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A recent introduction to the North American horticulture market, centradenia is making waves with its exuberant production of magenta flowers. They blanket this sprawling annual from late spring through fall in cool regions and year-round in frost-free areas. Centradenia grows just 1 to 2 feet tall but spreads to form a 4-foot-wide mat of vibrant color. Often used as a groundcover in Zones 9 and 10 where it is winter hardy, centradenia is prized for its burgundy leaves as well as its blossoms.
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Add centradenia to a container planting. Place it near the side of the pot where it can spill over the edge and create a cascade of flowers and foliage. Pair it with ornamental pepper, angelonia, and pentas (one of the best pollinator-attracting plants around) for a color-rich container combination.
Also called Spanish shawl, centradenia is a great rock garden plant. Watch it scramble over gravel and boulders, creating a carpet of color while adding soft texture to the landscape. Plant it near retaining walls where it can trail over the stones, bricks, railroad ties, or concrete blocks.
Centradenia Care Must-Knows
Centradenia grows best in full sun or part shade and moist, well-drained soil. This plant tolerates dry conditions as long as it has established a strong root system. Transplants are often difficult to find at local garden centers, so you may want to search for an online source. After transplanting, cover the soil near the base of the plant with a 2-inch-thick layer of mulch to help prevent the loss of soil moisture. Water regularly for the first few months after planting.
Control the spread of centradenia, if needed, by pinching back the soft stems. In regions where it is hardy, cut the plant back to 5 inches tall in late winter. It will quickly regrow, producing vigorous new growth and bushels of blooms.