Musical Notes Clerodendrum
Add some harmony to your gardens with Musical Notes Clerodendrum, a tropical plant that can be grown indoors and out.
Most gardens are filled with music. Wind whistles in the trees, birds sing sweetly overhead, bees buzz in and out. If that’s still not quite enough for you, though, try adding Musical Notes Clerodendrum. This tropical plant will need to spend its winters indoors in most areas, but you’ll love the music-note-shaped blooms.
Musical Notes Clerodendrum (Clerodendrum incisum) is native to the tropics of Africa. Frosts and freezes will kill it quickly, so unless you’re in zones 9 – 11, grow it in pots. That way, you can move it indoors when fall approaches. Give it bright light and water once or twice a week, and expect some leaf drop over winter. When warm weather returns, move it outdoors to enjoy the sunshine, and increase watering a bit. Flowers should appear by mid to late summer and last until fall. (It can be a bit messy when the short-lived flowers drop, so if it’s blooming indoors, be careful about placement.)
Clerodendrum is a large family of plants which includes the popular Bleeding Heart Vine (Clerodendrum thomsoniae). Musical Notes Clerodendrum is a shrub rather than a vine, but it can get a bit leggy. Prune it back after blooming season ends in late fall to encourage bushy growth. It likes rich soil, so if you’re not seeing the growth you’d like, fertilize and keep the soil moist. Once flowering begins, the blooms are abundant. The unopened blooms droop and resemble music notes, while the opened flowers boast long scarlet stamens.
Musical Notes Clerodendrum may be a little bit difficult to find locally. If you know someone who grows it, collect seed or ask for a cutting. Otherwise, look online for vendors offering this interesting plant, or check local plant sales. This unusual plant is generally considered fairly easy to grow, so it should be worth the effort to add one to your collection.