Crossandra: home care, growing from seeds, reproduction, transplanting
Crossandra - a genus of tropical plants of the Acanthus family, common in the humid forests of Sri Lanka, India and Africa. Currently, there are more than 50 species in the genus.
The first in the genus to be cultivated was the funnel-shaped or wave-leaved crossandra. It happened in the 19th century. It is this species, as well as its varieties and hybrids, which is mainly grown as a flowering greenhouse and indoor plant.
Planting and caring for the crossandra
- Bloom: from spring to autumn.
- Lighting: bright diffused light.
- Temperature: during the growing season - normal room temperature, in winter - within 18-16 ºC.
- Watering: during the period of active growth - abundant, as soon as the topsoil dries out, in winter - moderate to scarce.
- Air humidity: increased. Requires keeping on a pallet with wet expanded clay and spraying air around the plant from a fine spray.
- Top dressing: from spring to the end of flowering - once or twice a month with complex mineral fertilizers for flowering plants.
- Rest period: from the end of flowering until spring.
- Cropping: after flowering ends or at the beginning of the growing season.
- Transfer: young plants - annually, older ones - once every 2-3 years.
- Reproduction: seeds, but more often cuttings.
- Diseases: leaf mold and other troubles due to improper care or violation of conditions of detention.
- Pests: spider mites.
Read more about growing crossandra below.
The crossandra plant is a semi-shrub with a height of 30 to 50 cm with opposite glossy pointed dark green leaves 7-12 cm long, glabrous and wavy to varying degrees along the edge. Salmon-colored flowers up to 25 mm in diameter form a dense axillary inflorescence in the form of a tetrahedral spike.
The closest relatives of the crossandra are afelandra, pachistachis and ruelia.
Crossandra care at home
The crossandra flower prefers to grow in a well-lit place, and window sills of east-facing and west-facing windows are optimal in this regard. You can also grow crossandra on the southern windowsill, having previously arranged for it to be shaded from direct sunlight in the afternoon. Northern windows are not suitable for keeping crossandra: from a lack of light, it will be weak and may never bloom.
In the photo: How the crossandra blooms
During the period of active growth, the crossandra is suitable for the usual room temperature, but without sudden changes, otherwise it may lose leaves. In winter, the temperature in the room where the crossandra is kept should not fall below 18 ˚C.
It is necessary to moisten the soil in a pot with a flower abundantly during the period of active growth, as soon as the topsoil dries out to a shallow depth. In winter, watering is reduced, however, preventing the earthen coma from drying out. Water for irrigation of the crossandra needs soft and not cold, that is, tap water at room temperature or filtered through a filter for at least a day or a couple of degrees warmer.
Crossandra does not tolerate dry air well, so it will have to be sprayed often: where the plant comes from, after heavy tropical rains, moisture slowly evaporates from the ground, saturating the air.
It is not the plant itself that needs to be sprayed from a fine spray, but the air around it, trying to prevent drops from falling on the flowers and leaves of the crossandra. And do not be too zealous, otherwise excess moisture can provoke putrefactive processes.
Cultivation of crossandra requires the mandatory introduction of fertilizers into the soil: a lack of nutrients necessary for growth and development can negatively affect the appearance of the plant. In the period from spring to autumn, a solution of a balanced mineral fertilizer is applied to the soil twice a month. In winter, it is not necessary to feed the crossandra, but if you add fertilizer to the substrate once a month or two, there will be no harm to the plant either. Blooming crossandra is fed even in winter. Fertilize the plant on a pre-moistened soil.
Caring for crossandra at home involves its regular transplant. Young plants are replanted annually. Well-developed, well-formed crossandres can be transplanted less often - once every 2-3 years. For a plant, a loose and nutritious soil mixture is used, for example, of the following composition: humus, peat, sand, turf and leafy soil in equal proportions. It is imperative to lay a layer of drainage material at the bottom of the pot so that excess water does not stagnate in the roots of the crossandra. Then the flower is carefully transferred from the old pot to a new one and gradually the remaining space is filled with an earthen mixture. After transplanting, water the plant and, if necessary, add more substrate: there should be no voids around the roots.
After the crossandra has bloomed, or before the start of the growing season, cut off its shoots by a third of the length, and then, when it grows, do not forget to pinch the ends of the shoots from time to time to form a strong and lush bush. Pruning the crossandra stimulates abundant, longer and more regular flowering, but it is worth knowing that after four years the flowering of the crossandra gradually diminishes.
In the photo: Bright flowering of crossandra at home
Indoor crossandra - reproduction
Crossandra is propagated at home by generative (seeds) and vegetatively - by cuttings.
