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What is Sprekelia?

Pamela Pleasant
Pamela Pleasant

Sprekelia belongs to the amaryllidaceae family of plants, which are native to Mexico and South America. It is a bulbous plant, which means it contains or was grown from a bulb. This plant can be kept outdoors in the garden area or it can be potted and kept indoors. The sprekelia has unique leaves and foliage but it is mainly known for the crimson red blooms it produces. These blooms are often referred to as Aztec lilies or Jacobean lilies but they are not actually lilies.

The sprekelia plant can reach up to 18 inches (around 35 cm) in height. It has sturdy stems that are a tan to deep red. Leaves also grow around the base of these stems and are long and bright green. They resemble a longer, tropical palm grass and grow in an upward direction, remaining stiff. These leaves are thick and waxy and typically grow in a bunch.

Man mowing the grass
Man mowing the grass

Perhaps the most interesting thing about the sprekelia plant is the blooms that appear on the stems in late spring to early summer. The flower produces six petals, which are separated into three petals on the top and three on the bottom. They grow out sideways and the bigger the blooms get, the more they drop in a downward position. The flowers appear on top of each individual stem and are always a shade of red. A sprekelia flower has a light, pleasing scent.

This plant cannot be kept outdoors in cooler climates. It will not survive in temperatures that go below 35 degrees Fahrenheit (around 1 Celsius). The sprekelia also prefers acidic soil, which means that it needs to be fertilized frequently. If it does not receive an ample amount of water and nutrients, it may fail to produce any blooms. Some sprekelia plants never produce blooms, even after they are fertilized.

While the sprekelia plant is young, the delicate root system can be damaged by over watering. It should be planted on top of a slight hill to allow water drainage and plants should be spaced apart a full nine inches (around 20 cm). If it is kept indoors in a pot, holes should be placed on the bottom of the container to avoid soil saturation. Mealy bugs can spread diseases to this plant and can also turn the leaves and foliage brown. A pesticide must be used until the infestation is completely gone, to save the plant.

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      Man mowing the grass