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Littonia modesta

littonia modesta

Another wonderful climbing plant, Littonia modesta is from South Africa. This is a tuber rather than a bulb as such.

The flowers are golden yellow, waxy and nodding, it will reach around 6ft (2m) in height and is long flowering, a little like yellow climbing bells.

A little hardier than its close relatives (Sandersonia and Gloriosa) this is a plant that still does not like cold freezing winters. So consider growing in a container or lifting in winter if you live in a colder zone.

While you are waiting for the new shoots to appear in spring, do not be tempted to 'poke around' to see what is happening below the surface, chances are you will damage the growing tips.

Lifting and dividing

  • In areas with cold wet winters you will need to, lift the tubers to avoid them rotting.
  • If you are container growing place the container in a dry spot away from the cold and snow over winter.
  • Bring out or replant in spring.
  • Lift and divide every 3 years and replenish the soil or potting mix with lots of well rotted compost and a little perlite to improve drainage.
  • When lifting be very gentle, dig away from the plant gently working towards the tubers so as not to damage them.

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