Flamboyant Vygies We love succulents

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Vygies (Mesembryanthemums) are a South African favourite and one of our boldest, brightest, and most versatile species of flowers. With more than 1800 varieties to suit your colour and style preference, there is a vygie for every garden and container in need of some sparkling colour.

Grow guide: Plant them in a sunny spot with well-drained soil. Vygies are super forgiving and not high maintenance at all. They will flourish in almost all soil conditions, but if you want to boost their growth, add a handful of compost and fertiliser when transplanting them from seedling trays. 

Claim to fame: Vygies are water-wise and well-adapted so our SA climate. Beginner gardeners should have no problem growing a successful carpet of colour or vibrant hanging basket. In addition, vygies can also be planted during any time of the year.

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In the garden: Wish so many stunning forms of this plant, go for Drosanthemum, Delosperma and Lampranthus species that are small, shrub-like and ground covering plants. You could also try mat-forming varieties that grow well in Cape gardens such as the white and pink coastal vygie (Delosperma litorale), the yellow carpet vygie (Jordaaniella dubia), and the magenta coastal ruschia (Ruschia macowanii).

Pest patrol: Vygies are not prone to disease but be on the lookout for your usual succulent-munching insects and scale in particular. Both biological and chemical pest control solutions are available at your garden centre.

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Fun fact: The word vygie is Afrikaans for small fig.  

Winter winners: The Bokbaai vygie (Dorotheanthus bellidiformis) and yellow-bloomed vetkousie (Carpanthea pomeridiana ‘Golda’) will be in full bloom from August. 

Try these: Lampranthus spp. and ice plants (Drosanthemum spp.) are densely flowered, highly colourful vygies. Delosperma spp. live much longer but don’t flower as profusely.

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Fiery fynbos

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Fynbos is a specific group of vegetation that is known as Proteaceae. Fynbos has expertly adapted over millions of years and has thus become the world’s most diverse plant habitat, even more than a tropical rainforest.

Proteas

King Pink is our national flower and a dramatic addition to the garden. They enjoy full sun in beds and containers, are drought and frost-hardy, and make for stunning cut flowers. Enjoy their bold blooms from July to October every year. 

Ericas

Fairy Confetti is a sweetheart shrub with masses of tiny pink flowers that add happiness to the garden. Their pretty blooms can be expected from spring, along with the many indigenous wildlife visitors they attract. Plant then in full sun in beds or pots. 

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Leucospermums

The Scarlet Ribbon is a vigorous grower with no shortage of blooms. Their intricate flower heads will bring any bed or container to life with striking red, orange, and yellow details. Grow then in full sun and enjoy their flowering time from September. 

 

Leucadendron range

Inca Gold is a decorative foliage plant with bright green, lime/yellow leaves that contrast perfectly with their pink edges. Grow them in full sun beds where you can look forward to a unique flower show from November to September.

Top tip: Fynbos love organic, rich dirt and thrive in sandstone derived, acidic soil with good drainage and no manure.   

Top tip: Mulch your plants with acid compost once a year and remember to prune your fynbos after flowering or before spring for nice full growth. 

Hanging basket bulker: Plant begonia ‘Dragon Wings’ in shades of light pink and reds for added hanging basket cuteness in full to semi-sun areas. 

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In the garden

Lawn love

Give your grass the pre-spring treatment by low mowing, spiking, feeding, and firm raking (scarifying). Apply a generous layer of lawn dressing and fertiliser, available at your garden centre, and cover the area so that just the tips of the blades are visible.