In my never-ending search to brighten up the dull days of winter, I have come across a group of winter blooming plants. After all, if you can have beautiful blooms in the summer, why not in the winter? It makes perfect sense, and with the holiday celebrations right around the corner, what better way to spruce up your house? It should give your guests something to talk about for quite a while!
Most of the plants I am going to cover today are rather rare. However, a few more common ones may appear along the way. The first plant I came across caught my attention because of the apple-scented foliage. A definite plant to add to your scented garden collection! The Angelonia Salicariaefolia is a tropical flowering shrub that prefers to be grown in a warm greenhouse with temptures of 60 to 65 degrees. The best method of propagation for this plant is with softwood cuttings due to the rarity of seed. It must be grown in moist soil. I was struck by the beautiful variegated flowers of this plant! Very unique! This plant is a late winter or early spring bloomer.
Another late winter or early spring bloomer that caught my eye was the Babiana or Baboon-Root as it is commonly called. Hailing from South Africa, this cormous plant is from the Iris family. It is a low-growing plant and the blooms come in shades of pink, lilac, red or purple, with clusters of six or so on each plant. This plant prefers temptures of 50 to 55 degrees.
Moving on, I came across a shrubby creeper from the Lobelia family the Centropogon . You just have to see this one! It is commonly called the Handsome Crimson Basket Plant. One look and you will know why! This plant is excellent for edging around benches or other similar sized items and is also excellent for use in hanging baskets. An idea to try is to spread out the stems and support them with bamboo or other plant stakes. It is also a winter bloomer, and prefers temptures in the 60 to 65 degree range. Propagation is done by cuttings in the spring and it must have temptures of 70 to 75 degrees to root. It also needs shade during the hot summer months.
Another winter bloomer is the Brunfelsia (Franciscea), grown mostly for its intense night fragrance. Commonly called “Lady-Of-The-Night,” this native shrub hailing form the West Indies is known to bloom from fall to spring. This plant will reach three to four feet, and prefers temptures of 60 degrees. Propagation is done with cuttings of ripened wood in the spring or fall.
Finally, a not-to-be missed winter blooming plant is the Hardenbergia, or Miniature Wisteria. These small beauties come in purple or white and reach only twelve to fifteen feet tall, and flower from winter to spring. They prefer temptures of 50 degrees, and can be propagated from either seed or cuttings. Definitely a few good choices for an abundance of winter blooms are out there. Rather you prefer rare plants, exotic plants, or just plain tropical plants, with a little bit of looking around you are sure to find the perfect plant for your situation and tastes.