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By Bloomer

yorkshire, United Kingdom Gb

I bought some Acidanthera 'Peacock Orchids' bulbs,.and the info on the packet is a bit vague,apart from depth and how far apart to plant,and flowering time,I would like to know if they need any specific soil conditions,sun ,shade etc.Also,if they are hardy,or would I need to lift them for winter?....would they be suitable for a tub,or better in the border? I would be grateful for your advice,please....



Best grown in pots in free draining compost, stand in sun. Need lifting at the end of the season, or move the pots somewhere dry and frost free, start them off somewhere warm like a greenhouse, or don't plant up till May for outside.

25 Jan, 2011


Thanks,Bamboo,that is helpful.I will start them off in the conservatory,as it gets quite warm..There are 25 bulbs in the packet,and they were only £1 at GC,so might not plant them all..I might need too many pots!I can always give some to my friend..:o)

25 Jan, 2011


I had a tip from a Nurseryman - when the first shoots appear (in pots) water them a LOT, all throught their growing period, to get them to flower. It worked for me last year!
Bloomer - I planted 5 per pot. That seemed about right - a 1.5 l. pot, I think.

26 Jan, 2011


Thank you,Spritz,that is a good help,as I didn't think to ask what size pot I should use..I hope they flower well for me too,and its nice to try something a bit different :o)

26 Jan, 2011


Yes, I agree. I'd tried before, but rarely got any flowers, so when I saw his pots with so many flowers in them, I asked how he did it - and he kindly told me. He was charging £5 per pot - and people were buying several pots! :-O

27 Jan, 2011


That was kind of him to tell you, I paid £1 for a pack of 25 bulbs,at the GC,so if they don't flower,I won't have lost much,will I ?.Its more the challenge though,than the price,as they just took my eye..I would have bought them anyway..within reason Lol.

27 Jan, 2011


I think you'll succeed, now you know about it! :-)

28 Jan, 2011


Ive just bought two packs of these at £1 a pack! its says plant between Jan; and May depth 10cm I was hoping to plant them straight out into the garden!!
It looks by your replies that this is a bit optomistic !! hasnt anyone planted them outside?

19 Feb, 2011


That's what it said on my packet,Maggy,so I will take the advice of Bamboo and Spritz,and plant them in pots.I am going to plant them earlier though,but keep them protected before putting them outside in May.

20 Feb, 2011


Maggy - don't even think about planting them yet - if there's any more chilly weather you'll lose them. They do seem more reliable in pots - and of course you can water them profusely.

23 Feb, 2011


Well,I have followed your good advice..and my Acidanthera's,in pots,are now about 12 " high.At the moment,they are just strappy leaves,but look healthy..and wondering when, and if,they will flower,as there are no signs of anything else yet...I have made sure they were well watered as suggested,and they didn't go outside till early June.I would appreciate your help please..thank you.

28 Jun, 2011


They flower late in the season - keep up the watering and soon you'll see the flower stems appearing. Mine are about 15 - 18" tall now, I suppose (leaves, I mean! lol)

29 Jun, 2011


Thank you Spritz..that is a good help..I am being a bit impatient then..:o)) change there ! Lol.

29 Jun, 2011


I'm the same...:-(

2 Jul, 2011


Acidanthera. or Peacock Orchids,

The flowers appear without you really noticing them from within the leaves one day just lots of very green foliage the next a very thin spike will appear and them wham beautiful spike of flowers. I have grown them in pots now for 2 years, got them from the £1 shop, and have been selling them at £1 for 5 in a pot ( for Kent Air Ambulance)
and no they are not hardy, but make lots of little bulbs left in dry compost over winter somewhere frost free, if about now you start to water them, and keep them frost free you will have lots of little plants pop up, they probably will not flower this year, but let them grow, die down and then let them dry out, when dry empty pot into a seed tray, and you should have bulbs big enough to put into an envelope and plant again next spring, and these should flower. They may not be hardy, but if like me you re-use your compost, you could have them appearing all over the place

13 May, 2012


Thank you,Billyjean.,and welcome to Goy...I had forgotten about asking this question...:o) .I had a lovely display last August,so must have done something right :o) ..and I did exactly what you have suggested for aftercare..also,planted up the remainder of bulbs I had left over,for this year,,so hopefully I will have another nice display with those....a bit too early and cold yet,so no signs of life at the moment..but I know to be more patient this year..:o)

13 May, 2012


Hi Bloomer, I know its a year later since your question, I was googling Peacock Orchids and your question came up, I just thought that I would add that I am growing these this year for the first time. I initially just packed out 3 plastic pots with loads of bulbs as I figured for £1 I would not lose anything, I left the pot in the house for about 6 weeks and then in April I put the pots outside I started to notice the shoots popping up 4 weeks ago so I then transplanted them into the garden and they are now racing away so I guess they do OK in borders too and with all this rain that we have had they have been well watered so fingers crossed for me that I will get some flowers...

23 Jun, 2012


You sound as though you are going to have a lovely display,Marion..sorry to say,none of mine appeared this year,or any of the ones I had left from last year either..which were planted a while ago now..I decided to have a look in the pot,to see if they had rotted,but found the bulbs intact,with lots of tiny bulbs attached..although a few had signs of growth starting up again..but so far,nothing ! :o) Ah well,it was worth a try..and luckily not much lost....only £1..but they are pretty ..hope you will post a pic,when yours are flowering..

25 Jun, 2012


I live in Canada and grow these in Ontario near Georgian Bay, 100 miles north of Toronto. We plant them directly into the soil after all fear of frost has gone - May 25th on! They love the sun and our long hot summers bring them to flower by mid August. Lift, dry & store.
We also grow our tomatoes outside.
We are much, much more than snow and winter.

4 Apr, 2013


OK OK you have all got me excited. I have gone and bought the £1 bag. Will put some in pots (did not think of that until I read above) and some on the ground. Watch this space

25 Apr, 2013


I grow acidanthera (Abysssinian/Sword lilies) every year in UK both in beds and tubs sown at the same time i.e. Spring when no danger of frost. They take ages to flower but you will see the sword shaped leaves coming through reassuringly in the summer. Here in west Wales they start flowering in the autumn and they are the last blooms standing - still flowering end November. Our garden is very windy but they hold up well and don't need staking. The perfume is fabulous - reminds me of the ocean and suntan oil! In my experience they are very easy to grow, not fussy about soil (clay in garden, compost in tubs) or position. When I lift them to store over winter I clean the little 'bulblets' off the parent bulb and let them dry out thoroughly. My original bulbs are now quite a size and throw out more shoots every year. I don't have green fingers but highly recommend the acidanthera bicolor murielae variety - if I can grown them anyone will succeed!

22 Nov, 2013


Just had to say thank you to all you wonderful people who shared your acidanthera tips! I have just had the first year of them in a pot and have thoroughly enjoyed their fragrance and flower! I was starting to panic a little about how to make sure I have them for next year but because of your advice I now know what those little bulbs attached to the main bulb are! Am REALLY looking forward to my next years flowering! Thank you, once again, for the tips and how to take care of my beautiful flowers! Happy gardening to you all! :)

5 Oct, 2017

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