Coleonema–commonly called the pink breath of heaven–is an evergreen shrub cultivated for its wispy foliage and prolific small-pink blossoms. Coleonema gives a feathery, heath-like effect. It can be grown in borders or as a light, nearly see-through hedge.
Coleonema has short, linear, narrowly lance-shaped bright green leaves that crowd its arching stems. It bears very small star-shaped, 5-petaled flowers usually in number at the ends of shoots and from leaf axils.
Coleonema can be planted in borders or as a wispy, loose hedge. There are compact forms that can be grown at the front of borders. Colenmea grows best in full sun in well-drained soil.
Coleonema is a genus of 8 species of evergreen shrubs native to heathland and rocky slopes in South Africa.
Get to Know Coleonema
- Plant type: Evergreen shrub
- Growing zones and range: Zones 8-11
- Hardiness: Half-hardy; grows best where winters are mild; grows in a greenhouse where not hardy.
- Height and width: 3 to 10 feet (1-3m) tall and wide
- Foliage: Short, linear to oblong or narrowly lance-shaped bright green leaves crowded on stems
- Flowers: Small, star-shaped, 5-petaled flowers singly or profusely at the end of stems and from leaf axils
- Bloom time: Spring into summer
- Uses: Shrub border in warm climates
- Common name: Pink breath of heaven, confetti bush
- Botanical name: Coleonema
- Family name: Rutaceae
- Origin: Rocky slopes of South Africa
Where to Plant Coleonema
- Light outdoors: Plant Coleonema in full sun outdoors.
- Light indoors: Grow Coleonema in bright light.
- Soil outdoors: Grow in moderately fertile, moist, but well-drained soil.
- Soil indoors: Pot Coleonema in an acidic potting mix.
When to Plant Coleonema
- Set container-grown Coleonema outdoors in spring or autumn.
Planting and Spacing Coleonema
- Space Coleonema 3 to 10 feet (1-3m) apart.
How to Water and Feed Coleonema
- Water Coleonema moderately; water sparingly in winter.
- Fertilize Coleonema monthly with a balanced liquid fertilizer.
- Top-dress Coleonema in spring and fall with well-aged compost.
Coleonema Pests and Diseases
- Coleonema is usually not bothered by pests or diseases.
- Surface sow seed in warm soil in spring.
- Root semi-ripe cuttings with bottom heat in summer.
Coleonema Varieties to Grow
- Coleonema album, a white breath of heaven. Mounding shrub 4 to 5 feet tall and wide; covered with white flowers at the tips.
- C. pullchellum (C. pulchrum), pink breath of heaven. Freely branching shrub erect at first then spreading with maturity; grows 3 to 10 feet (1-3m) tall or slightly taller and wide; linear, bright green leaves to 1 inch or longer; terminal and axillary red or pink flowers with reflexed petal and dark eyes. Cultivar ‘Sunset Gold’ has yellow-green leaves and white flowers. Cultivar ‘Sunset Gold’ grows to 3 feet tall and wide with golden-green foliage.