How to Grow Veltheimia - Planting & Caring

By Sharon & Team   /   Grassy Category   /   2023

Veltheimia, also known as the sand lily, is a beautiful plant that is perfect for adding a splash of color to any garden. These plants are relatively easy to grow and care for, and they make a great addition to any home.

How to Grow Veltheimia - Planting & Caring

Growing Easiness

Is it easy to grow Veltheimia plant? While the South African native may be a bit tricky to get started, once it's established, it's practically bullet-proof. With a little patience, you can grow this beautiful bulbs in containers, as well as in the ground. To grow Veltheimia, you'll need a sunny spot in well-drained soil. The plants are drought tolerant, so they don't need much water. In fact, too much water can rot the bulbs. Once the plants are established, they'll bloom in late winter or early spring. The flowers are beautiful, but they don't have a lot of fragrance.

Plant Size

How big can it be? So, it can attain a height of 50 cm. The inflorescence is a raceme with pendulous, orange to red flowers. The flowers may be up to 8 cm long. The bulbs are ovoid to conical, and the outer tunics are brown to black. The species is found in the Western Cape, from sea level to an altitude of 1,600 m. The Veltheimia plant is a beautiful addition to any garden. It is a perennial plant that reaches 50 cm in height. The inflorescence is a raceme with pendulous, orange to red flowers. The flowers may be up to 8 cm long. The bulbs are ovoid to conical, and the outer tunics are brown to black. The species is found in the Western Cape, from sea level to an altitude of 1,600 m.

Growth Rate

How fast is the growth? When growing Veltheimia plants, gardeners should keep in mind that they are not heavy feeders. A light application of fertilizer will be sufficient to encourage growth. These plants prefer a sandy, well-drained soil. They should be watered regularly, but allowed to dry out between waterings. Veltheimia plants will bloom in the late winter or early spring. The flowers are typically a yellow or orange color.

Veltheimia Basic Knowledge

Plant Form Grassy Onion
Family Lileaceae
Origin South Africa

Lifespan, Perennial or Annuals

How long is the lifespan? Eventually, most Veltheimia plants will die after about 4-5 years. Some plants may last a bit longer, but generally speaking, the lifespan of a Veltheimia is quite short. The main reason for this is because the plant has a very shallow root system. This means that the plant does not have a very good anchor in the ground, and is easily uprooted by strong winds or heavy rains. Additionally, the leaves of the Veltheimia are very delicate, and can be easily damaged by too much sun or too much water.

Ideal Temperature

What is the ideal temperature? While the plant is growing and leaves are appearing the optimal temperature is between 59-64.4 degrees Fahrenheit. It can tolerate temperatures up to 75.2 degrees Fahrenheit in September. By November, the temperature should be between 50-53.6 degrees Fahrenheit. For the plant to flower, it is important to maintain these temperature ranges.


What about the humidity? Unless you live in a naturally humid climate, you will need to provide some supplemental humidity for your Veltheimia during the winter growing season. A simple way to do this is to set the pot on a tray of pebbles and water. Be sure that the water level doesn't come up high enough to touch the bottom of the pot, as this can lead to root rot. Misting the plant with water a couple of times a week will also help to raise the humidity around the plant.

Light Requirement

What amount of light this plant needed? Common Veltheimia (Veltheimia capensis) prefers sunny places with a lot of glare, at least 3 hours of directional light per day. Suitable south and south-west, as well as east and west windows. For another variety of Veltheimia (Veltheimia bracteata) partial shade is more suitable, for example a north-facing window.

Soil Composition

What is good soil for Veltheimia? The plant grows in the wild on rocky outcrops and in forest margins. They naturally occur in areas where the rainfall is high and the summers are cool. The soil is always moist but well drained with a high organic content. Veltheimia need a well-drained, fertile soil, which is rich in organic matter. A pot with a hole in the bottom is required for good drainage. The plant grows best in full sun or partial shade.

Watering Time

How much I must water Veltheimia? If you're growing a Veltheimia, water it moderately during its growth period in autumn and winter. Water every three to six days, making sure not to wet the bulb. During the plant's resting period, keep the soil moderately moist and water only rarely.

Fertilizing and Nutritient

About fertilizer. The plant should be fed up with liquid fertilizer once a month during the period of growth and flowering. Stop fertilizing after flowering, as the plant is not fertilized during the first 4 months after transplantation.


How to reproduce Veltheimia? known two methods: by dividing the bush and by seed. The first method is the most reliable, since the plant transplanted into new soil, does not lose its decorative effect. For reproduction by dividing the bush, it is necessary to dig a plant, carefully remove the bulb from the ground and divide it into several parts so that each has a bulb with leaves. The bush is planted in a new place, taking care that the neck of the bulb is at ground level. The second method of reproduction is by seed, but it should be borne in mind that the plant grown from seed will bloom no earlier than 4 years. To obtain seeds, it is necessary to allow at least one flower to fade on the plant, after which the peduncle is cut and dried. After that, the flower is carefully disassembled and the seeds are sown in a sand-peat mixture.


Why Veltheimia won't bloom? The reason I'm interested in this plant is that the blooms last such a long time. The blooms are tubular and on a long peduncle. They also hold for more than 2 months, which is great for indoor plants.

Transfer or Repotting

How much I must water Veltheimia? So, you might have to transplant your Veltheimia every 2-3 years to keep it from getting too crowded. When you do transplant, be sure to replant at the same depth as the bulb was originally planted. This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. If you live in an area with very hot summers, you might want to give your Veltheimia a little afternoon shade.

Caring The Veltheimia

How to care the plant? known to be a winter grower, the plant needs coolness. The pot that is being used should have a diameter of not less than 15 cm. Flowers will appear 4 months after the plant has been planted. It is necessary to remove in time the faded peduncles. The plant has a rest period of about 2 months from the middle to the end of summer, when leaves can die. The bulb is stored in a cool dark place. Some growers during the period of rest leaves do not die, even if they reduce watering plants. The new growth begins in September.

Pests & Challenges

What is the challenge when caring Veltheimia plant? The cause of the problem may be the appearance of aphids, scabies, powdery mildew. Also, the bulb of the plant may rot.

Toxic & Poisonous Type

Are Veltheimia poisonous? While the plant is beautiful, it is also toxic. All parts of the plant are poisonous, and if ingested, it can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. The plant is also a skin irritant, so it is best to avoid contact with it.