Cape Flower (Nerine bowdenii) is a brilliant pink, fall-flowering bulb, which will flower for years once they have settled in.
If planting in the soil, it is recommended to start the bulbs in a 4 inch pot in a mix of 50% compost and 50% loam based potting soil. When planting, make sure that the roots are spread out and only the bottom half of the bulbs are below the compost level. The top half of the bulb must remain above it. Wait until the roots fill the pot before planting out into the garden, at the same level.
They do best in a well-drained site with full sun and love it at the base of a sunny, south-facing wall. A good summer baking encourages plenty of flowers in autumn. Water well.
In pots and containers
Cape Flowers do well in pots permanently. Use the same compost mix as above, planting so the tip of the bulbs show above the compost surface. Bring them inside when in flower for brilliant and long-lasting houseplants, moving them outside again when they’ve gone.
Care and Maintenance
If you think the flowers are getting less, year on year, feed in summer with a potash-rich fertilizer.
Cape Flowers hate disturbance, so once planted try to avoid moving them. After planting, the bulbs should grow some strap shaped leaves until mid summer, and then they will die down. If we have a wet summer they may remain green. In September/October flower spikes will emerge and bloom without the foliage. Avoid planting next to narcissus (daffodils).
If there are no blooms in the first autumn, don’t worry. Cape Flowers are temperamental when they have been moved/replanted. They will flower the following year. After many years the bulbs will become congested. Do not divide them as they flower much better when grown like this.