Bougainvillea plants care guide

Bougainvillea plants care guide

Planting position: Full sun.
Areas without severe frost.
3m spaces between plants.
Tolerates drought, once established.
Majority of fungus- and/or pest attacks.
Requires water regularly until established, but note that the more you water a mature
Bougainvillea the fewer flowers it will produce.
Well-composted sandy soil.
Undisturbed roots during transplanting is an important pointon the Bougainvillea plants care guide. Nursery bought plants often get treated roughly during transplantation – which will knock your plant’s general health and recovery back.
The training of new growth towards the next Bougainvillea plant.
Colour mixing only with species with similar growing habits.
Pruning to shape during dormant winter.
Propagate from hardwood cuttings during spring

The most commonly cultivated Bougainvillea species and hybrid are Bougainvillea glabra and the hybrid Bougainvillea × buttiana

Other popular hybrids are:
– Bougainvillea peruviana flowers when young and is great for containers.
– Bougainvillea × buttiana ‘Poulton’s Special’ AGM: magenta-rose pink flowers (Bougainvillea. × buttiana‘ Poulton’s Special’ AGM)
– Bougainvillea × buttiana ’Raspberry Ice’: has cerise flowers and cream streaks on the leaves.
– Bougainvillea ‘African Sunset’: has large bright orange bracts
– Bougainvillea x buttiana ‘ Bridal bouquet’ this double variety has whitish bracts, and in full sun they may be tipped with rose-shades.
– Bougainvillea x buttiana ‘Brilliance’ with bracts shading through tones of red.
– Bougainvillea x buttiana ‘Coconut Ice’ with white bracts and cerise-coloured tips.
– Bougainvillea x buttiana ‘Daphne Mason’ has reddish-brown bracts that, with maturity, fade to a powdery pink.
– Bougainvillea x buttiana ‘David Lemmer’ with bright red bracts and striking foliage.
– Bougainvillea x buttiana ‘Golden Doubloon’ is a double variety with pink, orange and yellow colouring on its bracts.
– Bougainvillea x buttiana ‘James Walker’ with very large, striking red bracts.
– Bougainvillea x buttiana ‘Lady Mary Baring’ has brilliant yellow bracts.
– Bougainvillea x buttiana ‘Mary Palmer’ large white bracts, ‘bleeding’ with pink.
– Bougainvillea x buttiana ‘Mrs McClean’ with bracts changing colour, beginning with orange, then pinkish-orange and with maturity ending with a deep pink.
– Bougainvillea x buttiana ‘Red Glory’ comes with striking pure red bracts.
– Bougainvillea glabra ‘Dream’ with white bracts ‘bleeding’ with shades of lilac.
– Bougainvillea glabra ‘Gladys Hepburn’ striking with shell-pink bracts.
– Bougainvillea spectabilis ‘African Sunset’ produces large clusters of purple bracts.

Thunbergia Black-eyed Susan – edible, medicinal & useful!

Thunbergia Black-eyed Susan

Thunbergia Black-eyed Susan (Thunbergia alata) is indigenous to South Africa.
Planting position: Full sun.
60-90 cm
Planting areas with up to moderate frost only, and shelter provided.
Suitable for all growing regions, provided summer watering where needed.
Requires regular summer watering.
Compost-enriched soil.
Light shape pruning after flowering.
Spring-application of complete fertiliser.
Propagate from spring-sown seed.

This evergreen grows fast, but will die back in very cold winters. Its trumpet-shaped flowers are striking orange-coloured with a prominent black “eye”. These flowers make the Black-eyed Susan very easy to recognize.

The gorgeous ornamental, Thunbergia alata makes a good screen with the help of a fence support, trellis, arch, arbour or pillar.

Edible parts include the roots, but never the toxic Black-eyed Susan seed heads! The spring greens can be cooked and eaten. In E Africa, Black-eyed Susan is used as a vegetable or stock feed.

Medicinal properties of  Thunbergia alata  include: warm infusion as a wash for sores and swellings. The Ojibwa people treated snake bites with a poultice. Other healing treatments are for earaches, colds and worms in children.
Medicinally it is also in use for skin problems, cellulitis, back and joint pains, eye inflammation and piles. Care should be taken as contact dermatitis can be picked up from it.
*** Always get a healthcare professional’s opinion and advice before self-treatment.

It is extremely insect, bird and pollinator friendly. Moths and butterflies, such as Junonia ovithya (Eyed Pansy) love to visit and lay eggs on the sprawling evergreen, and the caterpillars in turn become bird food. Birds favour the thickly tangled stems to nest in. As this is an ideal plant to attract insects, make sure to do so away from the edible garden – at least 7 – 10m from the vegetable beds. All the unwanted pests will congregate there instead of the kitchen garden.