Godetia x grandiflora

Nowadays it is no longer possible to determine the parentage of the various cultivated forms of this genus. Perhaps the Californian species Godetia amoena (Oenothera amoena) figured in their breeding at the start but it was far from being the only one, for America is the home of some 20 members of the genus Godetia, most of them very pretty plants.

Present-day cultivars are divided into three basic groups: semi-tall single forms about 40 cm (16 in) high (probably the prettiest), such as the scarlet ‘Duke of York’; semi-tall double forms, similar in height, the same as the foregoing, but with double flowers resembling azaleas; and finally forms only about 20 cm (8 in) high that are pretty but tender and can be used only in the warmest regions of Europe.

There is no denying that godetias are very tender plants. They do not tolerate heavy, wet soil and should thus be provided with a light, warm and nourishing mixture of leaf mould, compost and sand, or one of the peat-based composts. A warm, sunny spot is a precondition of success, but the plants should not be exposed to too much direct sunlight. Plenty of air should be provided as well, but at the same time the spot should be sheltered from winds for the plants are quite fragile. Water should be supplied in sufficient quantities but only in the early morning, for godetias do not like to be watered when exposed to sun.

The seeds should be sown in early April directly into the box where the plants are to grow. If all the conditions are met the plants will bear lovely flowers in late June which are good for cutting. There is sometimes a second flowering if the plants are cut back immediately after flowering.

15. November 2011 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: House Plants | Tags: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Godetia x grandiflora

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