Conservatory A-C

Conservatory & Stove Plants

With the recent growth of heated conservatories in the UK, many of you are now able to grow exotic stove plants that in the past were the exclusive domain of green fingered tropical enthusiasts.  I have chosen a selection of easy and difficult plants many that I have personally grown over the years, but deliberately excluded items I found impossible, despite the many seed catalogue assurances to the contrary. I hope this brings another dimension to your exotic collection that can be appreciated during the winter months in your conservatory, greenhouse or even in a sunny window.

Abelmoschus manihot

Hibiscus Manihot - 10 seeds
Abelmoschus is a spectacular annual shrub like plant best treated as an annual in the UK. Huge 6” hibiscus like yellow blooms with a maroon central blotch. They do need heat to get going but a 6ft Abelmoschus plant with side shoots covered in these gorgeous blooms is achievable in a single season from seed. Very fast growing in heat, the large, attractive leaves can be used in salads, stir-fries, soups or other dishes.  A single leaf can cover a slice of bread in a sandwich and is used like lettuce.  The leaves are tender when raw but turn slimy if overcooked.  They are very high in nutrition.

Abelmoschus Moschatus Pacific Strain

Musk Mallow - 10 seeds
Abelmoschus Moschatus Pacific Strain is a cultivated dwarf form of Abelmoschus used for unusual bedding in a warm, sunny position. They form neat exotic spreading bushes 12” to 18” of deep green foliage covered with numerous white-centred, orange/salmon, Hibiscus-like blooms, each 3 to 4 inches across.

Abutilon Giant Flowered Mixed


Chinese Hat Plant - Mixed Colours 10 seeds

An excellent conservatory plant with a larger, looser habit than F1 Bella. Flowers in attractive veined mixed shades to 90cm. Tough plants that will tolerate a very mild frost so useful in cold conservatories.

Abutilon hybrids F1 Bella

Chinese Hat Plant - Mixed Colours 8 seeds
Hybrid Abutilons make lovely conservatory plants. For 2006 we offer a mixed colour range of a new dwarf F1 hybrid suitable for summer bedding and over wintering under glass as a pot plant. Huge 10cm flowers in Apricot, Coral, Pink, Red, Salmon and White. New seed variety with terrific customer feedback but expensive to source.

Adenium obesum mixed

Desert Rose mixed shades 10 seeds
Adenium obesum are succulents that come from dry arid conditions on the Arabian Peninsula and North Africa. They develop large fat trunks even after 2 or 3 months from seed called a caudex, for water storage. They start to flower when quite small only 25cm tall and make excellent house or conservatory plants well adapted to dry atmosphere conditions.

Aechmea bracteata

Bromeliad species 10 seeds
Aechmea bracteata, a delightful species bromeliad that clumps quickly into a great specimen plant. Native to Mexico and Belize to Brazil and Colombia. Popular as an ornamental plant; it is widely grown for its nice foliage and beautiful flowers. If pollinated, the red berries change colour to white and then turn dark blue. Sometimes a challenge to grow from seeds but they make an excellent interior plant that is easily cared for so well worth a try.

Aechmea recurvata

Bromeliad 10 seeds

Aechmea recurvata is a variable tough cold hardy species from the bromeliad family. It is a plant from Chile and Uruguay where I originally acquired seeds to grow our own stock plants. It can grow to a height of 60 cm but usually smaller and makes an excellent and unusual house plant. The purple flowered inflorescence protrude above the foliage and are quite spectacular, up to 20 cm tall and bearing different tints of red. The foliage consists of 30 cm long rigid and curving leaves that turn a spectacular red in the centre while it is in flower - absolutely stunning as you can see in the picture taken from our own flowering plants.

The ends of the leaves and the sides are a bit spiky the only slight negative about this plant, and they do need full but not burning sunshine when coming into flower to get the best colouration and water sparingly.

Alyogyne huegelii

Blue Hibiscus 10 seeds 
Alyogyne huegelii  often called the ‘Blue Hibiscus’ (it’s a close relative to the hibiscus) heralds from dry southern regions of Australia. Excellent for summer bedding in a south facing English border. It is really a perennial shrub to 10ft or more and given the right conditions could be over wintered indoors, but try growing it as an annual. The 12cm flowers are a lovely lilac blue.

