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Gazania Species
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The name Nerine is obtained from the Greek word Nereis. This plant belongs to Amaryllidaceae family. It is a perennial type i.e. it can last for more than 3 seasons. It is a very popular plant and its native is South Africa. It is also known as Guernsey lily or Spider lily. It flowers in impressive pink, white, deep red, reddish-orange colours and its flowers are so delicate and more attractive. Its flower is about 4cm diameter and its bulb will be around 3 to 5cm in diameter. Its flowers bloom in late summer. This plant consists of cluster, which holds the bud. Its leaves shed in late spring. Its flowers are well suited as cut flowers; hence its flowers last for about 3 weeks. Remove the completely exhausted flower; hence it gives way for another new flower and also gives good appearance to the garden. Donít disturb the plant while growing; it will affect the growth of the plants. After the plant complete flowering, the plant rest for few months and this period is called vegetative rest period, shed its leaves in this period. After its resting period the plant again starts its growth cycle.
Cultivation : This plant can be easily grown from bulb, seed or tubers. When planting from bulb, burry the bulb in such a way that its neck is just above the soil. It may be buried in the soil for about 8 inches deep and in order to plant more bulbs place them for around 8 inches apart, hence this plant do much better when grown in crowd. The soil preferred must be light and must be well drained and soft. It looks good when planted densely and this plant need only very less maintenance and care. This plant prefers sunny location. First the growth of roots takes place in few weeks, then stem and leaves growth takes place. Flowers bloom in summer.
It can also be grown in container, fertilizing is must when grown in container for good growth. Prefer early spring for planting in container. Select a large pot with drainage holes and water it regularly and for good growth. After the growth of the plant to some extent, it can be replanted in ground. Wherever it may be planted container or ground, that must consists of many rooms for spreading of plants.
Provide adequate quantity of water for good health of plant, excess watering must also be avoided which cases rotten stem. Keep the soil moist and not wet. Watering of plant must be done with adequate intervals of days.
We may take out the bulbs or tubers in the ground when the plants are in vegetative rest, the bulbs taken out must be cleaned and dried and must be stored in cool, dark, dry place and must be planted after winter frost. Protect the plant from winter frost by covering it with mulch (organic matter) which also provides nutrients to the plant.
Propagation : Nerine plant can be propagated by dividing plant every three to four year after flowering. Bulbs are lifted during winter season and it is divided and in early spring it should be replanted in summer.
Plant can be propagated by dividing the tubers, bulbs, corms when the growth stopped due to winter frost and keep it in a place free from frost and replant it in summer.
It can also be propagated from seed by sowing it in spring. Seed starts germinating in few weeks and plant in pots in warm location and wait till it starts its growth. After its growth plant it in outdoor location.
Varieties : There are almost 30 different species in nerine plant. Some of its species are summer growing and some are winter growing and some other are evergreen (i.e. grow well throughout the year). The colour of the flower and growing height of the plants depends upon the species.
Some of its species are Nerine alta, Nerine angustifolia, Nerine brachystemon, Nerine curvifolia, Nerine elwesii, Nerine falcate, Nerine frithii, Nerine gibsonii, Nerine huttonii, Nerine krigei, Nerine lucida, Nerine marincowitizii, Nerine parviflora, Nerine plantii, Nerine pusilla, Nerine ridleyi, Nerine tulbaghensis, Nerine undulate, Nerine veitchii and so on.
Disease and Cure : Nerine plant is mostly affected by fungus diseases which spread throughout the plant and affect the plant very easily and in extreme cases it causes death of the plant especially in spring weather due to the change in temperature. To prevent the plant from fungus diseases use fungicide. Also use wide range of insecticides at the end of winter to protect the plant from aphids, cochineals and also from some other insects. These treatments must be done only when there is no flowering in the plants and also use fertilizers, which are rich in nitrogen for good growth of plant.
Excess water supply will cause the bud to rotten and plant get spoiled, hence appropriate amount of water should to supplied with an adequate days of gap between watering.
Check slugs and snails occurrence, hence they will produce holes in leaves, damage entire stems or in some cases completely destroy seedlings. Slugs and snail formation are very rare in case of this plant.

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