Sparmannia: Growth And Care – Sparmannia is a fast-growing plant that would grow into a small tree or large shrub in the wild. This is a plant that has amazing flowers as they almost seem to move. Sparmannia africana is an easy-to-grow large shrub for a shady area with lush, soft, heart-shaped leaves and pretty white flowers with a puff of gold and red stamens during winter-spring. It is tree-like, quickly growing several feet high. The flowers appear in long– stalked clusters.
Sparmannia africana is also known as African hemp, African linden, the house lime or the Cape stock rose and the Cape hollyhock. Origin from Southern Africa, Sparrmannia africana grows in damp places on forest margins, hill slopes, in ravines, on rocky hillsides and along streams along the southern coast.
The pale downy leaves make a pleasant contrast to dark leathery foliage. Sparmannia grows quickly and may need repotting more than once a year. Keep growth in check by pinching out the stem tips of young plants.
Sparmannia blooms in early spring if it has been kept in direct sunlight during winter.
Secret of success
Temperature: Average warmth – minimum 45°F in winter. Provide good, draught-free ventilation in periods of hot weather. During the rest period (April to June), keep the plant cool.
Light: Brightly lit spot away from direct sun in summer.
Water: Keep compost moist at all times – may require daily watering in summer. Water more sparingly in winter. Reduce the water given to a minimum during the rest period, then gradually increase it again as the plant begins to grow. Use tepid water.
Air Humidity: Mist leaves occasionally in summer; the difficult period is when the plant is moved from the fairly moist outdoor air to the dry air of the living room in late summer. Place the plant on a tray of moisture-retentive pellets; do not mist the hairy leaves.
Propagation: Stem cuttings root easily in spring or summer.