Indigenous colour for Christmas


Indigenous and fynbos

Agapanthus flowers in purple, lavender, and light purple with greenery against a grey background.

December is a festive time of year to appreciate our floral heritage but in times of drought we need to make sure that what we plant is water wise. Let’s take a look at some of the hardy florals we can incorporate into our gardens this season.

Summer Gardens

The below plants will add pops of cheery colour to your outdoor haven but, once established, need very little water to survive:

  • Bauhinia galpinii
  • Cape honeysuckle (Tecoma capensis) agapanthus
  • Plumbago
  • Agapanthus
  • Clivia
  • Bauhinia natalensis
  • Gomphostigma virgatum.

An indigenous christmas tree

Why not make an indigenous Christmas tree your choice for this year? The yellowwood tree is a good first choice – broad-leaved Podocarpus latifolius, Henkel’s Yellowwood (Podocarpus henkelii), and small-leaved yellowwood (P. falcatus) are all suitable for planting in containers. The tree can be kept in the container for a few years if planted in a large pot and the soil kept moist.

Other suitable plants are

  • Gardenia thunbergia with rigid branches and glossy green leaves
  • Silver-grey leafed Olea europaea
  • Africana (wild olive)

For something more modern, make an unusual Christmas tree with dried aloe stems. Anchor in a container of sand to keep upright, then decorate with indigenous seedpods and African beadwork to continue with the indigenous theme.