Achimenes Planting Guide
A relative of African Violets, Achimenes are spectacular plants with bright, funnel-shaped flowers and velvety foliage that dazzle from summer to fall. If you've never grown Achimenes before, you might be surprised by the bulbs' small, closed-scale, pinecone-like appearance. While they may be a far cry from the traditional round or onion-shaped bulbs, we can't complain, considering they reliably produce gorgeous blooms that gracefully drape down the side of containers. All in all, Achimenes are relatively easy to grow and will repay you with months of charm!
Moderate while active; Low while dormant
Bright Indirect Light / Dappled Shade
Late Spring through Autumn
Zones 10-12 or indoors
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Where to Plant Achimenes
While Achimenes is a perennial in hardiness zones 10–11, this beautiful bloomer is grown mostly as a flowering houseplant in hanging baskets or mixed containers. As relatives of African Violets, Achimenes fancy more moderate conditions than most outdoor settings provide. They grow best in areas with light to partial shade or dappled sun.
When to Plant Achimenes
Plant your Achimenes bulbs in the spring. The plants will begin to sprout 2 to 4 weeks after planting, typically by early summer, and will form stunning flowers shortly after. The blooms will continue to look spectacular, cascading over the sides of hanging baskets and containers from late spring to fall.
How to Plant Achimenes
- Choose a spot where your Achimenes will receive light to moderate shade or dappled sun.
- Select a container with at least one drainage hole and fill it with a good quality, well-draining soil. Almost any commercially available potting mix will do the trick.
- Dig small holes and nestle the bulbs 3/4”–1” deep and 3”–4” apart. Don't worry about which side is up, as they will happily grow from any position.
- Soak the soil after planting to settle it around the bulbs.
How to Grow Achimenes
- Keep soil lightly moist during active growth but not wet. If allowed to dry out, the plants will finish blooming and slip into dormancy.
- Add a half-strength liquid or water-soluble fertilizer to the water to keep your plants blooming strongly throughout the summer and early fall.
- Pinch back the tips of the stems when they are about 3” long to encourage branching and make the plant fuller with more blooms.
- Remove the foliage when the leaves turn yellow and die back in the fall to give your Achimenes a clean slate before beginning the next growing cycle.
- Dig up the bulbs and store them in slightly moist peat moss if you’re in a region cooler than zone 10 and would like to save them for next season.
Achimenes Tips & Tricks
- Grow Achimenes indoors or in sheltered outdoor sites rather than in garden beds for the best results.
- Don’t allow your Achimenes bulbs to sit in waterlogged soil as they will rot.
- Expect sprouts to appear 2 to 4 weeks after planting. Achimenes grow fast and begin flowering at a young age.
- Avoid placing Achimenes in full sun to prevent burning the foliage.