Trailing Phlox

Chaenostoma cordatum

Bacopa, Ornamental Bacopa, White Phlox, Pikmin Flower, Groot Sutera (Afr.)

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This neat, fast-growing groundcover grows in full sun to shade and has white, lavender and mauve/violet varieties. White, star-like flowers appear from autumn to spring. These plants grow well in hanging baskets and rockeries, in full-sun to shade and in ideal conditions, they will flower year-round. An ideal filler for complicated garden areas. ZA Distribution: Eastern Cape, Western Cape.

Planning

Difficulty

Easy

Flowering time

Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring

Fruiting time

Autumn

Harvesting

The fruit can be harvested for the seeds and is a capsule. The seeds are amber.

Propagation

Seed

Sow the seed in a 1:1 mixture of fine bark and coarse river sand during the spring.

Cuttings

Lift and replant rooted stems or take stem cuttings in summer & autumn. Use a well-draining mixture of 1:1 fine bark and river sand or 1:1 fine bark and polystyrene. Rooting takes 2-3 weeks.

Division

The plants can be cut up with a piece of roots attached to a stem with leaves to be replanted.

Layering

Place a soft stem unto the surface and it will root quickly-use a piece of stone or wire to keep it close to soil while rooting.

Special features

Pot plant

Makes a lovely hanging basket and great in mixed containers.

Indoor plant

Grows indoor where enough sunlight keeps the growth dense, compact and neat.

Special features

Origin

South Africa, George in the southern Western Cape to East London in the Eastern Cape

Natural climate

Temperate

Environment

Light

Full Sun, Full Shade, Partial Shade, Partial Sun

Soil moisture

Moist

Soil type

Loam, Sand, Compost, Gravel, Clay

Soil PH preference

Neutral

Frost hardiness

Tender

Uses

Ornamental

Grown widely in gardens as ground covers, or in pots and hanging baskets.

Personality

Family

Scrophulariaceae

Flower colour

Pink, Purple, White

Scent

None

Problems

It is relatively pest-free, but white flies can occasionally be encountered. Treat these with an insecticide specific for these insects.

Credits

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Chaenostoma cordatum by Roger Oliver, Pretoria National Botanical Garden, December 2008 (Copyright South African National Biodiversity Institute, South Africa)