31 Comments

  1. phyl johnson
    September 11, 2014 @ 5:44 pm

    Ben, I live in North Carolina, USA, zone 5. I planted some orlaya seeds 3 weeks ago and they all germinated. I have put them in the garden and they have many of their ferny leaves. Will they make it over the winter with temperatures below freezing? I was confused–the seed packet said to sow in fall but also said the seeds need to be fresh for the best germination. Could you shed some light on how the seedlings will fair over the winter? Or come spring, will the left over seeds germinate?

    • Ben
      September 16, 2014 @ 5:39 pm

      if they are hardy then they should be ok…but it depends on what seeds they are and how cold it gets of course…

  2. Shirley roberts
    August 27, 2014 @ 6:30 pm

    Hi Ben still waiting for your reply to my email of 19th August 2014 – I don’t want to do the wrong thing with the seeds of my orlaya as I love this flower – c’mon now Ben Im an old impatient lady and I shall be down to sort you out if I don’t hear from you PLEEEEEEEASExx

  3. Maribel
    June 13, 2014 @ 9:25 pm

    I planted Orlaya this spring, I’m in Iowa (USA) and started them in April indoors under lights. I was able to germinate about 10 out of the whole seed packet. Of which only 6 made it to transplanting outside. I made the mistake of planting the weekend before Mother’s Day and the very next day we had a snow storm. I ran outside to cover them but it was too late. In the end I have 3 healthy plants left and all have buds and will be flowering shortly. I’m excited about seeing them bloom! I will definitely be collecting the seeds to do another indoor sowing next year!

  4. Betty
    May 5, 2014 @ 9:12 pm

    I have some Orlaya seeds and wanted to know what care they need etc. I’m in Canada and happened upon higgledygarden. Just dropping a note to say that your notes and advice are hilarious…

  5. Colleen
    April 22, 2014 @ 8:43 am

    I was admiring some of these plants in an open garden last year here in Sheffield, UK. The owner of the garden kindly gave me a plant and said I could collect the seeds and they were easy to grow. Kept them til January and then sowed them but didn’t think I had any seed at all as what I sowed just looked like husks! However I have 2 that have germinated and I’m tickled pink! It’s still pretty miserable here and I have these in a rather cool garage so I’m hoping they survive.
    I love your page, and your enthusiasm! Wonderful stuff. Thank you!

  6. Neil
    October 2, 2013 @ 8:32 pm

    Took me longer to identify this little beauty than it did to germinate the seeds. Anyone with access to them, plant the seeds very fresh, and germination happens in 7 days. Let them dry out and who knows, you may be waiting till the moon turns green.

    I’ve pricked them out into 40 odd 9cm pots and will keep them under cover for the winter. As an insurance, I’ve kept some seed till next year, but hope I dont need them.

  7. Lynne from NZ
    August 18, 2013 @ 10:05 am

    Orlaya grows a bit like a little lovely weed here in the Antipodes – I liberally sprinkle the seed when it sets and it comes up mostly in our bark paths, so it’s easy to lift and pot on. And just love reading your pages and comments, will try to think nice Aunty Betty thoughts when picking mine. I didn’t know about the hoverflies, so that’s really cool as I am an organic gardener :-)

    • Ben
      August 19, 2013 @ 9:33 am

      thanks Lynne…lots of folk have trouble growing Orlaya over here….’the grass is always greener’! :) Where abouts are you in NZ…not affected by quakes I hope?

      • Lynne
        August 20, 2013 @ 3:06 am

        Hi Ben, just so enjoying your turns of phrase :-) Yes we are in the shaky zone here in Waikanae – have all my special stuff wrapped in towels to avoid the first shake last month, which broke two family vases and some booze flutes… it IS unerving, but we know what to do, and most of us have our preparations in order should the big one strike (we have been promised another biggie this week :-( but relying on the fact, they weren’t expecting the last big one, who can believe what. Our old White Island further up the North Island is also blowing it’s stack at the moment, we are stuck between earthquakes and volcanoes, and the up coming Wallabies All Black Game on Sat night in our shaky stadium! I have galanthus nivalis growing in a pot here, carefully guarded and with ice cubes placed over the pot when I planted them, so yes indeed the grass is always greener… but have flowers on them yee haa… Keep up your fabulous descriptions, and good luck with your business I would def be your customer if you were closer here and our immigration laws weren’t quite so stringent.
        regards Lynne

        • Ben
          August 22, 2013 @ 3:33 pm

          I love your country…I have a small building plot in Te Anau….I would move to NZ at the drop of a hat…sadly I can’t move the business…BUT it may be possible to have a couple of months down time a year…I have chums in Tasman bay…I LOVE it there…..hummmmmmmmmm feeling homesick now.
          xx

  8. Gloria
    June 20, 2013 @ 6:10 pm

    I bought some seed at the Chelsea Flower Show and I have planted them in pots. It has been several weeks and nothing is germinating. How long does it take to see a sprout?

