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How to Grow Beautiful Brunfelsia

 Author Chelsea Van Rijn

A truly beautiful and harmonious garden should stimulate all of our senses…

I love the varied and delicious smells of the garden; sweetly scented flowers, strong, spicy foliage — even stinky fertiliser has its place!

New-release plants will wow us with ‘structural’ or ‘colourful’ impact, but we usually need to look to the ‘old favourites’ for qualities like fragrance.

Brunfelsia (Brunfelsia latifolia) is one such ‘vintage’ plant. You may know it by its common name: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. This evergreen shrub grows slowly to around 2-4m tall and 2m wide. The foliage is dense and a smoky green colour. The new leaves can go purplish in cool weather.

The true beauty of brunfelsia is in its flowers. Sweetly perfumed, they appear from September to late November. When they first open they are a violet colour, fading to lavender blue and then white, with the three colours present on the bush at the same time. How extraordinary that a plant can be covered in three different coloured flowers at once!

Brunfelsia enjoys full sun or partial shade. It enjoys a trim but does not need to be trimmed to look thick and lush. A good complete organic fertiliser like 5IN1 Organic Fertiliser Pellets at least twice a year in August and December will keep it looking beautiful for many years. To keep it flowering well, liquid fertilise with Searles Flourish fortnightly from late August until it finishes flowering in around December.

The great thing about this plant is it doesn’t seem to mind if it’s a little dry or a little wet; it likes the summer heat and can handle the winter chills. It’s not keen on heavy frosts, though. These plants are perfect for growing in the garden or in a pot. If planting in a pot, use Searles Platinum Potting Mix potting mix and mulch with Searles Premium Garden Mulch.

In recent years, a dwarf brunfelsia has been released that only grows to around a metre. It is perfect for borders or small gardens. Be aware that this plant can be slower to flower.

The only downside to brunfelsia is that they are highly toxic to animals and humans if eaten, so if you have an animal, especially a dog that likes to eat plants, take precautions or grow something else.

Indulge all of your senses by planting a brunfelsia this weekend!

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About Chelsea Van Rijn

My family owns Trevallan Lifestyle Centre (TLC) an About the Garden Local Garden Expert. Trevallan’s motto is “give your life some TLC” and that’s what I do every day – help people put the TLC (Tender, loving care) back into their life. I love talking to people about stress FREE gardening and often talk at local gardening clubs, women’s groups and social clubs. I write a gardening column for the local paper and gardening magazines (including About the Garden). I also love sourcing beautiful things for the home and body. I try to source things for their beauty and functionality but sometimes decor items have to be a little bit fun too! Enjoy the journey with me and visit my blog trevallan.com.

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