Conservatory O-Z

Conservatory & Stove Plants

We have been asked on numerous occasions to supply a wider range of tropical seeds for growing either in the Conservatory or in the Home as house plants.

I have carefully chosen a selection personally grown successfully over many years, deliberately  excluded items I found difficult or just impossible despite the many catalogue assurances. I hope this brings another dimension to your exotic collection that can be appreciated during the winter months.

Fynbos Smoke Primer

Fynbos Smoke Papers (Pkt of 5)

Many seeds can benefit from soaking in smoke impregnated water solution to simulate seed growth after natural bush fires in countries like Australia and South Africa. In particula Anigozanthus, Strelitzia and Protea benefit from this treatment enhancing the likely germination % but research suggests many other recalcitrent species can also benefit like Palms and Musa seed.

Cape Super Smoke Plus is an absorbent paper that is impregnated with fynbos-smoke-saturated water. The paper is then dried and sealed in a polythene packet. When dormant seeds require "smoking", a predetermined volume of water is added to the paper in a suitable container and the seeds are "smoke-primed" by soaking in the smoke-water solution for 24 hours. In order to have the maximum effect in breaking seed dormancy, a range of natural germination stimulators has been added to the smoke solution to overcome other forms of seed dormancy found in many species.

Each standard packet contains five papers, and 50ml water should be added to each paper. Each packet is thus sufficient to make up 250ml solution ( approx. 8½ oz. ) and enough to treat approximately 500 large seeds.

Pentas lanceolata

"Egyptian Star Cluster" New Look Mixed 10 seeds
Pentas lanceolata or Egyptian Star is a tender 18” tall perennial with tiny star shaped flowers in attractive umbels above dark green foliage. This variety has a natural branching habit and we offer a mixed packet of Pink, Red, Rose, White and Violet.

Phenakospermum guyannense


South American Travellers Tree (Qty 10 seeds per Pkt) 


A rare cousin of the more familiar madagascariensis from madagasca, this plant originates from Northern parts of South America and has the advantage that it does not grow quite as tall but just as fast growing with plenty of heat and feeding. Makes a useful pot plant when small kept in warm conditions, This plant used to be known as Ravenala guyannense

Philodendron bipinnatifidum

Tree Philodendron 20 seeds
Large glossy cut leaves make this plant (I have grown it for perhaps 30 odd years) an excellent subject for indoor use. Philodendron bipinnatifidum is not always available from your local garden  centre and easily grown from seed. For the first 5 years or so it is clump forming but after that does establish a trunk. In the wild it is a slow tree climber. Tough and very tolerant of indoor conditions it is a must if you have not grown it before. 2ft tall until trunk develops with up to 2ft leaves.

Phyrnium pubinerve

Star of the Orient 10 seeds
An attractive, banana like plant from the Marantaceae family native to India, southern China and the Philippines. Phyrnium pubinerve's underground rhizome produces dense clusters of broad, glossy green leaves on narrow stalks. It adapts well to both tropical and warm temperate climates but may be useful as a warm conservatory plant or house plant.

Plumbago capensis


Plumbago Capensis - Leadwort 10 seeds

Plumbago capensis with its sky blue flowers is a popular scrambling shrub in temperate climates often used as hedging but also popular as a conservatory plant if given the occasional light prune to keep it in check.

Plumbago capensis alba

White Plumbago - Leadwort 10 seeds
This Plumbago has pure white flowers and a popular scrambling shrub in temperate climates often used as hedging but also popular as a conservatory plant if given the occasional light prune to keep it in check.

Plumeria Mixed

Frangipani Mixed Hybrids 10 seeds
A fleshy stemmed shrub for the warm greenhouse or conservatory requiring full sun and free draining soil. They bear large flowers with a wonderful scent that permeates the air all over tropical gardens. Easy from seed but patience required to raise to flowering size in about 3 years. If you think you have a good position for this lovely plant in a warm conservatory then give it a try.  Our seed is from a specialist frangipani hybridiser, containing the latest mixed colour strains including, yellow, pink, red, white and many bicolours.

Protea compacta


We recommend using our Kirstenbosch smoke Primers for Protacea

Prince Protea 10 seeds

The Botriver sugarbush is a very popular, attractive and hardy protea growing to a maximum of 3.5 tall. The flowers are a neat goblet -shaped and have long  soft pink bracts Ideal as a cut flower and very attractive. Hardy to USA zone 8.

Protea cynaroides


We recommend using our Kirstenbosch smoke Primers for Protacea

King Protea 10 seeds

Protea are the world’s most unusual flowers native to South Africa, but not easy to grow. They need an acid compost so probably not practical even in a pot if you are in hard water area. If you want to have a go with these spectacular plants we have chosen the following varieties both for easiness and variety of form. The King Protea, Protea cynaroides, has outstanding flowers up to 12” across with dark pink bracts. Only 5' tall - the leaves are 5" and leathery.

Protea eximia


We recommend using our Kirstenbosch smoke Primers for Protacea

Broadleaf Sugar Bush 10 seeds

The flower heads on Protea eximia are 5” across rose to red colour with spoon shape bracts. Compact shrub to 7’ with dense oval leaves. Useful for growing in alkaline soil.

Protea Mixed


We recommend using our Kirstenbosch smoke Primers for Protacea

Mix of all four varieties 10 seeds

Protea - Beautiful 5” flower bracts very satiny with hues deep pink to salmon tipped in black fur. Cold tolerant to -7C, prefers acid but may be grown in lime-clay soil.

