Silver-Leafed Campion (Campionium dulcificum)
The silver-leaved campion is one of the most popular garden plants. Its beautiful foliage makes it stand out from other types of campions. These plants are native to tropical regions such as South America, Africa, Australia and New Zealand. They grow well in full sun or partial shade, but prefer moist soil that drains well.
Silver-Leaved Campion Care Tips
These plants require little attention other than regular watering. They like rich, fertile soil and will thrive in sandy or loamy soils. They do not tolerate drought conditions so they need frequent waterings. Water regularly during hot weather months when temperatures reach 90 degrees Fahrenheit or more.
If your plants get too dry, add some pebbles to their containers to keep them hydrated.
Plants love bright light and should have plenty of indirect sunlight. Keep them away from strong afternoon sun. Do not overwater these plants because they may rot if left without moisture for long periods of time.
Silver-Leaved Campion Propagation Methods
Silver-Leaved Campion can be propagated from cuttings or seeds. The easiest way is with cuttings. Take 8 to 10 inch cuttings from healthy plants. Remove the lower leaves and allow the cut end to dry for one or two days.
Mix 50 percent perlite and 50 percent sterilized potting soil. Dip the cuttings in water and remove any trapped bubbles. Place the cuttings in this medium and cover with the mixture up to the lowest leaves. Keep the moisture level high and shade from direct sunlight. New roots should form in about two months.
Campion seeds need to be stratified before planting. This is the process of exposing seeds to a conditions slightly different than normal. Some conditions that help with stratification are cold, heat and humidity. To do this, place the seeds between two layers of moist paper towels.
Put the container in the refrigerator for 90 days. Then plant the seeds in a container with rich soil and cover with 1/4 inch of soil. Keep the soil moist. The seeds should sprout in 2 to 3 months.
Silver-Leaved Campion Flowers
Silver-Leaved Campion produces one or more flower stalks from the base of the upper leaves. Each stalk can have between 8 and 15 bell-shaped bright pink flowers with five rounded petals. The flowers have a white center with a yellow “bee” in the center of the flower. Each stalk will produce between one and three flowers before dying.
The plant will repeat this process several times during the growing season.
Silver-Leaved Campion Growing Tips
These plants are very easy to grow and are excellent for low-maintenance gardens. They grow well with annual flowers, ornamental grasses, daisies and other common garden types. These plants grow well in partial or full sun. They will grow in most types of soil, but prefer rich loamy soil.
They prefer wet conditions and need at least an inch of water a week. Fertilize with a water soluble fertilizer at the beginning of the growing season and again halfway through the growing season.
Silver-Leaved Campion Problems
These plants have few problems with disease or insect pests. The most likely pest they will have to contend with are slugs and snails. These pests like to eat the new shoots as they come up in the spring, so apply some copper tape or set out little bowls of salt overnight.
Silver-Leaved Campion Uses
This plant is used for ornamental purposes and for herbal remedies. The leaves and flowers have been used for many years to treat several types of maladies including respiratory problems, fever, diarrhea and urinary tract infections.
Sources & references used in this article:
Effects of silver nanoparticle exposure on germination and early growth of eleven wetland plants by L Yin, BP Colman, BM McGill, JP Wright… – PLoS One, 2012 – journals.plos.org
LEAF-NODULE SYMBIOSIS I.: Endophyte of Psychotria Bacteriophila by YM Centifanto, WS Silver – Journal of bacteriology, 1964 – Am Soc Microbiol
Human–nature relations in suburban gardens by ER Power – Australian geographer, 2005 – Taylor & Francis