Stars of autumn: nerines

One of the wonderful things about autumn is getting involved with bulbs. But as well as planting them there are some you can enjoy. I am glad to say that my bulb order arrived this week and there was just time to plant the autumn-flowering crocus. I put some in last year and the new batch had shoots about 2cm long on them so they were just about suitable for planting but last year’s batch are just poking their lavender snouts through the lawn.

But I had the privilege to visit a private collection of nerines a few days ago and that was a wonderful experience. The common, pink N. bowdenii is a good garden plant for a sunny, baked spot and there are some wonderful clumps locally, often in gardens where not much else is planted and the nerines can be left alone to get on with life untouched, which is just what they want. They can take a while to settle down and they are happiest when the bulbs are jostling for room at the soil surface. But this collection was of cultivars of the tender N. sarniensis, a spectacular orange/scarlet species that has been extensively hybridised. As a result there is a spectacular array of colours, from white, through pink to scarlet and true red as well as newer, striped and purple shades.

They tend to be as expensive as they are spectacular and take several years before they make a clump or offset enough to give away but I was delighted when I was given two pots which have flower spikes almost at flowering stage.

The owner of these nerines keeps them in a sunny greenhouse most of the year. It is unheated but the plot is not far from the sea and winters are usually mild here – at home in the UK I would give them frost protection. They come into leaf soon after flowering and are dormant in summer. Apparently they are best grown in plastic pots but the owner of these prefers terracotta pots and I must say I would go with that too to avoid overwatering. He uses a loam-based potting mix with added grit but also some well rotted manure so they get a fairly rich diet and appear to be thriving on it.


The nerines are brought out under a covered area when in bloom

The nerines are brought out under a covered area when in bloom

The beautiful 'Cassiopea'

The beautiful ‘Cassiopea’


Vivid 'Garnet Ruby'

Vivid ‘Garnet Ruby’


A 'numbered' but unnamed purple

A ‘numbered’ but unnamed purple

, , ,

5 Comments on “Stars of autumn: nerines”

  1. Chloris
    October 10, 2015 at 7:58 am #

    Gorgeous, I love them. That last one is heavenly. Mine are very late blooming this year. N.sarniensis is in flower but all the others are still in bud.

    • thebikinggardener
      October 10, 2015 at 8:01 am #

      Yes it has piqued my interest in them again and I will have to get more when I get back. Was browsing the Rothschild/Exbury website and they range from £8.50 to £25 – and that isn’t per dozen!

  2. derrickjknight
    October 10, 2015 at 10:16 am #

    They are beauties. If you have time, you might like this post:

    • thebikinggardener
      October 10, 2015 at 1:10 pm #

      I just had a look – the whole garden looked lovely and those nerines looked so tempting

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sweetgum and Pines

gardening in the North Carolina piedmont

Ravenscourt Gardens

Learning life's lessons in the garden!

RMW: the blog

Roslyn's photography, art, cats, exploring, writing, life

Paddy Tobin, An Irish Gardener

Our garden, gardens visited, occasional thoughts and book reviews


un altro blog sul giardinaggio...


four decades of organic vegetable gardening and barely a clue

The Long Garden Path

A walk round the Estate!

Flowery Prose

Growing words about gardening, writing, and outdoor pursuits in Alberta, Canada.


Gardening on the edge of a cliff

Uprooted Magnolia

I'm Leah, a freelance Photographer born and raised in Macon, GA, USA. I spent 8 years in the wild west and this is my photo journal on life, love, and the spirit of Wyoming. Welcome to Uprooted Magnolia.

Interesting Literature

A Library of Literary Interestingness

Garden Variety

A Gardening, Outdoor Lifestyle and Organic Food & Drink Blog

For the Love of Iris

Articles, Tips and Notes from Schreiner's Iris Gardens

One Bean Row

Words and pictures from an Irish garden by Jane Powers

Plant Heritage

We are working to save garden plants for people to use and enjoy today and tomorrow


An English persons experience of living and gardening in Ireland

%d bloggers like this: