Watsonia vanderspuyiae / Red Bugle Lily / Seeds

(Code: KB_038)
Watsonia vanderspuyiae / Red Bugle Lily / Seeds

The Red Bugle Lily is one of the largest Watsonias and has a striking summer display of orange red flowers, very similar to Gladiolus, a close relative of Watsonia.  The plant has large glossy sword-shaped leaves, with flower spikes up to 2m tall.  Each flower spike has up to 20 showy red flowers.  Flowers appear in July to October in the UK.  

Red Bugle Lilies come from mountainous areas of the Cape Floral Kingdom, with winter rainful and hot summers.  They naturally die down after flowering and start growing again in late autumn.  They prefer a sunny spot with composted well-drained soil.  The plants can withstand a mild winter frost, typical of warmer western or inner city gardens in the UK.  Being large plants and winter growing, they are not that suited to living in all but the largest pots.

Pack of 10 seeds. Sow in spring to autumn.  Plants start flowering from the second or third year.  Sowing instructions and a colour photo are printed on the packet.

See how your seeds are packed.

Hardiness Half hardy perennial (forms corms)
Flowers Summer
Height Leaves 50 - 80cm, flower spikes up to 2m
Spread 100cm
Conditions  Sun and composted moist well-drained soil, protected from hard frosts

Sow in spring or autumn 3-4mm deep in deep (at least 10cm) small pots of compost.  Cover with sand or compost and keep at 15-20C and germination takes 3-4 weeks.  Transplant seedlings into pots and overwinter in a greenhouse.  Plant out in the second season, when flowers will start to appear in the same or subsequent year.  Protect from frost frosts greater than -5C.


Deadhead to encourage more flowers.  This is a half hardy plant which can tolerate a mild winter frost.   Mulch outside plants well in winter.  Move container plants into a greenhouse over winter.  Leaves may die down after flowering and start growing again in late autumn.  Divide the corms (remove offsets) every 5 years or so.

See Growing Advice for more information on growing Watsonias.