Now, I have a confession – when I saw these on the internet for sale, I just did not get the fascination for them. I actually thought they were… ugly, shhh, I say it quietly as I don’t want to offend them.
But truly, a single spindly looking stem with three leaves – blah. But, eventually I took the plunge and bought a couple and still felt the same when they arrive. We then started to propagate and grow – Neil weaved his magic and suddenly – I GOT IT – they were gorgeous. The colour was intense, they had multiple leaves that ripple, they looked like the Instagram ‘glamour’ shots – Yes, this was a plant I was willing to sell.
So, why are they commonly called “Red Butterfly Wing”? Put them in a breeze and you will soon see. My video below demonstrates how the leaves flutter giving the appearance of a butterfly. I have had a Botanist tell me the name means ‘bat wing’ but looks more like a butterfly!
Your Christia vespertilionis likes strong light to full sun – this will ensure it grows to it best and gives you good colour. So, a sunny spot on the patio or verandah will be great.
Give your Red Butterfly Wing a moderate amount of water, allowing to dry out totally between waters. And to thrive it needs a moderate amount of feed, so just add it into your regular fertilizer regime.
It will flower, which I prefer to cut them off, but you can keep. Once completed, cut the flower stem off. Your plant will re-shoot, generally dividing which will make your plant more and more of an attractive clump.
And for the Christia we recommend using a good quality Australian Standard General potting mix.