Schizostylis – Star of Africa
Schizostylis originate from South Africa and are excellent garden plants and can also be used for cut flower. They flower from late summer through to the first severe frost. Plants are very hardy and can be left in the ground over winter; they do however thrive at their best in a sheltered sunny site. They can produce a succession of between four and fourteen six –petalled flowers on one stem, for the best effect plant in groups of 3 or more.
coccinea alba; white form of the above
Rosea: a fantastic pale pink variety
coccinea: crimson with yellow anthers
Cultivate the soil to a depth of 10-15cms and add generous amounts of well-rotted organic matter. The rhizomes can be planted anytime from March onwards, ensure the soil is kept moist for the first year to help them settle in and to establish well. Plant the rhizomes 10-15cm apart and 5-8cm deep. Schizostylis are tolerant of most soil types but prefer the lighter, free draining soils, in heavier soils add plenty of organic matter and maybe a handful of the grit to the hole prior to planting. After 3-5 years well established clumps will need to be lifted and divided, which can be done in mid to late spring.
They will provide a host of flowers from late summer onwards. The flowers are ideal as cut flower. Protection from frost in a sheltered area of the garden will provide schizostylis with the ideal conditions for a longer season of flowers. Feeding is best done during flowering by adding bone meal to the soil or water with tomato food. If mulched well over winter then feeding during flowering is not so necessary.
Mulch well over winter to help protect rhizomes from the frosts, in colder areas it may be better to cover clumps with straw and or fleece
Can be grown in containers in the colder areas of the country. These can then be moved to sheltered parts of the garden or even inside, making overwintering them easier.