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How to Grow Heterocentron – Spanish Shawl

Heterocentron Spanish shawal
Spanish shawl, Heterocentron elegans

Heterocentron–commonly called Spanish shawl–is a tropical trailing perennial with slender, reddish stems. It grows to just 4 inches (10cm) tall and has small leaves with prominent veins and bears white, pink, or purple flowers.

Heterocentron is grown as a groundcover in tropical regions. The slender stems of a single plant form a mat 18 inches (45cm) across. Where Heterocentron is not hardy, it can be grown as a houseplant or in a hanging basket set outdoors in summer.

Heterocentron is a genus of about 25 herbaceous perennials and low-growing evergreen shrubs. Heterocentron is native to open bush in Mexico, and Central and South America. One species, Heterocentron elegans, is commonly cultivated as a houseplant,

Get to know Heterocentron

  • Plant type: Perennial
  • Growing zones and range: Zones 12-15
  • Hardiness: Tender
  • Height and width: 4 inches (10-cm) tall and 18 inches (45cm) wide
  • Foliage: Heart-shaped to lance-shaped, pale to dark green leaves
  • Flowers: Open, funnel-shaped, 4-petaled, white, pink, or mauve flowers, singlly or in panicles
  • Bloom time: Summer into autumn and winter
  • Uses: Groundcover in tropical regions; houseplant
  • Common name: Spanish shawl
  • Botanical name: Heterocentron
  • Family name: Melastomataceae
  • Origin: Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras
Spanish Shawl, Heterocentron elegans
Spanish Shawl, Heterocentron elegans

Where to plant Heterocentron

  • Light outdoors: Plant Heterocentron in full sun.
  • Soil outdoors: Grow in moderately fertile, well-drained soil.
  • Light indoors: Plant in full light
  • Soil indoors: Grow Heterocentron in a soil-based potting mix.

When to plant Heterocentron

  • Sow seed or set out plants in spring or early summer.

Planting and spacing Heterocentron

  • Space Heterocentron 18 inches (45cm) apart.

How to water and feed Heterocentron

  • Water Heterocentro to keep the soil evenly moist but not wet. Keep the soil moist in winter.
  • Fertilize Heterocentro monthly; apply a balanced liquied fertilizer.

Heterocentron care

  • Pinc h out growing tips to keep Heterocentron bushy.

Growing Heterocentron as a houseplant

  • Grow Heterocentron in averae temperatrue, bright light, and high humidity.
  • Grow in rich potting medium; keep the medium evenly moist.

Heterocentron pests and diseases

  • Heterocentron is rarely bothered by pests or diseases.

Heterocentron propagation

  • Sow seed in spring.
  • Divide or root softwood cuttinngs in spring or early summer.

Heterocentron varieties to grow

  • Heterocentron elegans, Spanish shawl. Carpet-forming, evergreen subshrub with dense, ovate to oblong, fristly to downy mid-green leaves to 1 inch long; funnel-shaped magentat flowers.

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