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Candle Bush

Question Enclosed is a limb from a plant I recently acquired. The man I got it from did not know its botanical name, but called it a candle flower bush. It is about four feet tall in the pot at the present time. I can’t find it in any of my books. Please tell me what it is and something about it.

Answer The candlestick tree, or candle bush, Cassia alata, is grown as a summer annual. Many people plant them outside for summer color. They are members of the pea family. The seeds germinate best in soil temperatures of 70-75 degrees. They grow best in full sun and a rich, well drained soil. Avoid too much nitrogen, opting for a complete fertilizer. If you are growing it as a pot plant, keep it indoors for the winter, and move it outside in the spring, after all chances of frost have passed.

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