I’ve posted in the past about how impressed I am with achimenes. This hard-to-find plant is so easy to grow and it offers a very impressive show of flowers during the summer.
Last year I discovered an online greenhouse that offers over 75 varieties of achimenes. Kartuz Greenhouses in Vista, California sells each variety as a package of 5 rhizomes. I have to say that I was very impressed with the rhizomes that I received from them. They were healthy and each variety was individually packaged with a plastic plant label that included the variety name and the address and website of Kartuz Greenhouses. (The only negative I would give to this site is that the list of achimenes includes no pictures. While there’s a written description of the flower, if you want to see it, you have to Google the name. With so many varieties, Googling each of them can get a little tedious.)
I tried three different varieties: Hard to Get, Caligula and Yellow Beauty.
Hard to Get was my favorite. The plants were large and filled with blossoms all summer long. As an extra bonus, this variety produced a ton of rhizomes! I started with 5 and I now have well over 40.
I like the color of Caligula, but at the end of the season, there weren’t a lot of rhizomes for the next year. I’m assuming this is just a varietal difference; some plants multiply more than others.
Yellow Beauty was OK, but it was never covered with blossoms. I think that might be because the standard colors of achimenes are pinks, reds, whites, and purples. Yellow is an unusual color and often in plants, unusual colors didn’t have the vigor that you find in plants with the standard colors.
I’m continuing to look for new varieties of this plant. There are lots of achimenes on eBay, but I’m always a little hesitant to order plants from an unknown source. Also, most of the eBay listing are for one single rhizome. However, there are some really cool looking varieties for sale there. I might try one or two and see how it goes.
The basic varieties of achimenes that I found on Easy to Grow Bulbs hooked me on this amazing plant. I look forward to trying more varieties and finding which ones grow the best for me.