Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Random plant event: Murraya paniculata flowers

This summer, our big Murraya paniculata was one of the lucky tropical plants that got to live outside. Aside from it being very messy to keep indoors (it was forever dropping old leaves and flowers in the apartment), it'd earned a summer outside, I figure. I haven't had any pest problems with it, and the flowers smell so nice, and we've had it for a very long time (since December 2006), plus, most importantly, it's very big and there wasn't room for it inside.

It's been intermittently very happy with this arrangement: when it first got outside, in mid-July, it responded with a huge flush of flowers, all at once, which made going outside exceptionally pleasant-smelling for a while there. That has since turned into a big burst of new foliage, with only occasional flowers, but it still appears to be happy so I'm not worried about it.

There is one concern, which is that it seems to draw a lot of wildlife. There are flies of various types:

and the occasional unidentified beetle --

-- and I've seen spiders once or twice also. Nothing, so far, that looks like it would be dangerous to bring inside, but I'm still a little nervous. I'll have to check it over pretty carefully before it comes in, I guess, and maybe give it a good spray-down with a jet of water from the hose. It should be fine.

In any case, it's nice to see it enjoying itself, and the flowers have been great.

It's a shame they're not easier to propagate (or, for that matter, buy: since the citrus greening quarantine for Florida went into effect at the beginning of 2008, I haven't seen a Murraya for sale anywhere). Not that they were terribly common before that, either. But they're nice plants.


lynn'sgarden said...

I purchased a very small Murraya last spring (6" pot) loaded with buds and when it bloomed...WHOA! Sweet but not cloying like a gardenia...it's been happy outside too but I haven't noticed any bugs...better check tomorrow! How big is your plant?

mr_subjunctive said...

Including the pot and everything, it's maybe 3 1/2 to 4 feet tall. We've had it since December 2006, and it was only slightly shorter then: it's grown out more than up.