Friday, May 23, 2008
Cantua, brilliant red flowers
My two plants are each 6 feet tall, and I learned about the Cantua from my Chilean gardening friend. We went to a plant nursery and had the manager order five plants for us.
This plant is beloved in Chile, and for good reason. These long lived shrubs develop thicker trunks and branches, and even reach second story windows in Chile, she told me. Here in California they top out at 5 to 10 feet tall. Hummingbirds are attracted to them.
Each year prune back branches since the flowers appear at the end of branches with new growth. Since they can be a bit bedraggled in the cold months, and lose some leaves, I have other plants growing on and through them, including a flowering sage.
Some Cantuas have flowers of varied hues; I am so happy that my two shrubs are loaded with the brilliant red flowers I wanted.
Ideal for zones 9b to 11, or overwinter them in a greenhouse.