Spring flowering medium-sized & large shrubs to plant now

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Brunsfelsia paucifloraBrunsfelsia paucifloraSeptember gardens should be overflowing with flowers and the heady fragrance of jasmine and yesterday, today and tomorrow. Ornamental and edible fruit trees burst into bloom overnight and spring flowering bulbs are looking at their best. September is a very invigorating month in the garden and there’s a lot to be done, but the weather can still be quite unpredictable, with late frosts in cold regions, so exercise caution before sowing and planting out summer plants.

In this selection I have included medium-sized to large shrubs for all regions of South Africa, as well as those suitable for sun, semi-shade and shade. If you visit your local garden centre now you will find an outstanding array of flowering plants, many of these are well-known late winter and spring flowering shrubs, but many will be those which start flowering in spring and continue into summer, with some even continuing into autumn. For this reason, I have also included them in the selection below. Please bear in mind that plants have a mind of their own, and even though they are known to flower during certain times, the times may vary slightly each season.

Also, remember that plant growth varies throughout the provinces, with plants adapting to the climate and soil conditions in which they are grown. For example, plants grown in warm, subtropical regions, and in good soil, will often grow bigger and quicker than those grown in dry and arid regions with poor soil and little rainfall, so it is always advisable to consult with your local garden centre first – just so be 100% sure.

If your garden looks a bit dreary in springtime and early summer, visit your local garden centre to select your favourite spring flowering beauties - they should be in full bloom now, and by next spring should be established enough to transform your spring garden forever.

I hope the list below inspires you to get stuck into the garden this spring.

 

 

Blue Butterfly BushBlue Butterfly Bush

Blue Butterfly Bush, Bloutontelhout, Umbozwa (Rotheca myricoides)

The butterfly bush is beautiful with heavenly flowers sprouting from the ends of long arching branches, and blooming almost continuously from spring to autumn. Each flower has one violet-blue petal and four pale blue ones, framed by elegant purple anthers. The dark green leaves are evergreen, giving a wonderful tropical feel to the garden. As this plant does not have an aggressive root system and grows easily in a pot, it is perfect for gardens large or small. If left un-pruned, it can reach 2 to 4m tall with an equal spread.

It grows best in warm, moist, frost-free regions, and is not suitable for very dry regions, unless it is watered well. It tolerates much colder conditions than most tropical plants, if planted in a warm, protected position. It takes full sun, shade or semi-shade, but in regions with very hot summers, semi-shade is best.

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Callistemon 'Endeavour'Callistemon 'Endeavour'

Bottlebrush, Bottelborsel (Callistemon)

With its distinctive flower spikes, the bottlebrush remains one of our best known and loved shrubs. Most cultivars grown in South Africa will flower in spring and again in autumn, but climatic conditions may cause flowering at other times of the year.  The most common flower colour is bright red, but cultivars in shades of pink to mauve and white are also available. Woody fruits containing hundreds of tiny seeds follow the flowers and are usually held on the plant for many years before dispersing their seeds, but in some species the fruits open after about a year.

Bottlebrushes thrive in full sun, and are well suited to many of South Africa's growing regions, doing well in the winter rainfall regions. They tolerate windy conditions, inland and at the coast, where they tolerate some salt spray. They are hardy to moderate frost, but require protection until established.  

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Camellia 'Guest of Honour'Camellia 'Guest of Honour'

Camellia japonica

These rewarding plants remain a firm favourite with gardeners around the world, and their voluptuous flowers come in many shapes and sizes, from single to semi-double and very formal doubles. Thousands of varieties have been bred over the years, and today they are available in shades of red, pink, white and cream. Camellia japonica flowers in autumn, winter or spring, depending on the variety. Their glossy evergreen leaves look attractive all year, so plant them where their great beauty can be admired. They can be trained to grow as a little tree or as a bushy shrub, and are excellent screening plants. Plant them in pots or use them as standards in smaller gardens.

Camellias are evergreen and grow well throughout the country, except for those very hot, dry or humid regions. They are hardy to all but severe frost, and grow slowly to +-3m tall and 1m wide, but can mature into large shrubs about 5m tall and 3m wide. Plant them in semi-shade and water deeply throughout the year.

