Coleonema pulchellum is a medium-sized evergreen shrub, native to southern Africa. It has a dense and compact development and with age it can reach 150-200 cm in height; the foliage is linear, almost scaly, small, light green in color, very aromatic; the development is densely branched and the crown tends to develop harmoniously, forming a round, balloon-like shrub. From spring to early autumn cold, small, delicately perfumed pink star flowers bloom between the leaves. After flowering, in autumn, it is advisable to shorten the branches by at least a third, to maintain a well-compacted shape. Very decorative shrub, it can be used as a single specimen, to create low hedges or even in the rock garden. There are also cultivars with white flowers, or with golden foliage.
The plants of Coleonema pulchellum should be planted in a sunny or partially shaded place; they are hardy and resistant plants and can resist winds, even brackish ones.
They withstand even prolonged frosts without problems, with temperatures close to -5 ° C; if you plan to grow them in an area with very harsh winters, it is advisable to plant the plant in a sheltered place, or in a pot, in order to keep it in a sheltered place during the colder season.
If the plant is in the ground, when the temperatures drop it is possible to intervene with a protection with a sheet and with mulch material to protect the root system.
As for the water supply, it is advisable to water regularly from March until autumn, providing water only when the soil is dry. The shrubs that have been planted for several years can generally tolerate even prolonged periods of drought without problems.
Check that the soil does not allow the formation of stagnant water, which could compromise the health of this variety.
During the flowering period, provide fertilizer for flowering plants, every 15-20 days, dissolved in the irrigation water.
Coleonema pulchellum plants prefer fresh and very well drained soils, quite fertile; they may show signs of iron chlorosis in excessively alkaline or limestone-rich soils; for this reason it is good to mix the soil at the foot of the plant with peat every 2-3 years, or it is also possible to add special iron-based fertilizers to the soil, even just once a year.
The soil must be soft and allow the water to drain properly, to avoid the formation of dangerous stagnations.
The multiplication of this genus of plants occurs by seed, in spring, or by stem cuttings in summer, placing the cuttings in a compound prepared with a part of peat, to make the soil softer. Keep in a sheltered place until new shoots develop correctly.
Coleonema pulchellum: Parasites and diseases
Plants grown in heavy, humid soil or in poorly ventilated places easily manifest root rot or signs of botrytis on the foliage. It is advisable to control and eliminate the formation of stagnation and to intervene promptly as soon as the signs of any pathology are noticed.