This blog reviews the latest products, plants and innovations in gardening. It also provides a link for my many gardening friends who are members of the GardenMessenger and Seedmessenger Yahoo groups and their sub-groups that I moderate.

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Location: Australia

I am a semi-retired UK botanical garden curator and former international horticultural consultant, who has worked extensively in Europe, the Middle East, North America and Australia. I spend part of the year in Australia and part in Europe, mainly due to family and work commitments. I earn my living from writing and editing Internet copy, articles and books. I have written over fifty books on gardening and have been translated into twenty-four different languages. I am a former UK Garden Writer of the Year and a previous Quill & Trowel Award Winner from the Garden Writer’s Association of America. I am interested in developing gardening communities on the Internet and I manage the popular GardenMessenger Yahoo group, along with its various sub-groups like PondMessenger and SeedMessenger. I also edit International Water Gardener and its associated regional web-sites.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Calandiva – the Camel of House Plants


The house plant industry is hailing the latest series of Kalanchoe hybrids as not only being the most spectacular yet, but also amongst the easiest of house plants to care for. Those who are responsible for informing us gardeners and the wider flower-loving public of this astonishing new range of plants are calling them the Camel of House Plants, referring to their requirement for a drop of water now and again.

Breeding of these full-blossomed hybrids started in 2002 with ‘Leonardo’, a purple-flowered chance find, named by Ike Vlielander, the breeder of the series, for his brother-in-law. This mutation, discovered in a commercial crop of Kalanchoe in Sweden, had 32 petals to each flower rather than just 4. From this individual a wonderful series of uniform cultivars in different colours has been bred. Requiring a minimum of 15ºC (59ºF), and little else but good light, they are perfect, not only as house plants, but as summer inhabitants of tubs, containers and window boxes. Marketed under the brand name of Calandiva, these are great plants for the gardener, both the novice and the more experienced.

To see the full range of Calandiva visit the GardenMessenger web-site click here.

Happy Gardening



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