The genus Agaphantus includes perennial plants, originating from South Africa, very easy to cultivate and that produces spectacular blooming throughout summer. The Agaphantus flowers are bell shaped and collected in inflorescences, mostly blue even if there are varieties with white flowers. It is important to know, at the time of purchase, if it is a deciduous or perennial leaf species in order to be aware of the cultivation needs of the plant in order to arrange it in the right way as they are plants that do not like to be handled. The perennial leaf Agaphantus can instead be kept outdoors during the winter, only in the areas in which frosts are infrequent. Until the first shoots have appeared, the pot with the plant should be kept in a sheltered place and watered in moderation. During this period it is appropriate to fertilize every two / three weeks using a liquid fertilizer diluted in the irrigation water.
It is a very beautiful evergreen plant similar to the Plumeria, very decorative both for the beauty of the leaves and for the abundant blooming. It originates from Brasil and it belongs to the family Apocynaceae: fruits are more or less rounded spiny capsules. From late spring to the early cold it produces yellow trumpet flowers. It needs sunny positions, it isn’t very resistant to prolonged frosts.
It belongs to the family Amaryllidaceae and it originates from central and south America. The Alstroemeria (called “lily of Peru” as well) is a perennial shrub that produces wonderful flowers similar to small lilies, with the peculiarity of having pittings or brown stripings inside the petals. It is used for the production of cut flowers, it is cultivated in pots as well, looking like a thick bush with light green leaves and with a thick and durable flowering. It prefers sunny expositions, it well withstands low temperatures.
The Angelonia is a herbaceous, annual and perennial plant, originating from Mexico and Central America, similar to the Anthirrinum. On average it is 30 cm high, it has erect trunks, covered by elongated and light green leaves with dentate margin. Flowers are inflorescences with spike shaped, that are white with purple spots, pink or electric blue. The Angelonia continuously blooms throughout the summer. Its flowers are similar to small orchids. It prefers sunny positions and it fears low temperatures.
The Anisodontea is a perennial plant originating from Africa: it produces erect trunks, barely branched, with a colored blooming that develops on the thin branches. It prefers sunny places and it doesn’t withstand harsh winters. Watering should be regular during the whole spring and the summer, letting the soil dry between one operation and another.
It belongs to the family Scrophulariaceae and it originates from the mediterranean regions. The Antirrhinum is a rustic perennial plant (cultivated a san annual or, at least, biennial) with a woody trunk at the basis and inflorescences with many shades at the end. Its common name “Mouth of the lion” derives from the peculiar shape of the flowers that have a tubular corolla having two formations similar to two lips (the upper one is divided in two lobes and the lower on divided in three ones). It prefers full sunlight and it well withstands low temperatures.
It belongs to the family Compositae and it originates from the Mediterranean regions. The Asteriscus is a small perennial shrub with oval, thick and dark green leaves. The flowers have the classical shape of the daisy, they are totally yellow and very resistant and long lasting. Thanks to its characteristics, it is easy to cultivate and it has a significant impact because it creates golden cushions in the garden. It blooms during the spring and the flowering lasts until autumn. It well withstands the winterly cold.
More than thousand species belong to the family Begoniaceae that originates from tropical and subtropical zones. The ideal cultivation temperature is around 15° throughout the year. This plant like intense light but not direct sun. During the winter temperatures shouldn’t be below 13° C but they still have to be kept in a cool environment. Begonias should be often watered on the basis of the external temperature, taking care, however, to dry superficially the topsoil between one watering and another. During the winter waterings should be drastically reduced and it should be watered just when the topsoil surface is dry.
It belongs to the family Asteraceae and it originates from central America but it is widespread all over the world as one of the most common plants to decorate balconies. It is a perennial plant but it is cultivate as an annual one. It looks like a shrub with thin and green/grayish leaves. It is completely covered by the head shape classic flowers (small stars) with five golden yellow petals; it needs full sunlight and it dies at the first cold during the winter.
It belongs to the family Rutaceae and it originates from Australia. It is an evergreen shrub typical of the coastal areas that has small and intense green leaves with an unmistakable fragrance, sour and stinging, typical of citrus fruits (as a matter of fact it belongs to the same botanical family) and it produces small and starred flowers, rose-colored and with four petals. The flowers are rich of essential oils and are used for the preparation of emotional infusions that are ideal in order to find calm and serenity and fight against obsessions and insomnia. It prefers sunny and well ventilated positions, its blooming could last throughout the year.
It belongs to the family Nyctaginaceae, originating from the tropical zones of the South America. It is a climbing shrub, sarmentose and thorny, evergreen, with small tubular white or yellow, subtended by three large bracts of typically pink / fuchsia color (there are, however, many varieties of different other colors, from white, to yellow, to red, up to deep purple). In order to facilitate its blooming it is necessary full sunlight; shady locations will instead favor vigorous foliage growth. They fear intense frosts.
It belongs to the family Rutaceae, originating from South- East Asia. It is an evergreen plant with white scented flowers with decorative orange and round fruits. It prefers sunny places and frequent watering: the fruits of the ornamental plants aren’t edible.
The Callistemon belongs to the family Myrtaceae and it is an evergreen shrub originating from Australia and New Caledonia. It has light green, thin, elongated and at the end of the branches it produces the characteristic red flower in the shape of spike or bottle brush (actually, the little flowers are very small and the only fleshy part) that’s why it is called “little broom”.
It belongs to the family Campanulaceae and it originates from Europe, North America and Asia. The variety “Appeal” is characterized by its erect shape (it is almost a natural pyramid formed due to its branching from below), its hard and light green leaves and its giant flowers in the shape of a blue or pink bell, gathered in groups that fill the whole stem. It is less rustic than the classic Campanula and it demands less watering but higher temperatures.
The Canna indica (known also as achira, achera, sagú, capacho, biri, cucuyús, juquián o papantla) is a perennial plant belonging to the family Cannaceae, native of the Caribbean and the central areas of America. It is a plant with a tuber whose beauty are the very large leaves up to 60 cm long and standing at the base. The flowers are collected in apical spikes of red, yellow, salmon color depending on the hybrid: it expresses all its beauty only if grown outdoors. Only some dwarf varieties that do not exceed 70 cm in height can be successfully grown in apartments as well.
In addition to the well-known pepper, the capsicum belongs to the Solanaceae family, originating in the Americas but currently cultivated throughout the world. It includes almost 50 species of plants, perennial and annual. The plants look like shrubs from 40 to 80 cm high (depending on the species) with light green leaves; also the resistance to cold and hot climate varies on the basis of the variety. The fruits have to be picked during the summer until autumn.