UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA
University of California
UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA

Water Wise Plants

Watsonia

Pronunciation
wat-SON-ee-uh
Common Name
Watsonia
Plant Type
Bulb
Mature Size
21/2 ft. tall and wide
Water Requirements
Low: water every three weeks until the root ball is wet
Sun/Shade Requirements
Full sun
Flower Color
Pink, rosy red, white, lavender, peach, orange
Wildlife
  • Deer resistant
Maintenance- Design- Planting Tips

Watsonia is another South African plant that grows well in our area. The pink gladiolus-like flowers are a highlight of our late spring garden. The sword-shaped leaves provide strong accent points in our beds.

This is a summer dormant plant, which means it can get by on almost no water in the summer (good), but has unattractive leaves starting in July (bad). We solve the ugly leaf problem by cutting the leaves back to a couple inches above ground in mid-summer. This results in a bare spot in the bed. If that bothers you, install a plant next to the Watsonia that will fill in the bare spot during the summer and fall months.

Some retail nurseries carry a selection of Watsonia corms (bulbs) in the fall.

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