Turnera ulmifolia is a perennial, dense, compact shrub that reaches 2½ feet in height. In Oklahoma, it can be grown outside in containers as an annual. The yellow Alder is native to the West Indies and Mexico.
Blooming Time: Blooms sporadically all year long; The yellow blooms are 2½ inches across and last only one day.
Culture: Turnera ulmifolia do best in a well-drained potting mix (1 part peat moss to 2 parts loam to 1 part sand or perlite). They like intermediate temperatures of 60 to 85 degrees, but can take higher day time temperatures if shaded from hot afternoon sun. In the greenhouse, we grow them under 25% shade all year long. The plants need a fair amount of water to keep from wilting on hot days. Fertilize weekly with a balanced fertilizer diluted to ½ the strength recommended on the label. During winter months, water should be restricted and fertilizer applications should be once a month. The leaves of this plant have a pungent odor when crushed that some people find offensive.
Propagation: Turnera ulmifolia is propagated by seed, cuttings, or by division. It is best to start seed in spring. Cuttings can be rooted any time of the year, roots easily in water or moist sand. Divisions should be taken in spring when new growth emerges.
Turnera ulmifolia was featured as Plant of the Week September 3-9, 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.