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Bowiea volubilis

Scientific Name:

Bowiea volubilis

Common name:

Climbing Onion, Sea Onion, Climbing Potato, Zulu Potato






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South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania

Hardiness Zone:



ABout the PLant

Bowiea volubilis, commonly known as the climbing onion, is a unique and beautiful succulent native to South Africa. It has an interesting history, having been discovered in 1810 by Scottish botanist William Bowie. This plant has a distinctive shape and size that makes it stand out from other succulents. Its bulbous base gives way to long, thin stems that can reach up to three feet in length and are covered with bright green leaves. The leaves are lance-shaped and have a waxy texture, making them perfect for retaining moisture in dry climates. In the springtime, Bowiea volubilis produces small white flowers that have a pleasant scent. These flowers attract bees and other pollinators which help ensure successful reproduction of the species. When it comes to care requirements, Bowiea volubilis is relatively easy to maintain. It prefers well-drained soil with plenty of organic matter and should be watered regularly during its growing season (spring through fall). During the winter months, water should be reduced significantly or withheld altogether as this plant goes dormant during this time of year. It also benefits from occasional fertilization with a balanced fertilizer during its active growth period. Overall, Bowiea volubilis is an attractive succulent that is sure to add beauty and interest to any garden or home collection! With proper care and attention, this unique species will continue to thrive for many years to come!
The Bowiea volubilis succulent is best suited to bright indirect light. This means it should be placed in an area where it will receive some direct sunlight, but not too much - think a few hours of morning or late afternoon sun. For the rest of the day, it should be kept in medium to low light. Too much direct sun can burn the leaves and too little light can cause the plant to become leggy and weak.
Bowiea volubilis is a succulent that prefers well-draining soil with a slightly acidic pH. The soil should be light and airy, such as a cactus mix or a combination of equal parts potting soil, perlite, and coarse sand. Additionally, the soil should be kept moist but not soggy. Bowiea volubilis will thrive in these conditions!
The Bowiea volubilis succulent is a drought-tolerant plant, so it doesn't need to be watered too often. Watering should be done every 2-3 weeks in the summer and once a month in the winter. When watering, make sure the soil is completely dry before adding water, and allow the soil to drain completely after each watering.
The ideal humidity conditions for the Bowiea volubilis succulent are around 40-50%. This is a moderate level of humidity, so it's important to not let the air become too dry or too humid. If you can maintain this level of humidity, your Bowiea volubilis will thrive!