Lachenalia aloides, Lachenalia tricolor, Cape Cowslip

Lachenalia aloides, Lachenalia tricolor

Cape Cowslip
Family: Asparagaceae    (Formerly:Hyacinthaceae / Liliaceae)
Subfamily: Scilloideae
Origin: South Africa
Small plant 2-5 ftFull sunModerate waterRegular waterYellow, orange flowers

Lachenalia aloides (Cape Cowslip), is a small shrub that reaches between 2 to 5 feet in height. It is a plant native to South Africa and is most commonly grown in USDA Zones 9-11. This tough little plant loves the sun and moderate water and prospers best when watered from below rather than from above by soaking its roots more than once a week especially during hot, dry weather. It produces lush, strap-like foliage that is topped with camel-like stems topped with a showy yellow or orange flower.

Gardeners who wish to cultivate a Lachenalia aloides in areas where average temperatures are below zone 9 should make sure to either pot the Cape Cowslip or plant it in a protected area, such as near a wall, to help regulate its temperature. When winter comes its foliage will begin to yellow as temperatures drop and it can be left outside, but during the winter months make sure to limit water and to avoid wetting the foliage.

In general, Lachenalia aloides is easiest to take care of in pots and containers as it is easy to police its watering depending on the environmental conditions. During colder months, avoid overwatering as this can lead to root rot, so make sure to thoroughly drain the pot and allow it to dry completely before the next watering session. Once the hot weather arrives and the foliage begins to yellow, move the container to a cool, well-lit area and completely suspend all watering until the following winter.

Similar plants:

Lachenalia aloides, Lachenalia tricolor, Cape Cowslip

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