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Spiraea cantoniensisSpiraea cantoniensis

Cape May, Spiraea (Spiraea)

Spiraea is a genus of deciduous shrubs which belong to the rose family, and there are both spring and summer flowering species, which bear masses of tiny white to deep pink flowers. The flowers can occur right along the stems or may be clustered in spikes at the tips. Most have fine arching stems and simple alternate leaves that are often toothed or lobed, and over the years a number of new garden cultivars with beautiful bronze, gold or yellow coloured foliage have been introduced. The roots of spiraea are non-invasive yet are good for stabilising banks. Both the dwarf and taller growers make excellent informal screens and hedges, and are valuable additions to the shrub border.

Spiraea performs well throughout South Africa's growing regions, except for the humid areas. They are fully hardy to cold and frost. In cool climates they perform well if planted in full sun; but in areas with hot summers they will need some shade during the hottest part of the day, or the leaves may scorch.

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Escallonia 'Apple Blossom'Escallonia 'Apple Blossom'

Escallonia

Escalonias are super evergreens which look good all year round with their glossy dark, evergreen leaves, and pretty clusters of small bell-shaped flowers. They flower for a very long time, from spring to autumn, and the blossoms range from deep crimson through various shades of pink and white. All Escallonias make excellent screening or hedging plants, and because they are very tolerant of salty winds, are fantastic windbreaks for coastal regions. These lovely specimen shrubs also grow beautifully in containers. The hybrids vary slightly in height and spread, from +-1.5 to 3m tall.

Although Escalonias thrive at the coast they do not like very humid climates. They also tolerate severe frost, and cold, making them ideal for inland gardens as well. They thrive in full sun but in extremely hot gardens, they will appreciate some shade at midday, and will also require regular watering.

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Pyracantha'Orange Charmer'Pyracantha'Orange Charmer'

Firethorn (Pyracantha garden hybrids)

These thorny evergreens are very ornamental, providing year round interest with their glossy, evergreen leaves and masses of small white flowers in spring and early summer. The flowers are followed by showy clusters of berries in late summer, autumn and winter. They all bear white flowers, but the berries can be red, yellow or orange, depending on the variety. If left un-pruned they can grow very large, +-3 to 4m tall and as wide, with widely arching branches, giving the plants a fountain shape. They make wonderful specimen plants in the mixed shrub border, and because they are dense and thorny, they make an impenetrable security barrier for large properties.

Firethorns grow well throughout the country but do not like high humidity. They are heat tolerant, fully hardy to frost, and thrive in full sun or light shade.

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Mackaya bellaMackaya bella

Forest Bell Bush, Bosklokkiesbos, Mufhanza (Mackaya bella)

This evergreen produces large, glossy, dark-green leaves, and arching sprays of white or lavender, bell-shaped flowers, marked with delicate purple or pink lines. It flowers profusely in spring and early summer, but may flower until early December, depending on climate. Un-pruned it grows +-1.5 to 3m tall, with an almost equal spread, thriving amongst trees or near water. The roots are non-invasive, and it can be trained to grow as a small tree, hedge or screen.

The forest bell bush prefers to grow in bright shade and in coastal gardens it can take more sun. It grows best in the humid, sub-tropical, and frost-free summer rainfall regions of South Africa. In the winter rainfall regions it requires summer watering, and although it is tender to frost, it can experience short spells of low temperatures down to 0°C. If it does get frosted, unfortunately, the early spring flowers will be affected.

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Chamelaucium uncinatumChamelaucium uncinatum

Geraldton Wax Plant (Chamelaucium uncinatum)

In spring and early summer this shrub is unforgettable with its clusters of waxy, star-shaped flowers in colours ranging from white to various shades of pink, mauve and wine; sometimes with all the colours on one bush; and the needle-thin leaves contrast beautifully with the shiny berry-like buds arranged in open sprays along the ends of the stems. It requires full sun and grows quickly to heights of +- 2.5m with spread of 2m. Delightful new dwarf forms are suitable for small gardens and pots. It is a must-have for picking gardens, and a worthwhile screening plant or wind break.

