Six on Saturday. Pretty in Pots.

I don’t seem to have had much blogging time lately so Six on Saturday seems like a good way to have a quick hello. Like all gardeners, by the middle of August I seem to have an unreasonable number of plants in pots all needing attention.  So here is a random selection of six plants in pots looking good at the moment. Let’s start with a couple of ‘easy from seed’ plants.

Number one is Rhodochiton atrosanguineus, the Purple Bell climber. This used to be known as Rhodochiton volubile but it seems to have suffered a name change. It has a profusion of pale purple bells with a dark purple, dangling corolla. It is not hardy but it is a perennial if kept frost free.  I have found it to be a martyr to white fly in winter so I grow fresh each year. The dark corollas drop off leaving the pale bell- shaped calyx which persists for weeks.  After fertilisation the seed cases inside grow and eventually when the seeds are ripe the cases look like little round bottoms. The time to sow them is in the autumn when the seeds are fresh, they don’t stay viable very long in my experience. If fresh, they germinate readily. Next year I shall try them climbing up the eucalyptus in the exotic garden.

Rhodochiton atrosanguineum

Rhodochiton atrosanguineus

Number two is another easy climber from seed, Tweedia caerula which is named after James Tweedie from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh who collected it in South America in the Nineteenth century. I love it for its gorgeous blue flowers, not exactly sky-bue but tinged with turquoise. The little central button is even darker. It is a member of the Milkweed family and it has the same long seedpods. Unfortunately it doesn’t come with Monarch butterflies but it always seems to be crawling with insects.

Tweedia caerula

Every year I add to my eucomis collection and when I have enjoyed them in pots I plant them in the exotic garden. They always come through the winter as long as they have a nice mulch. This year I have Eucomis ‘Aloha Nani’ The ‘Aloha’ hybrids were bred in America for the pot plant trade and as they are nice and compact they are excellent for pots.

Eucomis ‘Aloha Nani’

Eucomis vandermerwei is even more compact and has attractive, wavy,  dark green leaves heavily spotted in black.

Eucomis vandermerwei

I seem to have amassed a large collection of pelargoniums without quite meaning to, so that takes care of my number four. My favourites are the delicate red ”Ardens’ which is a pernickety thing which suffers from sudden death and is difficult to strike from cuttings. I also love the species Pelargonium sidiodes for its silvery leaves and delicate purple flowers.

Pelargonium sidoides


Pelargonium sidoides

So as a lover of simple single flowers it is odd that I should be very fond of a double one, Pelargonium ‘Appleblossom Rosebud’. But this is not some new Frankenstein- hybrid, it dates from the early Nineteenth century and Queen Victoria was very fond of it. I can see why, there is something very endearing about it. But it needs to be staked or it flops.

Pelargonium ‘Appleblossom Rosebud’

Number five also has a double flower  and it is a begonia so I should hate it really as I am allergic to those big double blowsy begonias in dayglo colours you see in hanging baskets. But since I have my exotic garden I grow several begonias with interesting leaves.  This one is in a pot though, it is a delicate little thing and a lovely soft pink with bronze leaves.

Begonia semperflorens ‘Lady Francis’

I grow bulbs of the rain Lily, Habranthus robustus in pots because it is not really hardy here. Having said that I may try some outside next year, you never know, they may survive with a bit of mulch.

Habranthus robustus

So, there we have it, I managed my Six on Saturday. Pop over to the Propagator and you will find dedicated SOSers who mark the passing seasons with a weekly six from the garden.  Please join me on the 23rd with your Top Ten August Blooms. In the mean time I have some catching up to do.

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55 Responses to Six on Saturday. Pretty in Pots.

  1. Jim Stephens says:

    I grow what I bought as Habranthus brachyandrus, (it’s not a good match for most of the pictures online) and last year it set seed which germinated readily. I was going to plant the originals out to see how they did. I bought Eucomis ‘Aloha Leia’ a few days ago and put it in my six. I’m not sure I wanted to know that there are others in the series, I won’t be able to resist if I see them. Not too many I hope.

