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How to Grow Veltheimia

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Veltheimia is a tender, bulbous perennial that bears clusters of pendent, tubular flowers carried on erect stalks above basal rosettes of wavy eaves. Veltheimia’s flowers resemble those red-hot pokers (Kniphofia spp.). Each small flower has six small lobes at the top.

Veltheimia is native to South Africa. It is well adapted to the sun and is a colorful addition to sunny borders. Where it is not hardy it can be grown as a greenhouse or house plant. As a houseplant, it is best kept indoors from fall to spring.

Veltheimia is not a tropical plant. In winter it should be kept in a spot where nighttime temperatures range from 50° to 55°F. The soil should be kept just moist, not wet. When Veltheimia leaves begin to fade in summer, the plant should be allowed to rest and the soil left dry. Resume watering in autumn.

Veltheimia is a genus of two species native to South Africa.

Veltheimia bracteata
Veltheimia bracteata

Get to Know Veltheimia

  • Plant type: Bulbous perennial
  • Growing zones and range: Zones 13-15
  • Hardiness: Tender
  • Height and width: 18 inches (45cm) tall and 12 inches (30cm) wide
  • Foliage: Rosettes of thick wavy leaves
  • Flowers: Terminal racemes of up to 60 pendent, tubular, yellow-spotted pinkish purple flowers
  • Bloom time: Spring
  • Uses: Sunny borders
  • Common name: Velheimia, winter red-hot-poker
  • Botanical name: Veltheimia
  • Family name: Liliaceae
  • Origin: South Africah

Where to Plant Veltheimia

  • Plant Veltheimia in full sun.
  • Grow in moderatrely fertile, well-drained soil.
  • Growing Veltheimia in pots use a soil-based potting mix with added sharp sand.

When to Plant Veltheimia

  • Set Veltheimia outdoors in spring or autumn.

Planting and Spacing Veltheimia

  • Space Veltheimia 12 inches (30cm) apart.

How to Water and Feed Veltheimia

  • Water Veltheimia moderately during the growing season; reduse water as the leaves fade; keep the soil just moist during the dormant period.
  • Fertilize Veltheimia with a low-nitrogen fertilizer.

Veltheimia Care

  • Repot Veltheimia only when the roots are crowded.

Veltheimia Pests and Diseases

  • Veltheimia is usually not bothered by pests or disease.

Veltheimia Propagation

  • Sow Veltheimia seeds in warm soil in autumn.
  • Remove offsets from mother plants in late summer.

Veltheimia Varieties to Grow

  • Veltheimia bracteata. Bulbous perennial with basal rosettes of broad, strap-shaped leaves; bears dense terminal racemes of up to 60 pendent, tubular yellow spotted, pinkish-purple flwoers ; grows to 18 inches tall.
  • V. capensis. Bulbous perennial with basal rosettes of narrowly lance-shaped glaucous bluish green leaves; bears terminal racemes of penent turbur flower from white with red spots to pink with green or red markings.

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.

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