The geraldton wax plant thrives in a semi-arid climate with hot, dry summers, and mild winters, thriving in the winter rainfall regions, and other mild, frost free regions of South Africa. It tolerates light frost inland, and new cultivars are frost hardy down to -2°C. This shrub does not tolerate high humidity or overly wet summer conditions.

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ForsythiaForsythia

Golden Bell (Forsythia x intermedia)

This is one of the first plants to bloom in spring, producing a profusion of yellow or pink flowers, depending on the cultivar. It grows very quickly to +- 2m tall, with a spread of 1.5m, and loses its leaves in winter, making the blooms even more startling against the bare branches. Forsythias are popular in gardens and and prized for being tough and reliable. They are beautiful landscape shrubs, with an upright and spreading habit that looks lovely in a shrub border. It can be left to grow naturally without much pruning as it has a wonderful shape. If clipped regularly to keep it neat and manageable, it is also an excellent hedging or screening plant,.

The Golden Bell grows best in the summer rainfall regions of South Africa and is not suited to humid areas. It flowers best if planted in full sun and is hardy to frost.

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Freylinia lanceolataFreylinia lanceolata

Honeybell Bush, Heuningklokkiesbos (Freylinia)

There are 9 species of Freylinia, of which 8 are found in the Cape Province. These garden plants grow in the winter and summer rainfall regions, are suited to large or small gardens, and are often clipped into hedges or screens, as well as standards or 'lollipops'.

(Freylinia lanceolata) grows +-2 to 6m tall in full sun or semi-shade, and is hardy to moderate frost. Tubular clusters of yellow flowers appear from late winter to early spring, on arching branches of willow-like leaves. (Freylinia visseri) is a good coastal plant which prefers full sun and and can reach 3m tall, with lovely foliage and clusters of tubular, wine-coloured flowers from September to November. (Freylinia tropica) has slender, loosely spreading branches, bearing delicate white, lilac or blue flowers, mainly in spring. It grows +-1 to 3m tall and +-75cm wide, is cold hardy, and grows in semi-shade to sun.

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Raphiolepsis x delacourii pinkRaphiolepsis x delacourii pink

Indian Hawthorn (Raphiolepis)

These popular landscape shrubs are for gardens large and small because they remain attractive all year round, and in in late winter and spring, clusters of delicate pink or white blossoms adorn the bushes. Species vary in size, from small shrubs only 1m tall to large specimens which attain heights of 5m. Because they take well to pruning, they are ideal for flowering hedges and screening plants, and work well in mixed shrub borders and flower beds. Some make excellent standard plants, requiring clipping only once a year; and all grow beautifully in pots.

Indian hawthorns grow easily throughout South Africa in both the summer and winter rainfall regions. Although they love full sun, they will take semi-shade, especially in very hot and dry regions. They are hardy to frost and also grow well at the coast where they are resistant to salty winds.

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Viburnum tinus 'Lucidum' Picture courtesy www.kazimingi.co.zaViburnum tinus 'Lucidum' Picture courtesy www.kazimingi.co.za

Laurustinus Viburnum (Viburnum tinus Lucidum)

Viburnum tinus is evergreen and fast growing, with a dense rounded crown of shiny, dark green leaves. In late winter and spring, large flattish heads of pink flower buds appear, opening into tiny star-shaped, pure white flowers. The flowers are followed by clusters of small metallic-blue berries which mature in autumn. It varies in height from 2 to 3m tall, with an almost equal spread, and is excellent for borders, topiary, hedges and screens. Because it can be planted in in full sun, or semi-shade, it is perfect for beds where the sun pattern varies greatly between summer and winter.

Viburnum tinus grows well in most regions of the country. Once established it is frost-hardy, and it is just as good as a coastal plant, but does not like high humidity. In very hot and dry regions it will require regular watering in summer

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Magnolia soulangianaMagnolia soulangiana

Magnolia, Saucer Magnolia, Persmagnolia (Magnolia x soulangiana)

Magnolias are magnificent additions to the garden all year round, but especially in late winter and spring when their naked branches are festooned with startling cup, or saucer-shaped flowers, which are usually white, flushed with purple on the outside, but can also be pure white to cream, or shades of pink and purple. Plant it where its great beauty can be enjoyed. It makes a wonderful specimen tree and is invaluable in a mixed tree and shrub border. If space is limited, consider growing one in a large container, it does quite well in pots.

