In The Garden: Blue Butterfly Bush loves sub-tropical environment
The Blue Butterfly Bush (Rotheca myricoides) is part of the Verbena family of tropical flowering plants that love the sub-tropical environment of our area. Also known as Butterfly Clerodendrum and Clerodendrum ugandense, this plant is originally from Africa.
The best growing conditions for the plant would be in partial sun/shade, with frequent waterings but not too much water; it grows best in a frost-free climate. The Blue Butterfly Bush can grow 8 feet to 9 feet in height, with a sprawling growth pattern, but with regular trimming, you can keep it at a lower height and still enjoy its frequent blooms.
Butterflies and bees love the plant, and it is a beautiful addition to any butterfly or flowering garden with its lovely two-toned blue-to-lavender flowers and bright green foliage. The type that is most commonly seen in the local area tends to be more blue in color and the flowers even vaguely resemble a butterfly complete with wings and antennae.
A frequent bloomer, the plant will bloom nearly year-around on the islands. Pruning is recommended to keep its bushy shape and to improve flowering.
A butterfly plant, Clerodendrum ugandense has been cultivated in botanical gardens for nearly 100 years, but only recently has been grown as a flowering plant for the home gardener. Enjoy the lovely blue blooms as they wave in the breeze and hopefully entice butterflies to join you in your garden.
In The Garden is a joint effort by all at the local garden center, at 3889 Sanibel-Captiva Road, Sanibel. For more information, contact 239-395-5859 or visit “http://www.facebook.com/rswalshinthegarden”>www.facebook.com/rswalshinthegarden.