Blue Lips Plant Info: Tips For Growing Blue Lips Plants
By: Susan Albert, Freelance Garden Writer
Looking for something attractive, yet low maintenance forpartially shaded areas of the landscape or container garden? You can’t go wrongwith planting blue lips flowers. Sure, the name may seem awkward, but once yousee them in full bloom in the garden, you’ll quickly become a fan. Read on to learnmore.
Blue Lips Plant Info
Blue lips (Sclerochiton harveyanus) is aglossy-leaved spreading perennial shrub that is suitable for a woodlandgarden. The small to medium sized evergreen shrub is hardy in USDA zones 10and 11. In July, August and September (December through March in Southern Hemisphere),small blue to purple flowers cover the plant, followed by seed pods that burstwhen ripe.
The multi-stemmed shrub reaches 6 to 8 feet tall (1.8 to 2.4meters) with a similar spread in optimum conditions. Runners enable the plantto spread quickly. Elliptic leaves are dark green on the top and dull greenbelow. The ribbed lower petals of the flowers give the impression of lips,earning its common name.
Blue lips is native to South Africa, from Eastern Cape toZimbabwe. Named for Dr. William H. Harvey (1811-66), an author and professor ofbotany, the shrub is much underused in the nursery industry.
Growing Blue Lips Plants
Blue lips plant care is practically maintenance free, withlittle pruning necessary, and only moderate water needs once established.
Grow this plant in slightly acidic (6.1 to 6.5 pH) toneutral soils (6.6 to 7.3 pH) that are rich in organic matter. In its nativeenvironment, blue lips can be found at the edges of forests or as part of the forestunderstory.
Blue lips attracts bees, birds and butterflies, so it issuitable as part of a pollinatorgarden or wildlifehabitat in a semi-shady location. It also is attractive as filler for amixed shrub border in a woodland garden. Because of its dense foliage, it canbe used as a unique hedge or even shaped into topiary.
Blue lips can be grown in a 3-gallon (0.5 cubic feet) orlarger container on the porch or patio to enjoy the blooms up close and movedindoors during winter in the cooler zones. Be sure the pot provides excellentdrainage.
Sclerochiton harveyanus can be propagated from stemcuttings or seeds in spring. For semi-hardwood cuttings, dip stems in rootinghormone and plant in rooting medium such as equal parts bark andpolystyrene. Keep moist and roots should develop within three weeks.
For seed, plant in well-draining potting soil and treatseeds with a fungicide prior to planting to prevent dampingoff.
Problems with Blue Lips Flowers
Blue lips is not bothered by many pests or diseases.However, too much moisture or incorrect planting can bring on a mealybuginfestation. Treat with neemoil or other insecticide labeled to treat mealybugs.
Fertilizing blue lips each season can prevent yellowing ofleaves and promote growth. Organic or inorganic fertilizer can be used.
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How to Grow Turtlehead Plant
The Spruce / Adrienne Legault
Turtlehead is a clump-forming perennial plant that blooms in fall with hooded flowers that look similar to snapdragon blooms. The flower gets its unique name from its resemblance to a turtle's beak, but the genius name dates back to ancient Greece mythology and the nymph named Chelone. As the story goes, Chelone elected not to attend the marriage of Zeus and Hera, so she and her house were tossed into a river, where she transformed into a tortoise who carried her house on her back.
Turtlehead, a native North American wildflower, favors boggy areas but can be cultivated in a partially shaded home garden. The plant's opposing dark green, oval leaves are slightly toothed and its stems stand upright, even when in flower.
Turtlehead is best planted in the spring or summer to give the plant time to establish itself. A fast-growing plant, it is generally hardy in USDA zones 4 through 8, and blooms by mid-summer or early fall. The plant can remain in bloom for three to six weeks, making it well worth the wait.
|Botanical Name||Chelone obliqua|
|Plant Type||Herbaceous perennial|
|Mature Size||2–3 ft. tall, 1–2 ft. wide|
|Sun Exposure||Full sun, partial shade|
|Soil Type||Rich, moist|
|Soil pH||Neutral to acidic|
|Bloom Time||Summer, early fall|
|Flower Color||Pink, purple, white|
|Hardiness Zones||5–9 (USDA)|
|Native Area||North America|
Salvia x jamensis ‘Hot Lips’
Plant does not flower in January
Plant does not flower in February
Plant does not flower in March
Plant does not flower in April
Plant does not flower in May
Plant does not flower in June
Plant does flower in July
Plant does flower in August
Plant does flower in September
Plant does flower in October
Plant does not flower in November
Plant does not flower in December
- Botanical name:Salvia x jamensis 'Hot Lips'
- Common name: Salvia
- Family: Lamiaceae
- Plant Type: Perennial
Perennial sages are worth their weight in gold in ornamental borders, thanks to their summer-long displays of spiky, nectar-rich flowers.
Salvia x jamensis ‘Hot Lips’ bears large, open-mouthed, bicoloured white and red blooms throughout summer, on compact, scented, bushy plants. In very hot weather some blooms may be fully red or white. ‘Hot Lips’ is perfect for planting near a bench or path, where you can enjoy its pretty blooms and fragrant foliage. The flowers are extremely attractive bees and other pollinators.
For best results grow Salvia x jamensis ‘Hot Lips’ in well-drained soil in full sun. Plants may need protection in extreme winters.