Monday, November 3, 2008

Summer Memories

While I'm in a blogging mood, I thought this pic from the slope garden at school would interest readers who like me abhor formal garden design. Here a riot of color with diverse species unfolds before the camera, keeping the eye moving as more interesting flowers appear on closer inspection. The sharp eyed among the readers will note the long curved fading flowers of Mirabilis longiflora in the foreground. Its a cool plant I picked up at Annies Annuals last year, and kept going in a pot all winter. It really took off in the garden, making showers of long white funnel shaped flowers. Unfortunately they open at night and begin to wilt soon after sunrise, so you need to catch it early to see it. It is also wonderfully fragrant, as I found when I brought a branch home and put it in water. The calyxes are sticky, and the plant grows large and sprawls, so it is not for a small garden, but it is distinctly interesting for those that can accomodate it. Also visible are some very undwarf "dwarf" marigolds, close to the wild species, I image. They came into flower fairly late, and really were at their best in Sept. Some pelargoniums, including my own creations, among them a Nieuwe Pad (spelling corrected from an earlier post) in the foreground fill in the center, while nicotiana alata and salvia farinacea can be seen in the back. Also visible are a couple of small purple flowers of Ipomoea carica, which grew so rampantly I had to remove it later on. It also has showy bright orange seeds, but needs too much space to grow, shooting out horizontal stems in addition to the vertical ones so as to conquer the earth as fast as possible. I have read that it is a menace in Florida, and now I understand why! A friend gave me some seed he collected in Texas, which turned out to be annual Gaillardia, which is barely visible in the foreground. Another vigorous plant that required roging after most of the flowers had faded and seed was set, but unlike the ipomoea it was much appreciated by butterflies, bees, and other pollinators.

White Hibiscus

I got the seeds for the white form of Hibiscus coccineus, normally a red flowered plant, from a fellow member of Dave's Garden who sells lots of seeds from her location in Texas. They sprouted well, and two of the plants flowered their first season, one here in the school slope garden in Chappaqua, another in my home garden. Too bad the frost soon took down the plant in the picture, but I am hopeful it will come back in spring, as H. coccineus is at least marginally hardy here. It really is a stunning flower, and quite showy in its presentation. It is also a good foliage plant which imparts grace and a lacy texture to the garden.

Growing Potatoes, sort of

Impatiens flanaganae is another one of those "rare" plants on ebay, but it is easy to grow, less easy to flower well. I may have been the person to introduce it into the USA when I brought a cutting back from South Africa to the New York Botanic Garden in the early 90's. There are some other plants I also brought back that I now see in occasional commerce, though it is always possible others also brought them in. Among those that come immediately to mind are Plectranthus hillardiae, another Plectranthus species with much larger succulent and aromatic leaves later introduced by ISI at Huntington from material I brought to California and Brilliantaisia nitens (possibly misidentified as to species), a huge growing purple flowered Acanthaceae I got from a wildflower nursery in SA that said they got it from Zimbabwe.
Impatiens flanaganae is an endangered species in its native habitat near Port St Johns in South Africa, but is grown by at least some nurseries in SA, for that is where my material came from. It produces tons of red potato like tubers by which it survives the winter after it dies back. They can be left dry in the pot until they sprout in late winter or spring, or if taken out of soil they are best kept in ziplocks in the fridge or they will dessicate. It will flower in mid to late summer here in NY, but often suffers from broad mites which damage the flowers and curl the foliage, plus it will drop seed pods and buds if a really hot spell comes along. This year was its best so far, lots of flowers and even a handful of seeds were obtained. Lime sulfer eliminates the mites, but can be used only when it is really cool or the foliage will fall off. I used it on my two plants of I. tinctoria in September when the mites were too abundant, its close cousin which I was thrilled to obtain from a specialist grower after two failed earlier attempts to grow it from cuttings. I got rid of the mites, after the lime sulfer caused some leaf drop, and now the tinctoria plants are in their winter home in my classroom, growing well with good new foliage. It doesn't appear that I. tinctoria has an obligate dormancy so far, but I. flanaganae does, and is fast asleep already in two large pots in a cold hallway.

