Brunfelsia: Greenhouse Plants
W – warm, minimum of 13°C (55°F)
S America and W Indies
An excellent genus of plants for the greenhouse. Brunfelsia calycina macrantha from Chile is the most readily available and in my experience the most robust. Fromit quite quickly becomes a small shrub which bears its unscented purplish flowers in succession throughout the year. The flowers are deep purple as they unfold but fade almost to white by the time they die. This has given the plant its common name of Yesterday-Today-and-Tomorrow Plant. In a pot it will rarely exceed 60-90 cm (2-3 ft). However, in a border it may reach 1.5 m (5 ft). Should plants require pruning they will respond well; I have known plants flowering again six weeks after a late spring pruning. B. americana from the West Indies has June flowers that are white turning through cream to yellow with long slender tubes. It has earned the name Lady of the Night due to its strong fragrance. B. undulata, also scented and from the West Indies, is similar with creamy-white flowers in October. I have found both of these much slower growing than B. calycina but worth the effort for their scent. Cuttings should be taken in spring from actively growing shoots.
It is a good idea to pinch out the tips as they grow to encourage a bushy plant, although this will delay flowering. These plants are quite hungry so feed regularly or apply a slow release fertiliser.