How to Grow and Care for a Paint Brush (Haemanthus albiflos)


Haemanthus albiflos, commonly known as Paint Brush, is an evergreen to semi-evergreen, bulbous plant native to South Africa. With its handsome leaves, long flowering season, and red berries, it is an excellent choice for shady spots in the garden.

The leaves are quite variable, from pale to dark to grey-green. They may be covered with short, soft hairs or smooth and shiny or may have yellowish spots on the upper surface. In the wild, it flowers in fall and winter but may flower at any time of the year in cultivation. The fruits are in the form of a large berry and ripen to an eye-catching bright orange or red, attractive to birds. The upper half of the bulb is usually exposed above ground and is bright green.

Paint Brush has a wide, mainly coastal distribution stretching from the southern Cape through many parts of the Eastern Cape, right up to the northern parts of KwaZulu-Natal.

This plant is reported to be used in traditional medicine to treat chronic coughs and as a charm to ward off lightning.

Growing Conditions and General Care

Paint Brush is an ideal plant for a shady rock garden or for difficult parts of the garden receiving poor light, where it can be left to multiply for many years.

It is one of the easiest of all the Haemanthus species to grow. It requires a dappled shade position and likes to remain undisturbed for many years once established. The soil must be well aerated. A suggested medium is equal parts of well-rotted compost, coarse river sand, and loam. Plant the greenish bulbs with the upper half exposed, and the thick fleshy roots spread out horizontally over the soil.

It also makes an excellent subject for plastic or terracotta containers, and these need not be deep as the roots naturally spread out horizontally. Pots of Paint Brush can be grown very successfully on a shady veranda, and it is also suitable as an indoor plant where it should be placed in a position receiving dappled light but not direct sunlight. Plants like to become pot-bound and mature bulbs flower reliably every year, and only need to be divided every 7 or 8 years when flowering performance starts to diminish. Paint Brush is not hardy and has to be grown under the protection of the cool greenhouse in countries with very cold winter conditions.

Propagation

Propagation of Paint Brush is by seed and by separation of offsets from thick clumps. Seeds are sown once the ripe berries have become soft and turned a bright orange or red color from the end of winter to early summer. Germination can take several months, so be patient.

Seedlings should be allowed to remain in the trays for two years and can be planted out into the garden or permanent pots in spring at the beginning of their third season, during which time the first flowers can be expected, under ideal conditions.

Offset bulbs are best separated from thick clumps in early spring, as temperatures begin to rise, ensuring that each offset has a good supply of roots. They should not be forcibly broken away from the mother bulbs but should be tugged away gently. They should be replanted as soon as possible and kept well shaded until the bulbs have established themselves and formed additional roots.

Pests and Diseases

Paint Brush is not often subject to attack by pests or diseases, but the leaves are sometimes invaded by the Dreaded Lily Borer, also known as Amaryllis Caterpillar. This pest, which is most prevalent during the hot summer months, can be controlled by cutting away and disposing of affected leaves or by spraying with a carbaryl-based insecticide in severe infestations.

Source: pza.sanbi.org

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Plants→Haemanthus→Royal Paint Brush (Haemanthus albiflos)

General Plant Information (Edit)
Life cycle:Perennial
Sun Requirements:Partial or Dappled Shade
Minimum cold hardiness:Zone 9a -6.7 °C (20 °F) to -3.9 °C (25 °F)
Maximum recommended zone:Zone 11
Plant Height :18 inches
Plant Spread :24 inches or more in colonies
Leaves:Evergreen
Flowers:Showy
Flower Color:White
Bloom Size:1"-2"
Flower Time:Late fall or early winter
Underground structures:Bulb
Suitable Locations:Xeriscapic
Resistances:Tolerates dry shade
Propagation: Other methods:Division
Containers:Suitable in 3 gallon or larger

In early December these bulbs throw out the most striking flower heads.
Pure white pincussions each with a glob of golden pollen.

Super easy to grow.
I have a clump in a 7-gallon pot that just gets better each year.

Easy to divide as well.
I usually have offsets to share.


HAEMANTHUS ALBIFLOS (PAINT BRUSH)

Evergreen bulbous perennial geophyte is what a HAEMANTHUS ALBIFLOS is, with small white flowers in dense umbels. It usually grows up to 20-30 centimeter tall when in flower by 15 centimeter wide. Haemanthus albiflos, haemanthus deformis and haemanthus pauculifolius are BEST KNOWN AS THREE EVERGREEN SPECIES. It is a very variable plant and has a hairy-leaved forms known as var. pubescens are no longer considered distinct.

This kind of plant naturally occurs in covered habitat in forest and bushveld vegetation mainly near the costs and usually on the coastal sand dunes or on rocky sea shores exposed to salt spray but also on cliff faces in river valleys where it clings in large clumps, and in shady places on high altitude inland mountain ranges. This kind of species of Haemanthus, which is only HAEMANTHUS ALBIFLOS can be found in both winter and summer rainfall regoins. Probably the pollinators, bees and butterflies visit the flowers.