Rare Impatiens Gone Wild

Impatiens namchabarwensis is one of those plants one still sees advertised as "rare" on ebay, and indeed it has a restricted natural range in Tibet, one that is threatened as I mentioned in a previous post. Yet it is easy to grow, and reseeded very nicely in my front yard, where it put on quite a show before a light frost knocked the tops off last week. Its a lovely plant and quite distinct in the blueness of its flowers for an impatiens.

An Easy Terrestrial Orchid

Summering outside on a table under a tree along with the previously mentioned Begonia bogneri, among others, is this beautiful Habenaria rhodocheila. I am pleased that it has multiplied from the previous year, and it was quite colorful--though a close inspection will reveal a small snail or slug got a few nips out of some of the flower petals. I have pink and orange forms, but it does come in other colors--I'd love to get the red and yellow forms I have seen pictured elsewhere. Growing this is simple--forget about "orchid mixes"--plant in potting mix with perlite, and don't forget that it does demand a dry rest during winter. It will let you know when its ready, the leaves will die back around Sept or October, so let it dry out and keep a watch on it for sprouts as spring approaches. By late spring it should be in active growth, with flowering occuring in July or August. Since it is a small plant, it is not hard to find room for it, even for those of us who ran out of unoccupied space a long time ago!

An Amazing Begonia

There are those plants that one reads about and covets, but which never seems to be available from anywhere. Begonia bogneri is a remarkable plant from Madagascar, home to some pretty incredible plants as it is to better known incredible animals. Its grassy leaves, attractive flowers, and small size make it an ideal houseplant for avid plant collectors. I had an opportunity some years ago to get a single leaf to propagate from a friend at the NYBG, where they later sadly lost their plant when someone accidentally filled the glass bowl it was growing in with water one weekend so it drowned!
From a tiny, skinny leaf I have propagated several plants, and banked some seed in my refrigerator I set on the plants once they matured. If one is so lucky as to obtain a plant as rare as this one is, propagate it right away--its your best defense against losing it. Propagation is easy--cut leaves into sections a centimeter or so long, place on sphagnum moss (whole, not milled, live is even better but not necessary) in a pot in a zip lock bag under flourescent lights. They will root and grow small plantlets. I find the plants do better when transplanted into potting mix with some perlite once they are big enough--maybe it is because of the lack of nutrients in sphagnum. Sometimes older plants will appear to go dormant or partially so, losing leaves till all that is left is a greenish "bump"--the crown of the plant. It will regrow when ready, do not dry the plant out nor start to overwater it should this happen.
Begonia bogneri does best in a terrarium during the winter, but is fine outdoors in deep shade for the summer. As for any plant in terrariums, rainwater or distilled water is best, since repeated use of tap water will ultimately lead to salt buildup in the soil mix. It does not like getting overheated in an enclosed terrarium, as might be apt to happen during summer.
Once one figures out its needs, it is not at all hard to grow, so I am somewhat suprised that it seems to be utterly unavailable in commerce, at least as far as I am aware of.

African daisies

In this photo from summer (school slope garden), some transplanted self sown plants of Ursinia nana, a summer growing ursinia I collected in Pretoria years ago, intermingle with a colorful gazania. The gazanias did well until other stuff overgrew some of them, plus I found out that rabbits will nibble on their flowers. Growing stuff not liked by animals, such as salvia greggii hybrids nearby tends to discourage the varmints. Hot red pepper powder liberally scattered on the plants is even more effective. Gazanias don't like excessive rain, but do like sun and cooler weather. The ursinia is not at all picky, merely requiring a sunny spot to flower well. I find it odd that of the ursinias one can find to grow in the USA, most all are species, or derivitives thereof, from the winter rainfall regions of the Cape of South Africa, so they tend to fizzle out when it gets hot. Ursinia nana, on the other hand, will flower nonstop from early summer until after the first frosts. The seedheads of Ursinia are quite ornamental themselves, consisting of a ball of little white umbrella-like seeds.