It grows best in cool areas with good rainfall and mild winters, and is not suitable for very dry parts of the country. It can be grown in full sun or semi-shade, but in sub-tropical and hot zones plant it in a cool spot, sheltered from the fierce midday sun and hot winds. In the winter rainfall regions it must be watered regularly and protected from wind. The plant has moderate salt spray tolerance, and is fully cold hardy, but the flowers are tender and often reduced to sad rags by late frosts, so position it in a sheltered part of the garden.

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Magnolia stellataMagnolia stellata

Magnolia, Star Magnolia (Magnolia stellata)

This is one of the best magnolias for a small garden, and in late winter or early spring the bare branches are literally smothered in silky buds, opening to brilliant white or pink, star-shaped flowers. The star magnolia will start blooming when still young, and continues for several weeks. Because it is very slow growing it is usually seen in home landscapes as a small to medium sized shrub, and will take about 10 years to reach only 1.2 to 1.5m tall. With maturity plants can reach +-4.6 to 6m tall with a spread of +-3 to 4.6m. Planted next to a pond it is breath-taking, and its graceful shape makes an excellent addition any semi-shaded areas. It is also an excellent specimen tree for the lawn, and effective in foundation plantings near patios etc. or as an informal screening plant.

It will grow in full sun, or semi-shade, but requires adequate sun to flower well. In subtropical and hot zones position it in a cool spot where it will be sheltered from the fierce midday sun and hot winds. It is not suited to the very dry parts of the country, and in the winter rainfall regions it requires wind protection and regular watering in summer.  

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Philadelphus coronariusPhiladelphus coronarius

Mock Orange, English Dogwood (Philadelphus coronarius)

Philadelphus is an extremely free flowering deciduous plant, producing single, white, heavily perfumed flowers which will fill the air with their fragrance. The blooms are produced on gracefully arching canes in late spring and early summer, making this ornamental popular as a single specimen plant, as well as an informal hedging plant. For an informal hedge about 1.5 to 2m tall, space your plants +-60 to 90cm apart. 'Aureus' is a form, with bright golden leaves that turn a soft greenish gold in summer, providing valuable colour and contrast in the border throughout summer. The leaves are slightly tender and need protection from both late frosts and full scorching sunlight. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it their prestigious Award of Garden Merit.

The mock orange grows well throughout the country, except for those extremely dry, hot, or humid regions. It can be planted in full sun or semi-shade, does well in temperate regions, and is also hardy to frost. It will grow +-2.5 to 3m tall and +-1.5 to 2m wide.

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Murraya exoticaMurraya exotica

Orange Jasmine (Murraya exotica)

This handsome evergreen develops into a large multi-stemmed shrub which will grow +-2 to 3m tall and 1.5 to 2m wide, but can be pruned to keep it smaller. It has glossy leaves that emit a citrusy aroma when crushed, and its clusters of sweetly scented white flowers smell like orange blossoms. Flowering occurs mainly in spring, but also sporadically throughout the year. The fragrance is especially strong at night, and on humid evenings; so plant it where its perfume can be enjoyed. This plant produces taproots with lateral roots and abundant fine roots, so it won't damage paving. Its vigorous nature makes it suitable for large formal, semi-formal or informal hedges and for topiary. It even grows beautifully in a large pot and is available as a standard plant, making it ideal for small gardens.

It grows best in tropical, sub-tropical and temperate, frost-free areas, and is not suited to very hot, dry regions. It grows well in coastal gardens if protected from strong winds, and is semi-hardy to frost if it is planted in a protected position. In hotter regions plant it in semi-shade or morning sun, and in cooler regions it will even grow in full sun.

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Leucospermum glabrum Leucospermum glabrum

Pincushion, Outeniqua Pincushion, Speldekussing (Leucospermum glabrum)

Many hybrid varieties are available of this prolific flowering pincushion which blooms from late spring to early summer, producing exceptionally showy crimson flower heads that show up beautifully through the silky hairs which cover the buds. It forms a large erect, rounded shrub about 2m tall and 2m wide, and the lush foliage is a dark glossy green.  This hardy pincushion is suitable for low maintenance, water-wise gardens, making an excellent focal point or filler shrub. Planted with other fynbos species such as Restio, buchu and Erica, it makes a lovely show in rockeries and beds.

