Growing Blue Witches’ Hats: Learn About Hedgehog Sage Plant Care

Growing Blue Witches’ Hats: Learn About Hedgehog Sage Plant Care

By: Tonya Barnett, (Author of FRESHCUTKY)

Exploring various native plant species around the globe is just one way to expand our knowledge and increase the diversity of plants in ornamental gardens and landscapes. In fact, many plants are able to adapt to growth in regions outside those in which they are normally found. Even the most common plants can offer unique forms, textures, and colorful flowers.

Researching these plant types will help you better determine whether or not they will be well suited for growth in your region. Blue witches’ hat (recently changed to Coleus livingstonei), for example, also known as hedgehog sage plant, offers its growers saturated blue blooms that are beloved by pollinators. However, it does require specific conditions for growth.

About Blue Witches’ Hat Plants

Blue witches’ hat plants, formerly found under the nomenclature of Pycnostachys urticifolia, are native to regions of South Africa where they are frequently found near wetlands and along the banks of waterways. In warm weather regions, this plant will begin to bloom in the fall. Those in growing zones outside of USDA zones 9-10, which experience frost, may be disappointed to learn that the plant cannot survive cold conditions.

Its former plant name referred to its dense spiked flowerheads and nettle-like leaves. In the U.S., the plant is commonly known as blue witches’ hat for its cobalt blue flowers shaped like a witch hat. Forming a short mounded shrub at maturity, its overall shape makes blue witches’ hat a good option for use as a background plant in the flower garden border. Its strong fragrance and bright, showy flowers are also known to be especially attractive to bees.

How to Grow Hedgehog Sage Plant

For those wishing to add hedgehog sage plants to their flower gardens, the first step will be to locate it. While transplants are available for purchase online through specialty plant nurseries, gardeners also have the option of growing the plant from seed.

Selection of the planting site will be of the utmost importance to those growing blue witches’ hat. In the garden, well-drained soil and direct sunlight will be essential.

Those living in cooler regions also have the option of growing blue witches’ hat, but as a houseplant. In doing so indoor temperatures should remain consistently warm.

Place the plant in a bright location, such as a south-facing window. Providing the plants with ample sunlight will help ensure the best chance of wintertime bloom when grown indoors.

Care for hedgehog sage plant does involve a few routine tasks. Among these will be pruning and regular watering. Under the right conditions, blue witches’ hat plants may grow quickly. Pruning can be done in late summer before the plant blooms or after flowering has ceased. Removing unwanted growth during these periods will help keep the plant neat and compact.

Plants should be watered thoroughly as needed. Before watering, allow the top layer of the soil to become dry, as to avoid issues which may occur with waterlogged soils.

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Blue Witches’ Hat Care – How To Grow Blue Witches’ Hat Plants - garden

This page or section contains unmarked spoilers from update 1.5 of Stardew Valley. Mobile players may want to avoid or be cautious toward reading this article.

Hats are cosmetic clothing items that alter the appearance of the player but otherwise have no effect.

Hats cannot be sold through the Shipping Box, to the Hat Mouse, or to any store/shop in the game.


Witch creation

Check out these step-by-step instructions on how to make your own crocheted witch hat.

Level:

Abbreviations

  • ch: chain
  • sc: single crochet
  • scinc: single crochet increase
  • sctfl: single crochet through front loops
  • hdc: half double crochet
  • dc: double crochet
  • p: picot stitch
  • st(s): stitch(es)

Materials

  • Worsted-weight yarn in black (about 120 grams) and purple (about 30 grams) for the hat small amount of white for spider web
  • Size 3.5 (E) and 4.00 (G) crochet hook
  • Yarn needle
  • Stitch marker (optional)

Pattern notes

  • Tension is not critical for this project.
  • Work stitches continuously in a spiral without closing off each round with a slip stitch. It may help to use a stitch marker in the first stitch of each round, moving it up as you work.

