A tall, evergreen shrub, Tube Flower can reach heights of 10 to 12 feet. It is more vertical than spreading with stems that are often unbranched leading to arching or leaning appearance. It has a moderate to fast growth rate. Leaves are opposite or whorled in arrangement, evergreen, elliptical to lanceolate in shape, and 6 to 8 inches long. The leaves are often in groups of four and are sessile. Flowers are tubular, 3 to 4 inches long, and pendant. The white flowers are borne in clusters that can be up to 2 feet long and are surrounded by thick green calyces. Bloom period is summer to fall. Fruit are metallic blue drupes about ½ inch in diameter that are surrounded by the thick five pointed calyces which have turned red. Hardy in USDA Zones 8 to 11. Flowering best in full sun, it will tolerate some light shade. It prefers a rich, moist, acid soil in a pH range of 5.0 to 6.0, but it will grow on a wide variety of well-drained soils. It is moderately drought tolerant but it does better with regular irrigation. zones 8-10
- Soak the seeds in water for several hours.
- Put a mixture of potting soil and sand or perlite into a pot with drainage holes in the base. The soil should be moist and well-drained.
- Sow the seeds on the soil.
- Cover the seeds with a layer of soil that is 0.5 inches thick.
- Water the seeds. Keep the soil moist but not wet.
- The seeds germinate in 20-60 days.
- When the plants are a few inches tall, they can be transplanted.