Planting focus: Planting in groups
The glossy dark leaves of a Caruba Black ti tree (cleverly echoed using a pendulous ‘Ace of Spades’ sweet potato vine) are brought into sharp and dramatic contrast against the rich vermilion flowers of ‘Encanto Orange’ tuberous begonia. The closest most of us will ever get to growing the species form of the storied Begonia bolivensis, ‘Encanto Orange’ also works well solo; overwinter the tubers in a dark, cool, well-ventilated basement.
Specimens that have similar cultural requirements (water, fertilizer, soil pH, sun exposure) should be grouped together in the same container. A moisture-loving fuchsia under-planted with drought-tolerant portulaca would mean that one species wouldn’t be getting the correct amount of water. Likewise a rhodo that requires acid soil would not be a good partner for a rose, with its preference for slightly alkaline soil, and most herbs (which favour a lean diet) wouldn’t be keen on sharing space with a ravenous tomato vine.
- ‘Encanto orange’ tuberous begonia (Begonia [Waterfall Series] ‘Encanto Orange’ [T])
- Caruba black ti tree (Cordyline fruticosa ‘Bra01’)
- ‘Ace of Spades’ sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas ‘Ace of Spades’)
- Emerald Lace sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas [Illusion Series] ‘NC0RNSPO12EMLC’)
- ‘Witch Doctor’ coleus (Solenostemon ‘Witch Doctor’)
Photography by Edward Pond, plants provided by Plant World