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Billardiera - Growing Guide
Growing Billardiera longiflora
These are evergreen Tasmanian and Australian climbers which are perfectly hardy outside in a sheltered spot but probably best grown in the greenhouse or conservatory in colder parts of the country. Billardiera make excellent, containable, greenhouse plants because they grow only to about 6ft and both flower and set seed well in pots even as small plants.
B. longiflora is a wiry stemmed climber with small deep green leaves. It produces a flush of bell shaped pale green flowers about 1in long in mid-summer. These are nice enough but nowhere near as outstanding as its fleshy deep blue fruits which appear in September and October and hang on the plant for a long period. We offer forms of this plant with white fruits (B. longiflora ‘Fructo Alba’) and large red fruits (B. longiflora ‘Cherry Berry’).
Seed from these fruits can be sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn or in the spring. Softwood cuttings in midsummer are reasonably straightforward with bottom heat. Similarly a low growing tendril can readily be layered.
Outdoors billardiera grow best in a humus rich well drained acid to neutral soil on a sunny or shaded wall. Under glass use an ericaceous (lime free) compost and pot on each year. Water freely in the growing season and add a liquid feed periodically. Water more sparingly in winter.