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Roscoea - Growing Guide
These are an attractive and less well known addition to any herbaceous border or in the greenhouse. Roscoea are tuberous perennials from the forests and mountain meadows of the Himalayas. As such they are perfectly hardy providing they are planted 3in or so deep in the garden.
They have unusual hooded, orchid-like flowers and two lobed lips in a variety of colours from white to creamy white and purple. These appear with us in June or July in one flush of colour. The flowers rise above the arching green leaves which develop in spring.
Roscoeas thrive in cooler situations and preferably not full sun for the entire day. A damp, shady border is ideal but they do make excellent pot plants as well. They grow well alongside arum and alstroemeria with us in shady corners. Arisarum are good companion plants too.
The maximum height they grow to is around 18in but they readily clump up to a similar sort of width over time.
The tubers can be planted in early spring and, as you would expect, prefer a reasonably fertile soil with plenty of leaf mould or compost. In cold areas a winter mulch will give added protection.
Slugs are the most obvious pest in any damp situation in the garden. The biggest risk is as the leaves emerge.