TO seed reproduction they do not often resort, since the plant does not bear fruit every year and the seeds of the crossandra are not always on sale either. But if you managed to get the seed, embed it shallowly into a substrate consisting of equal parts of peat and sand. The container covered with glass is kept at a temperature of 23 ˚C until germination, periodically removing condensation from the coating and moistening the substrate from the sprayer. After a few weeks, when seedlings appear, remove the cover, and when seedlings have two pairs of leaves, plant them in disposable cups or small pots.
After the seed crossandra has taken root, start pinching it to stimulate tillering.
It is much easier and faster to propagate crossandra. cuttings... To implement this method, you will need sections of shoots about 10 cm long.Remove the bottom pair of leaves from them, put the cuttings in a container with water, wait until they grow roots up to 2.5 cm long, and then plant them in a substrate of the same composition, which was used to grow seedlings. In the future, care for rooted cuttings as an adult plant.
Pests and diseases
Diseases and their treatment
Due to the fact that crossandra loves moist soil and air, it is often affected by leaf mold. If you find spots of fluffy gray mold on the leaves, immediately cut out all the affected areas with the capture of healthy tissue, treat the plant with a fungicide solution, adjust the indoor humidity and balance watering.
All other painful conditions of the crossandra arise from improper care. For example:
- From insufficient or rare watering, the leaves of the plant begin to wilt, and then fall off.
- Loses the leaves of the crossandra and from a sharp temperature drop.
- Poor flowering is sometimes explained not only by aging or improper pruning of the crossandra, but also by insufficient lighting.
- If you created conditions for the plant close to natural, and provided it with nutrition and moisture, then the crossandra should not have health problems.
In the photo: Growing crossandra in an apartment
Pests and the fight against them
In a room with a low level of air humidity, the crossandra can be attacked by spider mites - the smallest pests, dangerous primarily because they are difficult to detect. By the time you notice that a thin web has appeared on the plant, the pests will probably have time to breed.
With a small number of mites, just wash the plant under the shower with cold water, but if several generations of pests have appeared, then you cannot do without treating the crossandra with acaricides.
Buy Aktellik, Aktaru, Akarin or Fitoverm in the garden pavilion and treat the flower on the leaves with a solution of one of the listed preparations.
Types and varieties
Funnel-shaped crossandra (Crossandra infundibuliformis)
Or crossandra wave-leaved, or orange crossandra - a semi-shrub with a height of 30 to 90 cm, but under dwelling conditions it grows no higher than 60 cm. It has narrow, pointed leaves up to 12 cm long with a characteristic wavy edge. The flowers of the plant are tubular, five-petalled, with large green bracts, pinkish-orange with a yellow center. They are collected in a tetrahedral spike up to 10 cm long.
The most famous varieties of the species:
- Mona wellhead - a very popular variety up to 45 cm high with salmon pink flowers;
- Tropic - compact plants about 25 cm in height and up to 20 cm in diameter, which can be grown not only at home, but also as summer plants in the open field. The series is represented by varieties with different flower colors: Tropic Splash - with dark yellow petals at the base and a lighter shade at the ends, Tropic Flame - crossandra with salmon-orange flowers:
- Orange marmalade - cultivar about 60 cm high with bright orange inflorescences;
- Queen of the nile - variety with rare terracotta flowers;
- Crossandra Fortune - a compact plant with salmon-orange inflorescences and an improved root system, much less sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity.
In the photo: Crossandra infundibuliformis
Prickly crossandra (Crossandra pungens)
This is an East African plant with a height of 40 to 60 cm with variegated lanceolate petiole leaves decorated with silvery veins. The size of the leaves depends on their location: the lower ones reach 12 cm in length and 2.5 cm in width, and the upper ones - up to 6 cm in length and up to 1.5 in width. This is a yellow crossandra: its bright golden flowers are collected in short inflorescences.
In the photo: Crossandra pungens
Red crossandra (Crossandra nilotica)
Or crossandra nile naturally occurs in Mozambique and Kenya and is a shrub up to 60 cm tall with dense glossy elliptical leaves of a dark shade of green and five-lobed tubular flowers of brick-red or salmon-pink color, collected in apical short inflorescences.
In the photo: Red Crossandra (Crossandra nilotica)
Stem crossandra (Crossandra subacaulis)
A rather rare plant in culture, found mainly among collectors. This is a stunted species native to eastern Africa - Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Congo. The stem crossandra reaches a height of 15 cm, and its inflorescences painted in bright orange color are usually no longer than 10 cm.
