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December 29th, 2021

Dwarf Clusia Used as Ground Cover, Border of Accent Plant

by R.S. Walsh

Most everyone is familiar with the Clusia that is commonly used as a hedge or buffer. It is easily recognized by its dense semi-succulent pear-shaped leaves which has made it a desirable choice in many landscape applications. However, most people are not as familiar with the Dwarf Clusia ‘Nana’ (Clusia rosea ‘Nana’) which is best described as its miniature version. Similar in appearance and structure, the Dwarf Clusia ‘Nana’ is often used as a ground cover, border or accent plant.

The Dwarf Clusia ‘Nana’ is native to tropical America and is mostly used as a groundcover in gardens. Other ideal uses include planting them around a boulder, as a foundation plant under low windows and bordering a sidewalk or drive. It is not recommended to use the Dwarf Clusia ‘Nana’ as an indoor plant but they do make very good potted plants that can be trained into a bonsai. It thrives best in part sun, although it will tolerate full sun and partial shade as well. The Dwarf Clusia ‘Nana’ with its small attractive leaf texture will almost always be complimentary with other larger plant varieties that are in your garden.

Another desirable feature of this unique little plant that many homeowners love to hear is that it is a low maintenance plant. It is slow growing, barely reaching 2 feet high and a spread of about 2-3 feet wide. It requires very little trimming and is drought tolerant after established. The Dwarf Clusia ‘Nana’ is also a salt tolerant plant which makes it an ideal choice near beach areas and other water areas where salt spray is prevalent. It produces a very small pale/pink white flower, mostly in the spring, however, the leaf texture and shape is considered its most unique feature.

Overall, the Dwarf Clusia ‘Nana’ is a unique, attractive plant that will continue to impress those that are new to tropical landscapes. It is a great option to consider in your tropical garden, especially when low maintenance is on your wish list.

This column is a joint effort by all at In The Garden, a Sanibel garden center, located at 3889 Sanibel Captiva Rd., Sanibel, Florida, 33957.

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