If you are looking for a truly spectacular plant for your garden this summer, then you should really give Crinum powelii Alba a try. The plant you see in the picture has been a part of Wisley Gardens, a garden close to London, for years, and with every visit she really catches my eye. To get a plant this large and full you do need a bit of patience: this Crinum has probably been there for, like, ten years. If you plant her in your garden, treat her like you would treat a bush, and try to keep her in the same place, so think carefully about where you are going to plant her! There are a lot of bushes that are easier to relocate than a Crinum.
You often read that the Crinum powelii doesn’t survive winter, and while it is true that they can freeze, they do need a lot of frost before that will happen. My mother has a pink Crinum in her garden that has lived through many winters, some of them quite cold. You can cover your Crinum with a bit of straw or a burlap bag, and she will be fine. If possible, you should also look for a warmer place in the garden: the Crinum loves the sun. Sunshine makes her grow better, and she will have more flowers when planted in a sunny spot, too. If you live in a place that gets a lot of cold winters, I would advice to plant her against a wall on the south side of the garden. That should be perfect for a Crinum.
The Crinum bulbs we send you are large: we get them from Nerine and Amaryllis grower Kitty de Jong in Roelofardensveen, a Dutch village close to The Hague. She kept them in her company to see if they were fit to be cut flowers, but they did not meet the requirements for that market, so they got dug. When Kitty told me about the bulbs being dug, I immediately asked if I could sell them in my web shop. So, this is a one-year offer, a true limited edition: next year, the Crinum powelii alba won’t be a part of our assortment. I really do hope you plant one in your garden. It will bring you joy for many years to come.
When you plant a Crinum, make sure that the top five centimeters of the long nose of the bulb are above ground. If you do that, she is planted at the right depth.