Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Brighten Up Those Shady Spots; Weekend Columnist Neil Fisher Is from Fisher's Nursery, North Rockhampton. You Can Chat with Neil on Radio 4ro's Gardening Hour after the 6am News on Tuesdays

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Brighten Up Those Shady Spots; Weekend Columnist Neil Fisher Is from Fisher's Nursery, North Rockhampton. You Can Chat with Neil on Radio 4ro's Gardening Hour after the 6am News on Tuesdays

Article excerpt

Byline: NEIL FISHER

AS THE days become shorter during winter it seems that we always find those bare spots in the garden where a fill-in plant is needed.

One very showy but unusual plant for a shady position is the Oxalis triangularis or False Shamrock.

The iridescent purple triangular leaves of the False Shamrock will move in the direction of the most light, very much like Sunflowers. Adding to the colour display of False Shamrock is the clusters of white to pale pink flowers that form on stalks just above the foliage.

A native to Brazil, this plant will grow to about 150mm high and spread about 750mm. The False Shamrock is a bulb, making it very easy to propagate.

The recently released Mandvillea Diamantina Agathe Scarlet (what a mouthful) is a plant that will give a vivid floral display.

The Mandvillea or Dipladenias are a showy group of climbers that all produce an abundance of large flowers during most of the year. Mandvillea are not strong climbers, so will need some help to gain a hold.

For best results, plants should be kept in large containers with good potting mix, as they are susceptible to root rot when planted in poorly drained positioned.

In the past few years there have been many new varieties of Cordylines released, with vibrant red, pink or cream leaves that can provide huge splashes of colour.

Some hybrid varieties to consider include Red Picotee, with a new growth of cream leaves with red edges which change to green with red edging as the leaves age, Cardinal Stripe, with pinkish-red stripes changing to a reddish green with age, and Baby Thai, with green and red leaves.

One of the most colourful compact shrubs for shady areas would be the Pentas lanceolata or Egyptian Star Flower.

The Rockhampton and coastal Central Queensland region is perfect for growing Pentas with hot, wet summers and warm winters.

Pentas lanceolata flowers are commonly a rosy-mauve but other colours include white, blue/mauve, red, pink and even an orange.

Pentas lanceolata will grow to approximately 60cm high for a part shade to sunny position in a frost-free climate. …

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