Blue Glory Bower/Clerodendrum Myricoides ‘Ugandense’
The Blue Glory Bower is a shrubby and unusual, Clerodendrum from tropical and Southern Africa – mostly Uganda and Zimbabwe. While forced plants are offered for purchase from April through to October, in the home most will produce the main flush of bloom in Spring. Further flowers may appear later, especially if the plant is trimmed of spent flower heads after the main show is complete. The panicles of blue-coloured flowers (colouring can range from white through blue to violet on each bloom) give off an exotic fragrance. The oval leaves are somewhat smaller on this plant than those of other Clerodendrum. Take a tip from the growers if you are producing new plants from: grow several cuttings together in one pot to give a good ‘full’ effect.
This plant needs a Winter minimum temperature of about 16°C (6°F) and an optimum growing heat of 21°C (70°F). As a tropical plant, the Blue Glory Bower will benefit from a period of enforced rest in the poorly-lit environment of the home in Winter. Keep it as cool as possible – remembering the Winter minimum – and don’t worry if the leaves drop: they will be replaced once the plant recommences growth in Spring.
From late Spring through to late Autumn, provide Clerodendnim myricoides ‘Ugandense’ with good, bright, but indirect, light. In Winter, move it to a well-lit position.
Keep thewell moistened during the growing period; during the resting phase, give just enough water to prevent the foliage from wilting.
A daily misting during the warm days of Summer will raise the level of humidity; more frequent misting may be necessary during periods of really hot weather.
Keep any wet foliage out of direct sunlight.
Feed this Clerodendrum every three weeks during the Summer, using a proprietary houseplant food at half strength: this species requires less food than most.
Repot every Spring before growth starts again, using a good- quality, free-draining, loam-based compost: if the plant is grown in a hanging basket, a peat-based compost will weigh less and place less strain on the supporting hook.
This plant flowers on newly-produced wood: to keep the plant flowering from year to year, it is important to prune the plant correctly. After flowering, prune back the side shoots by a third to a half, and remove any untidy and straggly stems right down to compost level.
Whitefly, which gather on the undersides of the leaves, will appear in swarms each time the plant is disturbed. Control this irritating pest with a proprietary insecticide.
Red Spider Mite may appear under the characteristic webbing on the undersides of the leaves: no product available on the domestic market is truly effective against this pest. Try using an insecticide-impregnated plant spike and be prepared to discard and burn any badly-affected plants.