By: Teo Spengler
What is a marmalade bush? This scrambling shrub with small, dark-green leaves and brilliant flower clusters is a lovely addition to the landscape, and marmalade bush care is surprisingly easy. Read on for more marmalade bush information and tips on how to grow a marmalade bush.
What is a Marmalade Bush?
If you are interested in growing marmalade bushes, you probably are attracted by the brilliant profusion of clusters. The inch-long, trumpet-shaped flowers are a riot of red, bright orange and yellow. This ornamental shrub can grow up to 15 feet (4.5 m.) if given a strong trellis. According to marmalade bush information, it can spread to some 6 feet (1.8 m.) across if left unpruned.
Marmalade bush (Streptosolen jamesonii) is native to Colombia and Ecuador, and grows in the U.S. in the warmest regions. It can thrive in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9b through 11.
According to marmalade bush information, the shrub is evergreen and perennial with a spreading habit. The leaves are bright green and glossy. Because of the color of the flowers, the shrub is also given the common name fire bush.
What is a marmalade bush’s role in the garden? You can plant it to spill gracefully over a wall or from a planter. You might also trim it into an upright shape. Either way, you’ll find that marmalade bush care is fairly easy.
How to Grow a Marmalade Bush
If you are interested in growing marmalade bushes, you’ll be happy to hear that the blossoms are not a short-term pleasure. The bush is smothered in flowers most of the year, and attracts both butterflies and bees.
The hardest part might be finding a plant. It’s a relatively rare shrub and you may have to special order it. If you have a neighbor with the bush, you could also propagate it from cuttings.
Once you have a small plant, site in it a warm spot in your garden. For easiest marmalade bush care, plant the shrub in moist, well-drained soil. According to marmalade bush information, the shrub requires ample irrigation.
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- Harvest season for currants is usually mid to late summer.
- For fresh eating wait until the fruits have fully ripen. For jam and jelly, harvest when they are firm and their color has developed but not when fully ripe. At this stage they have the most pectin and make the best jam.
- To harvest, grasp the cluster at the top and twist. Berries can then just be stripped off the stems.
- Place berries in plastic bags and chill in the refrigerator immediately after harvest. Berries that were chilled quickly can last two weeks in the refrigerator.
General Growing Tips for Fall Planted Fruits & Berries
Great in landscapes and large containers.
If you are looking for a tough plant it's hard to beat lantana. Lantana are heat tolerant, use little to no supplemental water in the landscape, will tolerate less than ideal soils and usually don't need to be deadheaded. If you are looking for a plant that will thrive on neglect, lantana is the champ. Lantana come in many shapes, sizes and habits. Check size and habit information for the specific variety you are choosing to make sure it fits your needs. Lantana can be trimmed back at anytime to shape or to promote increased branching.
In many parts of the US and Canada lantana function as an annual. In reality they are a tender perennial, in warm winter climates they become flowering shrubs.
If you live in an area where Lantana is perennial they are essentially trouble free, they can be pruned at any time of year and usually benefit with a harder shape-up pruning in early spring after last frost date. Midsummer fertilization can help overcome any slow down in growth during the dog days of summer and help bring even more flowers.
According to the Humane Society of America Lantana leaves can be toxic to pets. This means that the plants are generally identified as having the capability for producing a toxic reaction.
Unlike most lantana, Luscious Marmalade has been certified sterile by the University of Florida. No seed means it won't go out of flower in the heat of summer.
An application of fertilizer or compost on garden beds and regular fertilization of plants in pots will help ensure the best possible performance.
Best Pots for Indoor Citrus Trees
Don't use a pot that's too big because the soil will stay damp too long, and dampness is death when you're growing citrus (avoid self-watering containers for the same reason). If you want to repot your tree from its nursery container, only go up to two inches wider. Always make sure the container you do use has a drainage hole. I like to use a 1:1 mix of citrus potting soil ($20, Etsy) and orchid bark (from $6, Etsy) to help water drain extra well.