Exotic, elegant, yet eminently adaptable, it’s time the overlooked hesperantha took a leading role in our gardens.
Hesperantha 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.
Follow our handy tips on how to grow hesperantha, for beautiful summer blooms, below.
Hesperantha needs a sheltered, sunny site and thrives in milder parts of Britain. In areas with a low risk of frost, hesperantha 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.
Lift and divide hesperantha 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.