Blue lechenaultia (Lechenaultia biloba) is a member of the goodeniaceae household. There are roughly 30 different species inside the genus Lechenaultia, most of that are native to western Australia.
In its native habitat, it grows on hillsides and grasslands. It thrives in sunny areas with sandy or gravelly, well-drained soil.
In america, blue lechenaultia is hardy solely in USDA hardiness zones Sep 11. It’s flippantly frost-tolerant and grows as a perennial solely within the warmest local weather zones.
This small, woody sub-shrub has a semi-sprawling development behavior. Older stems turn into woody whereas youthful stem development is softer and inexperienced. The leaves are tiny and evergreen. They’re densely packed alongside the stem, resembling the leaves of rosemary.
Plenty of lovely blue flowers seem within the winter and spring. The colour ranges from deep wealthy to pale purplish-blue. Flowers are 5-petaled, and every petal divides into two distinct lobes, giving rise to the species identify biloba.
Blue lechenaultia is drought tolerant and a very good alternative for container gardening, a rockery, or a xeriscape. If this sounds intriguing, let’s dig deeper into the pure historical past, care, and upkeep of the blue lechenaultia.
Blue Lechenaultia Plant Overview
Plant Historical past
These small shrubs show an array of colourful flowers, together with white, yellow, purple, and shades of blue. A number of of those species have turn into standard with gardeners. All favor heat, arid climates.
Blue lechenaultia is native to the dry areas of southwestern Australia. It grows in poor-quality, sharply-drained soil.
It blooms within the late winter or spring, offering early-season shade. The evergreen foliage retains the backyard curiosity year-round.
Blue lechenaultia is a short-lived plant, dwelling solely 4 to six years in ideally suited circumstances. It’s simple to propagate by cuttings, so that you received’t have to fret about dropping your plant totally. Established crops may even unfold by suckers rising from the bottom.
Blue lechenaultia is simply barely frost-tolerant. In a lot of the United States, it grows greatest as a container plant. Carry it in for the winter months and permit it to develop exterior in the summertime.
Lechenaultia is low-growing and considerably sprawling. It makes a very good floor cowl for a small space. Develop it in a rock backyard, xeriscape panorama, or in a extra managed surroundings, corresponding to a big raised mattress, container, or hanging basket.
Lechenaultia is best to develop from cuttings. You can begin it from seed, however success charges could also be low because the seeds require particular therapy to sprout. Relying on the place you reside, you might also be capable to discover nursery-grown crops in specialty nurseries or bought by way of on-line growers.
Lechenaultia is troublesome to develop from seed. To simulate their pure surroundings, the seeds could must be scarified and heat-stratified earlier than planting to encourage them to sprout. Analysis exhibits that nicking the seeds with a knife and exposing them to high-temperature smoke improves germination by 81%.
In case you strive rising lechenaultia from seed, sow seeds on the soil floor and preserve the soil moist and heat till they sprout. Be affected person with this course of, as it could take your seeds a number of weeks to point out any indicators of life.
In case you efficiently develop lechenaultia from seed, you should have seedlings to transplant immediately into your backyard or develop in a dangling basket or container. Hold them in a heat surroundings with vivid mild and minimal soil moisture.
The seedlings may be fragile. Fastidiously deal with seedlings and rooted cuttings to keep away from pointless harm to the stems and leaves.
Lechenaultia cuttings are simple to root. When you have entry to a lechenaultia plant, take semi-hardwood cuttings within the late spring or summer time with this straightforward course of:
- Use sharp shears to take cuttings of recent and healthy-looking stems 3 to 4 inches lengthy.
- Dip the decrease 2 inches in a rooting hormone. If utilizing powdered rooting hormone, dip the reduce finish of the stems into water to dampen them, shake off extra, then roll the reduce finish within the rooting hormone.
- Place the decrease a part of the stem in moist soil.
- Hold the soil solely barely moist.
- Make sure the crops have good mild and loads of air circulation.
As soon as your reducing develops wholesome roots, you’ll discover it rising new leaves. When new leaves type, you already know your reducing was a hit, and you may permit the soil to dry between waterings. Hold your new plant in a heat, dry, sunny location till you possibly can switch it to a bigger container or exterior for the summer time.
If you’re rising lechenaultia as an annual in your backyard, you possibly can take cuttings every fall earlier than the primary frost. Root the cuttings indoors and develop them as houseplants by way of the winter months.
Within the spring, when the temperature has warmed and all hazard of frost has handed, you possibly can transplant these younger crops exterior to take pleasure in one other summer time development season. Take cuttings once more every fall, and you may preserve your lechenaultia going indefinitely utilizing this technique.
In spite of everything hazard of frost has handed, plant your cuttings or seedlings exterior in full solar with different flowers that take pleasure in sandy well-drained soil. Put together your web site prematurely to make sure the soil has glorious drainage and your plant has loads of area to develop with out interference from weeds or shut neighbors.
When you’re able to plant, use a spade or hand trowel to dig a gap and punctiliously switch the foundation mass into the outlet. Fill the gaps across the roots with recent soil and gently pat it down across the plant.
Find out how to Develop
Rising this flowering shrub is simple so long as it has ample sunshine and dry, well-drained soil.
