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Tips for growing schizostylis

Exotic, elegant, yet eminently adaptable, it's time the overlooked schizostylis took a leading role in our gardens.

Schizostylis coccinea flowers from late-summer until the first frosts. It has dainty and delicate stems and flowers, making it a perfect choice for adding late-summer colour to your borders.

Growing conditions

Schizostylis needs a sheltered, sunny site and thrives in milder parts of Britain. In areas with a low risk of frost, schizostylis will bloom until late-December, providing a pretty display for the Christmas table. In colder situations it will flower until the first frosts, then bloom intermittently in warmer spells until the end of the year.

Getting the best results

Dig in organic matter before planting and water well during the summer. In colder areas, protect the rhizomes from frost from with cloches, horticultural fleece or a thick mulch of straw or compost.

Propagating schizostylis

Lift and divide schizostylis rhizomes from mid- to late-spring every two to three years. Each clump should have about six leaf shoots and should be replanted about 20-30cm apart and 5cm deep in well-prepared soil.

Alternatively, harvest the seeds and store them over winter in cool conditions, then sow them in spring in moist, gritty compost. They take up to three months to germinate at about 15°C and should be left for a few years before transplanting and growing on.

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Talkback: Tips for growing schizostylis
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jeannie 24/11/2011 at 15:28

Some good ideas for late flowering plants. I hadn't heard of Schizostylis but will certainly look out for it.