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 Clerodendrum bungei 
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Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 3:23 pm
Posts: 130
Location: South Devon, UK
Post Clerodendrum bungei
I first came across this plant at Abbotsbury gardens last year growing in a wonderfully unruly manner, flowering on top of six foot stems (it was september) and appearing all along one of their borders.

I know that this species has a reputation for being a bit of a pest in the garden, as it runs and appears all over the place, but that doesn't bother me so much. I bought a plant last Autumn, after the Abbotsbury visit, and promptly planted it out. It survived the winter, but has done almost nothing since and currently remains about 18 inches tall - exactly the same as when I bought it. It's done nothing!

Does anyone else grow this? I was wondering if it is just slow to take off, or am I doing something wrong?

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Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:00 pm
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Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 2:25 pm
Posts: 1068
Location: Suffolk, UK
Post Re: Clerodendrum bungei
I grow it but in a big container for the reasons you cite, Ben. I don't think it got all that big the first year but since, with plenty of food and water gets to a decent size. Currently about 5 or 6 feet high with big leaves and flowering well.
Pete

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Fri Jul 29, 2011 12:39 am
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Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2010 7:50 pm
Posts: 50
Location: Southern New Jersey, USA
Post Re: Clerodendrum bungei
In my area of southern New Jersey the soil is very sandy and dry. Plants growing under these conditions in full sun seem to be dwarfed and NEVER bloom or even run. I have found that if it is grown in a very rich, very moist soil with a little extra ferilizer the plants will take off in growth, run quiet a bit and bloom well. I have plants blooming now. The scent of a large clump in full bloom can really fill the air and be smelled from quite a distance away.

John

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Fri Jul 29, 2011 1:12 am
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Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 11:55 pm
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Location: Leidschendam, The Netherlands. (52 N latitude)
Post Re: Clerodendrum bungei
I grow it also here. It make runners so can became a bit of a problem. And only will get cut down by realy cold winters.

Alexander

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Fri Jul 29, 2011 2:35 am
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Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 4:02 pm
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Location: Germany, urban heat island 8b
Post Re: Clerodendrum bungei
I think this plant should be fully hardy, at least the roots.
I'm growing the variegated form called 'Pink Diamond' which does nothing, at the moment, like yours, Ben.
That's probably due to the cool weather we have since mid June.

It's not suckering either so far.

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Fri Jul 29, 2011 8:32 am
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Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 1:42 pm
Posts: 1322
Location: Cornwall
Post Re: Clerodendrum bungei
Here it is cut to the ground most winters, reaches about 2-3 feet by September when it starts flowering, wish I could get it to be bigger but I have light soil, it does run (I think rather than seed) and often appears 10 feet from the original plant such runners always flower better but often die in winter.

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Fri Jul 29, 2011 10:49 am
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Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 3:29 am
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Location: Washington DC, USA (zone 7a/b)
Post Re: Clerodendrum bungei
I'm fond of C. bungei, both for its flowers all summer and for its large tropical-looking foliage, and it has been quite hardy in my garden. But once established it is definitely invasive and is now threatening to take over. The plant continues to pop up from root suckers all over my garden and I have to pay close attention to it. It grows and blooms well in part shade, perhaps better than in full sun. I have rich, clay-based soil well-amended with compost over the years, and I do water during dry spells. I've seen rather poor-looking clumps in public gardens where they were getting too much sun and not enough water. Here is a clump showing the foliage before blooming:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/dctropics/3621286780

In this overhead shot you can see how it's taking over one side of my garden:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/dctropics/4033607048

The clump gets direct sun early and late in the day, but is shaded from mid-day sun.

BTW the flowers are pleasantly fragrant, but the leaves and stems are decidedly malodorous if you handle them. In the southeastern USA it sometimes goes by the common name "cashmere bouquet", which sounds quite pleasant until you think about what wet wool smells like.

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Fri Jul 29, 2011 1:16 pm
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Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 3:23 pm
Posts: 130
Location: South Devon, UK
Post Re: Clerodendrum bungei
Thanks for the replies folks. I am thinking that perhaps I have it in too sunny a spot. I think I'll try moving it to a slightly shadier position and see how it gets on. I can't imagine that mine will flower this year now anyway!

My garden is an odd one - total shade for the winter months, and yet quite a bit of strong midday sun at this time of year. I am also on heavy clay that has been improved (some areas more than others), so the soil type is unlikely to be a problem and I do water in dry periods.

Cheers, Ben.

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Sat Jul 30, 2011 5:21 pm
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Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2010 1:36 am
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Location: St. Gabriel, LA USA
Post Re: Clerodendrum bungei
While I must admit it is beautiful when large clumps of it are in bloom, I've hated this plant for years!! When I was younger my dad planted some near my Ginger beds and shortly thereafter the hate-hate relationship started!! It seems to act like bamboos, taking time to develope it's root system first. Once ready it takes off. Your's may just be getting it self established. When I was able to kill large portions of it, it always came back but again took a season to reestablish itself before spreading more. We have warmer summers and mild winters. The soil was pretty much clay and they never received any fertilizer etc. I still try to kill a few every time I visit. Ironically, in another spot where there was nothing to invade they took much longer to fill out the area. It is a very tough and resilient plant, so it must be respected...even if hated. Large spreads are very impressive, and a butterfly magnet. In the right place I can see it being a wonderful plant.

Tim Chapman


Sun Jul 31, 2011 1:10 am
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Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 6:44 pm
Posts: 189
Location: LONDON
Post Re: Clerodendrum bungei
Mine is fine, 6or7' tall, flowers pop up through whatever is growing in its way and any runners just get mowed over...
Had it for seven years or so, its a nice plant.
I see it as brill flowers for a zero footprint in the flower bed, where I live that is a bonus.


Sun Jul 31, 2011 3:12 pm
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Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2007 3:59 pm
Posts: 6647
Location: Loughborough, Leics, central UK
Post Re: Clerodendrum bungei
Ben mine was a little slow to start but it has gathered pace now, but as mentioned, it does like to go walkies once established. :shock:

It is surprising how far and where it gets too under concrete paths has not been a problem though mine is resticted by the shed wall so it only goes one way. :wink:

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Sun Jul 31, 2011 6:16 pm
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