Plant Profile: Bouvardia
Bouvardia is a genus of 30 flowering shrubs native to Mexico and tropical America (Arizona, New Mexico and Texas). It is a popular ornamental plant, especially in Holland. They grow to be about 2-5ft tall and produce clusters of tubular flowers in white, pink and red. Flowers can be single or double blooms. The plant blooms during summer to early winter. Bouvardia longiflora is very fragrant, but most hybrids have very little or no scent.
Several species of bouvardia can be grown indoors as a houseplant. As bouvardias are native to tropical climates, they would do best in a warm, humid environment. They do well in sandy to clay loam soil that is well-drained. Bouvardias are sun loving plants, but they can also tolerate partial shade. Water frequently; the soil should never feel dry. Water daily during the summer; and less frequently in the winter. Prune when necessary, when there is excessive growth, but do not prune during the winter.
As a cut flower, bouvardia is typically available from April to December. Bouvardias make excellent cut flowers, lasting 14-20 days. To extend the life of the flowers, remove the top bud and excess foliage.
Climates zones: 9-11
Interesting Facts about Bouvardia:
- This plant was virtually forgotten from the 1800s until a Dutch breeder began developing a dwarfed variety to be used as a houseplant in 1997.
- Bouvardias are related to gardenias.
- Common names for this plant include: firecracker bush, trumpetellia and hummingbird flower.
- The name Bouvardia was named for Charles bouvard, the personal physician to King Louis XIII of France and the director of the Jardin de Plantes, a major botanical garden in Franc.
- This colourful shrub attracts bee, birds and butterflies to the garden.
- Bouvardias are said to represent enthusiasm; they would be the perfect gifts for those who have a "zest for life."
- The plant can live up to 10 years.