How we grow successful nerines

Potting instructions:

Use plastic pots- our research shows that nerines grow best in 1 or 2 litre plastic pots with no crock in the bottom. The key to successful nerine growing is caring for the roots- whilst the roots are replaced annually the longer the old roots are kept alive the bigger and better the bulb size and therefore the flower size.

Don't over expose to sunshine- the old idea of baking the bulbs in the summer is wrong- on sunny summer days our nerines have 50% shade screens.

Exbury recommends compost to the
following formula for successful nerines:
6 units
John Innes No 3.
1 unit
course grit
1 unit
sharp sand
1 unit
bulb fibre
1/2 unit
rotted manure

The annual cycle of these bulbs is as follows:
END of JULY Soak the pot- this helps maintain the old root system and makes for better bulb growth.
OCTOBER: FLOWER SPIKE emerges, followed by leaves. Keep pots damp but do not overwater.

Feed fortnightly with weak LIQUID MANURE or similar fertilizer for good leaf growth- make sure that it is low in nitrogen- we use a tomato fertiliser that is 15-15-15.
FROST FREE. The nerine likes to be COOL at night. (Down to 3 degrees C)

Dormant period starts: APRIL when leaves die back - remove when dry, DO NOT WATER. You can remove outer layer of dead looking skin from bulb, this helps control mealybug infestation. We advocate one soaking of water at the end of July to maintain healthy roots then leave dry until September. Any repotting should be done May-August- though if you are upsizing pots any time is OK as long as you don't disturb the rootball too much.

Other do's and don'ts: We never cut off the flower heads- we let the stalk dry naturally and draw all its goodness back into the bulb, then we pull it out. We water from the top of the pot and try not to get water on the flower heads.

Nerines in their natural habitat in South Africa