Lampranthus blandus, or Pink Vygie, is a succulent, perennial shrub native to the Cape Province of South Africa. In nature, the shrub will reach up to 2 feet (60 cm) tall. In containers, they only get about 18 inches (45 cm) tall. The gray-green leaves are equally 3-sided elongating to 1.25-2 inches (3-5 cm), with translucent dots. Plants are very easy to grow and are hardy in the landscape in USDA zones 9-11.
Blooming: The species is a free bloomer, if given lots of sun and heat in the summer. The plant can literally be covered in pale pink flowers all summer long. Very showy!
Culture: Lampranthus blandus need full sun with a well-drained soil mix. In the greenhouse, we use a soil mix consisting of 1 part peat moss to 1 part loam to 2 parts coarse sand. The plants are well watered and allowed to dry thoroughly before watering again. We fertilize the plants in early spring with a balanced fertilizer diluted to ½ the strength recommended on the label. Although the plants come from a winter rainfall area of South Africa, we restrict the water during the winter months. We water only enough to keep the leaves from shriveling. The winter nighttime temperatures are never allowed to fall below 48°F (9°C).
Propagation: Lampranthus blandus is very easily grown from cuttings or seed. Seed sown on moist sand will germinate in 7-14 days at 70°F (22°C).
Lampranthus blandus was featured as Plant of the Week January 5-11, 2007.
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.