Agonis flexuosa “Willow Myrtle”

Agonis flexuosa “Willow Myrtle”

Indigenous to Australia; 5m
Planting position: Full sun.Temperate climatic areas.
Tolerates drought and wind once established.
Requires regular watering especially while young. Well-draining loamy- or sandy soil.
Propagate from seed.

In short, this little tree has willowy branches that get covered with sprays of small white flowers from early summer.

Agonis flexuosa “Willow Myrtle” is a fast growing and attractive medium-sized, evergreen tree with 12- 14 piece clusters of small spring/summer white flowers per twig and long thin shiny leaves hanging from drooping branches (similar to a Willow tree).
The (3,5mm across) fruit carries many seeds in its 3 valves capsule.

Health properties of   “Willow Myrtle” includes leaves that are used as an antiseptic.
* Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Acalypha wilkesiana “Copper Leaf”

 

Acalypha wilkesiana “Copper Leaf, also known as Fijian fire-bush, Copperleaf, Fijan fire bush

Indigenous to Pacific islands, New Hebrides; 1 – 3m
Planting position: Full sun.
Wind-protected area.
Ideal for high summer rainfall regions.
80cm spacing between plants.
Ideal for subtropical areas.
Requires regular watering and compost-enriched, sandy loam soil.
(During first three years), prune hard, twice in spring. (After early years), shape pruning only.
Regular checking for mealy bug and red spider attacks.
Propagate from spring soft tip- or hardwood cuttings.


The evergreen Acalypha wilkesiana “Copper Leaf”, also known as and Jacob’s coat, grows to 3m high and 2m wide. The large, and covered in fine hair, leaves, have serrated edges and are coppery reddish green. 

‘Cherry Chocolate’ (3m) with large, dark brown foliage, mottled with red.
‘Ivy’s Jungle Joy’ (2m) who’s large, green leaves are mottled bright red.
‘Java Yellow’ (1,5m) is striking with medium-sized, golden leaves.
‘Macrophylla’ with coppery-brown foliage.
‘Marginata’ with pink (or cream) edged, coppery-coloured leaves.
‘Pink Sport’ (2m) have coppery leaves that “bleed” with pinkish-tones.
‘Sunset Hue’ (1m) with its leaves splashed with pink, green and yellow.
‘Tropica’ (1 – 2m) has foliage in tones of red.


Acalypha wilkesiana “Copper Leaf” health benefits include a treating ointment for fungal skin diseases and treating Pityriasis versicolor, Tinea pedia and Candida intetrigo.

* Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

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.

Forcing bulbs to flower, step by step guide

Forcing bulbs to flower brings a bulb into flower before its natural flowering season and indoors, away from its natural surroundings.

Keep in mind…
Containers must be clean.
Select bulbs that look healthy, are firm and of high quality.
The number of bulbs depends on your container size, but an uneven number always works best, such as groups of 3 or 5.

Growing bulbs in soil
is done by setting the bulb pointed end up on top of planting medium (consisting of equal amounts of potting soil, sand and perlite), so that the tip is the same height to the pot’s top. Space bulbs closely together without touching and fill with planting medium and water. Always moisten to damp consistency before planting. Place container in a cool and dark place (they can be covered in a box and kept in the fridge too) and keep moistened. After 12 weeks, the pot can be taken out, uncovered and moved to a light (indirect) area where you can feed and water them weekly. When the leaves and buds are firm the pot can be moved to a sunny window, but once flowering they should be moved to indirect light again.

After flowering, stems can be cut off and the pot moved to direct light. Let the leaves carry on growing and leave them to die back completely as this serves as food for next year’s flowers. Bulbs can now be planted out into the garden.

Growing bulbs in water (like hyacinths and narcissus) is possible and instead of soil, washed pebbles are used in a glass container and filled with water. Bulbs are secured in the pebbles, but not covered, and the container should stand in a cool, dark area until a flower cluster has emerged from the bulb (about 3 months) – after this, your bulb can be moved to a bright window sill. Note: bulbs will only grow one season in this method.

Bulbs planted in an attractive pot or glass vase makes for a fantastic ‘living’ gifts. Instead of taking someone flowers, why not grow your own stash of living bouquets!

Forcing bulbs to flower indoors consist of 6 easy steps:

1) prepare to give your bulbs 8 – 16 weeks of cold (check the kabel for guidence). Most bulbs need this with the exceptions being paperwhites and amaryllis.

2) Chill bulbs at a 40 degree angle in a dark and cool place like the fridge – but take care to keep them in a sealed tupperware container as ethylene gas from fruits and vegetables can keep bulbs from blooming.

3) Wait for about 4 weeks for the bulbs to root. Take the container to a cool spot with indirect light.

4) Place and plant the bulbs in the container you chose. Wait for shoots to turn into 10cm leaves and flower buds to appear.

5) Move to a warm, full sunny spot and wait for the flowers to open.

6) After the flowers have opened, move the container out of the sun so that the flowers will last longer.

Consider  Forcing bulbs to flower from these  top favorite bulbs:
– Tulip – spring flowering
– Lily of the Nile (Agapanthus Orientalis) – summer flowering
– Tuberous Begonia (Begonia Tuberhybrida) – summer flowering
– Caladium (Caladium Horulanum) – summer flowering
– Canna (Canna) – summer flowering
– Cyclamen coum – winter flowering
– Crocus – winter flowering
– Lily of the Valley (Convallaria Majalis) – summer flowering
– Dahlia (Dahlia) – summer flowering
– Gladiolus (Gladiolus) – winter flowering
– Hyacinths – winter flowering
– Amaryllis (hippeastrum) – summer flowering
– Iris (Iris)- summer flowering
– Daffodil (Paperwhite narcissi) – winter flowering
– Lily (Lilium) – summer flowering
– Calla Lily (Zantedeschia) – winter flowering