Friday, 22 March 2013

POTM: False Sarsaparilla

Plant of the month for March


Hardenbergia or just the common False Sarsaparilla climber likes a sunny or semi shaded position. It flowers better in full sun and it needs well drained soil and preferably likes a frost free site, although it tolerates some frost. 

Like many evergreen climbers, it has a tendency to run up a wall or fence and ball at the top and be leggy below. But for compact growth and an even fence coverage prune regularly after flowering.

Probably the most widely grown variety in Australia is Hardenbergia violacea 'Happy Wanderer'. But there is also a pale pink form called Hardenbergia ‘Rosea’ which is just exquisite with its soft pink colour, and there is a pure white form as well called Hardenbergia ‘Alba’. 

Recent breeding has actually developed some upright shrubby forms including Hardenbergia 'Purple Clusters'. It grows to about 1m by 1m and has a mass of purple flowers in winter spring.

Hardenbergia violacea is well worth a spot in your garden,and should be planted instead of the deciduous vine wisteria as the plant will strangle everything in its path. So the hardenbergia can be used to hide a fence or structure without taking over and has a mass of flowers in late winter to early spring.

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