Leonotis care and cultivation

The Leonotis is a subshrub plant 1.50 m high, native to Africa; its ramifications are abundant and from the base it forms a dense bush in a short period of time. It has lanceolate, pubescent and serrated leaves 6 cm long of an intense green color. Its flowers are red-orange, 5 cm long, and are grouped in an inflorescence forming various cycles on the same floriferous stem. It is perfectly cultivated in balconies, gardens and flowerpots for its continuous flowering from the beginning of spring until the first frosts.

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How to care for the Leonotis

The Leonotis thrives very well in fertile , moist and deep soil . The planting site is prepared by adding hangover, mulch and manure , until a light soil is achieved. It grows very well in large containers 30 cm deep and well drained; the substrate is made up of three parts of river hangover or fermented manure and seven parts of black soil.

It is favored by the use of 150 g of bone meal incorporated into the substrate used in the plantation. From the following year you will have to spread 10 g compound fertilizer in the root zone in spring and mid-summer. Regarding irrigation, the soil must always be kept moist during the flowering period with four weekly irrigations; during the winter vegetative rest you will have to reduce it to one watering every seven days. This beautiful plant thrives in more than five hours of direct sunlight a day.

Leonotis culture

Plant Leonotis outdoors from mid- winter , avoiding cold days, until mid- spring where it will produce abundant flowering from the first year. Its long branches will have to be pruned 20 cm from the birth to stimulate the budding of the basal buds. Put other woody species or walls 1.2 meters apart, and prune intensively in early spring, cutting off vigorous branches and canceling out weaker or damaged ones.

During the summer, cut the stems leaving three buds for a new bloom. Stir around the plant before using fertilizer, and cover exposed roots with improved soil. The plants will have to be renewed every four years when a decrease in growth is noticed.

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