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Sanchezia speciosa Forest Shrub for Inside or Out

This article was first published on 25 Feb 2011.

Sanchezia speciosa

Sanchezia speciosa

This plant is a real eye catcher.  I, it has that true tropical look and feel about it with its large variegated leaves with prominent yellow veins, bright red and orange flowers.

Sanchezia speciosa is native to Ecuador and Peru where it grows in moist humid forests as an understory plant.


Sanchezia specioa is a shrub that will grow up to approx 2.4m in height.  It has large variegated leaves, up to 30 cm in length, usually green with yellow or ivory veins.  Over the summer months it produces yellow tubular flowers with red bracts.


They need light shade and protection from the sun at the hottest part of the day.  Bright indirect shade produces the best colouration in the leaves.

They need plenty of water especially when actively growing during the warmer months of the year and plenty of humidity and warmth through out the year.

This plant thrives in a true tropical environment and does best when temperatures do not fall below 15 degrees Celsius, so a heated glass house is best.  However, but it can withstand temperatures down to freezing level which will knock the plant back to ground level but it should shoot away in spring.

  • Growing in the central house of the Winter Garden Glasshouse.
  • Propagates easily from tip cuttings
  • Can be grown as a house plant but needs frequent misting of the foliage
  • Responds well to a hard prune if getting too large
  • Aphids and mealy bug can be a problem in the flower buds

References -, Readers Digest Dictionary of Garden Plants

Stephen Bishop is curator of the winter garden glasshouse at Dunedin Botanic Garden.