Protea nerifolia

We recommend using our Kirstenbosch smoke Primers for Protacea

Oleanda leaved Protea 10 seeds

Protea nerifolia has Beautiful 5” flower bracts very satiny with hues deep pink to salmon tipped in black fur. Cold tolerant to -7˚C, prefers acid but may be grown in lime-clay soil.

Ravenala madagascariensis

Travellers Tree 10 seeds
Ravenala madagascariensis  or Travellers Tree is a common site in the tropics with its banana shaped leaves which are produced in a "fan" type pattern. The tree is called by it's common name for two reasons, first by offering the thirsty traveller water from within the leaf bases and secondly the tree tends to grow in an East/West plane as a helping compass guide. Easy enough to grow from seed but needs a warm conservatory to survive our winters.

Ruellia brittoniana Blue


Blue Mexican Petunia

A useful conservatory semi hardy sub shrub to 3ft tall. It produces masses of attractive 2" bright blue flowers in summer. Strap like dark green leaves similar to oleander.

Ruellia Southern Star Mixed

Mexican Petunia 9 seeds
A hybrid of Ruellia brittoniana this is good plant for mixed containers in warm sunny positions or as a greenhouse or house pot plant but the plant will need full sun. Unlike the species that grows to 3ft this is a dwarf varient growing to only 12" tall in 3 colours pink, white and blue. Tolerant of both dry and wet conditions and from our experience a tough little plant with 2" wide open trumpet shaped blooms.

Schefflera arboricola

Dwarf Umbrella Tree 10 seeds

Schefflera species are wonderfully tropical plants. The dwarf schefflera (sometimes called the dwarf umbrella plant) features long, shiny, oval green leaves that droop gracefully from a central stalk with many leaflets. Schefflera will thrive alongside your other tropical plants as quite a tough house plant. Sadly, schefflera is unlikely to bloom inside, so you'll miss the spectacular long, red tentacles that pass for flowers!

Schizolobium parahyba

Brazilian Fern Tree 5 large seeds
Schizolobium parahyba is a fast growing tropical tree from Brazil (18ft in a year from seed in its Brazilian habitat) that can be pruned to size for a warm greenhouse. 3ft long fern like leaves that are both light and touch sensitive makes this a very unusual plant. Very odd large flat seeds that after “edge nicking” and soaking for 4 hours excrete a mass of root like fibres from the damaged part of the seed as the water pressure swells the inside. After 2 days in a propagator a large tap root appears. Young trees exhibit a very sticky sap that traps small animals and insects to their death, leading many to believe that this tree is carnivorous! In our 2005 trials they did well as outdoor summer bedding in a warm position, while under glass they reached over 7ft in 4 months from seed.

Sesbania punicea

Red Wisteria 10 seeds
Sesbania punicea - a South American subtropical short lived shrub from the pea family, grown for it’s 4” long racemes of bright red flowers. Good for a conservatory, or used as a pot plant outside in summer in a sunny position. This is a new plant for us, thanks to one of our customers telling us about it. Water sparingly in winter when it should tolerate down to 5c or 10c in a heated conservatory.

Sparmannia africana

African Hemp 10 seeds
A tropical open woodland plant from Africa and Madagascar Sparmannia africana is grown for its large clusters of white flowers and large ovate leaves. This is the first time that I have been able to source seed for this pretty plant often seen in Kew or Wisley greenhouses. Needs a warm humid environment and space to grow it successfully with a minimum of 10c in winter.

Spathodea campanulata


African Tulip Tree 10 seeds

Planted extensively as an ornamental tree in the tropics for its showy reddish-orange or crimson bell shaped flowers. The open flowers are cup-shaped and hold rain and dew, making them attractive to many species of birds. Best grown as a novelty in the UK as this tree is normally 10m to 30m tall!

Strelitzia nicolai

Giant Bird of Paradise 10 seeds
Strelitzia nicolai is a spectacular foliage plant for the conservatory even if you do not have room to get it to flowering size. If you really want to be experimental this giant Strelitzia from South Africa grows to 18ft with white and blue flowers. Not so cold hardy as Reginea.

Strelitzia parvifolia juncea

Bird of Paradise Flower 5 seeds җ
Strelitzia parvifolia juncea is a Bird of Paradise species that begins its early growth by looking like S. reginae but instead grows into many long spear shaped stalks in a reed-like manner and in clumping form surrounding the flowering "birds". This uncommon variety is in great demand and flowers more profusely. The flowers are almost identical to reginae but smaller.

Strelitzia reginae

Bird of Paradise Flower 10 seeds җ
Strelitzia reginae is a definite must if you want to grow an exotic plant for the patio with stunning flowers. Hardier than it looks and capable of bearing a few degrees of frost, either in a micro climate or in an unheated conservatory. The bonus for waiting maybe three years for it to flower is that it is just beautiful and doesn't it just remind you of holidays in warmer climates? Germinates slowly but with reasonable success rates at a temperature of 25c to 30c.

Strelitzia reginae - Mandelas Gold

Yellow Bird of Paradise Mandela's Gold 5 seeds җ
This is a rare form of the Bird of Paradise from South Africa called Strelitzia reginae - Mandelas Gold. The flowers are of a lovely yellow gold and purple, rather than the normal orange and blue, with large flower heads. The plants are also slightly dwarfer than reginae to 3ft making it more manageable for conservatory pot growing.