Packet Content (approx.): 6
- Family: Philesiaceae
- Common name: Chilean bellflower
- Plant Classification: Half hardy climber
Glorious, "Chilean Bell Flower". Chile's national flower is a rightful candidate for the world's most beautiful climber. Long, wax-like bell flowers, 8cm (3in) long and 5cm (2in) wide of lipstick red, decorate the twining stems. These vigorous plants will grow outside with shelter, and even survive the winter as a tuber if well-drained and protected from severe frost, but better enjoy and preserve their beauty indoors.
One of the most exciting cool greenhouse/conservatory plants. Hardy in mild winter regions and dislikes lime.
- Use an ericaceous (Lime free) compost and cover seeds with its own depth of compost. Sow immediately. Germination can take 1-3 months. Sometimes the seed will have started to germinate when we despatch it. Examine the seed and if there is any sign of shooting sow in 7.5cm (3in) pots of ericaceous compost, seal in a polythene bag and place in a temperature of 15-18C (60-65F). Remove the bag when well established. If there is no sign of shoots, soak the seed in lukewarm water, sow as described above, seal in a polythene bag and place in the fridge (not freezer).
- Don't allow the compost to dry out, observe regularly and remove once the seeds start to germinate and pot up individually into 7.5cm (3in) pots. Lapageria is a lime hater, always water with soft water, or boiled rain water and grow in lime free (Ericaceous) compost. Seedlings often take a couple of months to establish and start to grow, water sparingly during this period.
- Requires very little plant food, avoid fertilisers high in phosphates. Transplant carefully into 7.5cm (3in) pots of a similar potting compost, water carefully with lime free water until established. Don't pot up until they are well rooted in their pots. Pot finally into 20-25cm (8-10in) pots or preferably into the greenhouse border. Provide strings or wires to climb and give a minimum winter temperature of 7C (45F). Keep compost moist at all times, shade lightly in summer.
- Transplant seedlings when large enough to handle into 7.5cm (3in) pots. Plant in the greenhouse in individual large pots, or 3 plants per growbag when 20cm (8in) high. Can be planted outdoors, 45cm (18in) apart once all frost risk has passed
Suitable for the Garden, vegetable garden, allotments, borders and containers.
Be prepared to water well and supplement feed with high-potash feed during season. Regular feeding is recommended.