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please could someone tell me how many birds(flowers) they have had out of one bud.
Try this link to the RHS.
You usually get one flower per spike consisting of a good number of coloured spikes to form the familiar shape we see in pictures.
...and how long before it flowers at all? I have had a plant for nearly three years, bought as a rooted cutting in the supermarket in France, and it is sturdy enough but has not made much growth. It is in a large tub (as suggested in the growing info) and gets fed spasmodically and is kept indoors.
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You have done everything right by the sound of it GG. You only missed one thing. Patience. Plants need 3 to 5 years before they will flower. They are a slow-growing plant..
During the winter, the plant should be kept almost dry then feed it every other week, using a general-purpose, water-soluble fertilizer. I water immediately after fertilizing to spread the fertilizer around the roots. You can try and encourage it by keeping the plant slightly pot-bound. Keep an eye out for mealy bugs and scale and you will be fine.
Hope you get some flowers this year. ( spring - early summer usually)
P.S. it needs full sun/ part shade but i am sure you know that.
Thanks Edd - by my time of life patience comes naturally!
I shall look forward to seeing a flower - one day - someday - and continue to ry out anything which seems a bit unusual, to me anyway.