The Albuca plant is an arresting, bulbous flower and the plant is native to South Africa. The Albuca plant is a perennial plant but in many North American zones the plant should be treated as an annual or dug up and overwintered indoors. How do you look after an Albuca plant? Actually caring for Albuca isn’t difficult provided the Albuca plant is in the correct site where soil drains well, is moderately fertile, and average moisture is available. However the biggest problems when growing Albuca plants are the rotten bulbs from excess wet and frost damage.


Albuca Plant Info

Actually there are many forms of Albuca plants. These flowering plants all have similar flowers but can grow extremely varied forms of foliage dependent upon the variety. The Albuca plant is also known as Soldier-in-the box and Slime lily. The latter is due to the slimy sap the plant exudes when broken or damaged. Despite the rather disgusting name, the Albuca plant leaves and blooms are covered in downy hairs that emit a pleasant scent when touched and the flowers are simple and elegant.  Albuca was first collected in the 18th centuries and today there are one hundred and fifty recognized species. Not all of these are actually in cultivation, but the varieties that are in cultivation make especially appealing and unique plants for the summer garden. Most specimens have green, white, or yellow drooping or erect flowers with 3 petals. In their native region the Albuca plant blooms in late winter to early spring. In North America, these should be planted for spring to summer bloom times. Growing Albuca plant usually starts with seeds or bulbs. The Albuca seeds can take three years to produce flowers. An interesting piece of Albuca plant information is its relation to common asparagus. Most species of Albuca plant have a dormant period where they lose their leaves after flowering.


Albuca Plant Cultivation

Actually albuca bulbs require sandy, loose soil in full to partial sun to produce their characteristic blooms. The albuca plants can grow three to four feet tall with a slightly smaller width. Good albuca plant cultivation encourages the removal of the bulb from the outdoors in zones with frost. The albuca plants are not frost hardy and cold temperatures can damage the bulb. The albuca plants look particularly attractive in rock gardens, slopes, and even containers. The biggest requirement for Albuca plant care is superior drainage. The regions to which the plants are native are not known for consistent moisture, which means Albuca plant is drought tolerant once established. Consistent watering at planting is very important to mimic the rainy season but thereafter, light watering is all that is needed when caring for Albuca plant.

Albuca Plant Care

Make sure you fertilize the bulbs annually at installation and in the early spring with a portion of good, all-purpose bulb food. You can easily cut back spent foliage after it yellows and begins to wilt. One of the best ways to propagate albuca plant is from offsets, which can be divided away from the parent plant and separately planted. Not all Albuca plants produce offsets so you may need to rely upon seeds to get more of these exciting plants. Fresh Albuca seeds generally germinate a week after sowing. They should be planted at the same time the parent plant is actively re-sprouting. It needs to be planted fairly quickly, as the Albuca seed has a viability period of only about six months. Once they are planted, keep the seedlings moderately moist in medium light and a warm area. In about three years, you can actually look forward to another Albuca which may be different from the parent plant, as these seeds tend to hybridize easily.  


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