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Babiana Planting Guide

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Tough and Terrific
Babiana

Most of us been taught to believe that if something is hard to achieve it is inherently better than a less challenging success. In gardening, this translates into long hours spent catering to prima donna plants that simply aren't happy with the conditions Mother Nature provides.

We believe that "easy" shouldn't be grouped with other four letter words. On the contrary, choosing plants that thrive in the conditions you can offer makes life so much simplier. Babiana is one of those plants for warm weather gardens. A snap to plant, these bulbs settle in quickly and bloom abundantly, providing outstanding color for just pennies. Trade the scatter at the bottom of the coin jar for add some strong blue, purple or pink to your spring garden!

Outdoor Beds
  1. Find a location where the soil drains well. If there are still water puddles 5-6 hours after a hard rain, scout out another site. Or amend the soil with the addition of organic material to raise the level 2-3" to improve the drainage. Peat moss, compost, ground bark or decomposed manure all work well and are widely available. Babiana aren't demanding when it comes to soil fertility, but they'll perform best in soil that provides good to excellent drainage.
  2. Site your babiana where they will receive full sun. 
  3. Dig holes and plant the babiana bulbs ("corms", actually) 3-4"deep and 5-6" apart. Don't worry about which side of the corm is facing up, they'll be fine however they are positioned. 
  4. After planting, water your babiana well to settle the soil around the corms. Roots will form in the autumn and often some top sprouts, too. Buds and flowers are produced in the spring.
  5. When in bloom, feel free to cut babiana flowers for brilliant bouquets. This will not hurt the plants.
  6. After blooming has finished for the season leave the foliage in place; don't cut it off. The leaves will gather sunlight, create food through photosynthesis and strengthen the bulbs for the future. Water as needed during active growth periods; about 1/2"-1" of moisture per week is a good estimate. 
  7. At the end of the summer the leaves will yellow and die back as the plant slips into dormancy. Foliage many be removed at this point. Your babiana will rest for a few months before beginning the next growing cycle.
Pots, Barrels, Tubs & Urns
  1. Fill your containers with good quality, well-drained soil. Almost any commercially available potting medium will work fine. Make sure there are adequate drainage holes; babiana corms must never sit in waterlogged soil or they will rot. 
  2. Site your babiana where they will receive full sun. 
  3. Plant the babiana 3-4" deep and about 4" apart for the most brilliant display. Don't worry about which side of the corm is facing up, they'll be fine however they are positioned. 
  4. After planting, water your containers well, gently soaking the soil so it settles around the bulbs. Roots will form in the fall. In warm areas some foliage may also develop in the fall. Buds and flowers are produced in the spring. 
  5. Enjoy your flowering containers, snipping a few flowers if you like. This won't hurt your plants.
  6. After blooming has finished for the season leave the foliage in place; don't cut it off. The leaves will gather sunlight, create food through photosynthesis and strengthen the bulbs for the future. Water as needed during active growth periods, about 1/2"-1" per week.
  7. At the end of the summer the leaves will yellow and die back as the plant slips into dormancy. Foliage many be removed at this point. Your babiana will rest for a few months before beginning the next growing cycle.




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