Nerine bowdenii, also known as the spider lily, is a member of the amaryllis family. It bears the same tall, leafless stalks but the flowers atop them grow in clusters of star-shaped pink blooms. The flowers are long lasting, both in the garden and in the vase. N. bowdenii grows from a bulb that flowers in late summer or early fall within U.S. Department of Agriculture Plant Hardiness Zones 9 through 11. Nerine bowdenii can be grown in Zone 8, but requires winter protection. Plant the bulbs outdoors in the fall or spring.
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Things you need
- Pruning shears
Choose a planting spot in an area that receives direct sun and has well-drained soil. If the soil is heavy, amend it by mixing in 3 inches of sand. Do not add fertiliser to the soil as excess nitrogen will cause the plant to produce an abundance of foliage and few flowers.
Plant the bulbs so that neck is exposed above the surface of the soil. Space them at least 12 inches apart.
Avoid watering the bulbs until they begin to sprout, and then supply 1 inch of water every 10 days during the growing season.
Cut off flower stalks when the Nerine bowdenii finishes blooming. Zone 8 gardeners should either cover the soil with a 4-inch layer of straw, or dig up the bulbs, wipe off the soil and allow the bulbs to dry for two to three days. Store them in a box on a bed of moist peat moss, in a cool, dry area.
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