Dwarf Climbing Onion (Bowiea volubilis 'Nana')

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Cactus/Succulent
Life cycle: Perennial
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 11 +4.4 °C (40 °F) to +7.2 °C (50 °F)
Plant Spread: vine-like inflorescences can grow several feet long
Flower Color: Green
White
Other: Greenish-white
Underground structures: Bulb
Propagation: Other methods: Offsets
Containers: Needs excellent drainage in pots
Preferred depth: shallow
Prefers to be under-potted

Very small onion-shaped bulbs of B. nana

Photo gallery:

Comments:
Posted by SongofJoy (Clarksville, TN - Zone 6b) on Nov 29, 2011 5:41 AM

This plant is an oddity and a curiosity of the succulent world. Unlike many other types of succulents, Bowiea nana is an opportunistic grower. It will grow and produce its "vines" whenever conditions are to its liking. High heat and drought will quickly put this species into dormancy. The inflorescence will become dry and will eventually fall away, and the bulbs will become covered with a papery envelope of dried leaves similar to the outer skin of an onion. Even if more favorable growing conditions are provided immediately, it will usually take at least several weeks before this plant will break dormancy again. Keeping the plant dry and cool through the winter will keep the plant dormant; if it is kept wetter and warmer, it will tend to grow continuously, even through the winter months.

This plant can tolerate more water than most succulents. Good drainage is essential.

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