Neomarica Notes

Dave Poole
Fri, 05 Nov 2010 06:59:30 PDT
N. gracilis and I believe N. northiana also produce adventitious plants on the flower spikes.  Many years ago, I grew big clumps of N. gracilis in large hanging planters and they made very imposing specimens as they cascaded over the edges.  They were kept in a frost-free greenhouse and several grew to well over 1m. across.   When they were in flower they were spectacular and even at other times, they looked seriously 'purposeful' and often raised comment.  Unfortunately, Neomaricas aren't widely grown in the UK and it took quite a while to track down some plants earlier this year.  I finally acquired a good clump of gracilis from an enthusiast who lives in the north of the county and now have 4 really nice plants, having given several away to friends.  

They are currently in 18cm. diameter pots and have several growths each with leaves up to 40cms long.  I've used a very humus rich compost that is mixed with perlite to aid good drainage and aeration.  They are kept very moist and continue to grow strongly even though were are almost in winter with rapidly decreasing light levels.  As foliage plants they are handsome enough with their glossy leaves and prominent central vein and I look forward to seeing the reddish-brown barred, white flowers with flashes of blue - hopefully next summer.  

For this year I am keeping the plants under frost free cover, but plan to experiment with one or two in shady moist parts of the garden over the next year or so.  Ignoring last winter, which was unusually cold and hopefully a one-in-30yr.event, I normally only see the very occasional, short-lived dip to around -2C.  With a bit of luck normal winters with average days of 11C and nights of 5C will return and enable this plant to be grown outside.  If not, I will just grow them in pots and put them out in summer.  

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