    • Chloris says:

      I haven’t come across H.brachyandrus, I’ll look, out for it. H robustus sets seed so it’s worth trying some outside. I have seen your E.’ Aloha Leia’ in your SoS. It is gorgeous and a must have. There is one more, ‘Aloha Maui’ which is pure white.

  2. janesmudgeegarden says:

    Oh I just love that apple blossom Pelargonium. What a sweet flower. I’ll have to keep a lookout for that one. Beautiful six, Chloris.

  3. Eliza Waters says:

    A fine six, Chloris. The Pelargonium sidoides has caught my eye– both foliage and bloom are exceptional!

  4. I only plants I recognize is the begonia and rain lily. I liked seeing so many blooms new to me.

  5. Brian Skeys says:

    I first saw the purple bell climber, when on holiday, in a garden in Dartmouth. Armed with a photograph on returning home I was able to identify it. I love it as an annual climber and have grown it each year since then.

    • Chloris says:

      I enjoy seeing flowers that are new to me too. You often feature unfamiliar flowers which I enjoy.

    • Chloris says:

      Sorry, Brian, I got confused my comment to you was meant for The Automatic Gardener. Do you start your rhodochitons off in autumn or do you keep the seeds until spring? I find the germination rate much better in autumn but then they need greenhouse space through the winter.

  6. Frog says:

    Oh the pelargonium sidoides is striking ! « Allergic » to begonias ! 😂 I was similarly allergic to them, and to petunias, but lately… I feel bit ashamed to see them grow on me.

    • Chloris says:

      I don’t think I could ever grow the big pompom begonias but I have started to grow some with lovely leaves and this makes me look at them all with new eyes.

  7. Kris P says:

    I’d never thought to try growing Eucomis in a pot but, as all I’ve ever gotten from mine is foliage, that’s something I ought to try, especially as my guide indicates the plants need “regular water” during their growing and bloom season and, that being summer, it’s hard to provide to any plants grown in the ground.

  8. Cath Moore says:

    your photo’s make me long for spring/summer here in the southern hemisphere… the bergonia!

    • Chloris says:

      Well you have spring to look forward to quite soon. August is a great month for colour and an abundance of plants here, but I can smell autumn in the air.

  9. Anne says:

    The Eucomis vandermerwei, native to South Africa, is a protected species here where it is classed as a threatened species. These plants are under threat from habitat loss due to the expansion of forest plantations, overgrazing and trampling by livestock. Bulbs are harvested for medicinal purposes and there is always the threat of being smothered by invasive alien plants. Look after yours for they are precious.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you for your comment. It is lovely to know that this is a species eucomis but sad to hear that it is under threat. I didn’t realise that eucomis was used medicinally.

  10. Cathy says:

    Always interesting to see what you are growing, Chloris. I love your eucomis of course – these pink ones are especially striking and I will check them out. My Leia is no more than a foot tall and is definitely my favourite so far. Mine are all in pots in the Coop and would be lost in my borders. How big a pot is the rhodochiton in? Mine didn’t grow very tall last year but perhaps needed more space

    • Chloris says:

      Yes, lovely Aloha Leia’ is in the same series, these gorgeous new hybrids are wonderful for pots.
      My rhodochiton needs a bigger pot, these plants need lot of water and feeding to do well. Next year I shall plant some in the garden to share the BlackEyed Susies climbing frame. They can grow up to 6ft if given the right conditions.

      • Cathy says:

        In fact, looking at Leia this morning she is barely 6″ tall. Where do you buy yours from?

      • Chloris says:

        I bought lovely ‘Aloha Nani’ at a local nursery, Shrubland Park. They do mail order. Talking about mail order, I haven’t forgotten your parcel, just that life has been a bit hectic lately. I will post it next week, would you like a Pelargonium maderense seedling for your Coop?

