This perennial is native to Madagascar and is one of the most reliable plants to grow in the blazing sun. It loves the heat and does not like to be overwatered, making it the perfect choice for water-wise gardens. It produces charming phlox-like flowers in many shades of pink, carmine, blush, coral, peach, mauve burgundy and white, from spring to the first frosts. In temperate regions it will bloom all year round.
In addition to being a wonderful plant for beds and borders it can also be grown in containers, window boxes, and hanging baskets. Plant breeders have introduced dwarf, compact varieties as well as those with a trailing growth habit. The varieties range in height from 20 to 60cm tall. Strains have also been bred that are more tolerant of cooler, wetter climates.
This is a low-maintenance, relatively trouble-free plant that is easy to grow as long as it is planted in full sun and in very well-drained soil. It does not perform well in wet, poorly-drained soils and does not like cool weather. In wet soils and cool spring weather the leaves will turn a sickly yellow- green. Poorly drained soil can cause root-rot. In cold regions allow the soil temperatures to warm up nicely before planting out in spring. Do not over fertilise these plants or they will produce lots of leaf growth at the expense of the flowers. The removal of faded flowers or deadheading is not necessary.