Succulent Gardening: The Art of Nature

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We remove some of the soil when we ship. There are usually no issues with a plant out of soil or kept dry for a week or more. When you receive your plants, put them into a pot with moist soil. Give the roots opportunity to reachdown for water. Please check to see if your plants should be watered at the time of year you purchase. Some don't get a lot of water in winter and some not a lot of water in summer. How often you water depends on how quickly your soil dries out. Most important, don't overwater. Water well and allow your plants to dry out. The photos on our website represent what plants look like when growing. We are not selling the plant in the photo. Whether your plant has flowers depends on whether it is flowering at that time. A pot may be one large plant or more than one plant. Plants grow at a different pace and different sizes so if you order 2 plants coming out of the same size pot, they may not be the same size.

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Ipomoea albivenia

The Wild Cotton is a vigorous, perennial, deciduous climber up to 10m long belonging to the morning glory family (Convolvulaceae). Its botanical name (Ipomoea albivenia) is derived from the Greek ips (a worm) and homoios (meaning like / same) referring to the trailing / creeping habit of the plant. The species name, albivenia, is Latin meaning "white-veined" and refers to the leaves which are large, velvety and heart-shaped with distinctive white hairs on the veins. The leaves are velvety white when young.  Wild Cotton grows naturally on rocky outcrops and in open woodland from KwaZulu Natal through Mpumalanga and the Northern Province into Mozambique and Zimbabwe.  The attractive funnel-shaped flowers are large (up to 8cm wide) and crinkly white with pale pink or yellow in the throat. The flowers are sweetly scented and open during the night, closing by midday. Flowers appear from January - March and are followed by woody fruit capsules which burst open to release seeds covered in fluffy "cotton wool". Growing Ipomoea albivena.  The Wild Cotton with its showy flowers and fluffy seeds makes a wonderful garden specimen growing on a trellis or fence. Plant in well drained soil with compost added. They prefer a hot dry sunny position and care must be taken not to overwater - particularly in the winter months. Wild Cotton are easily grown from seed which germinates better if allowed to get rain water.  It is very important to ensure good drainage and not to overwater this plant as the tuberous rootstock is susceptible to rot under prolonged moist conditions. The species is also sensitive to mild frost and is best planted against a warm north or west facing wall or in frost free areas.  The Wild Cotton tubers have historically been eaten in times of famine and are also used in traditional medicine to purify the blood..
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