Friday, September 26, 2008

An African Bouquet

Here two African flowers share the spotlight in the "slope" garden, the newest addition to my school garden in Chappaqua. The blue forget me not, Anchusa capensis, is a short lived perennial from South Africa, but they usually flower the first year, as this one is doing. A few smaller plants did not flower this year, they may make it through the winter to flower next year. Next to the Anchusa is the magenta form of Crassocephalum rubens, a species I introduced from collections I made in 1991 in a visit to Malawi. Actually I brought back two forms, the magenta one from the Likabula area of Mulanje Mountain, and a bright blue one that was not uncommon on the Zomba plateau. Although it lacks ray flowers, it is colorful and cute, not in the gaudy way of more showy members of its family like marigolds and zinnias, but in a more subtle manner. I gave some plants I started of the magenta form to Wave Hill, and have heard that they looked good and grew well. It is tropical, and probably an annual even in habitat, and certainly best grown that way. Plants can grow up to three feet high, branch profusely, and make many flowers all summer until frost, and interesting seed heads that resemble dandelion seed heads. I do not know if it will self sow in our climate (it does if grown indoors) but next year I will find out if its seeds can survive our winters and regrow, as both the magenta and blue forms are in the slope garden (and seeding quite abudantly). I find it appreciates lots of sun for best results, like many other annuals.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Pelargoniums and Portulacas

This pic shows a small scene in my school garden in Chappaqua, rather the new "slope" garden that I created with the help of my AP bio classes last year. They broke ground and planted the first plants, then I continued to plant, dig, and weed all summer, and the result is very gratifying indeed. Here are two of my favorite flowers, one is a giant form of portulaca which is twice as big as the common sort, seen behind it. This is the magenta one, but there is also a white form. It produces little seed, compared to the regular variety, but is easily propped (and overwintered indoors) by cuttings. Truth is I haven't yet planted the little seed I harvested from it last year, it might be interesting to see if any crosses occured with the normal sort of portulaca. The pink pelargonium is one of my creations from my grad student days at Cornell. I call it Nuwe Pad, Afrikaans for "New Direction" (any spelling corrections are welcome). It is most odd, being a tetraploid with a zonal pelargonium called Rio as one parent, and a tetraploid hybrid I made at Cornell via tissue culture from a white zonal pelargonium and P. aridum as the other parent. P. aridum looks quite unrelated to the zonals, but crosses I did proved otherwise. It is a small plant with deeply divided leaves, small yellow flowers, and red tuberous roots. So somewhere in Nuwe Pad lurk genes for yellow color and finely divided foliage. NP is almost impossible to self, but just this year I was able to cross it with a red tetraploid pelargonium I grew from stored seed, which I evidently created but apparently lost the information on its origin. I will grow some of them out later this year. NP is a nice plant itself, growing rather compactly with single pink flowers and rich green foliage that is quite distinct.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Daylily Season

Daylilies might seem too common for serious plant nerd to consider, but as with most plants, there is much more to them than what most gardeners typically see, such as the ubiquitous Stella d'Oro yellow daylily planted everywhere. Not that Stella d'Oro is a bad plant, on the contrary its performance from late spring till frost is legendary, and its easy reblooming habit is something daylily breeders would love to make more commonplance in their creations. The triploid form of Hemerocallis flava, the common orange "ditch lily" is also everywhere, amazing for a plant that doesn't make seeds. Its secret is to grow from tiny bits of its spreading rhizomes, and its tough constitution, as it tolerates more shade than more refined daylilies, and it is widely grown for its reliable blooms and lack of pests (except in the South, where the fairly new disease daylily rust has made daylily growing more akin to rose growing with the need for frequent sprayings--fortunately the rust thus far has not been able to survive cold winters, effectively sparing much of the US from its ravages).
The best way to find interesting daylilies for your garden is to actually visit a daylily grower to see the plants in bloom. Photos are somewhat unreliable, since they don't always capture the finer aspects of the flowers appearance, nor do flower pics reveal habits of the plant. For example, a great many cultivars have flowers way down among the foliage, when they would look better if they were a few inches higher up. I've been to relatively few nurseries, but most of my daylilies come from two, Grace Gardens in the Finger Lakes region of NY, and Marietta Gardens in southeastern North Carolina. I visited Grace Gardens a few times during the summer while doing the wine route around Lake Seneca, and whatever survives for them will have no problems in my gentler zone of NY. It is a pretty place in a very picturesque region. From them I got Novelty Number, pictured above (light orange, reddish markings, yellow center with a light colored old echinacea bloom behind one petal). It would be considered unremarkable among serious daylily growers, but I love the way the colors blend, and it is a reliable performer for me. Also from them was Lady Neva, a huge orange yellow "spider" with purplish zones on the three petals, and Diabolique, a purple spider with a yellowish center. Milk Chocolate is a wierd one with a color that looks like its namesake, but with a warmish yellowish glow when seen in the "flesh" that make it quite appealing. Bold Tiger is a good performer, nice bright orange flowers with red zones that are borne in large numbers, as in the photo. Mary's Gold has a huge golden yellow flower that attracts attention as well. Marietta's Gardens is my source for the unusual Nowhere to Hide, which has amazing darker veination in the dusky pinkish flower. Also from them is Trooper, a big bold flower borne on a tallish plant, it appears more red than the pic indicates, and has two shades of such, with a yellowish center. Marietta's is a huge place, and I have to say that they gave me the largest plants of the vendors I have broght from, both when I stopped by in person and when I ordered via mail from them. Their fields are huge and contain what must be one of the largest selections of cultivars in the USA. There are many other growers all over the country, and daylilies have quite a large, enthusiastic, and serious following in the US.
Best of all, once you have some cool sorts, you can cross them to get your own unique daylilies. Most of the offspring will be unremarkable, though nice enough garden plants, some will be outright dogs, but you just might get one that is worthy of registration as a new cultivar. Crossing them could not be easier, just remember which ones are dips (diploids) and which are tets (tetraploids) because you can only cross within those groups, not between them. Generally the dips set seed more easily than do tets. Not all cv's make seeds, for example Mary's Gold is pollen fertile but will not set seeds. The round black seeds have fairly limited viability, so should be refrigerated soon after harvest and then sown in spring. You might see your first flowers in the second year, and certainly by the third for most seed grown plants.
Daylily season usually means July in my area, but in fact with careful selection among species and cultivars, I have bloom as early as May and as late as September. Breeders are hard at work trying to get more varieties for both extremes of the bloom period, especially among the late bloomers.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

