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Serissa (Foetida)
March, 2017

Need a small flowering shrub for a shady location?  Serissa could be the plant for you.  A tiny shrub growing to about 2 feet tall, pruned into an oval or round shape, makes serissa a nice edging or mini hedge.  The numerous tiny flowers can be white, pink or lavender and last most of the growing season.

A native to Japan, serissa can be grown throughout the state of Florida.  Shade to partial shade, would be the best light conditions for this tiny shrub.  Serissa is cold hardy but does require fertile, moisture retentive soil.  Plant in soil that is free of nematodes if possible.  Mulching around serissa is almost a must to keep out competing weeds and to retain water.  Serissa can’t be kept waterlogged.  It must dry out somewhat.  Not being a heavy user of fertilizer, serissa should be fertilized once a year in February.  The tiny shrub makes a great potted plant for a well-vented porch.

   
         
 

serissa

   
         
 

Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra)
March, 2017

The cast iron is an old plant known to be a potted plant in Egypt over 3,000 years ago. It was widely grown as a popular houseplant in this country from 1870 to 1940.  Do you remember the song “How’s your aspidistra”?

It will tolerate a wide variety of growing conditions, but an average potting soil and shade will make this a happy plants. The soil should be allowed to go dry between watering. Any kind of fertilizer is good, but this plant is a slow feeder.

Its best use is as a houseplant, placed near a window. Used as a ground cover under trees.  This plant is hardy to South Georgia. It is grown for its foliage. The Cast Iron plant can reaches a height of about 3 feet and forms a lush under growth. Flowers are inconspicuous, borne close to the ground

   
         
 

cast iron