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Apodytes dimidiata fruit

Kalanchoe & Kleinia

Grewia occidentalis fruit

Kalanchoe sexangularis

Zanthoxylum capense fruit

Kleinia fulgens

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Simple Autumn & Winter Containers

By Anno Torr

 May articles: Previous   Next


Coral Senecio and Bushveld Kalanchoe, Red-leaved Kalanchoe 


The summer green of Kalanchoe sexangularis turns to hot russet and red in the dry autumn and winter months, set off beautifully by the grey-green fingers of the Kleinia. These succulent perennials have strong stems and a dense growth habit that helps them stand upright when packed tightly into this mirror-smooth, sky-blue pot.  A few stems will spill over the edge in time; I’d pinch most off to maintain the clean silhouette of the arrangement and keep the gorgeous pot in full view. Lemon yellow flowers will hang heavily from the stem tips in June and July striking against the red leaves - dark maroon should you withhold water at this time. Cut the plants back after flowering.

The Coral Senecio pop out coral buttons in May and June and through much of July in inland gardens.

Framing the display is Crassula streyi with olive green and maroon leaves and a purple-flowering vygie that ripples down the low wall behind. Gorgeous.


Light conditions: full sun; afternoon shade

Water needs: low

Frost: hardy

Size: Kleinia: 50 – 60 cm; Kalanchoe: 60 cm

In flower: May, June, July

Season: Evergreen

Haemanthus albiflos in pots Image by Emmarie Otto

Haemanthus albiflos are perfect container plants

Haemanthus albiflos Image by Emmarie Otto

White and Yellow flowers

 top long slender stems

Haemanthus albiflos in dappled shade

White Paintbrushes in a shady bed


White Paintbrush; Witpoeierkwas; licishamlilo; uzeneke


The clean lines of these elegant clay pots need no embellishment and a simple planting of just one species, the gorgeous white Paintbrush, Haemanthus albiflos, is all that’s required.

I love the textural contrast between the smooth, glossy leaves and rough, earthy surfaces of the house, containers, and stone pile alongside. This gorgeous arrangement graces the patio of Landscape Architect, Emmarie Otto. 


Emmarie writes:

"In late autumn to early winter (April, May, and June), the beautiful Haemanthus albiflos, with its showy, white flowers, provide a beautiful display in the shade areas of the garden. This evergreen bulb, which grows in rocky areas in the wild, produces a spectacular bunch of white flowers which bloom for an extended period of time. The flowers attract bees and butterflies and, after flowering, the plants produce red fruits. The striking, dark green, oblong leaves make it an attractive plant throughout the year. Although not endemic to the area, it a very easy plant to grow and perfectly suited to growing in pots. When the Paintbrush does not produce its annual flowers, it is time to divide the plant. A suitable alternative for a Highveld grassland garden is Haemanthus humilis, also a shade-loving plant, which flowers in summer.


Light conditions: shade; dappled shade

Water needs: low; moderate

Frost: hardy

Size: 25 cm x 40 cm

In flower: May, June

Season: evergreen


Read how to plant up containers here.

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