Blog Archive

Monday, September 30, 2013

Echium or pride of Madira

Light: Full Sun
Height: 5 feet to 8 feet
Width: 5 feet to 6 feet
Zones: 10a to 11b
Bloom Color: Blue
Leaf Color: Green, Silvery
Special Features: All or parts of this plant are poisonous, Not North American native
Shape: Rounded
Fertilizer: Miracle-Gro® Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food
Want to know where Pride of Madeira will thrive in your house or garden? The EasyBloom Plant Sensor will give you a plant's-eye view of your environment to measure soil, sunlight, temperature and humidity.

Plant Care

Sow seeds of annuals species in spring; sow perennial and biennial species in summer. Root semi-ripe cuttings of shrubby perennials in midsummer.

Plant Growth:
Echium grows best with full sun, and thrives in areas with hot summers. Species are drought tolerant, but cannot withstand temperatures below 30ºF. Where hardy, grow Echium in an annual, mixed, or herbaceous border. They also make good container plants. Elsewhere, raise Echium indoors.

Flowers are borne from spring to summer. They attract bees, butterflies, and birds.
Soil that is too rich will hinder flower formation.
Soil and Irrigation:
Outdoors, Echium does well with poor, dry soils. For indoor plants, use a standard soil-based potting mix. Water freely during the growing season; water sparingly in winter.

Plants should be cut back hard before winter.
Slugs are known to attack young growth. Other pests include whiteflies and spider mites.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Dichondra repens: is a member of the Convolvulaceae family and is known as Kidney Weed. This is an unfortunate common name. Although the leaves are kidney-shaped it is not a weed but a useful Australian native plant.
Dichondra repens is a prostrate perennial that roots at the nodes. The kidney-shaped leaves are about three centimetres across. The flowers are small and inconspicuous.
Dichondra repens is distributed throughout Australia as well as New Zealand .
The species will develop into a dense ground cover but requires reasonable water for maximum coverage.
In some gardens Dichondra repens is grown as a lawn substitute but requires full sun and watering to fulfil this purpose.
It is said the Dichondra repens will invade garden beds. We do not agree with this slander. We welcome Dichondra repens into our gardens as the species does not interfere with other plants. It forms living mulch that inhibits weeds and reduces evaporation.
Propagation is by division.
Sometimes nurseries sell Dichondra repens in punnets.


Plants of the lower blue mountains

Common maidenhair

Adiantum aethiopicum L.
Family Adiantaceae
Common name: Common Maidenhair

Adiantum aethiopicum L. APNI*
Description: Rhizome creeping, much branched, covered with papery scales.

Fronds mostly 20–50 cm high, 2–4-pinnate, stalks of the ultimate segments attached at the centre of their bases so that segments ± symmetric at base; segments 3–8 mm long, membranous, pale green, outer margin lobed or finely toothed; stipe reddish brown to dark brown to very dark red-brown.

Sterile fronds spreading. Fertile fronds erect with smaller pinnules; sori large, reniform, usually 1–5 per segment.