Thursday, July 17, 2014

Holmskioldia sanguinea (Chinese hat plant) - This is going to be a lot of fun!

I was lucky enough to get this species from the school where I am a teacher. We enlarged a lawn and most shrubs were removed. This one is about 50 years old:
 March 2013:
 This is the flowers of the species:
 The leaves - now we can see it is part of the mint family:

Some info on the species:

Named after Theodor Holmskiold, an 18th Danish physician and professor, Chinese hat is native to the Himalayan lowlands and is an erect climbing shrub that bears narrowly trumpet-shaped flowers with crimson petals and orange-red calyces. Its unique flowers are the main interest of this scrambling shrub: each is a narrow, orange-scarlet tube backed by a broad, circular calyx, appearing in dense terminal clusters through fall and winter. The mid-green leaves are oval and slightly serrated. There are also yellow- and bronze-flowered forms.

  PRUNING... This tree is a very rampant grower. Prune weekly back to the first or second node on secondary branches while actively growing Will handle severe top and root pruning.

 TRAINING... Wire for movement in main branches and use clip and grow for secondary branches. Due to its quick growth rate watch for wire scarring.

 WATERING... As any quick grower it likes a lot of water during the summer months.

 LIGHT... Full sun is best. Although can tolerate partial sun.

 INSECT/DISEASE... Watch for Scale, Mites and Aphids.

 FERTILIZE... Careful with the nitrogen, too much will stretch the internodes. Use a balanced fertilizer through the growing season then start adding phosphate late summer for blooms.
 REPOT... Repot every one to two years.

 SEASONAL... Protect below 40 degrees. In your landscape will freeze to the ground and come back, but will need some protection on a sustained freeze. 

The one I have dug in winter(July 2014):

 Time will tell.......but it is going to be a lot of fun!