The Outeniqua pincushion is more frost tolerant than other pincushions, and will grow in most areas of South Africa if its needs are met. It grows best in the winter rainfall regions where the rainfall is high from autumn to spring, and because they grow on slopes in close proximity to the sea, the plants still receive some humidity and mist during the long hot and dry summers. When grown inland ensure that they are watered regularly from autumn to spring, and like all Proteas they require an open windy position in full sun, and well drained acid soil.

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Leucospermum cordifolium Leucospermum cordifolium

Pincushion, Speldekussing (Leucospermum cordifolium)

The flowers of this pincushion can appear any time from late winter to early spring, and summer, and a mature plant can carry as many as 300 or more flowers at one time. Various hybrids are available with colours ranging from pale yellow and orange, to deep orange-red and orange. It makes an excellent focal point in the garden, and has great impact if planted in groups.  When young it has a rounded, spreading shape, growing +-1.25 to 1.5m tall and 1.5 to 2m wide, but mature specimens may spread 4m. The stems tend to curve upward, giving the whole plant a rather elegant form.

Pincushions are fairly adaptable and will grow in most areas of the country if their needs are met. They grow best in the winter rainfall regions of the Cape where the rainfall is high from autumn to spring, and because they grow on slopes in close proximity to the sea, the plants still receive some humidity and mist during the long hot and dry summers. When grown inland ensure that they are watered regularly from autumn to spring, and like all Proteas they require an open windy position in full sun, and well drained acid soil.

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Petrea Petrea

Purple Wreath, Sandpaper Vine (Petrea volubilis)

This bushy, woody-stemmed climber can easily be pruned to keep it as a large shrub. It is loved for its long, drooping sprays of star-like violet-blue flowers in spring and early summer, with another flush in late summer and autumn. The actual flowers are small blossoms surrounded by large sepals. After the flower dies the sepals retain their colour for many weeks, slowly fading before falling off the vine. Its leaves are leathery and rough-textured, hence the common name sandpaper vine. 'Albiflora' is a white flowering cultivar with soft lime-green leaves. This plant looks wonderful spilling its sprays of flowers over an arch at the entrance to a garden, over a low brick wall, or down a bank.

It flowers best in full sun, but will take semi-shade, thriving in warm and humid conditions, in both the warmer inland and coastal areas. This tropical plant is also remarkably hardy, tolerating moderate frost if it is planted in a sheltered part of the garden; in colder regions it may be semi-deciduous. In the tropics the plant can reach a height of 6m or more, but in other regions it generally grows 3 to 4m tall.

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Photinia 'Red Robin'Photinia 'Red Robin'

Red Robin (Photinea x fraseri)

Red Robin produces brilliant red new growth, and as the new growth matures it passes through shades of reddish-copper, eventually maturing to a  glossy, dark green. In mid and late spring, small creamy-white flowers appear in large, flat-domed clusters, contrasting nicely with the new leaves. It makes a fantastic hedging and topiary plant that can be pruned to form large formal hedges. If you clip it lightly each time the red new growth begins to fade, the plant will produce more red growth right through summer and into autumn. If left to grow naturally it will develop into a round-shaped shrub that retains foliage right down to the ground. It varies in height and spread from +-3 to 6m tall and 3 to 6m wide.

Red Robin thrives in full sun but will take some shade, growing best in regions that receive good summer rainfall. It needs some chilling in winter, and although it does not thrive in tropical conditions, it withstands intense heat and grows well in coastal regions. In drier regions it must be watered regularly. It is hardy to frost, but in cold regions the young growth can be caught by late frosts.

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Buddleja salvifolia Buddleja salvifolia

Sagewood, Saliehout, lelothwane (Buddleja salviifolia)

Sagewood is a beautiful small tree or large shrub with dark green sage-like leaves which are densely covered with whitish hairs below, giving them a distinctive silvery colour. An abundance of large flower panicles droop down from the plant, appearing from August to October, and varying in colour from white, to lilac and purple. It is semi-deciduous, losing some of its leaves during winter. For garden culture, it is generally sold as a large shrub, 2 to 3m tall, with an equal spread, but pruning can keep it smaller. Sagewood is an excellent low-maintenance and water wise plant which always rewards with beautiful flowers.