A South African Spring in New York

Its spring at last, and after a rather mild winter, many South African plants in both my home and school gardens have come through beautifully. Leaves remain from last season or emerge for this season, signaling that a good growing year lies ahead. Because I never know exactly where the photos actually end up when my postings are published, I'll describe the plants pictured so that the reader knows which ones they are. With a bent flower stalk from last year hovering over the grey green spoon shaped newly emerging foliage, Haplocarphya scaposa enters its second year in my home garden. This fabulous plant of the South African grasslands will produce its large yellow daisies on long stalks above a rosette of foliage during its first year from seed. It resembles a yellow gerbera but with much better foliage, and it will bloom all summer long. As with many Asteraceae, more than one clone is needed to set viable seed, so I have several plants growing in one of my home gardens. Small grey leaves on a branching young plant of Helichrysum spendidum, pictured with dead oak leaves underneath, show that it remained evergreen (evergray?) over the winter in my school garden. Barely a foot across right now, I know from having grown it years ago at the New York Botanic Garden that it will become a real beast this year, potentially nearing a yard in width and nearly as much in height. It will cover itself with numerous small bright yellow "stawflowers" in late summer. The yellow green vegetative "octopus" is Kniphofia northiae, a magnificent species of "red hot poker" lily from the high Drakensberg. Its overwintered for at least three years at home, growing larger each year but not yet near its full size. Perhaps a more sunny area would spur it to grow faster, but in time it will bloom, though the wide, spiralling and sprawling foliage is entertaining enough in the garden. It is one of many kniphofias I am growing that are hardy here. In bad winters the foliage almost dies back, in good winters like this past one, the foliage remains in good condition right into the new growing season. With pinnately cut leaves resembling a thistle, and like the latter a member of the Asteraceae, the genus Berkheya contains several winter hardy large daisy flowered species from the high mountains of South Africa. Other species grow throughout the country as well. I grew this one from seed, I think it is B. multijuga, which will have big yellow flowers over prickly foliage. If I am wrong, maybe it is B. cirsiifolia, which would have simliar, but white, flowers. Berkheya purpurea is a lovely light purple one that may be short lived but will flower its first year from seed started early. Grassy foliage emerging from a vigorously spreading patch marks Crocosmia "Distant Planet" an orange flowered selection from Ellen Hornig's amazing gardens and nursery (Seneca Hill Perennials) in frigid upstate Oswego, New York. This plant is indeed "unstoppable" as Ellen's catalogue description notes, pushing its leaves up through the fallen leaf mulch I put over everything even before winter is over. I see that Crocosmia aurea has also survived this winter along with Crocosmia "Lucifer" offspring from seeds I started last year, but neither is as quick to get up and go as "Distant Planet".
Some of the other South Africans that are growing right now in my gardens include Leucosidea sericea, one of the few winter hardy woody South African plants, Kniphofia porphyrantha, K. hirsuta, K. "pumila" from Plant Delights Nursery (I suspect that it is a hybrid rather than a species) and other spp and hybrids, Diascia cordata, Wahlenbergia rivularis, Amaryllis belladona (bulbs planted late against the wall at school, a protected location), Salvia disermas, and Artemesia afra. Others remain dormant, but that I know will reappear in time include Albuca shawii, Gladiolus papilio, Galtonia candicans, Eucomis bicolor, and Tritonia disticha. Still others resow regularly as self sowing annuals, among these are a species of Nemesia with white flowers (or various shades of pink in the hybrid swarm that formed when blue N. caerulea was planted nearby) and Senecio inaequidens. I am growing seed of many more South African taxa to try out in the garden this year, so it will be an exciting gardening season.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Cry of the Snow Lion-The Terror Continues

