A quick-growing, treelike shrub from South Africa, African hemp has large, evergreen, downy leaves of a pale apple-green and up to 10 in. (24 cm) long. The flowers are borne in long-stalked clusters, and can appear all year around if conditions are right.
Each is white and 4-petaled, drooping down in bud, then straightening up as it opens, to reveal purple- tipped, golden yellow stamens. This is an ideal plant for a conservatory or cool porch where it has the room to grow and flourish. S.a. ‘Flore Pleno’ has double flowers and S.a. ‘Variegata’ has leaves marked with white.
Size: Height 6—7 ft. (2—2.2 m).
Light: Indirect sunlight.
Temperature: Normal to cool room.
Moisture: Keep thoroughly moist from spring to fall. In winter, apply only enough water to prevent the soil drying out.
Feeding: Use standard liquid fertilizer every two weeks from spring to fall.
Propagation: Take 6 in. (15 cm) tip cuttings in spring and root in soil mix or water.
Special needs: Pinch shoot tips regularly to encourage bushing. It grows so quickly and roots so readily from cuttings that it is worth propagating every 2-3 years and then discarding the parent.