Scadoxus MultiflorusA bulb best grown in a pot or container in the UK, Scadoxus or the 'paintbrush lily' are originally from South Africa and a number of species are available.

Scadoxus puniceus is the well known red flowering form, however their is a lot more the genus that this one.

Scadoxus multiflorus with its large round globe like flower heads and makes an excellent specimen in a pot or container.

Scadoxus membranaceus is a smaller growing or 'dwarf' form.

Scadoxus are a group of bulbs originally from Souther Africa. Closely related to Haemanthus they require similar growing conditions. In the UK grow scadoxus in a pot so that they can be overwintered in a protected position.

Scadoxus prefer a humus rich well drained soil (and a dry winter). Scadoxus do not like to be frozen in the ground, so be prepared to overwinter indoors or in a conservatory. Scadoxus also like to be left undisturbed, divide every 4-5 years when overcrowding becomes a problem.

Some scadoxus have 'ball shaped' flowers and some have 'paintbrush shaped flowers' all are interesting and well worth a place in the garden. Dappled or part shade is best.

Scadoxus varieties and species

Scadoxus 'Blood Lily' or 'Fireball Lily'. Scadoxus multiflorus, Scadoxus puniceus (paintbrush lily), Scadoxus cinnabarinus, Scadoxus membranaceus, Scadoxus pole-evansi, Scadoxus katherinae and Scadoxus nutans.

Growing Scadoxus from seed

Scadoxus seeds look like are covered in a red skin and need to be left to ripen before harvesting.

The pulpy red skin should be easy to remove, although be careful here so as not to damage the radicle, some growers sow the seed in pulp. You will find that some species and cultivars seem to set seed more readily than others. Seed is best sown when fresh and be a little patient, they can take 5 years to flower.

Growing plants from seed requires them to be cleaned and then sown on top of a spaghnum moss or similar, simply push gently into the surface until good contact is made, they require humidity and moisture, but not a lot of heat and not wet, so a semi shaded position works well. We prefer to grow in individual containers so that root disturbance is minimised.

If temperatures are likely to drop below 10C then you need a greenhouse or warm position inside to germinate successfully.

And once planted out they are strictly 'do not disturb plants', so choose the right container and do not repot until required. Always repot in late winter before new growth commences.

Germination wil l be obvious with a radicle first pushing down into the moss and then the first signs of foliage. When you see these signs you can water with a weak liquid fertilizer (seaweed fertilizer).

Leave in for 12 months before potting up.

Dry winters, and water in summer.


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