DESCRIPTION: These are small, woody, evergreen plants native to Australia. The can survive outdoors in California and other similar, mild climates. Otherwise, they may be grown in cool greenhouses. They have tiny, wiry stems and needle-like leaves. The lovely bell-shaped flowers have four petals. They may be rosy-carmine, pink or maroon and yellow. B. megastigma has a beautiful scent that's strong enough to fill a greenhouse with just one plant in bloom.
POTTING: Boronias will flourish in four parts peat, two parts loam, and two parts coarse sand in a greenhouse that has a minimum winter temperature of 45 degrees. As soon as the flowers die, the shoots should be pruned back by two-thirds. They are then placed in the warmest part of the greenhouse and sprayed frequently to encourage fresh growth. When the new shoots are a half-inch long, the plants should be repotted in flowerpots that are an inch larger than the old pots. Thoroughly firm the compost with a potting stick. Keep them warm and moist for a few weeks until new roots have formed, after which they can be kept in cooler and drier conditions. They can be set outside in the summer. The pots should be placed under ashes to ripen the wood for flower production. Return them to the greenhouse before it frosts. Care must be taken in the watering of this plant because too much water, or too little, can be fatal to your boronia.
PROPAGATION: Half-ripe or partly woody shoots that are about 2 inches long, are taken off with a "heel" of the old branch still attached and are inserted into a pot of sand and peat moss in July. Water them well and place them in a propagating case in the greenhouse. When they've formed roots, they can be planted into individual, 3-inch pots of sandy peat. Pinch off the tips of the main shoots to encourage bushy growth.
VARIETIES: B. megastigma; B. elatior; B. heterophylla.
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