How many more of Tibet's youth must die before the world takes notice? Some of the victims portrayed here, and in other images easily found on the net, are the same age as some of the students that I teach. I cannot fathom how even a repulsive regime like the one in Beijing could do this to children. Still, the Chinese government rants about how the Dalai Lama directed the protests (as if he could or would do so), the evil "splittists" from abroad are conspiring to destroy China, and other such patently paranoid fantasies. Evidently they are so convinced of their truth that they feel the need to block Youtube and google news in China, among the usual stuff from the net that they block everyday (like anything on Tibet from a non Chinese source). The Chinese leadership, which includes the butcher Hu Jintao, well known in Tibet for his violent suppression of protests when he was Beijing's appointed leader of Tibet in the late 80's, seems unable to grasp the realities of the situation. They villify the Dalai Lama, who is willing to settle for a lot less (autonomy within China) than most Tibetans, especially young ones will (nothing short of independence). Perhaps this uprising marks the end of the Dalai Lama's control of the Tibet movement as a nonviolent one with limited goals. China's hard line policies and lack of interest in serious discussion with the Dalai Lama and his government are driving Tibetans towards more radical means of resistance and more uncompromising goals. Tibetans see that the Dalai Lama's "Middle Way" policy of trying to find accomodation with China has amounted to nothing, and that if anything China's government disrespects Tibetans and their views even more. Troops and police fan out all over historic Tibet as protests break out in all three of Tibet's traditional provinces (see map). Lhasa is quiet now under military rule (though the Chinese dare not call it that) though I have a feeling many Han will now leave Lhasa and go back where they came from as a result of the violence of the riots. Sadly, those who knew that Beijing's encouragement of Han immigration into Tibet would bring disaster were not listened to. Instead of dealing with the reality that Han immigrants were taking jobs from Tibetans and marginalizing them in their own land, thus sowing the seeds of hatred, China did all it could to facilitate Han immigration into Tibet. Perhaps China hoped that it would reduce Tibetans to an insignificant minority in the land of their birth. Instead Tibetan nationalism is stoked, and now hundreds of new martyrs are being created that will keep the hatred for all things Chinese alive in Tibet for generations. It did not, and does not, have to be like this. But it will only change when China changes, when its leaders are wise enough to reflect on their past mistakes and learn to deal with Tibetans with compassion and understanding, not violence and lies.
Meanwhile the nations of the world dither on about how they hope China will not be to hard on the Tibetans, but in reality their governments, for the most part, just want all the bad news to go away so they can continue doing business as usual with China. The US doesn't have much of a leg to stand on anyway right now, after the Iraq mess and with China holding a major part of our national debt. But people around the world are getting angry and upset as more pictures and accounts emerge from Tibet. Thanks to the new technologies of today, China can no longer hide all of its crimes in Tibet, information will get out no matter what they do. In some way, our outrage must take tangible form so that China can begin to understand that a civilized nation does not do what they are doing right now to Tibetans. Maybe one day this long nightmare for Tibet will finally come to an end, but for now Tibetans need all the support they can get.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Support for the brave people of Tibet in this time of terror

