Fresh faces

Try this ex­otic ar­ray of weird and won­der­ful new plants for your home

Garden News (UK) - - About Now -

Goep­per­tia ze­b­rina (ca­lathea or ze­bra plant)

A fab fo­liage plant that ac­tu­ally brings bright colour with­out the need for flow­ers. Its leaves are bright, fresh green with darker, stripy midribs. A jungly plant that can reach 1m (3¼ft), and needs warmth at over 15C (59F), in­di­rect light and hu­mid­ity. Mist with wa­ter through sum­mer. From www.cro­cus.co.uk.

Aeschy­nan­thus (lip­stick plant)

A real cracker for its flow­ers, that look like red lip­sticks in their cases. It’s a climber that’s used as a trailer in the house­plant world, be­ing right at home droop­ing over the edge of a pot or hang­ing bas­ket. Try ‘Twis­ter’ for its twisted leaves. It likes hu­mid­ity and in­di­rect light – try a bath­room. From www.cro­cus.co.uk.

Senecio row­leyanus (string of beads)

A fan­tas­tic house­plant on sale in gar­den cen­tres at the mo­ment, with lovely strands of beads to cas­cade over the edges of a hang­ing bas­ket. Best of all, it’s an easy-care suc­cu­lent plant for a bright win­dowsill above 10C (50F). Try prop­a­gat­ing the fleshy bead leaves. From www.rhs­plants.co.uk.

Be­go­nia mac­u­lata ‘Wightii’ (polka dot be­go­nia)

Olive-green, an­gel wing leaves with red un­der­sides have white polka dots, with clas­sic white be­go­nia flow­ers ap­pear­ing most of the year in­doors. One to show off out­side in sum­mer. Needs good warmth and good light at over 15C (59F). From www.di­b­leys.com.

Zy­gopetalum

For ex­otic flow­ers, give this de­light­ful or­chid a go. It’s not quite as easy as a moth or­chid to keep and flower, but al­most! In­dian head­dress flow­ers in siz­zling pur­ple, brown and green and slim leaves. Keep at 12C (54F) and above and in hu­mid­ity. From www.or­chids.uk.com.

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