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Haemanthus Albaflos

Mountlake Terrace, WA(Zone 8a)

I have had this plant about 3 years and it is a nice plant with less leaves and no flowers yet. I repotted it in the spring and it lost its outer two leaves. Its it now in dapped shade outside and showing new leaves inside. I have read this plant needs to keep the same angle to the sun to do best and I rotated it to match inside conditions. It mostly seems to be languishing. We just warmed up for summer where it went 60F day to 50f night to 70-80F day and 70 night, maybe that will help.


Christiansted, VI(Zone 11)

More sun? Where is it native?

SF Bay Area, CA(Zone 9b)

Haemanthus albiflos blooms in the fall/early winter for me. It should bloom a little earlier for you since you get colder earlier. They do like being in bright shade. They aren't going to do much between now and Sept.-Oct. This is one of only a few evergreen Haemanthus.

I keep all of my Haemanthus on a lower shelf so that they get very little direct sun, don't water them at all, and they bloom their little heads off for me. In habitat they're usually in ground that becomes baked in the summer even though they grow in the shade of shrubs, low trees or tall grass. In containers they like to remain undisturbed and seem to appreciate being crowded.

Mountlake Terrace, WA(Zone 8a)

Do you water year around? They are supposedly summer dormant, but I don't know about watering.

SF Bay Area, CA(Zone 9b)

I don't water them at all - I just let Mother Nature take care of it. That means that most years they get watered from Oct.-Nov. to Apr.-May. This year we had good hard rains into June. They won't get watered again until it starts raining in the fall.

Some Haemanthus are summer dormant, some are winter dormant, and a few are evergreen. H. albiflos is evergreen and gets a little sluggish at this time of year, but if I were to water it it would continue to make new bulbs. They're supposed to be kept moist during their growing season, but that happens naturally here so I don't even think about it.

Mountlake Terrace, WA(Zone 8a)

You are quite lucky, mine is going to be on a pot stand in an east window till I take it out about May for some real weather. We just hit the 90's today so I guess it has arrived.

I also learned that it would like me to keeo the same aspect to the sun, so I rotated it 90 degrees and found new growth. Humm....


SF Bay Area, CA(Zone 9b)

You mentioned that about the sun before. I've never paid attention to that, and haven't had any problems. My "Bulbs" book doesn't mention it either, nor does my book on Haemanthus. This could be because of the difference in our latitudes. Or did you read that somewhere?

Mountlake Terrace, WA(Zone 8a)

I had to look it up, it got imported from my notes to Evernote, that I highly recommend for those of us on the go, or just hanging out. Its a great note tool.

SF Bay Area, CA(Zone 9b)

Plantzafrica is an awesome reference tool for many kinds of plants. I use it a lot, but I hadn't read the info on H. albiflos. I've now read it through three times, and cannot find where it mentions that the bulb should be placed in the same aspect it was before it was repotted. Would you please direct me to the specific paragraph? Sometimes I can't see things even though I'm looking right at them.

Mountlake Terrace, WA(Zone 8a)

Second sentence under "Growing Haemanthus albiflos". "It requires a dappled shade position similar to that preferred by clivias, and likes to remain undisturbed for many years once established."

I take that as meaning don't move the pot, change the pot and keep in the same position. Maybe I am reading into it, but I want mine to grow not just be 2 or 4 green leaves.

Sun Lakes, AZ(Zone 9a)

When it says "likes to remain undisturbed for many years" it means that the bulbs like to stay planted where they are currently planted and not be removed from the soil and moved somewhere else. It's not that the pot needs to be positioned the same all the time.

Mountlake Terrace, WA(Zone 8a)

OK, normal paranoid me reading it.

SF Bay Area, CA(Zone 9b)

Nancy's exactly right. In addition, it also means that if they're in a container they like staying there rather than being repotted regularly. If repotted regularly, most of these kinds of bulbs will not bloom for a year or two after repotting. And "dappled shade position" means part shade, part sun, not actually anything to do with the position of the bulb itself.

Another thing I just thought of - as long as your temps are above 40F most of the time and the plant is protected from frost, it should do just fine outside. Where I am is a Mediterranean climate, so I only have a few days above 90F and a few nights below freezing. In the winter it's mostly 35-40F at night and 45-55F during the day. In summer it's mostly 50-60F at night and 65-75F during the day.

Hope this helps!

This message was edited Jul 9, 2010 11:53 PM

Mountlake Terrace, WA(Zone 8a)

No, I cannot trust 40F so mine is inside most of the winter, as nights drop into the 30s by October. Its a pretty mild climate but its still 8b.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Thanks for the information link on the H. albiflos. Mine bloomed for the first time last winter in a GH here but never produced berries.

I also would not trust it to the occasional freeze. This year one of the plants has grown tall so I'm thinking more sun after reading that article.

Thumbnail by podster

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