08 Mar Plant of the Month
Begonia have long been a favourite in many gardens, and with hundreds of different recognised cultivars, there really is a begonia to fit most situations. Diadema is a hybrid, upright cane type begonia, producing an abundance of pink flowers. This variety will flower from March through to July and enjoys a warm, well light area, but not in direct sun. It is not a large grower, only reaching approx. 60-80cm in size, so perfect for a container or for inground growing. Like all begonia, it doesn’t like to have wet feet, so ensure plenty of drainage. Fertilise well with a slow releasing fertiliser in Spring, Summer and Autumn and trim well back in Spring to encourage new growth and potential new blooms. Begonia will flower indoors as long as they are kept in a well lit area.
Plumeria Pudica- Everlasting Love
This variety of frangipani is fast becoming one of the most popular. It is almost evergreen in our climate, and produces an abundance of white flowers from late Spring through to the end of Autumn. It is a fast growing variety, reaching a total height of 3m if left untrimmed. It can be kept trimmed happily from 2m. It has a lovely upright growth habit and performs more like a shrub, than a traditional tree.
- Like all frangipani it prefers full sun and needs a well-draining soil.
- It is a perfect plant for containers or directly in to the garden.
- Prune well in Spring to encourage new growth.
- Feed in Spring and Summer with a flower promoting, slow release fertiliser.
- Unlike other frangipani it is resistant to the rust disease which can plague traditional forms
Sometimes referred to as the tulip of the tropics, Curcuma are an impressive flowering ornamental ginger. Aside from the edible crop of turmeric, most curcuma are grown as an ornamental, flowering garden plant.
Flowers range from red to pink to yellow and white. All varieties are deciduous so remember to allow for them to die back during winter – just remember where you plant them as they will flower up again the next season. Flowering in the warmer months from December through to March, these gingers are incredibly showy and can even be used as cut flower.
These plants do prefer part shade, as full sun tends to bleach the flowers and foliage. Fertilise well with a slow release fertiliser after flowering, before they begin to die down for winter. Once dormant, allow to remain dry until new shoots emerge.
They are very suitable to be kept in a pot or in the garden, and most varieties are well behaved – not developing a large root system or spreading out of control.