Ardisia macrocarpa


New for 2021!

Himalayan Coralberry 10 seeds

A lovely ornamental shrub for cool frost free conditions to about 1m tall. It produces dark green leaves with undulate margins and masses of waxy, whitish to pink, star-shaped flowers in the spring. These are followed by small, bright red edible fruits that stay on the plant for a long time producing a very decorative display for cold greenhouse or Conservatory use.

Asparagus Ornamental Ferns

Florists Fern 15 seeds
Asparagus Plumosas - An attractive fern like climber used by florists in bouquets with carnations etc. Non climbing in it's juvenile stage it makes a  small bushy house plant but eventually turn into a ferny climber, albeit with thorny stems.

Asparagus Sprengeri - This evergreen arching perennial has feathery, needle-like, trailing green foliage giving an open, loose appearance in growth. In summer the plant has small white flowers that are followed by bright red berries. The plant can grow 24 to 36 inches in height and to a width of 3 to 4 ft. It will grow in sun or even fairly dense shade, however, it would prefer some shade to maintain a darker green colour leaf

Asparagus Myersii - Evergreen arching perennial supports cylindrical sprays. The plant can grow to 4ft in height and to a width of 3 to 4 feet. It will grow in sun or even fairly dense shade, however maintaining a darker green colour leaf in shade.

Bauhinia galpinii

Red Orchid Tree or Pride of De Kaap - 10 seeds
Bauhinia galpinii is a scandent shrub from South Africa, easy to cultivate and requires little attention once established. The leaves are two-lobed, resembling a butterfly in shape, and 2-3 cm long. It bears a profusion of red flowers about 2-5 cm in diameter. Suitable for cool house but well worth trying outside in milder areas as if it is cut down by frost it can sprout again from the base. It produces its brick red flowers for a long period during the summer months from September to March but will also flower sporadically throughout the rest of the year.  Certain butterfly larvae feed on the leaves which might be useful for breeding tropical butterflies. Seeds germinate easily.

Bauhinia monandra


Pink Orchid Tree 5 seeds

Bauhinia monandra, the Pink Orchid Tree is a fast growing tropical shrub or small tree growing up to a height of 20 feet with a spreading habit. However it may be grown under glass with warmth and bright light and kept pruned to a small size so good for a warm conservatory. This very rare variety develops large pink orchid-like flowers with yellow edged red blotches to 6" across. The large leaves are also very exotic looking.

Bauhinia variegata

Orchid Tree 10 seeds
The Purple Orchid Tree is an exotic tropical tree that blooms over a long period of time. The flower is purple and orchid-like in appearance, though not related to actual orchids. The foliage is light green and deeply notched at the tip. Bauhinia variegata can reach up to 20 feet tall but smaller if pot grown.

Begonia incarnata


Bushy Begonia 20 small seeds

Begonia incarnata is a native of Brazil. It is a shrublike evergreen perennial growing to 1 metre, bearing large, asymmetrical green leaves with a metallic sheen, and dark green veins.  It does produce small hairy pink flowers but mainly grown for its foliage. Needs temperatures above 10c under glass.

Begonia masoniana


Iron Cross Begonia 20 small seeds

Begonia masoniana, usually known by its common name the Iron Cross begonia, is a native to southern China and northern Vietnam. It is a rhizomatic perennial begonia growing to 0.5 metres (20 in), bearing large textured green leaves covered in reddish hairs, with a prominent dark brown pattern in the centre of each leaf, reminiscent of the German Iron Cross. Although it produces small white flowers in erect panicles, it is cultivated mainly under glass for its foliage effect and is similar in habit to Begonia Rex.

Bixa orellana

Annatto or Liptstick Plant 10 seeds
Bixa orellana is a useful and very ornamental single or multi stemmed small tree to 6m, that can be kept smaller in a pot for conservatory or greenhouse use.  The terminal racemes of flowers in red, pink or white appear on the branch tips followed by bright red fruits of soft spiny capsules containing many seeds. Our seed taken from ornamental plants exhibits bright scarlet seed pods on two year old or more plants. A novelty plant as well as an excellent flowering ornamental that can be even used as a replacement for lipstick!!

