Type of bulb: Rhizome
Season of bloom: Summer
Colors: Pink, blue, lavender, orchid, purple
Grows to: 1 to 2 feet (some trailing)
When to plant: Late winter or early spring
Where to plant: Light shade
How deep to plant: 1/2 to 1 inch
Hardiness: Tender; store indoors over winter (see below)
Achimenes puts on a lavish floral display throughout the summer, of-ten blooming so profusely that its slender stems and hairy, pointed oval leaves are almost obscured from view. Each flower is a five-lobed, flat-faced trumpet, 1 to 3 inches across.
Container culture. This plant looks its best when displayed in contain-ers—individual pots, planters, or hanging baskets. Plant the small, irregularly shaped rhizomes in late winter or early spring, maintaining a minimum temperature of 60°F/ 16°C to encourage sprouting. Plant about 1 inch deep in a mixture of half moist peat moss, half sand; when plants are about 3 inches tall, transplant to containers filled with a potting mix of equal pans peat moss, leaf mold, and perlite. Or plant rhizomes directly in their intended containers (using the potting mix just described), setting them 1/2 to 1 inch deep and 2 to 3 inches apart. During the growing season, pinch back new growth if you want plump, bushy plants; leave growth unchecked for hanging basket specimens.
Water growing plants regularly. Once a month, apply a liquid fertil-izer diluted to half strength. When day length shortens, flowering will lessen, then cease. As blooming ends, gradually cut back on water and let plants die down. Store rhi-zomes in their containers over win-ter, keeping soil dry and cool (but not below 40°F/4°C). In late winter or early spring, knock rhizomes out of containers and replant.