      • Cathy says:

        I will look up Shrubland Park. My newest ones came from Broadleigh Bulbs I think. Did you get yours as plants or bulbs? I knew you wouldn’t have forgotten and not surprised you have plenty of other things to do! I know that pelargonium will grow huge, but yes, why not?! Thank you

  11. fredgardener says:

    Nice black eucomis! This changes the others often seen.
    About the rhodochiton, thank you for sharing it because I didn’t know it. How tall is the shrub? And if you sow in autumn fresh seeds, how do you overwinter the young plants ?

    • Chloris says:

      Rhodochiton is a climber. It needs a large pot and plenty of water and feeding to grow tall. Next year I am going to try it in the garden where it should grow to 1.8 metres. Yes, over-wintering seedlings is a problem, not only from white fly but also red spider mite. But fresh seeds germinate so much more readily. Perhaps it would be worth keepng some seeds in the fridge and trying them in the spring. They grow quickly.

  12. Lovely Six! You grow such interesting (and beautiful) plants. 🙂

  13. Chloris says:

    Thank you Gill. And so do you. You can grow Tibouchina and that is a skill that I am jealous of. It takes one look at me and loses the will to live.

  14. Heyjude says:

    Six unusual beauties here Chloris. I really like that Purple Bell climber. As for the gaudy begonias I have to confess to growing them as I keep getting free corms with other plant orders! They do remarkably well on my north side in a trough and I only have to look at them myself when I come in the front door!!

  15. bittster says:

    It does seem like everyone’s calendar is filled up these days so it’s especially nice to see a post from you!
    The rodochiton is such an unusual and exotic looking thing, even if the flowers do seem a bit rude at times. I’ve never seen it grown around here but it seems to like the west coast well enough, which leads me to believe it favors cooler nights… but I won’t be convinced of that until I finally have the chance to kill it myself a few times. Hmm, that reminds me of the equally exotic eccremocarpus which I have managed to kill a few times.
    I love your eucomis. Mine are in flower as well, but much less photogenic or attractive.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Frank.The Rhodochiton is not hardy but I don’t know why I always keep it confined to a pot when it would do so much bettet in the ground. I don’t know how you manage to kill eccremocarpus, it is a weed her and seeds everywhere. There are some wonderful eucomus hybrids about, some of them bred specially for pot culture.

  16. Noelle says:

    A great selection Chloris..everyone has already covered all the points…I am with you on the geranium thing.

  17. I lost my P sidoides last winter. It is such a classy flower but quite late to flower.
    I shall try Eucomis next year. Great 6 Chloris

  18. Oh such a pretty begonia Chloris. It reminds me of a rose. My rhodochitons sown back in February have not flourished this year and are only just coming into flower. I was most interested to see that you sow them in autumn and have made a note to sow some then.

  19. I lover the Rhodochitons and the Tweedia. Never heard of either before seeing this post. Plus: Tweedia – what a great name!

  20. Lora Hughes says:

    Was thinking about purple bell climber for next year, so I’m very glad to know I should be sourcing seeds now. Also really like that tweedia caerula. And tose pellies . . . what’s not to like? Their addictiveness, perhaps!

  21. Wow. You have so many flowers in your garden that I’ve neither grown nor seen. Very lovely.

  22. tonytomeo says:

    Tweedia! That is a name I have not heard since 1986! I worked with it briefly as a cut flower crop that summer. It was an odd crop that needed the stems blanched at harvest. Not much was grown. It seemed to me that there were easier crops to grow, but we grew it nonetheless. I do not remember the species that we grew.

  23. Chloris says:

    I never thought of cutting the tweedia for a vase. But next year I will grow more so I have some for cutting.

  24. snowbird says:

    Some beauties here. I loved Tweedia caerula, but Lady Fancis stole my heart, she’s utterly delightful and looks just like one of my roses. Who knew begonias could look like that!xxx

  25. kundo says:

    Wow! All of these plants looks so beautiful.

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