The Mimosa originates from the Australian continent; in Italy they well withstand the central-southern temperate climate and it is possible to cultivate it on the big lakes’ coasts in the north where it can benefit of milder temperatures. The ideal soil for blooming is slightly acidic, with a good structure, that ensures a good humidity and, at the same time, a good drainage. It is recommended to add organic matter (humus) periodically (once a year); in the colder areas it can be cultivated in greenhouse with the foresight not to drop the temperature below 0 degrees.
It is known as “kangaroo paw” because of the shape of the flower. It is a rhizomatous perennial plant with australian origin. It prefers sunny or semi-shaded places; these plants don’t fear the cold and they can withstand periods of intense frost. Sometimes during the winter they lose the aerial part and they grow with the arrival of the spring. They can store watery lymph in the roots so that they can use it if they aren’t watered; for this reason they withstand even long periods of drought without problems.
It belongs to the family Ranunculaceae. The Ranunculus is a simple and elegant flower originating from Asia. It is highly sought for its flowering period which is one of the first that blooms: it blooms in late winter or in early spring. The most common buttercups on the market are the “orientalis”. They generally prefer damp environments and their petals vary from white to intense yellow.
It originates from India, China and Japan and during the winter it produces many and quite big flowers. The most widely cultivated is the camellia Japonica, which blooms from January until the beginning of the spring. The camellia flowers are pink or white, but there are some red-flowered varieties and very few yellow-flowered varieties. In general they alternate between years with exceptional blooms and years with few flowers. They are very long-lived shrubs, and over the years, they can reach considerable dimensions, up to 6-7 meters high. On average it is a rustic plant. Normally they should easily withstand at least -15 ° C, especially if cultivated in open ground. There could be some problems with the potted plants because the cold could damage the roots.
The Carissa macrocarpa (or grandiflora) belongs to the family Apocynaceae and it originates from the sub-tropical regions of South Africa. For this reason it is also known as Natal Plum (from the name of an African region). It is an evergreen thorny shrub that produces oval, fleshy and bright green leaves and beautiful, white, star-shaped and scented flowers. Like all the plants in its family the Carissa is poisonous but it generates fruits that have the shape of small red eggs that, once ripe, are perfectly edible.
The cyclamen is one of the most spread houseplants, especially because it has its beautiful flowers during the winter, thus brightening up the cold periods. It belongs to the family Primulaceae and it includes different species originating from the east area of the Mediterranean. During the whole cultivation period it’s important to have a wet weather, with temperatures not higher than 15°.
The olive is the typical evergreen plant of the agriculture in the mediterranean regions. It grows very slowly and its main feature is its longevity. There are many varieties of olive trees that are continuously monitored for their ability to withstand the cold during the winter. The ideal climate for cultivation is a mild climate with minimum temperatures not lower than 8/10° C below zero. Its peculiar fruits start growing at the beginning of the autumn.
It belongs to the family Compositae and it originates from Southern Africa. The Euryops is a perennial shrub characterized by an abundant and winter blooming. It is a very thick bush, with silver leaves, it produces big yellow flowers, similar to yellow daisies and it can be used in order to decorate gardens and flowerbeds, creating a voluminous yellow pot, during the winter as well.
It belongs to the family Brassicaceae and it originates from Southern Europe and Western Asia. The Iberis is a perennial and herbaceous plant with oval, leathery and dark green leaves. It produces white, yellow or pink flowers, collected in small bunches that make the plant ideal for decorating borders and rocky gardens.
The Marigold is a little perennial plant cultivated as an annual plant. In order to be cultivated it needs sunny places. The marigold is relatively resistant to cold but with low winter temperatures the leaves and the aerial part of the plant dries up: from late autumn, the marigold blooms again in late spring. The blooming begins in late winter, with orange-yellow flowers.
Phylica Ericoides is a perennial shrub belonging to the familiy Rhamnacee, very common in the Mediterranean basin. Usually the Phylica Ericoides is cultivated in open ground; it is not very resistant to cold winter temperatures. Its cultivation is quite simple and it does not require special interventions. In general, it is sufficient to place it in the right position and it’s important to remember to water it two or three times a month. It blooms during the winter.
The Euphorbia pulcherrima, known as Poinsettia or Christmas Star, is an ornamental plant originating from Mexico, where it spontaneously grows and where, in the wild, it can even reach a height between two and four meters. It belongs to the family Euphorbiaceae. It is a typically photoperiodic or brevidiurnal plant; for this reason it blooms during the winter when the days are shorter.
It is a herbaceous perennial plant originating from Asia. It produces a basal rosette with big, green, curved, with wavy edges, rigid and compact leaves. These Primulas are very used as houseplants, especially during the winter; they are often used as annual plants, sometimes in the shaded flowerbeds as well. The blooming is very prolonged, especially if the withered flowers are removed.
It is a very beautiful and evergreen shrub originating from China: it is a slow-growing plant, with glossy and coriaceous foliage preferably to be cultivated in open ground; throughout the spring numerous small pink or white star flowers bloom at the apex of the branches. It has to be placed in a well-lit place, in the sun or in partial shade; it prefers rich and fertile soils. It suffers from excessive humidity. It tolerates both drought and frost quite well, and it can resist in the garden even if temperatures fall below -10/-15° C.
The rosemary is an evergreen perennial shrub, only representative of its kind in the Labiatae family. It originates from the entire Mediterranean basin, in particular in the coastal areas. In the wild it grows in barren and sunny soils. It becomes part of the Mediterranean scrub, colonizing cliffs and gorges among the rocks. It is widespread from sea level up to 650 meters above sea level. In the islands, especially in Sardinia and in Corsica, it is possible to find it up to 1500 meters above sea level. Flowering occurs during the spring (with blue-purple flowers); it is a very rustic plant and fears prolonged frost.
It belongs to the family Saxifragaceae and it originates from the arctic temperate regions. The Saxifraga Arendsii is a groundcover and evergreen herbaceous plant characterized by small elongated leaves of an intense green color. It has thin stems that carry very resistant flowers in the shape of a red flattened star (there is also a white flower variety and with lighter leaflets, “Saxifraga Paniculata”). It is an ideal plant to be cultivated in rocky gardens since it has roots capable of taking root even among stones.