Galvezia ballii is a small evergreen shrub native to the western coastal plains parts of Peru. In nature the plants will reach up to 4 feet (1.5 m) tall with an equal spread. Plants rarely reach over 2 foot (0.6 m) tall in cultivation. The fleshy dark green, alternate, ovate leaves reach up to 3.5 inches (8.8 cm) long and 2 inches (5 cm) wide. Plants are extremely drought resistant. We have 6 species of Galvezia growing in the greenhouse and most are from Ecuador, Peru and the Galapagos Islands.
Blooming: In the greenhouse, all the species of Galvezia that we grow will pretty much bloom all year long under supplemental lighting. The small red flowers are 1 inch long.
Culture: Galvezia ballii need full sun to light shade with a well drained soil mix. In the greenhouse, we use a soil mix of 1 part peat moss to 1 part loam to 2 parts sand. The plants are watered and allowed to dry between waterings. It is best to water plants in the morning hours, as they do not like wet feet at night. We fertilize them monthly with a balanced fertilizer diluted to 1/2 the strength recommended on the label. In late September as days are getting shorter, we supplement the light to 16 hour days. This helps to keep the plants growing vigorously. During this period, the nighttime temperatures are never allowed to fall below 65°F (18°C).
Propagation: Galvezia ballii are propagated by cutting and from seed. Seed will germinate in 14-21 days at 70°F (21°C).
Galvezia ballii was featured as Plant of the Week October 19-25, 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.