I live in a sub-tropical region (where weather conditions resemble the climate of USDA Zone 10b) and maintain a roof-top succulent garden. The best part of growing my succulents on roof-top is maximum air flow almost throughout the year and good sunny conditions in winter. However, summer is harsh and I need to protect the plants from scorching sun as the temperature during the months of May, June and July soars to soar to 40–48 °C (104–118 °F).
Preparing for the summer, I spent this weekend setting up shelter for my plants.
Today, I am sharing one of my favorite Agave plants, Agave x Manfreda.
The plants is remarkable because of dark red spots on its delicate leaves. The plant makes a compact rosette (usually 12″ in height and 12″ to 20″ in width). The grey-green leaves have red margins and are usually fragile. It is suitable for container gardening, requires regular maintenance and survives cold spells, if protected from frost. In summer, it can be grown under bright and filtered sunlight with moderate watering.
Agave x Manfreda is believed to be a hybrid of Agave Macroacantha with Manfreda Maculosa that is why it is listed as Mangave Bloodspots.
I was raised in a big house with plants, vines and trees in abundance. Naturally, I have a lot of childhood memories associated with these plants… and there are some special memories that I still cherish like a big Rangoon Creeper vine loaded with large tufts of white, pink and bright red flowers. It was planted in the ground from where it had climbed up to the third-storey of the house. It used to bear large bunches of flowers that spread intoxicating fragrance in our backyard and attracted bees and butterflies of various colors throughout the year.
As children we used to collect those sweet smelling flowers to decorate our sand houses. This Rangoon Creeper grew in our house until we moved to our new home where we had limited space for plantation but we managed to grow this plant against fences. Since Rangoon Creeper is a fast growing vine, it covered all the fences and started producing flowers quickly.
Now it grows in our small lawn against walls and fences under full sun. Actually, Rangoon Creeper is a nice choice if you want to cover empty spaces, create visual dividers or provide shady cover on a porch, balcony or terrace. It is easy to trim though it requires regular trimming otherwise it grows wild. Rangoon Creeper can be grown in almost all tropical and sub-tropical regions and requires bright sunlight and moderate amount of water.
Flowers of Rangoon Creeper
Rangoon Creeper flowers profusely throughout the year. Flowers open as white trumpet-shaped blooms and then turn to pink and bright red in the next two or three days. You can see all three colors on a single flower stalk of Rangoon Creeper spreading sweet smell all around. Healthy plants bear lush green leaves and abundance of flowers. Hybrid varieties bear more profuse flowers.
Rangoon Creeper is also known as Chinese Honeysuckle, Burma Creeper, Scarlet Rangoon or simply by its botanical name Quisqualis Indica (Quisqualis Indica is a Latin word and translates in English as ‘What is that?’). It is easy to grow and can be planted in containers as ornamental vine. It is said to reach up to 70 meters in length but can be pruned easily. When grown in ground, Rangoon Creeper needs support of a fence, wall or wire.
Growing Rangoon Creeper
Both as container plant or creeping vine planted in the ground, Rangoon Creeper requires bright light, fertile soil and moderate water. It can withstand cold spells of winter but loves the spring season. Rangoon Creeper can be grown by seed though propagation from cutting and layering is easy and quick.
Rangoon Creeper is used in traditional medicine in Pakistan, China and India to relieve diarrhea, nephritis and rheumatism.
I just recalled Juliet talking to Romeo thus: “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”. So true! Rose is, without a doubt, the most spectacular and lovely flower. Enjoy these beautiful roses from the collection of a friend from Edinburgh, Bashir Ahmed.