Lechenaultia grows greatest in full solar however is tolerant of sunshine shade. Goal for no less than 6 hours of direct daylight every day.
If you’re taking your plant in for the winter, give it the sunniest window location you possibly can. These within the northern hemisphere ought to attempt to present a south-facing window as that can have essentially the most winter daylight. A develop mild can be utilized if a south-facing window is just not obtainable.
These shrubs are drought-tolerant and require well-draining soil to thrive. The soil ought to by no means keep moist, soggy, or saturated, nevertheless it ought to stay barely damp to the contact, as that’s the perfect moisture degree.
If rising it as a houseplant, permit the soil to dry between waterings. If you’re rising it outside for the summer time months, you shouldn’t must do any supplemental watering.
The best soil pH for lechenaultia needs to be considerably acidic, between 5.5 and 6.5. Don’t try and develop these crops in heavy clay soil or poorly drained soil, because the roots are very liable to fungal root rot in moist circumstances. Add sand, gravel, or perlite to assist enhance drainage if crucial.
Local weather and Temperature
Lechenaultia crops can survive a really mild frost however are typically thought of frost-sensitive. Lechenaultia doesn’t tolerate high-humidity environments, so it’s greatest grown in a extra arid local weather.
Place your plant in a location with good air circulation. If potential, to scale back the prospect of built-up humidity, which may result in fungal ailments.
Including natural fertilizer every spring and fall can increase your plant’s development. Use a well-balanced fertilizer for houseplants or outside flowering crops, and observe the producer’s instructions for the product you utilize.
When rising in soil that’s already nutrient-dense, your plant could not want any additional fertilizer. Nevertheless, supplemental fertilizer is beneficial when rising in poor, sandy soil mixes.
Prune your lechenaultia to maintain it compact. In case you do prune your plant, accomplish that after flowering so you possibly can maximize its flowering magnificence.
Pruning will encourage your plant to remain extra compact and tidy wanting, isn’t crucial to keep up well being. Add some mulch across the base of the plant to assist management weeds and shield roots from scorching in the summertime solar.
This distinctive flowering shrub is available in a number of cultivars to suit your backyard aesthetic.
This lovely Australian cultivar has deep blue flowers with a particular white splash within the heart of the bottom three petals. This standard selection is simple to propagate from cuttings.
White Lechenaultia galactites
This white Lechenaultia species grows to 24 inches tall and sports activities white flowers. This small shrub appears reasonably scraggly with many-branching twigs and sparse leaves.
The pure white flowers, nonetheless, are fairly engaging. This could be a wonderful small shrub for a frost-free xeriscape.
Pink Lechenaultia formosa
Pink Lechenaultia has vibrant scarlet-red flowers. The flowers have a distinct petal association than the blue Lechenaultia, however they’re equally as dazzling.
Yellow Lechenaultia linarioides
Yellow Lechenaultia is a small shrub that grows to 4 toes tall. It has pale yellow flowers with pink accents. Develop this plant in full solar in a frost-free location with sandy, well-drained soil. The flowers bloom in winter and spring and appeal to pollinators.
Blue Lechenaultia attracts pollinators, together with bees, butterflies, and different bugs. If you’re rising these crops indoors over the winter and they’re blooming indoors, there received’t be a lot wildlife worth, but when they’re outside whereas blooming, they make a wonderful addition to a pollinator backyard.
Pests and Illnesses
Luckily, just a few illnesses have an effect on this plant.
Lechenaultia wants extraordinarily well-drained soil and is liable to fungal root rot. Moist and poorly drained soil will result in fungal improvement within the rising media, leading to rotting root tissues and a bunch of different ills.
Guarantee your container and soil drain extra moisture properly; it ought to stay damp to the contact however shouldn’t be muddy or oversaturated. Keep away from leaving containers sitting in saucers of water for comparable causes.
These crops thrive in arid climates. Excessive humidity or moisture on leaves can simply result in powdery mildew and different fungal leaf infections. Look ahead to discoloration of the leaves, a white dusty-looking powder on leaves, or leaves that wilt or drop.
Enhance air circulation round your crops, preserve them in a dry surroundings, and should you hand water your crops, don’t spray water on the leaves. Damp leaves present a really perfect surroundings for airborne fungal spores to cling to.
Lechenaultia crops are typically not bothered by insect pests. If there are aphids or spider mites within the space, they might often transfer over to feed on the leaves.
Look ahead to seen bugs and leaf harm attributable to bugs. Mist all plant surfaces with neem oil to assist management infestations, and act shortly to regulate the infestation so it can not unfold to neighboring crops.
Often Requested Questions
Blue Lechenaultia is a fantastic, showy little plant excellent for a xeriscape backyard. It’s going to thrive in ideally suited circumstances, with full solar, low humidity, and gritty, well-drained soil. It’s simply propagated by cuttings, and it makes an important low-growing floor cowl for small areas. Think about rising it alongside a walkway or in a container.
Sadly, this plant is just not tolerant of freezing temperatures or extended moisture within the air or the soil, making it troublesome to develop in less-than-ideal circumstances. When you have the best circumstances, nonetheless, blue Lechenaultia can convey nice pleasure to the backyard!