Thursday, 24 October 2019

Tender plants

I don't propagate a lot of indoor plants but this year I seem to have raised quite a few almost by accident...

Begonia soli-mutata
Begonia soli-mutata
A gorgeous Brazilian species grown mainly for its deeply textured richly coloured foliage (it also has pretty white flowers) Not difficult as a house plant as long as not dry. Regular misting helps.
£8



Raphiocarpus petelotii Finale
Raphiocarpus petelotii Finale
A subtropical gesneriad from Vietnam. The soft fuzzy leaves are marked with black and silver and wine red underneath. The flowers are creamy, cornet shaped with darker markings within. Said to be almost hardy by some, it certainly needs cool humid shady conditions and is probably best in a terrarium.
£8



Drymonia chiribogana
Drymonia chiribogana
A bushy gesneriad from Latin America with dark lustrous leaves and silver veins. The flowers are pale lilac. A plant for a terrarium or tropical greenhouse. It survives as a houseplant but really needs good humidity. Not at all difficult given the right conditions.
£8



Crassula streyi
Crassula streyi
A tender South African species with 2in wide broad glossy leaves – dark green above, slightly marbled in silver, and intense wine red under.
Crassula streyi
Like many plants with red leaf reverses, this is an adaptation to growing in shade, which makes this an excellent choice for a sunless windowsill and irregular watering – the ideal houseplant in many ways. The flowers are small and off white and produced in branching sprays in spring.
£6


Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Cobaea pringlei

Cobaea pringlei
A hardy herbaceous perennial relative of the familiar cup-and-saucer vine, C.scandens. Having white flowers, it's not as spectacular as its tender purple-flowered relative but still a lovely thing. I grow it in a sunny spot on a well-drained but rich soil, with a thick strawy mulch in winter just to be on the safe side. It dies down completely in winter.
Cobaea pringlei
Once it gets going it's a big plant capable of covering quite a large area in a single season so make sure you put it somewhere where it can roam free. It tends to start late and flower late too so provide warmth and shelter.
Cobaea pringlei
Despite the bindweed-like roots it does not spread vigorously and can be slow to propagate. As a result I never have enough of these to satisfy demand so please enquire.
£12



Thursday, 26 September 2019

Asphodeline taurica

Asphodeline taurica
As much a foliage plant as one grown for its flowers. The plant makes very eye-catching rosettes of extremely narrow pale grey leaves, complemented by a spike of slightly rosy white flowers in summer. A very tasteful species needing excellent drainage and full sun
£8




Herbertia lahue

Herbertia lahue
A gorgeous little summer flowering Iris relative producing attractively marked violet flowers on short stems just above the ground. Although this is widely distributed in the USA it’s of doubtful hardiness and may need protection, but I recommend trying it in short turf – a technique that works remarkably well with many ‘tender’ bulbs
£6



Callirhoe


I have no idea why these American mallows are not much more widely grown

Callirhoe digitata
Callirhoe digitata
One of the best plants I sell – a very slender 4ft tall upright species with extremely narrow glaucous leaflets and stems. Intense wine pink mallow flowers are produced over a long period in summer.
Callirhoe digitata
Hardy and adaptable but best grown among low-growing plants as it doesn’t seem to cope well with competition
£7



Callirhoe involucrata
Callirhoe involucrata
An amazing species – I have no idea why this isn’t very very popular. Produces long leafy stems that trail out over several feet in all directions and up into neighbouring plants producing a sprinkling of intense pink mallow flower all summer.
Callirhoe involucrata
In winter it retreats back to a compact buttercup-like cluster of leaves and the old stems can be cut away, so not even slightly invasive
£7



Friday, 23 August 2019

Pelargonium sidoides - the true species

Pelargonium sidoides
A remarkable low growing species with silver/grey leaves and black, honey-scented flowers. It is hardy enough to be grown outside in the southern UK, given a sunny, sheltered, freely drained spot. In 2010 it lost its leaves but came back as strongly as ever to flower late summer and autumn.
Pelargonium sidoides
It seems most of the 'sidoides' in cultivation in the UK are hybrids (probably with P.reniforme) and have wine purple/maroon flowers. The easy way to tell is that the hybrids have main stems and make a  bushy plant much like many popular 'scented leaved' pelargoniums with the flowers on side branches.
Sinningia tubiflora and Pelargonium sidoides
Sidoides on the other hand has no stems at all - the leaves are on long petioles arising directly from the base of the plant. The flowers are on very long (up 40cms), extremely slender stems which also arise directly from the base and radiate out horizontally. The flowers are very close to true black with no hint of purple or pink. Once you have seen the two together the difference is obvious.
£8



Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Sida hermaphrodita

Sida hermaphrodita
A tall leafy mallow with clouds of small pure white hibiscus flowers.
Sida hermaphrodita
An easy hardy prairie perennial for any good soil
£8