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How to Grow Oxypetalum Plants

Guide to Growing Southern Star, Tweedia and Blue Flowered Milkweed

Oxypetalum plants are a genus of climbing plants that may reach about 90 cm in height.

Although they are half hardy perennials Oxypetalum are often grown as half hardy annuals in the garden.

They carry deep green foliage and bloom in the summer through to autumn with pale blue stellar flowers.

Some common names for Oxypetalum include Southern Star and Star of the Argentine.

Oxypetalum caeruleum
Oxypetalum caeruleum by H G M; Creative commons.

Blue Flowered Milkweed
Oxypetalum coerulea - Blue Flowered Milkweed by Hankyhelper. Photographs under creative commons licence.



Quick Oxypetalum Plant Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Southern Star, Blue Flowered Milkweed, Star of the Argentine, Tweedia.
Life Cycle: Half hardy perennial commonly grown as a half hardy annual by gardeners.
Height: 40 inches (100 cm).
Native: South America.
Growing Region: Zones 2 to 10. As a perennial in zones 9 and 10.
Flowers: Summer and autumn.
Flower Details: White, blue. Speckled. Star-shaped.
Foliage: Grey-green, green. Downy. Cordate.
Sow Outside: 1/4 inch (6 mm). Following the last frost or in autumn. Spacing 8 inches (20 cm).
Sow Inside: Germination time: one to two weeks. Temperature 70°F (21°C). Seven or eight weeks in advance. Transplant outdoors a few weeks after the last frost; temperatures should not drop below 41°F (5°C).
Requirements: Full sunlight. Rich soil. Sandy soil. Can survive in dry soils. Pinch tips. Propagate: cuttings in the spring.
Miscellaneous: Tweedia is synonymous with Oxypetalum.

How to Grow Oxypetalum Plants

The seeds of Southern star and other Oxypetalum plants should be sown at a depth of 6 mm following the last frost of spring. Southern Star likes to grow in a sunny part of the garden that has good drainage. Ideally the soil should be rich and loamy, but this is not essential.

You can start to grow Southern Star indoors first; do this about six weeks in advance. The seeds will take about two weeks to germinate at 21 degrees Centigrade. Once growing transplant the young Southern Star seedlings outdoors in mid spring after the last chance of a frost. They should be spaced from 15 to 20 cm apart.

Caring for Southern star and other Oxypetalum Plants in the Garden

It is easy to look after Southern Star and other Oxypetalum species; the young plants should be pinched back to encourage branching. They are a climbing plant so supply Oxypetalum with a support to grow upon. If you require more Oxypetalum plants then they can be propagated by taking cuttings in the spring time.


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