Crotalaria : Greenhouse Plants
W – warm, minimum of 13°C (55°F)
These are elegant plants with very unusual flowers. I like the origin of their name which derives from krotalon; Greek for castanet; this is because the seeds rattle inside the inflated pods. The only species I have grown is Crotalaria grevei which has lovely lime-green- and pinky-orange-coloured pea-like flowers some 5 cm (2 in) long. The only problems were that plants became very straggly and needed to be well supported. They were also under constant attack from red spider mite. However, they redeemed themselves by responding extremely well to pruning which I often used to solve both problems. I have seen seed offered of both C. grevei and C. cunninghamii, an Australian species with green flowers. Cuttings taken during spring and summer root well. Seed should be soaked for two hours before sowing at 18-21°C (65-70°F).