These little known evergreen and deciduous plants were originally named after Ryk Tulbagh, a Dutch Governor on the Cape of Good Hope who died in 1771.
We at Hoyland Plant Centre are more known for our National Collection of Agapanthus and for the exhibits we display at most of the larger flower Shows. Over the last 10 years we have included in our Agapanthus exhibits several varieties of Tulbaghia. We have noticed an increasing customer interest in other varieties of Tulbaghia.
We have now a collection of over 200 Tulbaghia species and cultivars and through propagation by division, we can offer many varieties for sale, because they are vegetative divisions all are true to type. In 2016 we have released 3 new cultivars: Elaine Ann - a pink/white bi-coloured. Scented Beauty and Dark Beauty
All varieties eventually form neat clumps of grass like leaves from which the flowers appear on long stems. Most Tulbaghia's have small very attractive orchid type flowers in clusters, other look like clusters of tiny daffodils. They have an extended flowering period from May to September. Some are beautifully scented, especially from early evening to early morning as they are moth pollinated in nature. Some leaves have an aroma of garlic of bruised and their roots keep moles out of your garden.
They have few essential requirements and are easy to grow. They flower in their second year from division, if a flower stem is cut off after the cluster of flowers have faded this stimulates more and more flower stems to appear May - November.
All Tulbaghia's need a well-drained soil/compost, we use a mixture of one third garden soil, one third compost and one third either grit sand or perlite. They grow well in terracotta containers, so lending themselves for patio and gravel garden cultivation, even preferring a gravel mulch which gives them frost protection in winter and prevents excessive drying out in summer.
All varieties grow well in containers, some varieties are hardy and can be planted in the rockery or a small border permanently, other more tender varieties can be grown in containers and easily moved into a cold glasshouse or cold frame for winter protection.
If tulbaghia's are grown in the garden, cut of their leaves to about 3cm above ground level in mid-November and cover with a deep 6 cm mulch of peat. Feed with a high potash plant food, once a month from April through till September.
If Tulbaghia's are grown in containers, feed as above, place in full sun and water when required, keeping the compost moist. Unlike Agapanthus the Tulbaghia's need splitting every third year and re-planting or re-potting, this operation keeps them young and vigorous and stimulates flower production. The rarely suffer any pests or disease problems.
Only the variegated Tulbaghia 'Silver Lace' and the green leaf violacea are available now and again in the larger Garden Centres, because Tulbaghia's are rare in cultivation, information on them is very sparse . If you have any question, I will be happy to answer them.