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Vigorous Euryops Keep the Bloom On

March 25, 2000|U.C. MASTER GARDENERS

Question: I'd like to plant an easy-to-grow flowering shrub that blooms year-round in Southern California. Any suggestions?

K.C., Orange

Answer: Euryops pectinatus is probably one of your best choices. This vigorous, easy-to-grow plant, with its bright-yellow, daisy-like flowers, blooms nearly year-round here.

Growing from 3 to 6 feet tall and about 2 feet wide, euryops are shrubby evergreen perennials that can be used as an informal hedge, a patio tree, a background plant, in rock gardens or in borders and containers.

The genus name Euryops comes from the Greek word, which means "having broad eyes." This refers to the large, round flowers of the plant, which are 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide and sit atop 6-inch-long stems.

E. pectinatus has deeply divided gray-green leaves, while the cultivar E. pectinatus 'Viridis' has deeper green leaves, wider flower petals and golden-yellow flowers. E. pectinatus 'Munchkin' is a dwarf variety that only reaches 3 feet tall and 4 feet wide.

Euryops usually come in 1-gallon, 5-gallon or patio-tree-size containers and are available at most nurseries.

Euryops like a full sun exposure, require good drainage and are drought-resistant once established, though they do best with some regular watering.

To encourage constant blooming, keep old blooms picked off. Plants can be sheared to encourage bushiness and to control size. If planting more than one, place plants 1 to 2 feet apart.

It is easy to propagate euryops in spring and summer by taking semi-hardwood cuttings. Place the cuttings into water or soil and roots should develop in about two weeks. Transplant when the root system is well developed.

Researched by University of California Master Gardener in training, Melinda Grisham of Aliso Viejo.

Have a problem in your yard? University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) Master Gardeners are here to help. These trained and certified horticultural volunteers are dedicated to extending research-based, scientifically accurate information to the public about home horticulture and pest management. They are involved with a variety of outreach programs, including the UCCE Master Garden hotline, which provides answers to specific questions. You can reach the hotline at (714) 708-1646 or send e-mail to ucmastergardeners@yahoo.com.

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