Tulbaghia violacea 'Silver Lace', or Variegated Society Garlic, is a perennial plant with narrow, up to 12 inch (30 cm) long leaves. The leaves arise from a rhizome that creeps underground to form clumps up to 24 inches (60 cm) wide. The leaves and flower stems have a garlic odor when crushed. The leaves can be used in salads and in cooking. It is an easy plant to grow whether in the landscape or in containers. They are hardy in USDA zones 7-10.
Blooming: In the greenhouse, they will bloom all year long, with the best flushes in spring and summer. The lilac colored flowers are on 1-2 foot (30-60 cm) stems with 8-20 flowers per umbel. Individual flowers are up to 0.75 inches (1.8 cm) across. They are very showy.
Culture: Tulbaghia violacea 'Silver Lace' need full sun to partial shade with a well drained soil mix. In the greenhouse, we use a soil mix consisting of 2 parts peat moss to 1 part loam to 2 parts sand. The pH of the soil should run around 6.5 to 7.5. The plants are very drought tolerant, but do better if watered and allowed to dry slightly before watering again. We fertilize them monthly during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer diluted to ½ the strength recommended on the label. If grown in containers they need to be divided every 3-4 years to keep the plants growing vigorously. When grown in the landscape, the plants will die back to the ground at around 20° F (13° C). They will quickly recover in the spring. In containers during the winter months, water should be restricted and fertilizer should be withheld during this period.
Propagation: Tulbaghia violacea 'Silver Lace' is propagated by division of clumps in early spring and from seed.
Tulbaghia violacea 'Silver Lace' was featured as Plant of the Week August 19-25, 2005.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically the late Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.