Last year I was given a plant by a friend after I had admired one when I nipped round. I hadn’t come across this group of plants before and he told me it was an ‘Achimene’. After doing a bit of research I discovered it was known commonly as ‘Hot Water plant’ and comes in a variety of colours including blue, purple, pink, white and yellow. The ones that Jeff had were quite impressive and he grew them in a 6 inch pot and supported them which created a large bush – for a houseplant!
When my Garden News arrived this week I noticed that Lynne Dibley’s article specifically referred to them. She said to harvest the rhizomes and store them over winter, so that’s what I’ve done. I was quite surprised by the quantity of the rhizomes for one little plant. It was only in a 3.5″ pot.
On the Dibley website there a number of varieties of these plants – think I might have to treat myself to a couple more! I think they would make good plants for the flowering pot plant classes at the shows in the summer. They seem to have a long flowering period; Dr. Hessayen says it extends from June to October! So that would definitely cover all the shows!
I wanted to quell my curiousity about the reason for the common name of these plants so I googled and came across this article on the Gardener’s World site. It seems that Victorians believed that the Achimenes needed to be watered by tepid water!