Delicate flowers for months make these easy plants garden favourites
Phygelius are long-flowering plants with long spikes of trumpet blooms showering down the plants. There are only two wild species – the taller, orange P. capensis and the smaller, reddish P. aequalis – from South Africa. These have been crossed to make new hybrids, popular for their showy pink, red and cream flowers. They are sometimes referred to as Cape fuchsias, although they’re not related to their namesake, but to foxgloves. Easy to grow, they often spread by creeping stems. Flowering happens in summer and early autumn. Plants range in height from 60cm (24in) to 1.5m (5ft). Plant them in pots or at the front or mid-area of borders. They look good with herbaceous plants such as goldenrod, coreopsis, rudbeckias, echinaceas and true fuchsias.
Keep them happy
Phygelius are semi-shrubby and have a woody base but they should be cut in spring as they’re not 100 per cent hardy. They prefer full sun and may struggle in wet clay soils. Generally pest free, they can be attacked by capsid bugs. Each shoot ends in a cluster of flowers. When these have faded, cut back stems for more flowers. In pots, water them frequently and feed every week. Divide clumps in spring or take cuttings of shoot tips in summer which will root readily within weeks.
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