Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Persian Shield

Strobilanthes dyerianus, better known as "Persian Shield", features iridescent, colorful leaves of purple, green and silver. I've always grown it in a container, where it starts out slow but eventually gets very tall (about 2-3 ft.) by mid-summer. This plant loves the heat but wilts easily and it prefers semi-shade during the hottest part of the day. Unfortunately, it is very tender and turns to mush after the first frost. Cuttings can be taken and I read that it can be treated as a houseplant, although I haven't tried this. In containers, it looks nice with ferns, coleus, impatiens, caladiums or begonia. In the ground, I would use it with tropical-type plants like canna, elephant's ear and gingers.

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