How to plant Watsonia

Watsonia (or Bugle Lily) is a tender corm and must be protected from frost.

— Plant your Watsonia corms in spring and grow on in warm, frost-free conditions to plant out after risk of frost has passed in your area. Growing them on first will give them a head start. Alternatively, you can plant them directly outside in early May.

— Choose a sheltered spot in full sun with free-draining, humus-rich soil, or a container. If planting in a container, you can use multipurpose compost or soil-based compost.

— Plant the corms around 15-20cm deep with the pointed side facing upwards.

— Space the corms 15-20cm apart or slightly closer together in pots.

— Water-in the bulbs after planting and keep hydrated once in growth, not allowing the soil to dry out completely or to become waterlogged. The soil should be lightly moist, don’t allow dormant bulbs to sit in cold, wet soil.

— After flowering, spent flowerheads can be cut back and the foliage can be left intact until it dies back in autumn.

— To overwinter, lift in the autumn after flowering and allow corms to dry off in a warm place for a few days, before trimming off any remaining foliage. Then store in a cool, dark, but frost-free place before replanting the following spring.

— In mild areas with free-draining soil, they can be left in the ground with a thick mulch to protect them from frosts.

Planting instructions