Thunbergia alata Madagascar Jasmine; 10-15°C/50-60°F; Madagascar

As climbing plants with exquisitely scented white tubular flowers borne in clusters, Stephanotis floribunda stand supreme. Leaves are leathery and glossy green and, being a natural climber, it is important that adequate supports are provided for the twining stems of the plant to twist around. In winter they should have a light position that is not too hot, and the loam-based potting mixture should be kept only just moist. During spring and summer much more water will be needed, but it is important that the mixture should be free draining to avoid root rot that will result in discoloration and eventual loss of leaves. New plants may be raised from cuttings in a warm propagator in a peat and sand mixture, or they may be raised from seed if seed can be obtained. By cross pollination of flowers you may be able to encourage your own plants to produce seed – the seed pod resembles a large oval-shaped green fruit and should be left on the plant until it turns yellow and actually splits open. It is quite an exciting experience to see the silk-like textured seed ‘parachutes’ slowly expand and eventually emerge from the seed pod.

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