Satin flower - 5 seeds

Satin flower - 5 seeds


Geissorhiza radians is one of the most beautiful and well known species in the genus, having deep purple flowers with a large red centre usually separated by a fine white ring. Plants are normally 80 - 160 mm high and each plant may have from one to six flowers during the season.  This is a geophyte which dies back to a small bulb during the summer months and experiences fairly dry conditions. Plants normally flower in the third year from seed and can form vast expanses in wet areas.

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Plants are easy to cultivate and should be grown in small pots for best effect. They need constant moisture during the winter months and should not be allowed to dry out. This species can also be naturalised in a lawn as long as it receives sufficient winter moisture and is protected from the blades of the lawn mower.

The best way to grow these plants is from corms but they are not often readily available, except from specialist growers. Seed may be an easier option. Sow seed in small pots in autumn once the weather has cooled down. Use a soil mixture which consists of equal parts river sand and fine compost. Cover the seeds lightly with sand and keep the soil moist - the pots can even sit in a saucer of water to mimic their natural conditions. The seeds can take up to a month or more to germinate and once growing can be fed every two weeks with a liquid fertilizer. Fertilizing the plants during the first year will ensure that the bulbs will be of maximum size before being stored for the summer. The size of the bulb determines the probability of having flowers during the plant's second spring. If one is lucky enough to purchase bulbs then the plants should flower during their first spring. After flowering plants should be watered until the leaves begin to yellow, which indicates impending dormancy. The plants can then be dried off during the early summer months and the bulbs lifted to be stored in a dry cupboard or garage in paper, never plastic bags.