Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Low-maintenance plant of the Month

The plant of the month for March is a shrub native to Southern Mexico and Central America. Ruch Pentas aka Panama Rose (Arachnothryx leucophylla) thrives on local limestone based soils ans is non-invasive. This shrub grows to about 10 feet in our environment. It is an airy somewhat willowy shrub with linear lanceolate, grayish green leaves with a silvery underside. Tight clusters of rosy pink flowers are produced continuously from December into early June. AS flowering ceases the shrub can be pruned as required. Four to five shrubs planted 3 to 4 feet apart make a very attractive medium density flowering screen. Plants can readily be propagated from air layers or more readily using semi -hardened cuttings. No pests or diseases of note have been reported. This plant is tolerant of near freezing temperatures, bu tsome discoloration (reddening) of foliage has been observed.

Got Plant Questions?
Dr. John McLaughlin
305-248-3311 ext. 228
johnmcl@ufl.edu

5 comments:

  1. How pretty! Does this plant need full sun?

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  2. This plant prefers to be in full sun, but can handle morning shade.

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  3. Should I be dead-heading after each cluster blooms?

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  4. This plant is quite different than pentas. It is not essential to dead head but it may help increase the frequency of blooming, especially in a younger plant. This plant without dead heading will bloom from around Christmas time into the start of the rainy season. At the beginning of rainy season it is also a good idea to prune this shrub if you would like it to have a "bushy" appearance.

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  5. Interesting and important information. It is really beneficial for us. Thanks

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