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As usual, if there's a particular plant you'd like me to address, just drop me a line at shell@michellesgarden.com.


Browallia
Browallia speciosa

Browallia combines beautifully with other shade-lovers, such as wax begonias, hostas, and ferns. For best growth, mulch to keep the soil moist and water during dry spells.

Other Common Names

Sapphire flower.

Description

This tender perennial is usually grown as a tender annual. The bushy plants have lance-shaped, green leaves and 2-inch (5 cm) wide, starry flowers. The purple, blue, or white flowers bloom from summer until frost.

Height and Spread

Height and spread usually 8-18 inches (20-45 cm) depending on the cultivar.

Best Site

Partial shade; average to moist soil with added organic matter.

Growing Guidelines

Buy plants in spring, or start your own by planting seed indoors 8 weeks before your last frost date. Don't cover the seed; just lightly press it into the soil. Enclose the pot in a plastic bag until seedlings appear. Set plants out after the last frost. Space compact cultivars 10-12 inches (25-30 cm) apart; allow 18 inches (45 cm) between tal types. Pinch off the stem tips of young plants once or twice to promote compact, branching growth. For winter bloom, dig plants before frost, pot them up, and bring them indoors.

Landscape Uses

Browallias star-shaped flowers brighten up shady beds and borders, hanging baskets, window boxes, and container gardens.

Cultivars

'Blue Troll' has blue-purple blooms on compact, rounded plants to 10 inches (25 cm) tall. 'White Bell' has white flowers on bushy plants to about 8 inches (20 cm) tall.


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