Velvet Elvis

Forget the blue suede (!), Plectranthus ‘Velvet Elvis’ from Touch of Class Plants is a fast growing large shrubby perennial with a striking combination of masses of perfumed lavender flowers and very attractive deep green leaves. The undersides of the leaves are dark purple to almost black, adding another colour dimension to this impressive variety.

Plectranthus ‘Velvet Elvis’ has a spreading habit, growing 80 cm wide and 70 cm high. It prefers full sun to part shade in a spot with well drained soil.

Perfect for mass planting, as a filler in the middle of a border, a beautiful specimen plant or grown in a container. It can be deciduous in colder areas of Australia and generally flowers for a prolonged period from late summer through autumn. 

Keep newly planted Velvet Elvis moist as it establishes and then feed regularly with Yates Thrive Roses & Flowers Liquid Plant Food during flushes of foliage and flowers to promote healthy, colourful plants. Trim Velvet Elvis lightly after flowering has finished to help keep the plant neat and tidy.

Caterpillars can be a pest on plectranthus. Look out for chewed leaves and droppings, as the caterpillars themselves may be hard to spot. 

Fortnightly sprays of Yates Nature’s Way Citrus & Ornamental Spray, both on the upper and undersides of the leaves, will help keep budworm caterpillars under control.

Proteas

Plants which produce flowers during the cooler months bring much needed colour to the garden as well as providing a source of food for hungry bees and birds.

Native to South Africa, proteas are spectacular autumn and winter flowering plants that not only look great in the garden, but their flowers also make a long lasting cut flower display.

  • Protea ‘Pink Ice’, is a well-known favourite which grows to around 3 m tall and 1.5 m wide with dark green foliage and large deep pink flowers with a darker centre.
  • Protea ‘Lancelot’, is another beautiful variety with candy pink flowers, also growing to 3 m tall and 1.5 m wide. 

Proteas needs well drained soil in a full sun position that receives at least 6 hours of sunshine a day. They are drought tolerant once established but should be watered regularly during their first summer. Pink Ice and Lancelot are also tolerant of frosts down to – 5 deg C.

To keep proteas compact and looking fantastic, remove spent flowers regularly. Or, by cutting new flowers for a vase you can do two jobs at once!

When planting proteas, mix a handful of Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser.

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