Guettarda uruguensis, Palo Cruz, Uruguay Jasmine

Guettarda uruguensis

Palo Cruz, Uruguay Jasmine
Family: Rubiaceae
Origin: Uruguay
Large shrub 5-10 ft tallSemi-shadeFull sunRegular waterWhite, off-white flowersPink flowersPlant attracts butterflies, hummingbirdsFragrant plant

Guettarda uruguensis, or Palo Cruz, is a hardy large shrub native to Uruguay which can grow up to 10 feet tall. Its distinct outward appearance has branches that appear as if they have been crossed, earning it its common moniker, Palo Cruz. During the blooming season it will produce bright, fragrant pink or white-off white clusters of flowers making it a favorite amongst those looking to attract both butterflies and hummingbirds.

This shrub prefers full sun or semi shade and loves regular water but can go without, being very resilient and able to withstand even the dryer months. When planted outdoors in USDA Zones 9-11 it can take most of the heat, although a bit of extra water in the hot summer months does not go amiss. It is also a very attractive and hardy indoor houseplant, making a great addition to any home.

When planting an outdoor Guettarda uruguensis shrub make sure to choose a spot where it will receive direct sunlight for at least part of the day and yet remain protected from harsh winds. If planting in a pot it will need to be brought indoors when temperatures drop as it cannot survive a frost. Choosing a pot of good size, at least five gallons, is highly recommended as its roots will need the extra space to spread. Make sure the pot allows plenty of drainage and feed regularly with a water-soluble fertilizer once a month during the growing season. Once the Guettarda uruguensis has established itself in its new home, it will require little attention and no trimming, so long as water is provided regularly.

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