Once established it is remarkably frost, heat and drought tolerant, and although it thrives in full sun, it can also be grown in semi-shade. It is excellent choice for coastal gardens, where it will take fierce, salty winds, and is also hardy to moderate frost if planted in a warm area which is sheltered from cold winds, and is protected until established.

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Viburnum suspensumViburnum suspensum

Sandanqua Viburnum (Viburnum suspensum)

This handsome, evergreen has a spreading yet compact growth habit. It has leathery, dark green leaves, and produces a profusion of small waxy, tubular flowers that are white with pinkish tints, in late winter to spring. The flowers are followed by red berries that mature to black in late summer and autumn. This is a valuable shrub to plant in a mixed shrub border because it looks good all year round. It makes an excellent hedge or informal screening plant and grows beautifully in a large pot. Its distinctive dark green leaves are a perfect backdrop for other flowering shrubs, annuals or roses.

This Viburnum grows well in warm, moist, humid, frost free regions of South Africa, and takes salty winds. If it is planted in a protected place in the garden it will tolerate moderate frost. It can be planted in sun or semi-shade and if watered regularly, will grow quickly, varying in height according to climate and soil conditions, from 1.8 to 3.5m tall, and can spread as wide.

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Polygala myrtifoliaPolygala myrtifolia

September Bush, Augustusbossie, ulopesi (Polygala)

Polygalas bloom for a long time in the garden, and are pretty tough and obliging, growing inland and at the coast. All species have upright-growing stems and gracefully slender branches, densely covered with glossy, myrtle-like leaves, which can be green or slightly grey. Flowers come in shades of mauve or purple, but can also be pink, scarlet, or white; and although they can appear sporadically throughout the year, flowering peaks in late winter, to spring and early summer. Because polygalas come in tall and dwarf forms, grow very quickly, and do not have invasive roots, they are perfect for gardens large and small – even a small balcony garden could support one.

These fast growing evergreens are low maintenance, water-wise plants, which can be grown in full sun or semi-shade. There are species available for all climates, some forms are very frost hardy, and all are suitable for windy, coastal gardens.

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Leptospermum 'Sunraysia'Leptospermum 'Sunraysia'

Tea Bush, Australian Tea Tree (Leptospermum scoparium)

Tea bushes can be depended upon to produce a show stopping abundance of flowers in winter and spring. The delicate flowers can be single or double and come in all shades of pink, red or white, and are followed by attractive small woody capsules. The tea bush grows anything from 1.5 to 3m tall and spreads 1.5m to 2m. It adds ornamental appeal to the landscape all year round, looks beautiful in a mixed shrub border, and can be planted close together to form a screen. Because they are available as standard plants, and in miniatures, they are even perfect for containers and small gardens.

The tea bush loves full sun, but will tolerate light shade. Excluding the humid regions, it grows well in all areas of the country, and does well in cooler coastal conditions. It is also cold hardy, tolerating frosts down to -7°C. For excellent results plant it in a position which is sheltered from cold or hot, drying winds.

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Tibouchina urvilleana Tibouchina urvilleana

Tibouchina, Glory Tree (Tibouchina species)

Tibouchina species can be trees, shrubs or subshrubs, and vary in height from 1 to 5m. Terminal panicles of flower buds open to large velvety blooms in rich shades of purple and pink, and flowering usually occurs during the warmer months, but is especially prolific in spring, late summer and autumn. Tibouchinas are glorious additions to subtropical gardens, and the plants look stunning if viewed from above. Plant them near a deck or patio as specimen or screening plants, or train them as standard plants for use in containers. They do not have aggressive roots.

These evergreens thrive in moist, humid, tropical, subtropical and warmly temperate regions, and are cold sensitive, but some varieties like Tibouchina urvilleana will tolerate light to moderate frost if protected in winter. They love full sun, but too much harsh sunlight can be a problem; so if you live in a very hot or dry region plant them in a sunny location which is semi-shaded during the hottest part of the day.

