Sissoo spinach (also called Brazilian spinach, and whose scientific name is Alternanthera sissoo) is a low growing 10-20 inch herb. Culinarily, people use sissoo leaves as a decent spinach substitute. Sissoo also thrives in the tropics in poor or rich soil and can easily be grown from cuttings. This type of spinach can be eaten raw but is usually cooked.
Landscaping with Sissoo Spinach Cuttings
Sissoo spinach really shines as a ground cover and a edge plant. It fills in fast and can also be dug out as a whole plant, replanted and kept moist. It practically just reanimates if weather is not too hot and it fills in understory of shrubs and taller herbs very nicely. This works great for planting on the edge of lawns and trails because you can mow right up to it and it maintains a nice aesthetic and provides a sense of food security as a bonus.
I love to use it in combination with African blue basil, and or comfrey. All of these plants fill in space quickly shade the ground bellow and create a very beautiful look. Getting your edges planted first with plants like sissoo and comfrey means less encroaching weeds will bother your garden, lawns, or paths and less weedwhacking and weeding has to be done when mower can mow close to your edges. Once well established they are almost . free.
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You’ll find this striking ornamental placed thoughtfully among Hawaiian landscapes used both an ornamentals or privacy hedges. Although it is slow growing at first it is a hardy plant. Plenty of floral decorators also use this plant in arrangements. Sometimes I even see it being sold at Safeway in bouquets. Song of India and the Dracaenas are even included on the NASA list of top air-purifying plants—removing undesirables like formaldehyde, toluene and xylene from the air.
Dracaena Reflexa growth requirements
Song of India is also low maintenance and needs partial shade to stay alive. The Dracaena Reflexa is native to Madagascar and Mauritius and thrives in warm climates. It is happy as a cutting sitting in a vase of water or in your yard. Usually it is around 10 feet tall it, but may reach height up to 20 feet. It is however sensitive to salty soil and salty air. But it is pretty drought resistant.
Song of India Cuttings
8 inch cuttings tip of the plant will root beautifully in water and will stay healthy for two to three months. One method is to gather several tip cuttings and let them root in the same pot until they gather strong root systems. Unlike most cuttings, you dont want to snip of the top leaves. For Songs Of India just the leaves on the bottom half of the cutting should be removed because the tip cutting leave will not grow back.
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