- Position: full sun
- Soil: fertile, well-drained soil or loam-less potting compost
- Flowering period: June to September
- Flower colour: apricot-orange
- Other features: large, purple-bronze leaves
- Hardiness: half hardy (will need winter protection)
Each leaf is variously striped in green, purple, orange and pink, creating a dazzling effect that is further enhanced when the orange flowers appear. Spectacular in a hot-themed planting scheme, it also mixes well with plum and purple.
- Garden care: Pot the rhizomes up into 20cm pots filled with a good quality compost. The rhizomes should be planted shallowly, just covering them with compost, but making sure that any new shoots are above soil level. Water lightly and then grow them on at temperatures above 10°C, increasing the water as they start to grow. Gradually harden off before planting out after all risk of frost has passed. Water regularly during the growing season, applying a phosphorus-rich liquid fertiliser each month. In frost-prone areas lift the rhizomes in autumn and store in a frost-free environment in barely-moist compost or leaf mould.
The trick to achieving the tropical effect is good preparation and dense planting, vivid foliage, fiery flowers and striking contrasts. The jungle garden is a place for theatrical planning and planting. If you don't have room or the inclination...Read full article