Native to tropical America, Annatto, obtained from the oily arils of the seeds is the world's second most important (after caramel) natural colorant, yielding yellow to red colours. Not only was the dye used anciently to colour food, but also to dye cloth and paint the skin (which is still done today). The pulp surrounding the seeds is widely used in herbal medicine to treat a number of problems. The seeds are processed to obtain the orange-yellow pigments, bixin and norbixin (caratenoids), as dye for the food, cosmetic and soap industries. Traditionally, the crushed seeds are soaked in water that is allowed to evaporate. A brightly coloured paste is then made. In the 17th century the colour was used to darken chocolate. Worldwide trade in this plant has introduced it as a colouring to rice, meat, stews and stir-fries in many parts of the world, including Asia, and Africa, and is still widely used in South America and the Caribbean.

Bolusanthus speciosus

Tree Wisteria 10 seeds
Bolusanthus speciosus known as the tree wisteria is certainly one of the most spectacular of South Africa’s indigenous trees when in flower, mimicking the splendour of the jacaranda. This decorative, small to medium-sized tree is deciduous, dropping its leaves only for a short period in early spring. Normally multi-stemmed, so ideal for pot growing, the drooping, blue-mauve, fragrant, pea-like flowers hang from the branches in bunches, often covering the whole tree. Flowering time is from spring to early summer.

Brunfelsia floribunda

Yesterday, today and tomorrow flower 10 seeds
Brunfelsia floribunda is one of my favourite shrubs to grow in the conservatory, greenhouse or a favoured position indoors. The plant gets its name from the flowers that fade to almost white over three days. Dislikes full sun and is relatively pest free. Almost Bonsai in its habit as it ages with woody stems

Brunfelsia latifolia


Yesterday, today and tomorrow flower 10 seeds

This particular form of Brunfelsia is very scented with a fabulous display of 2" mauve flowers that fade to white over 3 days in spring and summer over light green foliage. One of our favourite woody shrubs to bring in doors from the greenhouse when in flower. Eventually reaching 4ft tall but that takes many years and in any case can be pruned to size. Don't confuse this one with Brunfelsia pauciflora (syn calcynia) that looks identical but with slightly larger flowers but unfortunately no scent!

Cacti Mixed

Mixed Cacti 15 seeds
Useful mix of cactus for anyone with a panache for spikes embedded in your fingers while potting up! Seriously though the flowers can be wonderful on a well grown cactus, they are easy to look after, and especially tolerant of dry conditions.

Cacti Opuntia Mixed

Mixed Cacti 15 seeds
Useful mix of Opuntia cactus many of which produce edible fruit.

Caesalpinia pulcherrima

Pride of Barbados 10 seeds
Caesalpinia pulcherrima with its spectacular, orange-red, exotic flowers lend a tropical effect to this well-adapted desert shrub. Can reach 6ft. high & wide in frost-free areas. Flowers constantly from spring to autumn. Fast growing, heat and alkaline tolerant. Lightly sand the seeds and soak in water for 6-8 hours, then germinate at 20-26°C.

Calathea crotalifera


Yellow Rattleshaker 10 seeds

Native to Belize and Central America. Easy to grow from seeds.  It makes an excellent landscape plant that is easily cared for in tropical conditions.  Can be wintered indoors in good light for colder regions. Great for mass plantings and border areas. Very impressive when grown as a large container specimen but best in semi shade. Calathea type leaves on long stems with the flowers on short stwems at the base of the plant.

Cassia didymobotrya

Popcorn Cassia 10 seeds
Cassia didymobotrya is a shrub to 3 metres high but smaller if pot grown. The bright yellow flowers are grouped in upright inflorescences, up to 30 centimetres long, arranged at the end of a long bent stalk. This plant is native of tropical Africa, widely used as an ornamental species in tropical and sub-tropical gardens for the chromatic effect of its flowers.

Cestrum nocturnum

Lady of the Night 10 seeds
Cestrum nocturnum has one of the strongest fragrances around in the evening, when the scent becomes almost intoxicating. A common misconception is that it is only fragrant at night, however you can still smell a light scent all day long which increases in intensity into the evening. They bloom on and off during the warmer months of the year and grow quickly so regular pruning will be needed to keep it contained.