Brunfelsia

The brunfelsia has come to the fore in recent years as a house plant. It is an evergreen flowering shrub which does not last very long in the home, but it is an attractive plant for the conservatory, sun lounge or greenhouse, provided a mini-mum winter temperature of 7 to 10°C. (45 to 50°F.) can be maintained.

The species usually grown is Brunfelsia calycina which bears fragrant lavender-purple flowers intermittently throughout the year, though the main flowering period is in late winter and spring. This native of Brazil will make a specimen up to 2 ft. tall when it is grown in a 5- or 6-in. Flower pot.

Cuttings

This plant is propagated by means of cuttings of fairly firm shoots taken in summer and rooted in a mixture of equal parts of peat and sand in a propagating frame with a temperature of 18°C. (65°F.). Cuttings can also be taken and rooted successfully in spring and autumn although I feel that summer is a more suitable time. The cuttings should be 3 to 4 in. long. When rooted they should be potted up singly, first into 3-in. pots and then successively into 4-in. and 5- or 6-in. pots. They need a mixture of lime-free soil, moist peat and coarse sand mixed in the proportion of 1:4:1 if they are to give of their best and should be repotted when the main flowering season is over.

Cultivation

During summer they need warm, humid conditions with ventilation when the temperature rises to 27°C. (80°F.). Weekly feeding with liquid fertiliser is beneficial once the plants have filled their pots with roots.

Pruning

Any pruning necessary to keep the plants shapely should be done before they start to make new growth.

01. March 2012 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Featured Articles, Greenhouse Gardening, Plants & Trees | Tags: , | Comments Off on Brunfelsia

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