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Buddleja auriculata Buddleja auriculata

Weeping Sage, Treursalie, Utile (Buddleja auriculata)

This evergreen shrub has a graceful weeping habit and beautiful glossy, dark green leaves that have silver undersides. It is grown for its profuse spikes of tiny, tubular, sweetly-scented, cream, orange, or lilac flowers from mid-winter to spring. This large growing shrub is not recommended for very small gardens but is excellent for medium to large properties and farms, making an excellent screening plant, windbreak or informal hedge. It looks especially attractive planted near to a large dam or pond and is often used in the mixed shrub border.

Weeping Sage grows throughout the country, but prefers areas with cold winters. It is also suitable for hot gardens, tolerating temperatures from -5°C to 38°C. In the Western Cape it often flowers earlier and has a more upright growth habit. It is hardy to frost and tolerates drought, making it a great water wise plant. Plant it in full sun where it will grow quickly to about 4m tall and 4m wide.

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Weigelia floribundaWeigelia floribunda

Weigelia (Weigelia florida)

Weigelia have an upright growth habit and gracefully arching branches, which are heavily laden in late spring and early summer with clusters of trumpet-shaped flowers, ranging in colour from pure white to light pink, rose, and ruby red. The weight of the flowers on the stems will cause them to arch over, displaying the flowers beautifully. Not only do they have beautiful flowers, but the large leaves are also most attractive, and new varieties flaunt flashy foliage in shades of gold, lime-green, white, cream, and rose, for a season-long spectacle. Weigelia florida cultivars are favourites for the mixed shrub border, and the dwarf varieties are pretty in the perennial border.

Weigelia is an undemanding plant which quickly develops into a fine leafy shrub. It is a good choice for a difficult position in the garden, because it will grow in full sun or semi-shade; variegated forms do best if protected from the harsh midday sun. Weigelia is fully hardy to frost and grows best in regions that have good summer rains and cool to cold winters. It does not like high humidity and strong winds. If watered regularly, it will grow quickly to +-2 to 3m tall, with an equal spread.

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Burchellia bubalinaBurchellia bubalina

Wild Pomegranate, Wildegranaat, maHlosana (Burchellia bubaline)

This exceptionally beautiful tree, matures very slowly, so it is usually grown as an ornamental shrub in the garden. The luxuriant, glossy, dark green leaves are a perfect backdrop for the clusters of vivid red or orange flowers which appear in spring and early summer. It is essential in bird gardens, and the flowers are rich in nectar. Plant it as a specimen plant, or in the mixed shrub border.

It flourishes near the coast, and in regions with good summer rainfall, but will grow throughout the country, but must be watered regularly in the winter rainfall regions. It is hardy to moderate frost once established, but young plants will need winter protection. For best results, plant it in a sheltered place away from strong wind. This evergreen grows +-1.5 to 3m tall; mature specimens can reach 8m. It will grow in full sun, semi-shade and even dense shade. Generally speaking; if it is grown at the coast it can be planted in full sun or semi-shade, but inland it grows best where it receives some shade during the hottest part of the day.

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Yesterday, today and tomorrowYesterday, today and tomorrow

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, Verbleikblom (Brunfelsia)

This popular plant is grown for its abundance of fragrant flowers in spring, with a smaller flush in late summer. The flowers open deep mauve, then change to lavender and finally fade to white. Position it where the fragrance will drift into the house or patio. This decorative shrub has a bushy rounded shape and looks good in a mixed shrub border. It also makes a good informal screen or hedge and grows well in containers. Brunfelsia 'Eximea' grows +-2.5 to 3m tall and +-1.5 to 2m wide. (Brunfelsia 'Floribunda') grows +-2m tall with an abundance of large purple flowers in spring.

Brunfelsia requires semi-shade, and grows best in warmly temperate to subtropical zones that receive good rainfall. It grows well in humid regions at the coast, but needs protection from strong winds. This plant is tender to frost but will tolerate light frost if it is planted in a protected position. It is not suited to very dry regions, and requires regular watering in the winter rainfall regions. It is semi-deciduous, dropping all its leaves in spring just before it flowers, and immediately pushing forth new ones. 

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