Growing instructions for Massonia
(also applicable more in general for most wintergrowing S.A.bulbs) Almost all Massonia’s are winter growers in South Africa. They spend the long hot and dry summer underground as a bulb and when days get shorter and cooler and the first rains arrive they start to grow. This is March/April in South Africa, a bit depending on the species. Here in Holland, in the Northern hemisphere, they will behave the same. This means that here their growing season starts in September, and most of them flower in December and January. Therefore, when buying full grown bulbs straight from South Africa they have to make the “season switch” to adapt to our growing season. While, when growing them from seed, it’s much easier and they will germinate straight away in September here in Holland to start their first winter season. So the best time to order/send/re-pot Massonia bulbs is during summer when they are in their dormant period. Here in Holland this is between April and July.
Upon arrival they need to be potted in a well-drained sandy and gritty substrate. Peat/turf holding soil should be prevented. I use a mineral based mix of pumice, silica sand or coarse river sand and grit, mixed with a little bit of sifted decomposed compost at the bottom of the pot. Water them once end-August, and wait for a first sign of appearing leaves. After that you can water them well once a week. Flowers will open in December/January. Withhold watering when the leaves start to show signs of desiccation, and around mid-April the plants go dormant and start their summer-rest.
Until in September it all starts again… Keep them bone dry and warm in summer, and cool but frost free in winter. Applying above conditions, plants are trouble free, and will flower year after year.