DESCRIPTION: This is a group of tender perennials native of Ceylon, Malaya and India. Their height ranges from 1 to 3 feet. C. lavendulacea grows up to 24 inches high and has evergreen, fuzzy, pale green leaves that grow up to 8 inches long. Its funnel-shaped flowers will grow from spring through fall if sown in succession. The tube is white and the petals are lavender-blue. C. hamosa bears white flowers stained with blue or pink. C. Horsfieldii bears yellowish-white flowers tinted with purple and C. Marcanii produces orange flowers with yellow throats.
POTTING: Where climates are cool, these plants need a warm, humid greenhouse. They need shelter from very strong sun. They should be planted in well-drained pots that are filled with coarse soil consisting of leaf mold and peat moss or other decayed organic matter. The soil shouldn't be pressed too firmly. It's important that the soil is kept evenly moist all the time. It should never become waterlogged. The benches that the plants are set on should be dampened from time to time to maintain the humidity, but care must be taken not to wet the foliage. Healthy plants that have filled their pots up with roots should be given dilute liquid fertilizer once or twice a week. In warm climates, they may be grown outside in moist soil, in bright, indirect sunlight with high humidity. As mentioned before, avoid wetting the leaves when watering.
PROPAGATION: Seeds and cuttings can be used to increase these plants. The seeds are very tiny so they should be sprinkled on the surface of the soil and just pressed in. It's unnecessary to cover them up. Cover the pots with sheets of glass and paper until the seedlings appear above the ground. May is the best time to sow the seeds. Seeds that are sown at that time will be in full bloom in 6-inch pots the following winter. Leaf cuttings may be made and inserted at any time; those made from March to June will provide plants that bloom the next winter.
VARIETIES: C. hamosa; C. Horsfieldii; C. lavendulacea; C. Marcanii.
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