    • Ben
      June 20, 2013 @ 6:34 pm

      2-3 weeks should be fine…it can be tricky…I am in two minds whether to stock the seed in the shop because it can be fickle….and I don’t want to disappoint my customers.

    • Gloria
      June 23, 2013 @ 10:42 pm

      Thank you. I will not give up hope.

      • Ben
        June 24, 2013 @ 5:34 pm

        Keep the faith!

  9. Jackie
    June 14, 2013 @ 7:07 pm

    Hi Ben
    Have just bought my first Orlaya plant and love it already! loved your writing about it, brilliant and fun thank you.
    Jackie

    • Ben
      June 14, 2013 @ 7:10 pm

      My pleasure Jackie! :)

  10. Ruth
    November 1, 2012 @ 10:19 pm

    Yay, I brought my seeds indoors and stuck them on a windowsil…and they have germinated!! Now to keep them going until the spring (crossing everything!)

  11. Ruth
    October 24, 2012 @ 8:32 pm

    Hi Ben, I have sown some of these in pots….do I need to cover them up or do they need light and what sort of temperature should they be kept at? Sorry, I’m an amateur!! Ruth

    PS Love this site!

    • Ben
      October 24, 2012 @ 8:52 pm

      Hi Ruth…it should be fine but I would protect them if it gets REALLY cold…when did you sow them…if it was very recently they may not germinate as the temps are about to plummet. I generally like to get them in before the end of September.

  12. Martine
    September 1, 2011 @ 9:47 am

    Thanks Ben for the advice to grow in pots. I have a packet of these which I didn’t get around to sowing in the spring. I really enjoy these articles where you feature a particular flower and find them very useful.

    • Ben
      September 1, 2011 @ 7:31 pm

      Thank you Martine…glad you like them…there’s another 30 odd to come on just annuals alone over the Autumn and winter…then more on shrubs for cutting and roses…loads of stuff…so please keep your comments coming…they make me realise this labor of love is worth it! :)

  13. Katherine @ Florist in the Forest
    August 29, 2011 @ 10:21 pm

    Love them, funnily enough, sown my autumn lot today, so fingers crossed! (Sitting in the polytunnel now, all cosy so hopefully will be fine).

    • Ben
      August 30, 2011 @ 8:00 am

      Good luck with those…mine are going to have to wait till the weekend…crazy week ahead of of beautifiying the gardens of others whilst my flower field gets neglected…must stop saying ‘yes’ to everyone…most aren’t even gardens I like…grrrrrrrrrr…

  14. Belinda Norrington
    August 29, 2011 @ 8:40 pm

    One of my real faves, I direct sowed a packet a couple of years ago, and now it selfseeds all on its ownio which makes me a happy flower-grower!

    • Ben
      August 29, 2011 @ 9:09 pm

      I’m after some seeds if you have any spare????? :)

  15. Flowers to sow in September. | Higgledy Garden
    August 29, 2011 @ 8:35 pm

    […] *Orlaya Grandiflora […]

  16. Jo Thompson
    August 29, 2011 @ 6:43 pm

    Here’s a thing – I’ve managed to grow them this year FOR FIRST TIME, by direct sowing, and they’re going over bow – can I use the seeds???
    PS loving the image of the Russian ball

    • Ben
      August 29, 2011 @ 6:58 pm

      I can’t see why not? Can you send me some to try…and I’ll send you a bunch of flowers in the spring in return?
      I doubt if they are those F1 nonsense things…generally the simple plants like Orlaya aren’t…
      Glad you like the ball image…I always loved those scenes in old films where the couple secretly meet on the balcony and hurrily speak their love to one another.

      • Jo Thompson
        August 31, 2011 @ 4:28 pm

        I’ll nurture them and send them to you – yes please to the Spring bunch! Thank you Ben

        • Ben
          August 31, 2011 @ 6:35 pm

          Bless your cotton socks…I’ll message my home address to you through the Twitterverse.