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Care of the plant Mackaya bella or Forest bell-bush.

Care of the shrub Mackaya bella or Forest bell-bush

The genus Mackaya, family Acanthaceae, comprises 6 species of shrubs native to Africa and Asia. The species are: Mackaya bella, Mackaya atroviridis, Mackaya indica, Mackaya macrocarpa, Mackaya neesiana, Mackaya populifolia.

Common names: Forest bell-bush, River bells, Beautiful mackaya. This species is native to South Africa.

They are shrubs with an erect bearing, thin branches and a rounded crown that reach 4 meters (13.12 feet) in height. They have lustrous evergreen leaves, simple, opposite, dark green with a wavy margin. The showy bell-shaped flowers are white-mauve with purple lines and appear in clusters. They bloom from spring to fall and occasionally in winter.

They are used in informal hedges, undergrowths, as isolated specimens, and in large containers. They are ideal for subtropical and Mediterranean climates.

The beautiful Mackaya grows in a shaded (it will produce fewer flowers) or semi-shade exposure; if it gets too much sun the leaves will turn yellow. Although they resist the occasional frost, they can lose their leaves; in that case you will need a drastic pruning to strengthen the plant.

The soil must be well drained and contain a lot of organic matter (compost, manure). Transplanting or planting is done in late winter or early spring.

Water regularly in spring and summer so that the substrate is always moist; reduce watering in fall and winter.

Fertilize with plenty of manure in late winter.

Prune after flowering to remove faded flowers and maintain a compact appearance.

They are quite resistant plants to pests and diseases.

They propagate from seeds sown in spring or from semi-woody cuttings in spring or fall.

Images of the shrub Mackaya bella or Forest bell-bush

Mackaya bella
Mackaya bella