Acidantheras resemble small white gladioli and their flowers are sweetly scented. The problem with them is that, coming originally from tropical Africa, they cannot abide frost, and need a longer growing season. If you plant them towards the end of May when the frost danger is past, they won’t start to flower until September – just in time for the next frosts to kill the buds.
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There is a way around the problem: plant the corms in pots and later ‘plunge’ the pots out in the garden – that is. bury the pots up to their rims in the ground.
For acidantheras bulbs you will need to use good-sized pots – say 6in – filled with compost. Plant the bulbs in March and keep them on a sunny frost-free windowsill or in a greenhouse. They don’t need special heating, just sunlight and the absence of frost. At the end of May. or in early June, the plants should be several inches high and well ahead of any outdoor plantings. Take them out into the garden for plunging. They should flower in the second half of August, so missing the first frosts of autumn.
If by any chance flowering is delayed, you can still lift the pots and bring them indoors before the first frosts, so that you can enjoy your acidantheras as house plants instead.