I must take a moment from discussing plants to take notice of the uprising of the long suffering Tibetan people in Lhasa and elsewhere in Tibet. I am heartbroken knowing the torture and deaths that will follow as the Chinese regime's security forces once again shed Tibetan blood on Tibetan soil. For 2000 years Tibetans have been the masters of their own land, but the last 66 years as a colony under China's boot have been the most horrific in Tibetan history. The world watches as another genocidal action unfolds, as people who have been so brutalized rise up against their plantation masters, knowing the might of their oppressors is vastly greater, but they fight on anyway with sticks and stones against tanks and machine guns. Shame on India,the worlds largest democracy and mother of Tibetan writing and religion, for blocking the exiled Tibetan's march to their homeland, and for kowtowing to the Chinese regime,as if they somehow really believe they are a second rate power to China. Shame on Nepal for beating Tibetans rallying on behalf of their countrymen and for closing Mt Everest at the behest of China so no protest can happen when they bring their Olympic torch to the (Tibetan) mountain. Shame on Greece for stopping Tibetans from lighting an alternative Olympic torch in Athens. Shame on the UN and the nations of the world for not having the balls to demand freedom for Tibet's long suffering people. Most of all, shame on the Olympics Committee for not pushing harder for greater freedoms in China and Tibet. How can the Olympics be held in a nation that uses secret police, state condoned terror, torture, and murder to control Tibet, and which has done so for over half a century? Reminds me of holding the Olympic games in Nazi Germany, after all, its not supposed to be about politics--or is it! Its amazing to me that after all these years of abuse and propaganda Tibetans still are unbroken in their quest for freedom. Such brave people!
As a fellow world citizen I support Tibetans in their quest for justice and freedom from tyranny. May God watch all of you and be with you in this time of terror. I will do my small part in spreading the word, China must know that we, the world, are watching.
"Silence equals death". Bod gyalo.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Winter flowers at Wave Hill

These pics of Jasminum nudiflorum and Rosmarinus " Lockwood de Forest" were taken outside on January 12 at Wave Hill in the Bronx. Flowers are hard to come by at this time of year, and I was especially suprised to see the flower on the rosemary. Even more odd was to see that this trailing form of rosemary was doing well outdoors, so far. Rosemary cultivars vary in their cold tolerance, and even the toughest are marginal in our area. Generally the trailing varieties are considered less hardy than some of the upright growing varieties, but "Lockwood de Forest" seemed to be fine, despite some drops into the teens in late December. Perhaps more experimentation in Zone 6/upper 7 is warranted with the trailing rosemary varieties.

Lapageria rosea, finally!

This is one of those plants that is coveted by many, but rarely found outside of specialist collections, and even more rarely in areas without a climate suitable for its growth outdoors. It is the national flower of Chile, and is adapted for growing in cool, moist areas with shade--that would be coastal California and Oregon in the USA (with extra water as needed in summer). I was happy to get a well grown small plant from a mailorder nursery for about 12 dollars, but when I went to CA last August, I found some well developed, flowering sized, similarly priced plants at a nursery that specializes in rhododendrons. They had some slug damage, but hey, at twelve dollars for a mature plant, who is going to complain about a few dings! I immediately snapped up two plants, and brought them back to NY. I barerooted them the day of departure with a hose, and packed the roots into plastic bags with wet paper towels so they could stay moist. This seems to have suited the plants well, as they both sent up new growth (and flowers on one of them) since they were repotted in NY. I have read info on the web that says never to bareroot them or they will be severely checked for a year or so, but maybe they are referring to a situation where the roots also dry out for some time.
One plant flowered outside in September from buds already set in CA, then it graced my classroom with three more lovely flowers this month. Each flower lasts quite a while, about two weeks or so. The texture is quite substantial, almost like they are made of wax. I have been unable to set seed on this plant, so I suspect I need both clones to flower at the same time to get seed, perhaps lapageria is self sterile?
I am growing both plants in a standard mix (Miracle gro for containers) with added perlite and peat moss to provide a well aerated, acidic growing medium for them. They grow well in my north classroom windows with added fluorescent lights at moderate temperatures. Lapagerias are reputed to hate hot and humid weather, but I suspect that they will do fine outdoors in summer here, if provided with shade to keep the roots cool and prevent sunburn.
I've tried to grow lapageria from seed but have not had success yet. It appears the seed must be very fresh to germinate well. This might be one reason why is is rather scarce, though it is one of the most strikingly beautiful flowering vines I have ever seen.