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The apple leaf tree is an ethnomedical plant native to Tanzania and Namibia.
Philenoptera violacea (Apple Leaf) is an attractive small tree that grows to a height of 10-20 feet and can spread 12 to 20 feet wide. The beautiful canopy is made up of fern-like deeply divided leaves that are bright green in color. During the summer months, the Apple Leaf produces an array of stunning flowers in shades of pink, blue, lavender and purple. The flowers have a pleasant, light fragrance and attract butterflies and hummingbirds as well.
The Apple Leaf is easy to care for and requires full sun and regular water. This tough tree can tolerate a variety of soil types and can usually survive short periods of cold weather, down to temperatures of at least 30˚F. Therefore, it can be grown in USDA hardiness zones 9-11.
For colder regions, Apple Leaf can still be grown in a pot and brought indoors during winter. To keep it healthy, the tree should be repotted with fresh soil each spring and should be watered regularly, making sure to let the soil dry out in between watering sessions. Additionally, it's important to fertilize the plant twice a year in Spring and late summer. Pruning should be done in early summer to shape the canopy and increase flower production.
Apple Leaf is an eye-catching and beneficial addition to any garden. With its brightly-colored flowers and sweet scent, it's sure to attract many admirers. Moreover, for gardeners toting a green thumb, its easy-care nature and resilience make it an excellent tree even for novice gardeners.
The name Ballon Flower is based on the unopened flower buds which look like little balloons.
Good for the Rock garden, border or as a ground cover.
Plectranthus argentatus (Silver Plectranthus) is a bushy or semi-trailing perennial native to Australia. This plant can easily make a stunning specimen in any garden, with its large felted silver leaves and candelabras of coleus-like flowers, in colors such as white, off-white, shades of blue, lavender, and purple. Not only are the blooms beautiful, but they also release a fragrance that can be likened to spices or herbs.
To thrive, Silver Plectranthus does best when planted in full sun or semi-shade, and requires regular or moderate watering, depending on the climate. The plant is hardy to USDA zones 9-11, so it can be grown outdoors if the climate permits it. Colder zones can also support Silver Plectranthus by growing them in decorative containers and ensuring a regular watering routine with good quality potting soil, but avoid overwatering. The soil should be kept moist, yet drainable, and pruning is recommended if the growth becomes too leggy. To maintain a container plant, it should be given a quality fertilizer and repotted every two years, as well as deadheaded and protected from frost.
Regardless of the climate, Silver Plectranthus is a robust, low maintenance plant that is relatively unstressed by pests and disease. Its showy foliage, vibrant blooms, and fragrant scent make it an essential feature in any garden. It is the perfect drought-tolerant plant that will make a captivating addition to any outdoor area!
It is a soft, erect, fast growing shrub to 3 metres tall. The leaves are arranged in opposite pairs on the square stems, the latter with tufts of purplish hairs along the nodes. The ovate to ellilptical leaves are fairly large bearing a wedge shaped base and acute apex. The inflorescence is a terminal panicle. The two-lipped corolla that is long, bluish-purple, rarely pink or white with a straight tube. Plants flower from March to May with a peak in April. The plant has small nutlets which are black or dark brown. P. ecklonii has a wide distribution from Somerset east in the Eastern Cape to Barberton in Mpumalanga. It is confined to moist coastal subtropical and afrotemperate Forest and forest margins. Rainfall is mainly during summer. Growing Plectranthus ecklonii In the garden Plectranthus ecklonii is an attractive and popular garden subject. Mass planting of the blue, white and pink cultivars are very striking. P. ecklonii is best grown in partial shade. It is recommended for gardens where frost is not too severe. In colder climates it can be grown as a container house plant indoors. P. ecklonii is a fast growing pioneer shrub and very suited for shady gardens. It will flower profusely the first season after planting. Plant about 30" apart. Prune back hard after flowering during midwinter. There are three available cultivars. P. ecklonii 'Medley-Wood' the common garden cultivar with blue flowers. P. ecklonii 'Tommy', with white flowers. P. ecklonii 'Erma', with pink flowers. P. ecklonii is easily propagated from cuttings or seed. Cuttings can be planted like perennial grass 'in situ'. Cuttings should be about 7"/10" long, with the top leaves kept. Keep moist and rooting is rapid. Cuttings can also be rooted in sand or other appropriate cutting medium. The best time to take cuttings is spring or summer. Keep them in a shady, but well lit terrain. Seeds can be planted in a shallow standard seed tray in standard soil. Cover with a thin layer of sand and keep moist. Keep in a shady but well lit environment. Germination is rapid and the seedlings can be planted out in individual bags as soon as they are large enough to handle. By materials of the site: plantzafrica.com
See Plectranthus ecklonii 'Mona Lavender'.