Photo: Crossandra stem (Crossandra subacaulis)
Also a rare exotic species only up to 20 cm in height, covered with short pubescence. On the underside of the green leaves of the Guinea crossandra, located on short petioles, the veins are clearly visible. Narrow spicate inflorescences from 5 to 15 cm high are composed of white or pale lilac flowers up to 2 cm in diameter.
In the photo: Crossandra guineensis
As for a plant such as blue crossandra, or turquoise, it belongs to a completely different genus of the Acanthus family - Ekbolium, but we will tell you about it in another article.
- Read the topic on Wikipedia
- Features and other plants of the family Acanthus
- List of all species on The Plant List
- More information on World Flora Online
- Indoor Plants Information
Sections: Houseplants Beautiful Flowering Acanthus Plants on K
Amateur flower growers, in whose house the original bamboo plant lives, believe that it brings happiness and good luck to the house. Therefore, they call it the bamboo of happiness. However, there is one more name - bamboo varnishes, which is also directly related to happiness, because in translation it means “happy”. But in order to fill the home with positive energy, the bamboo of happiness (the scientific name of Dracaena Sander) also requires proper care.
This plant loves abundant watering. It especially needs moisture in the summer, hot period. Leaves need to be removed from dust with a damp cloth, but there is no special need for spraying. In the room, shady places are more suitable for this plant, he does not like direct sunlight. Acceptable temperature - from 18 to 35 degrees Celsius.
You can often see bamboo bouquets for sale - several cut stems are made into an original composition. Admirers of feng shui philosophy use a red ribbon with a themed image to wrap around the stems. Such a bouquet should be constantly in water, which must be changed every 5-7 days. And if you enrich the water with mineral fertilizers, then the care will be even better.
Caring for a ktenant at home
Location and lighting
Ktenanta is a plant that requires diffused lighting for at least 16 hours a day. During the warm season, it is necessary to protect the flower from direct sunlight, since the influence of the sun's rays will immediately affect the appearance of the plant. Bright sunlight can change the usual color of the leaves for the worse.
This houseplant needs good lighting throughout the year, so in the colder months, when daylight hours get shorter, you need to use fluorescent lamps. With their help, you can additionally highlight the plant at dusk or on a cloudy day.
A good place to grow ktenants will be windows facing east or west.
It is important to adhere to the optimal temperature regime in the soil and in the air relative to the season. This houseplant does not like sudden changes in temperature and drafts, it reacts very painfully to these processes. The root system may not survive during hypothermia. Therefore, the soil temperature should not drop less than 17-18 degrees.
The daytime air temperature in the spring and summer months should be in the range of 22-25 degrees, and in the autumn and winter months - about 20 degrees Celsius. The night temperature in the spring-summer season is 20-22 degrees, and in the rest of the months - from 16 to 18 degrees Celsius.
Ktenanta grows well in greenhouse conditions and it vitally needs high humidity (at least 70%). You can maintain this moisture in different ways:
- Regular spraying throughout the year.
- The presence of a pallet under the flower with wet expanded clay.
- Covering the plant with plastic wrap bags (at night).
For spraying, you need to use only purified water and spray it only with the smallest spray. At low humidity, the leaves will begin to curl up at the plant, and if large drops of water hit the leaf, a dark spot may form.
Watering the ktenante is necessary abundant, but not earlier than the entire surface of the soil dries up one centimeter in depth. Irrigation volumes gradually decrease in autumn and winter, and in spring they return to their usual course. The liquid must be filtered or settled.Drying of the soil or waterlogging should not be allowed - this is equally detrimental to the flower.
Top dressing and fertilizers
Top dressing is not applied within thirty days after the transplantation of the ktenants and in the autumn-winter season. In all other months, every 15 days, the ktenant is fed with a complex fertilizer, which is recommended for deciduous indoor plants. This liquid fertilizer is applied only in half the dosage.
Choosing a potting soil mixture in the retail network, you can opt for the soil for azaleas or arrowroots. But you can prepare the soil at home. For ktenants, you need to take one part of sand and peat, two parts of leafy earth and a little crushed charcoal. Such soil will be loose and water and air permeable, which is very significant for this flower.
Only young plants need to be replanted every year, mature plants are replanted every three years. The transplant must be carried out from May to August. A flower container needs a wide, but shallow depth. Before transplanting, you need to rid the plant of damaged and dying leaves.
Important! Remember to provide good drainage for the plant.
When can saxifrage be sown
Sowing saxifrage in open ground or seedlings can be in spring or autumn. When buying seeds in a store, you should focus on recommendations for a specific species and variety.
