Sprekelia formosissima is a half-hardy bulb, closely related to Amaryllus generally grown as a cool greenhouse or house plant.
This amaryllid is native to Mexico.
It will grow outdoors in a bright sunny position in the milder parts of the UK but will require moving under cover as winter approaches.
Alternatively grow in a conservatory or cool greenhouse.
The bright red flowers appear in June/July before the thick narrow leaves, and are about 100mm (4") long.
The flower stems grow to around 300-400mm (12"-16") high, and appear in April.
The leaves will grow as the flowers dies back.
Bulbs can be grown hydraponically by growing them on a bed of gravel and water.
If this method is used the bulbs are of no further use as ripening will be incomplete.
Apply a weak liquid feed every two weeks from flowering time until the leaves die back.
Plant the bulbs singly in 75mm (3") pots, or three to a 150mm (6") pot, or six to a 250mm (10") pot for a better display.
Pot the bulb up to its neck in potting compost that is the equivalent to John Innes No. 3.
Provide a temperature of 7°- 10°C (50°- 50°F).
Do not water until spring, then keep moist until the leaves begin to die in July or August.
Re-pot or pot on every two or three years.
Remove any offsets that may have grown, singly or in threes (according to size), into 100mm (4") pots.
Pot up annually until they are of flowering size, this normally takes three to four years.