As each new year begins at Greenland we are constantly on the lookout for new and exciting novelty plants to offer to our customers. We want our customers to have success and bragging rights with our selection of easy to grow novelties, many of which have outstanding characteristics which set them apart from your average run of the mill plants available anywhere else.
We have chosen the following as our main picks to kick off the new year:
Adenium obesum (Desert Rose, Karoo Rose)
- native to the deserts of south and east Africa
- a succulent plant belonging to the same family as Oleander with pink to red tubular flowers
- plants possess thick stems and branches, many with a bulbous base used as water storage during seasons of sustained drought
- great as a patio plant outdoors in full sun during the summer months; must be brought indoors before the first fall frost.
- prefer bright light indoors in front of a south window
- average to warm room temperatures (18-22ºC)
- fertilize at half strength with a 20-20-20 April to October
- water regularly allowing soil to almost dry completely between watering (IE. The hotter, the more light, the more rootbound and the more air movement surrounding the plant, the more frequent the need for water.)
- Adeniums can be kept completely dry through the winter if grown cool
- tolerate being rootbound to the point of distorting the plastic pot or cracking the clay pots they are in
- transplant using a cactus type soil, by gently lifting the entire plant and adding soil to the bottom of the root ball
- replant the same depth or slightly higher
Epiphyllum Hybrid (Orchid Cactus)
- native to central and South America
- best described as a giant version of the Easter Cactus
- absolutely stunning when in bloom with 3-8” blooms in shades of red, pink, white, orange, yellow or violet
- one of the easiest houseplants to grow
- use as a hanging basket or on a tall plant stand, as stems can cascade down to four feet or more
- prefer bright indirect light under ordinary household temperatures
- benefit from regular feeding once or twice monthly, April to October, promoting flowering at an earlier stage
- repot only when rootbound and always right after flowering into a cactus potting mix.
Hoya kerrii (Sweetheart Hoya)
- native to Thailand and a novel houseplant for Valentine's Day
- marketed as a “living card”, one can write directly onto the heart shaped leaf by scarring the plant and leaving a lasting permanent message
- a slow growing Hoya that blooms best as with all other species displaying highly scented white waxy blooms with red centers
- always keep on the dry side and potbound for best bloom display
- prefer a bright location indoors
- best soil mix for this species is a cactus type mix with added perlite for drainage.
Jasminium officinale (Commone Jasmine)
- native to the Cacasus Mountains, northern Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Himalayas
- a single plant can perfume an entire room
- excellent as a hanging basket, worked into a hoop, or placed on a stand in front of a sunny window
- pale pink buds open to multiples of which sweetly scented flowers that can fill a room with perfume in no time
- keep evenly moist at all times
- Jasmines enjoy high humidity; place on a pebble tray or mist twice daily
- keep away from heat registers
- after flowering, clip back plants to promote more growth and future bloom
Kailarsenia vietnamensis (Vietnamese Gardenia)
- feed once monthly with 20-20-20 or 15-30-15.
- also known as Gardenia angusta 'Vietnam'
- one of the newest Gardenias to enter the market from Vietnam
- an amazing bloomer
- flowers intermittently most of the year, sporting large three inch single white first to six petalled flowers with the usual rich sweet gardenia fragrance. Very glossy leaves.
- much easier to grown than common Gardenias
- prefers full sun indoors and evenly moist soil
- fertilize once per month March to October with a 30-10-10
- water once per month with a vinegar and water solution at 1 tbsp. Vinegar/litre of water, to keep soil on the acidic side
- makes a great outdoor patio specimen in summer
Mitrostigma axillare (African Gardenia)
- most Gardenias tend to be difficult indoors, but this species is the perfect specimen for houseplant enthusiasts
- everblooming indoors in a sunny window under average room temperatures
- very fragrant star shaped white flowers with yellow centers are borne in clusters almost twelve months of the year
- keep evenly moist at all times
- fertilize monthly March to October with a 20-20-20 or 30-10-10
- to keep soil acidic, supply a solution of vinegar and water (1 tbsp/litre of water) once monthly.
Ornithogalum thyrsoides (Star of Bethlehem/Wonder Flower)
- native to southern Europe and southern Africa
- grows from a bulb
- grass-like basal leaves from which arise several 30cm tall slender flowering stalks bearing clusters of white star shaped flowers, striped in green up the stalks
- flowering period up to 3 months
- keep evenly moist in a sunny spot indoors
- after flowering feed the bulb with a 10-10-30 to replenish bulbs for future flowering
- as plants die down and become dormant, store in a cool place such as a fridge crisper in a paper bag until the following spring when the bulb can be potted up and the growth process begins once again
Platycerium bifuractum (Staghorn Fern)
- native from New Guinea to Australia
- plants look like a pair of mounted deer antlers
- a novelty plant in that it can be grown mounted on wooden plaques and hung on walls indoors
- best grown in a wire basket/orchid pot filled with sphagnum moss
- key is humidity; many people grow these above the kitchen sink or in the bathroom near a window
- tolerate bright filtered shade
- keep constantly moist and fertilize monthly at half strength with a fertilizer recommended for orchids
- keep plants clean by dusting monthly.
Selaginella lepidophylla (Resurrection Plant/Rose of Jericho)
- one of over 700 species of club moss fitting somewhere between mosses and ferns in the hierarchy of plant evolution
- native to a desert environment from southwest USA into Mexico, Central America, all the way down to El Salvador
- foliage is scaly and resembles that of a juniper
- a group of plants that appear to die (turn into a dried up ball) when not watered, then spring back to life when watered.
- an ideal novelty for kids as they can watch this plant spring back to life when given water and in a short amount of time.
- How to Grow Successfully:
- set out a clay or ceramic bowl
- put a thin layer of fine gravel or decorate stones in the bottom of the bowl
- pour a shallow layer of water into the gravel or stones and place the base of the plant touching the water. Plants should uncurl 6-10 hours later
- place plant in full sun in a warm place
- water rarely – only when plant begins to curl inwards
- you can also remove plant from water after a maximum of 5-7 days and it will return back to its dormant state. Store it dry on a shelf and bring out for special occasions.
Stephanotis floribunda (Madagascar Jasmine/Bridal Wreath)
- native to Africa, Madagascar and Asia
- prized for the heady scent and often used in bridal bouquets
- also grown for its glossy leaves and fragrant clusters of long trumpet shaped white, extremely fragrant blossoms, May to October
- plants prefer a well-lit area indoors but shade from direct sunlight during the summer to prevent foliage from scorching
- indoors temperatures 15-21ºC
- require high humidity – place on gravel trays or mist twice daily
- keep evenly moist spring to fall and slightly drier during the winter
- feed once monthly March to October with a 15-30-15 to promote flowering
- mature plants produce a pear like fruit 4” long which take up to a year to ripen on the plant
- once pod splits open, seed is ready to be sown.