Stephanotis floribunda

The Wax Flower is an evergreen climber with leathery leaves resembling those of Hoya; they are 7-9 cm (2V4-3V2 inch) long, 35-50 mm (lVs-2 inch) wide and very glossy. Umbels of lovely white blossoms with a pleasant, heady fragrance grow from the axils of the leaves.

To ensure flowering, provide plenty of warmth and light in summer. Mist the plant regularly, particularly in hot summers, and water liberally. It is readily propagated by stem cuttings which should have at least two leaves. They will root within five weeks at a temperature of about 26° C (77° F).

Plumbago capensis (syn. P. auriculata) This sub-shrub is native to Capetown. The genus Plumbago has only six to ten species found in the tropics and sub-tropics of all continents. It is not commonly grown as a house plant, although it is frequently grown in the greenhouse. The upright to climbing branches are thickly covered with rather small leaves. The terminal inflorescences are composed of profuse blue flowers with tubular, glandular calyx and rotate corolla with extremely narrow corolla tube. The flowers are produced from spring until autumn.

Conditions for growing Wax Flowers are similar to those for growing Pelargoniums. The best growing medium is a clay-peat mixture or rotted turves plus composted soil. It benefits from being moved outdoors in summer so that it has plenty of sun. In winter it requires cool conditions – a temperature of 3°-8°C (37°-46°F) – and plenty of light. It should be pruned hard at the end of winter. The cuttings may be used for propagation; they will root well in a mixture of sand and peat.

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