Plant of the week

WATSONIA

Yet another plant from the wide, wide botanical world of South Africa. Hardy to Zone 9a (although, people say the bulbs have withstood frost), winter-blooming (in California), growing to 3 1’2′ to 4′ high, and a complete hummingbird magnet, Watsonia will send out its electric-colored flowers for weeks on end. Since they are bulbs and thus have a somewhat ephemeral quality, plant these tucked in with other plants that have a bolder, more lasting presence in the garden, such as Deer Grass , or Alkali Dropseed. Deadhead spent flowers and cut back any ratty-looking foliage as spring turns to summer, particularly as winter rains subside and plants go dormant. Will need some supplemental water during dry winter years for best results.

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