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Top Of The Crops - Maurandya

Growing Maurandya in a Polytunnel

There are a number of very varied lophospermum, some of which are also called maurandya. Maurandya erubescens, more correctly known as Lophospermum erubescens or creeping gloxinia, is a climbing evergreen perennial usually grown as an annual. It has twining leaf-stalks, triangular leaves and large, attractive pink flowers shaped like trumpets. Maurandya is a good companion for sweet peas and can be grown on the same trellis or support system as sweet peas, either in your polytunnel or outside in a sheltered and sunny part of your garden.

Sowing and Growing Requirements for Maurandya

Maurandya erubescens can grow best in a moist yet free draining sand or loam. It requires full sun and a moderately fertile growing medium. It is a half hardy plant. Before planting out maurandya it is best to prepare the framework up which this climbing plant will grow. Plants will need some support as they get bigger.

Seeds should be sown inside in early spring so as to provide plants that are large enough to plant out in around May, after there is no risk of frost where they are to be planted. Plants should be hardened off before being transplanted into their final growing positions. If space is at a premium, many varieties of Maurandya and Lophospermum can also be grown in a container.

Lophospermum erubescens is native to the Sierra Madre mountains in Mexico, where its native habitat are the forest margins and canyon walls. It has been cultivated as a plant for ornamental use in gardens since at least 1830. The plant is not frost hardy but can be overwinters if protected from frost and if extra protection is given to its base and roots with a heavy mulch or horticultural fleece. In its native habitat, this plant would flower and fruit for a long period, from April to the following January. These are only a summer flowering plant in the UK.

These plants are not native to our countries and yet they are relatively easy to grow here and can add interest as well as providing cut flowers, if wanted, for your home.

Harvesting Maurandya

A range of different Maurandya and Lophospermum can be used for cut flowers, in mixed displays which could also include other climbers such as sweet peas grown alongside these attractive plants.

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