The pattern

Witch hat

With black yarn and 4.00 mm (G) hook

R1: 6 sc in 2nd ch from hook. (6)

R2: 1 hdc in each st around. (6)

R3: 2 hdc in each st around. (12)

R4-5: 1 hdc in each st around. (12)

R6: *2 hdc in next st, 1 hdc in next st* repeat from* 6 times. (18)

R7-8: 1 hdc in each st around. (18)

R9: *2 hdc in next st, 1 hdc in each of next 2 sts*, repeat from* 6 times. (24)

R10-11: 1 hdc in each st around. (24)

R12: *2 hdc in next st, 1 hdc in each of next 3 sts*, repeat from* 6 times. (30)

R13-14: 1 hdc in each st around. (30)

R15: *2 hdc in next hdc, 1 hdc in each of next 4 sts*, repeat from* 6 times. (36)

R16-17: 1 hdc in each st around. (36)

R18: *2 hdc in next st, 1 hdc in each of next 5 sts*, repeat from* 6 times. (42)

R19-20: 1 hdc in each st around. (42)

R21: *2 hdc in next st, 1 hdc in each of next 6 sts*, repeat from* 6 times. (48)

R22-23: 1 hdc in each st around. (48)

R24: *2 hdc in next st, 1 hdc in each of next 7 sts*, repeat from* 6 times. (54)

R25-26: 1 hdc in each st around. (54)

R27: *2 hdc in next st, 1 hdc in each of next 8 sts*, repeat from* 6 times. (60)

R28-29: 1 hdc in each st around. (60)

R30: *2 hdc in next st, 1 hdc in each of next 9 sts*, repeat from* 6 times. (66)

R31-32: 1 hdc in each st around. (66)

R33: *2 hdc in next st, 1 hdc in each of next 10 sts*, repeat from* 6 times. (72)

R34-35: 1 hdc in each st around. (72)

R36: *2 hdc in next hdc, 1 hdc in each of next 11 sts*, repeat from* 6 times. (78)

R39: *1 hdc in each of next 38 sts, 2 hdc in next st*, repeat from* 2 times. (80)

Now, make the brim

R40: Sctfl only in each st around. (80)

R42: *2 hdc in next st, 1 hdc in each of next 10 sts*, repeat from* 8 times. (96)

R43: *2 hdc in next st, 1 hdc in each of next 11 sts*, repeat from* 8 times. (104)

R43: *2 hdc in next st, 1 hdc in each of next 12 sts*, repeat from* 8 times. (112)

R44: *2 hdc in next st, 1 hdc in each of next 13 sts*, repeat from* 8 times. (120)

R45: *2 hdc in next st, 1 hdc in each of next 14 sts*, repeat from* 8 times. (128)

R46: *2 hdc in next st, 1 hdc in each of next 15 sts*, repeat from* 8 times. (136)

R47: *2 hdc in next st, 1 hdc in each of next 16 sts*, repeat from* 8 times. (144)

R48: *2 hdc in next st, 1 hdc in each of next 17 sts*, repeat from* 8 times. (152)

R49: *2 hdc in next st, 1 hdc in each of next 18 sts*, repeat from* 8 times. (160)


Blue Witches’ Hat Care – How To Grow Blue Witches’ Hat Plants - garden

The end of October ushers in Halloween, and all kinds of spooky things come to mind – from witches and skeletons to bats and mummies. At Logee’s, we have rare and unusual plants to accompany these frightful images, as well as a few that can bring the “trick or treat” theme to life this season. Dare to take a look for yourself and see what you think…

Blue Witches Hat

Blue Witches Hat (Pycnostachys urticifolia)

Blue Witches Hat (Pycnostachys urticifolia) is a plant whose cobalt-blue flowers open from the bottom upward and give the appearance of witches’ hats with wide brims growing on the branching tips of this South African shrub. The large, 4” flowers bloom from fall to spring and it’s a reliable bloomer the first year. The green, glossy, heart-shaped foliage gives a pleasing look to this remarkable plant.

Cholla Tillandsia Set

We think of skeletons when we look at Cholla Tillandsia. The cholla is the dried interior of a cactus with holes that resemble a wooden skeleton. It makes a wonderful Halloween decoration with the colorful crown of the red Abdita Tillandsia growing on top of the decorative green moss. To keep the tillandsia healthy, mist once or twice a week.

