This sturdy, dense shrub produces fairly large flowers in cream sprinkled with pink and blooms during winter. It is an excellent addition to any "wild-life" garden as the large amount of nectar produced by the flowers attracts birds, bees and other insects. The plants are tolerant to a large variety of growing conditions but will show frost damage at temperatures below 20 F
USDA Zone 8
The best time to sow is in fall or spring. Choose the season that gives the seedlings the most time to grow under favourable conditions. For example, if your summer is very hot and dry, but your winter is moderate and wet - sowing in autumn will give the seedlings a whole winter and spring to become strong before the harsh summer. In colder climates, it is best to sow in spring so that plants can become hardy before the frosts of winter.
Plant each seed in a 500 ml plastic seedling bag. Fill the bag with a well-drained acidic soil mixture with a pH of about 5.5. You can make the mixture out of : 2 parts coarse river sand, 2 parts peat or decomposed pine needles, and 1 part vermiculite or perlite. It is important that the soil mixture drains well. Water should run right through the filled tray, but the soil mixture should be such that it retains moisture and remains damp between waterings. The seeds/seedlings should never be allowed to dry out. The vermiculite helps retain moisture. It helps if the soil mixture is sterilised, ridding the soil of fungus, eggs, larvae and pathogens that might harm the seeds or the seedlings. The simplest method is to drench your soil mixture with boiling water before planting the seeds. This is best done on a flat, hard surface and has the added benefit of leveling out the soil. The drainage of the seed tray should ensure that after about 15 minutes, the soil is evenly damp. If there are any soggy patches or water pooled on the top, then your drainage is not sufficient. The boiling water kills germinating weed seeds, insect larvae, snail and slug eggs and fungal spores.