Candlestick seed pods can be harvested for next year

Published on Thursday, 4 September 2014 01:27 - Written by Dee Bishop, In Our Garden

Candlestick (Senna alata nee Cassia alata) looks very much like a gigantic candlestick. It has many bright yellow bloom spikes that do resemble candles.

This is not for very small dainty gardens, for candlestick plants grow huge and demand all the attention where they grow.

Up to 15 feet tall, candlesticks begin to bloom in the later part of summer, when it is very hot. They will grow and bloom right up to frost. If you get one to bloom early enough, you can harvest the black seed pods for next year’s crop of plants.

These plants freeze in winter and do not return. However, you may get some seedlings to come up next spring near where it grew.

Candlesticks grow very rapidly once the spring weather turns very warm, so wait until the air and soil are warm in spring before planting the seed. Sometimes you can find young plants at nurseries. If so, get one for your garden. Getting an early start helps make sure the seed pods will ripen before frost.

The pods need to be dark brown before you harvest them. Once they are actively growing, give them plenty of water and sunshine for a stunning display. They are great to use with bananas, elephant ears, gingers and other tropical plants, as well as to mask or hide undesirable sights.