Black Bat Flower

Black Bat Flower (Tacca chantrieri)

Black Bat Flower (Tacca chantrieri) blooms around Halloween and the unusual black flowers look like giant bats with long cat whiskers that are suspended in mid-air above the broad, shiny leaves. Black Bat Flower is native to the tropical forests of Southeast Asia. Grow in partial sun or filtered light as these are understory plants and do not like direct sunlight much like bats themselves. Be sure to grow in a well-aerated soil mix and a clay pot to keep the roots healthy.

Resurrection Fern

Resurrection Fern (Selaginella lepidophylla)

The Resurrection Fern (Selaginella lepidophylla) is a plant that comes back from the dead like mummies. If forgotten about, it shrivels up, turns brown in color and looks dead but as soon as it is given water, it sprouts back to life within a couple of hours and becomes a living green fern. Native from Texas to El Salvador, the Resurrection Fern is a fascinating natural wonder and can be kept in its brown, dormant state for years. If kept watered, it continues to grow and can become a large specimen. This fern is a great introduction to the wonder of plants and nature for our youngest gardeners.

Living Stones

Living Stones (Lithops species)

Living Stones (Lithops species) is another plant that tricks the gardener. When viewed, it looks like pebbles sitting in a pot, but upon closer inspection you can see that they are living plants with fleshy, colorful tops. The trick to keeping Living Stones looking like pebbles is to make sure these South African natives have plenty of sunshine and limit the water to once or twice a month. This easy-to-grow plant is perfect for the beginning gardener.

The plant kingdom may have played a bigger role in the trick or treat season of Halloween with its sometimes bizarre, yet beautiful, plants that it has to offer. Thank you for visiting. If you’re not too spooked, be sure to request your free Logee’s catalog. You can learn more about the rare plants mentioned in this article below. Happy Halloween!


Causes of Witches' Broom

The causes of witches' broom range from infection to parasites. For example, one cause of a witches' broom is dwarf mistletoe. This parasitic plant attaches to the branches so it can share the tree's water and nutrients. The witches' broom will form near these mistletoe-infested branches.

Witches' broom might also be the effect of infection by fungi or phytoplasmas, which is a single-celled organism, or infestation by mites. Quite often, the cause of the witches' broom can be determined by the species of tree. Fungal infections typically appear in pine or cherry trees, as well as blackberry bushes, while witches' broom in peach and black locusts is likely the result of a virus. Mites are typically responsible for the condition in willow trees, while aphids can be to blame in honeysuckle shrubs.

Witches' broom isn't always caused by a pest or disease. Sometimes it forms because the tree is stressed from a branch that broke off by accident or because pruning was not done properly. It can also be caused by a genetic mutation or environmental conditions that led to the death of the terminal buds of shoots. If the witches' broom is caused by a genetic mutation, there will likely only be one cluster of twigs in the tree. Conifer trees, such as pine, fir, spruce and juniper, might be affected by a genetic mutation that causes witches' broom.


Recipe Summary

In a large bowl let cream cheese, shredded cheese, and butter stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Add milk and Worcestershire sauce. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Stir in green onion and jalapeno chiles. Cover and chill for 4 to 24 hours.

Shape chilled cheese mixture into 1-inch balls, using about 1 tablespoon mixture for each mold balls into cone shapes. Roll cones in crushed blue corn chips, pressing lightly to adhere.

Using a vegetable peeler, cut carrots into thin strips. Cut strips into narrow pieces. Carefully wrap a carrot strip around each cone to form a hatband**. Place each cone atop a round tortilla chip to create hat brims serve immediately. Or cover and refrigerate cones up to 1 hour place atop hat brims just before serving.

Prepare as directed in Step 1. Wrap cheese ball in moisture- and vapor-proof plastic wrap. Freeze for up to 1 month. To serve, thaw the cheese ball in the refrigerator overnight. Let stand for 15 minutes at room temperature. Unwrap and shape as directed.

Tie the carrot strip in a loose knot, or use a small amount of cheese ball mixture to secure the carrot-strip hatband.


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