Carissa grandiflora is a fast growing evergreen shrub of rather loose habit to 5-7 feet with spines along branches and at the end of each twig. Natal plum is native to South Africa.
Blooming Time: It may bloom anytime of the year. The charm of the Natal plum lies in rich green, closely set 1 inch long oval leaves and fragrant flowers, 2 inches across, followed by 2 inch scarlet fruits that look like plums.
Culture: Carissa grandiflora does best in at least 4 hours of direct sunlight a day, night temperatures of 50 to 65° and day temperatures of 68° or higher. A suitable compost for Natal plum consists of 2 parts loam to 1 part peat moss to 1 part sand. Keep moist; fertilize every 3 to 4 months. Trim Natal plum anytime of the year. Natal plum is an excellent plant for bonsai.
Propagation: Carissa grandiflora is propagated by stem cuttings taken anytime of the year. Stem cuttings should be 4 to 6 inches long, treated with rooting hormone and inserted in moist sand with bottom heat.
Carissa grandiflora was featured as Plant of the Week April 16-22, 1999.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically the late Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.