Sowandso is part of a group called You Can Grow That!. Every 4th of the month we publish posts about our favourite plants, our love for growing vegetables and our enthusiasm for gardening. Want to know more about our group then go to www.youcangrowthat.com
Last week I went to visit my dad in the Netherlands and took the opportunity to go to one of the large garden centres of which Holland has plenty. There is one garden centre not far from the border with Luxembourg where most of the plants and flowers come from Holland and therefore in my opinion are way overpriced.
So off my dad and I went to one of those Ikea kind of garden centres where you are lead from one exhibition to another following a carefully laid out path with no means of returning to the entrance and shortcuts to the checkout are only known to the inner circle. For me it’s not a problem, I love everything about garden centres although I must admit that this Christmas there seem to be a lot going on that had nothing at all to do with gardening.
So in between the kitschy tiny houses and pink plastic trees it was a bit harder then normal to find treasure. But we found it eventually. Right behind the Orchid display I saw a few plants I haven’t seen in a long time, Stephanotis floribunda.
Memories came flooding back about the Stephanotis my grandmother used to have on top of a large cupboard. For as long as I can remember it was there, growing on top of this enormous cupboard peeping over the edge with its lovely white flowers. I don’t know what ever became of the plant after my grandmother died but excitedly I picked the best one and placed it in my shopping trolley. The fact that it was in the sale (50% off) made it an even greater find.
Stephanotis floribunda also known as Madagascar jasmine, waxflower or Hawaiian wedding flower is found in tropical climates but originated in Madagascar. It is however a relatively easy plant to grow indoors provided this vine plant has enough light and space to grow. It has waxy dark green leaves and little tube like star shaped waxy flowers with a lovely jasmine scent. The flowers are often used in bridal bouquets (hence the name bridal flower) and my dad told me my mum had had Stephanotis in her bouquet… Once the flowers are done, they turn a bit yellow as the top flowers on my plant.
How to look after Stephanotis Floribunda
If you live in a warm climate you can grow Stephanotis floribunda outside or you can take it inside (a greenhouse) when it gets cold. Watering is another thing to consider, too much and the leaves turn yellow and fall off, too little and the leaves lose their waxy glow and die back. Don’t pot it in too large a pot because like orchids they like having their roots a bit restricted. Use loamy peat soil for good drainage.
If you let it grow freely, a Stephanotis Floribunda can become 2 to 6 metres long and will live for years and years. I am glad I got reacquainted with this lovely plant and it will definitely get a nice sunny spot in our new house.
Can you already smell the lovely scent of the Stephanotis Floribunda Flower?