About twenty species of bulbous plants, originating in Africa and Europe, belong to the genus Acidanthera. These plants, characterized by small tubers, develop long ribbon-like, rigid, slightly fleshy, pointed, light green leaves.
Acidanthera Murielae is the variety of this genus most used in the ornamental field, highly appreciated for its white flowers with very particular color and streaks.
In late summer, until the autumn, long erect stems develop between the leaves, 70-80 cm high, which bear numerous star-shaped flowers, of a pure white color, with a dark purple center. The best effect is obtained by burying 8-10 tubers in a group, still leaving a few centimeters between one tuber and another, at a depth of 10-15 cm. They can be used as cut flowers, and give off a delicate fragrance.
If we want to grow our seedling the best, place the acidanthera in a bright and sunny place; in general they are species that develop without problems even in areas of half-shade. They particularly fear intense cold and frost, so in areas with very cold winter temperatures it is necessary to remove the bulbs from the ground as soon as the leaves wither, and keep them in a cool, dry place, possibly in the dark, until the following spring. If desired it is also possible to grow them in pots, withdrawing the container when the first frosts arrive and positioning it in repaired areas of the house or in some corner where the wind and cold are intense. Acidanthera is however a plant of easy cultivation and of great beauty, especially during its flowering period. For this reason, it is a very popular plant for decorating the garden or, if cultivated in pots, the apartment.
These plants grow with good results in any soil, even in the common garden soil, preferring rather rich, soft and well-drained substrates. As for watering, it is necessary that they are regular but not too abundant. The soil must be kept moist between one irrigation and another and it is also a good habit to add fertilizer to the watering water at intervals of about 20 days. During the colder season of the year instead, the irrigations are drastically reduced to avoid water stagnation and to leave the plant in vegetative rest.
The multiplication of the adidanthera occurs by division of the bulbs. During the autumn season the bulbs are removed from the soil, and the cloves are divided, which in 2-3 years will produce the flowers. It is necessary to be patient in order to get the desired results as the bulbs will bloom after about 3 years. If you want to grow this plant as a cut flower, you should change the water in the vase regularly.
Acidanthera: Pests and diseases
As for pests and diseases that could affect the plant, remember to pay attention to water stagnation. The plants of acidanthera they can be attacked by root rot. In any case, these are rather resistant plants that do not need particular care and attention to grow and develop at their best.