This plant is originally from South Africa, southern Cape through the Eastern Cape to KwaZulu-Natal

OTHER INFORMATIONS ABOUT HAEMANTHUS ALBIFLOS (PAINT BRUSH)

  • It has a root that is a perennial, thick and fleshy that spreads out horizontally. While its LEAVES have a color appearance of pale to dark green or sometimes greyish green. It is about 9-40 cm long, and 3-11 cm wide, distichous, and are strap-shaped or broadly elliptic, inclining to protrate. Usually, it has a smooth and shiny covering of short soft hairs and occasionally has a yellow spots on the upper surface. Has a ciliated margins, more or less and the plant may have one to three paris of leaves, since it produces a pair of leaves once a year and is evergreen. Its INFLORESCENCE produces a 30-80 mm wide ovoid or inversely conical umbel which are brush-like head. It is a compredded, tall, stout. Scape is about to 5-35 cm tall and more or less furred. It has a pedicel that are very short, upright. The umbels are erect, narrow, and consist of as many as 50 densely packed umbel that has white florets and held within broad green-veined white bracts. The erect stamens protrude conspicuously beyond the tips of the flowers and their anthers are ovate-rounded and turn bright yellow or orange when ripe. Three times long the tube, slightly separated the segments of the limb upright, linear. The stamen are taller and thicker, upfight and the stigma are slightly trifid, spreading. However, the bulb of this plant is uo to 8 cm broad and sometimes flattened. The scales are horizontally truncate, but more or less equalThe upper half of the body is normally exposed and bright green. When bulbs are matured enough, it sits on top of the compost, and in time slowly forms domed clumps of up to 10 or more. While the FRUIT produces clusters of most attractive berry which take a bright orange or vermilion color but it is occasionally color white when ripe, if POLLINATED. With one-seeded cells and have a distinctive musty odor, and the berries are about the size of pea, oval, fleshy and three celled. It blooms very long of time and extends until late autumn to winter BUT it may appear at any time of the year under cultivation.

HOW TO GROW AND CARE OF HAEMANTHUS ALBIFLOS (PAINT BRUSH)

This plant is an ideal plant for a shady rock garden or for difficult parts of the garden receiving poor light, where they can be left to multiply for many years.

  • It is one of the EASIEST OF ALL THE HAEMANTHUS SPECIES TO GROW. This kind of HAEMANTHUS is the easiest one to grow. It likes to remain undisturbed for many years once established, and requires a dappled shade position similar to that preferred by CLIVIAS. The SOIL MEDIUM MUST BE WELL AERATED. A suggested MEDIUM IS EQUAL PARTS OF WELL-ROTTED, coarse river sand and loam. Plant the greenish bulbs with the upper half exposed and the thick fleshy roots spread out horizontally over the medium.
  • THE ROOTS NATURALLY SPREAD OUT HORIZONTALLY and it also makes an excellent subject for plastic or terracotta containers. POTS of HAEMANTHUS ALBIFLOS can be grown very successfully on a SHADY VERANDAH and it is also SUITABLE AS AN INDOOR PLANT where it should be placed in a position receiving DAPPLED LIGHT BUT NOT DIRECT SUNLIGHT. Plants like to become POT BOUND AND MATURE BULBS flower reliably EVERY YEAR, and only NEED TO BE DIVIDED EVERY SEVEN OR EIGHT YEARS WHEN FLOWERING PERFORMANCE STARTS TO DIMINISH. HAEMANTHUS ALBIFLOS is not hardy and has to be grown under the protection of the cool greenhouse in countries with very cold winter conditions.
  • . The propagation of this plants is by seed and by separating of offsets from thick clumps. Ripe berries will turn into bright orange or red color from the end of winter to early summer, and before that seeds must be sown first. Make sure to remove the hard oval shaped seeds with water to remove the sticky pulpy layer surrounding the berries and allow it to dry for a day or two. Sow the seeds FAIRLY IN DEEP SEED TRAYS IN A MEDIUM OF EQUAL PARTS OF finely milled bark or finely sifted compost, as well as coarse RIVER SAND AND LOAM, ensuring that they are COVERED WITH A VERY THIN LAYER of about 3-4 mm of sowing medium. WATER WELL WITH A FINE ROSE and place the trays in a SHADED POSITION PROTECTED FROM HEAVY RAIN, and KEEP MOIST BY WATERING WELL ONCE EVER TWO WEEKS. Germination can take several months, so be patient.
  • For 2 years, let the SEEDLINGS stay in the trays, and can be planted out into garden or into pots at their beginning season which is in SPRING. Under ideal conditions, the flowers can be expected during the time.
  • OFFSET bulbs are BEST SEPARATED from THICK CLUMPS IN EARLY SPRING, ensuring that each offset has a good supply of roots. It should be TUGGED AWAY GENTLY, remember that it should not be forcibly broken away from the mother bulbs. Then, it should be KEPT WELL IN A SHADED PLACE as soon as you REPLANTED THE PLANT. When the bulbs have established themselves, they formed additional roots.
  • The LEAVES are sometimes INVADED BY THE DREADED LILY BORER, and also known as AMARYLLIS CATERPILLAR. But this type of plant is not often subject to attack by pests or disease. The caterpillars rapidly bore into the leaf tissue and eventually into the bulb in the night when flying adult moth lays its eggs on the undersides of the leaves. which can be completely hollowed out in severe infestations. Which can be hollowed out in severe infestations, completely. It can be controlled by cutting away and disposing of affected leaves, or by spraying with a carbaryl-based insecticide in severe infestations, which is most prevalent during the hot summer months.


Watch the video: Scadoxus u0026 Haemanthus - how to grow u0026 care for different blood lilies u0026 related SA bulbs in pots


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