The Garden Plant of the Month for November is Osmanthus. An outdoor plant with a host of good qualities, three of which we’d like to highlight.
The first thing you notice is that the plant resembles holly. The difference is that with holly the leaves are spread along the branch, whilst on Osmanthus they’re paired: a fun fact for impressing people with. But Osmanthus does have other good qualities. Take a look:
1. Brings colour to autumn
At this time of year your balcony or garden begins to change. A lot of flowering plants are taking a winter break or have even given up the ghost altogether, and trees are shedding their leaves. It’s an excellent time to introduce some colour - for example with Osmanthus. The dark green shiny leaves change to yellow and red in the autumn, so that the plant effortlessly fills the colourless space left by summer bloomers.
2. Compact and easy
Osmanthus grow slowly, and will therefore also fit on a tiny patio or balcony. The plant also has very modest requirements. Sun, shade, partial shade or even light frost: Osmanthus can cope with all of it. Make sure that the soil is not too dry and not too wet and treat the plant to some food from time to time and you will live happily ever after together.
3. Spring perfume
Some varieties of Osmanthus not only have shiny leaves, but also welcome the arrival of spring with small white flowers. These have a fabulous fragrance, a bit like jasmine. Want to get hold of one? Then ask your plant shop or garden centre for Osmanthus x burkwoodii.
Want more information? Read the Osmanthus plant guide.