If you’re after bold colour for a sheltered, partly shaded area you can’t go past cinerarias. Yates® Cineraria Starships is a compact variety, growing to around 30 cm tall, with large flower heads in bright colourful clusters. Cineraria seed needs light to germinate, so the very fine seed should only be pressed into trays of Yates Seed Raising Mix, misted gently with water and kept in a warm place. For best results, cover the tray with plastic cling film to help keep the mix moist. Seedlings can be transplanted out into the garden or into a pot when they are large enough to handle. Planted en masse, cinerarias are breathtaking, so it’s well worth growing lots of seedlings. Cinerarias grown in shady conditions display the most intense colours and flowering potted cinerarias can be brought indoors for a few days at a time.
Heucheras are brilliant plants used predominantly for their colourful foliage. Available in a wide range of gorgeous colours, from deep burgundy and rich red, through to pinks, orange and lime green, they provide bright splashes of colour throughout the year. Some can even very cleverly change colour in response to temperature. Heuchera foliage adds wonderful textures and shapes to a garden and they look fantastic when planted under deciduous trees.
Heucheras have long lasting tiny cream, pink or red flowers from spring to early summer on long stems, however the foliage is the real drawcard.
Plant Growers Australia have two stunning (and deliciously named) heucheras called ‘Chocolate Curl’ and ‘Caramel Curl’.
‘Chocolate Curl’ has wavy edged burgundy foliage and ‘Caramel Curl’ has ruffled deep pink and green foliage. Both growing to around 10 cm tall and spreading to 80 cm wide, they’re perennials that will grow very well in part shade but will also tolerate a sunny position if given protection from strong afternoon sun. They can be used in a mixed garden border to highlight their contrasting foliage or grown as an edging plant or ground cover, where their dense habit helps to suppress weeds. They also make an attractive container plant and create a real statement on a deck or patio. Heucheras are hardy, low maintenance plants that are frost tolerant and will handle dry conditions once established.
When planting new heucheras enrich the area first by mixing some Yates® Dynamic Lifter® Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser into the soil and then reapply every spring and autumn to help keep the plants fed. Regular applications of Yates Dynamic Lifter will also contribute to valuable levels of organic matter in the soil, which aids moisture and nutrient storage as well as encouraging earthworms and beneficial soil microorganisms.