipactis Gigantea are also peeping through the exciting!

4 May, 2011


Cruel! I spent ages looking for those photos assuming that you meant that you'd posted them!!!
Clearly they're hardy though, so there's a thought.
The Gloriosa will be going to plan when all four have "shooted". If they divide well this year I'll post a tuber up to you.
The most exciting thing at the moment are the Deppea splendens seeds that I received yesterday - hopefully a few will germinate and then I'll really have something to show off next year!

4 May, 2011


Oops, sorry meanie! I haven't posted them yet, will do it later today though!

5 May, 2011


My fault - as an apprentice I was told that to assume makes an ASS of U and ME!!

5 May, 2011


What a brilliant saying!! It's up now Meanie!

5 May, 2011


thanks great info ..

24 Jun, 2011


Great blog, Meanie!
I'll give it a try one of these days (hope this doesn't mean "non of these days")!!

12 Aug, 2011


You certainly should Tommymoo!
My original tuber (G.superba) came from Burncoose - you do get what you pay for.

12 Aug, 2011


Thank you for the encouragement Meanie!!! I'll definitely try one day!!

15 Aug, 2011


Thanks Meanie...

6 Sep, 2011


You're welcome Motiniot!

6 Sep, 2011

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