Planting saxifrage in the fall
In open ground, saxifrage with seeds can be planted in late autumn. This option is attractive because the material will undergo natural stratification. As a result, seedlings will appear together in spring, and the probability of flowering in the first year will increase.
Sowing saxifrage in spring
If you first grow seedlings, then sowing is best done in early February. Move the plants to open ground until July. In this case, until the fall, they will have time to gain strength in order to successfully winter.
Growing crossandra from seeds and methods of its reproduction
They began to cultivate this beautiful tropical flower back in the 19th century, and then, experts from Sweden created the Mona Wallhed variety, which retains its popularity to this day. Under natural conditions, today about 50 species of crossandra grow, of which only 2 turned out to be cultivated - prickly, not very attractive to flower growers, and funnel-shaped. The latter is mainly purchased for breeding in apartments.
Reproduction of crossandra is best done by cuttings: when a short shoot is cut off from the mother bush and rooted in peat or in a glass of water. After a good root system appears (which takes about a month), it is transferred to a prepared pot.
Experts call this method the most reliable. In addition, only with him can you save all varietal characteristics. However, at the same time, it is not the most budgetary: the price of crossandra seeds is significantly lower. However, there are immeasurably more difficulties with this method of growing this tropical color, and even experienced flower growers do not always agree to resort to it if there is an alternative.
If you seriously intend to grow a crossandra from seeds, be prepared for the fact that their germination percentage is low, and the slightest mistake will become critical. The algorithm is as follows:
- Pour the purchased seeds with warm (no more than 25 degrees) water, let them lie down for a couple of hours. Do not overexpose them - the time should not exceed 3 hours.
- In a large container, fill up the standard seedling soil: peat mixed with sphagnum or coconut milk. Do not forget to moisturize it slightly and loosen it well.
- The sowing should be superficial, the seeds are not covered with earth, they are not pressed into the substrate.
- On top you need to put thick glass, which completely prevents air from entering inside (especially through).
- The container with the seed must be placed in a warm place so that the ambient temperature (and the ground, respectively) is always within 24-26 degrees. Also, good illumination of the area where the container is located is required.
How long you have to wait for the seeds to germinate depends on their quality, freshness, and the conditions you have created for them. For purchased material, the approximate waiting time is 14-60 days (extension up to 75 days is possible), for material collected from its own bush - 7-10 days. Also, this parameter can vary by variety: in particular, blue crossandra hatch longer than pink and yellow.
Sowing in peat tablets and peat cups is possible. Keep in mind that in this situation, the seedlings also need to create greenhouse conditions: collect them in a plastic bag, which is then tightly tied.
The approximate moment of the seedling of the ascended crossandra is the age of 1-1.5 months, for which a richer soil mixture is prepared: not only peat, but also perlite, leafy earth, which has passed the stage of humus debate, should enter into it. Perlite can be replaced with sand, and its proportion is minimal.
Diseases and pests
Growing rosemary in a pot at home has several benefits. One of them is the relative ease of planting and care: the plants are not damaged by pests or diseases. However, the appearance of a whitish bloom on the leaves is occasionally observed (fungal infection - powdery mildew).
The appearance of plaque is possible due to a sharp temperature drop. Therefore, when grown at home in late autumn, the rosemary pots should be gradually transferred to a cool room, tempering for two weeks.
It is better to use folk remedies - a solution of ash, tobacco dust, infusion of teeth or greens of garlic, onion husks, mustard powder and others.
Why does rosemary dry in a pot at home
Even if you organize the correct planting, in summer, the shoots and leaves of the plant can dry out. The most likely cause is improper care (lack of moisture). If everything is in order with watering, then drying out may be associated with the action of pests:
- spider mite
Folk remedies are used against insects, and, in extreme cases, insecticides are used: Fitoverm, Vertimek, Aktara, Biotlin, Green Soap and others. After processing, the shoots should not be eaten for a week.
Diseases and pests
The main pests of the plant:
- spider mite
Regular inspection of the bushes will help stop the spread of the pest in time. You need to be especially careful in the fall, when returning the pots of flowers to the house.
If aphids are found. Prepare a soapy solution and rinse the flower well with it. In indoor conditions, the plants are regularly sprayed with water, this is a good prevention of diseases. If pests are found, treat the bush with any insecticide.
Excessive light symptoms: soft leaves, lack of shine on them, yellowing. Shading or moving to a less lit place will help.
Yellow tips of the leaves indicate dry air. It is necessary to spray, or put a humidifier in the room.