Plant Culture: Plectranthus argentatus

Family: LAMIACEAE
Scientific name: Plectranthus argentatus
Common Name:  Silver Spur Flower
Full sun or shade? Can be grown in all day sun.

Plectranthus argentatus is native to the tropical rain-forests and rock outcrops of Queensland and New South Wales, Australia. Even though it’s native habitat is very different to southern Australia it can be grown successfully in a vast range of weather conditions. It is best grown in a part-shaded position or as a forest floor plant under taller shrubs or trees. They can be susceptible to frost burn in colder and high altitude areas, but they will usually recover in the spring. If plants are frost burnt, prune damaged growth off in early spring and fertilise with an Australian Native fertiliser to encourage fresh healthy growth.

Plectranthus argentatus is a tough, fast growing perennial shrub which is fairly drought tolerant once established. Good watering throughout the first summer, after planting, is ideal to encourage the plant to establish correctly for future success. Adding a layer of sugar cane mulch to the soil surface during dry weather periods can be highly beneficial especially in dry-hot climates. They tolerate root-competition amongst neighbouring plants, thus making them extremely compatible to be grown with a vast range of different plants.
Plectranthus argentatus has a semi-prostrate growth habit making it ideal for covering larger spaces in a short period of time. Growing to a maximum height of 1 metre (3 ft) and 1.5 – 2 metres (6 ft) wide makes this the perfect ‘filler’ for the garden. One of the best features of these plants is the beautiful velvet silver foliage. The foliage is ovate in shape and has a soft hair-like texture. During late summer through to winter, dainty white flowers sit proudly above the foliage. Flowers are borne on racemes that can grow up to 25-30cm in length. The blooms can also be enjoyed as cut flowers! This form can easily be grown by cutting (stem) propagation. Cut a stem, 2 inches long, (from the the tips) and sit in a cup of water until white roots develop. Make sure to refresh the water every day. Cuttings can also be placed into potting mix and roots will develop within a few weeks. It is recommended to prune Plectranthus argentatus once – twice a year to encourage a dense, bushy growth habit. Prune in early spring or after the flowers have finished blooming. By giving these plants a prune it will also encourage an abundance of flowers in the future!

Until next time happy gardening!
By Bonnie-Marie Hibbs
©BMHPhotographyTheGardener’sNotebook2018

 

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Redwood Forest – Sequoia sempervirens

Standing along side these Redwood giants I am completely absorbed and astonished by them. The Redwood, Sequoia sempervirens, plantations were first established in the 1940s by the Board’s forest hydrology research program in Warburton, Victoria. With many other conifer species already found growing in the Cement Creek area the research team endeavoured to collect comparative data on each of the species.

Redwood Forest 2-2In this plantation there are over 1476 Redwoods planted in a grid, thus giving the illusion of rows and rows of never ending trunks! The smallest Sequoia sempervirens in this plantation is recorded to be approximately 20 metres high and the tallest reaching 55 metres. Standing beneath them and looking up to their canopies is a magnificent sight. However, compared to their siblings across the other side of the world in America and Canada, these trees would look like babies. Especially if you were to measured them up against those found growing in those other countries. But regardless of size they are a very beautiful tree. Their emerald green foliage contrasts beautifully against the rough red wood of their trunks. If you find yourself travelling towards Warburton take a moment to go visit this National Park.Redwood Forest 2Redwood Forest

Until next time happy gardening! By Bonnie-Marie Hibbs ©BMHPhotographyTheGardener’sNotebook2018

Plant Culture: Wisteria floribunda ‘Royal Purple’

Family: FABACEAE
Scientific name: Wisteria floribunda .spp.
Common Name: Royal Purple
Full sun or shade? Can be grown in all day sun.

Wisteria floribunda ‘Royal Purple’ produces tresses of long pea-like flowers which bloom in late spring up until the early summer months. Their flowers have a sweet fragrance and can extend up to 25 – 40cm long! Once the flowers have finished, hard cased pods will appear which will contain large flat round seeds which can be collected once dry for sowing. The vibrant green foliage appears as the flowers begin to finish. The lush pinnate leaves are equally as beautiful as the flowers and can be a real highlight in the garden. This climber is also a very long lived vine which can be expected to last you decades if left to grow in the correct conditions. They can grow between 8 – 10 metres long. For such a vigorous plant it is advised that pruning each year during their dormant periods, winter, is best. Another benefit to pruning is that it will encourage not only a stronger plant and nice shape, it will promote the plant to produce even more flowers in the following year. You can grow almost any Wisteria variety along a fence line/walls, on a pergola, garage and even an old barn like mine. If you are looking for a statement vine which will give you lots of flowers, lush foliage and a talking point for the garden, try growing a Wisteria.

Until next time happy gardening!
By Bonnie-Marie Hibbs
©BMHPhotographyTheGardener’sNotebook2017

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The best red coloured Nandina! N. filamentosa

Nandina filamentosa, nandina red, nandinaNandina filamentosa is an extremely tough plant once established. Their foliage turns a scarlet red colour during winter and the colder it gets the better they colour up! During the warmer seasons, spring and summer, their foliage will change and show tones of vibrant greens. N. filamentosa can be planted into containers for an eye-catching display or planted out in the garden as a low growing border.
Position: N. filamentosa prefers to grow in full sun but can grow in a slightly shaded area.
Growing mediums: When potting up into a container, make sure to use a good quality potting mix with added fertilisers and water wetting agents. If growing N. filamentosa in the garden  they like to grow in a rich soil with good drainage. (If you have sandy soil mix a bag of nice quality compost to enrich the soil).
Height: 1.2 metres X Width: 50cm – 1 metre

Until next time happy gardening!
By Bonnie-Marie Hibbs
©BMHPhotographyTheGardener’sNotebook2017