Aeschinanthus - stunning foliage and flowering
Like tongues of flame, tubular dark red flowers flash on thick, sprawling, elegant bushes of eskhinantusov. Amazing plant textures, strict lines and a restrained combination of red and dark green - a real room classic. Aeschinantus is in no way inferior to more fashionable exotic plants. And by its whimsicality - first of all. This is one of the most difficult to grow indoor plants, which is not enough ordinary care. Such unusual exotics are not for everyone.
Aeschinanthus - a description of the plant
At us eskhinantusy often like to call eskhianthus. Despite the fact that these plants cannot be ranked among the most popular indoor crops, they have become a kind of legend.
Aeschinanthus are relatives of the senpole from the Gesneria family. In nature, eschinanthus is mainly found in Asia, and is especially common in Malaysia and nearby islands. Even in forest conditions, they find the brightest places, preferring rocks, elevations, waterfalls, river banks.
Aeschinanthus are evergreen generalists. When forming, they retain bushiness, in its absence, they easily turn into semi-lianas. Eshinanthus are often considered purely ampelous plants, but they rather combine both possibilities, flaunting drooping, overhanging, sometimes long shoots. Nevertheless, they develop in the form of lush, sprawling bushes. Their height, depending on the shape, is from 20 to 60 cm. But the length of the twigs can exceed 1 m.
Sometimes the effect of density is very misleading: eshinanthus most often sell not in one plant, but in groups, planting not even several, but up to 5 plants in one pot. The need for group cultivation is expressed only in young plants and is explained by the fact that the shoots of young eschinanthus, even with pinching, are very reluctant to branch, which means that you cannot achieve a beautiful form from a plant without grouping.
Any eschinanthus reaches maximum decorativeness only in the third and fourth year, from the fifth year the plants gradually lose their density of gardening and their shoots are exposed from below. This plant requires regular rejuvenation with a frequency of 1 time in 4-5 years. The more regular pruning of eschinanthus, the more the bushes retain their decorative effect. Eschinanthus have a pronounced period of rest, with the preservation of leaves.
The leaves of eschinanthus are large enough, up to 10 cm, oval or ovate-pointed, leathery, sitting on short petioles, with different surface effects - from wax plaque to glossy shine. The thickness of the leaves seems surprising, if you do not remember the relationship of the plant with the Gesneriaceae.
Escinanthus bloom very stably for a long time, sparkling with almost the same number of flowers. If other plants take their massiveness, then eskhinantus - the constant flowering. The tubular, asymmetric flowers of echinanthus are not accidentally compared with a flame, and often with bright tropical birds. We often call the plant a “firebird,” although other fiery associations are more than appropriate.
Eskhinantusy can bloom all summer and almost all autumn - with proper care and in ideal conditions.
Eschinanthus flowers do not bloom over the entire length of the shoots, but only in the upper, or their extreme third. They can bloom in pairs, and can collect in small bundles of inflorescences. Irregular flowers with an unusual asymmetric corolla, as if only half open, with a very long, up to 10 cm, curved tube, are flaunted by a large two-lipped limb with a saturated color. Bright color gives impressive and buds.
Aeschinanthus belong to plants that in nature pollinate not insects, but birds.
The color palette of eskhinantusov is fiery, very bright, almost dazzling, with a tendency to dark shades. Red, yellow and orange in some species are “diluted” with light green shades. But most eskhinantusov - fiery expressive.
Types and varieties of room eschinanthus
For a long time, the most popular plant of eschinanthus remained eskhinantus lobba (Aeschynanthus lobbianus), but today the plant is retrained into another species - eskhinantus magnificent, or beautiful (Aeschynanthus pulcher).
Shaped curving and drooping shoots with age, ovoid shoots with a pointed tip, thick, densely arranged leaves and tubular flowers of scarlet or bright yellow color collected in small bundles are easily recognizable appearance of a form of eskhinantus that is brilliant in every sense.
He has many interesting varieties. Many have come across the name "Firebird"although the true name of the variety is lost or simply replaced by a nickname. Beautiful, slender tubular flowers with a very long pestle and purple stamens offer to admire the color transition from a light green calyx to yellow and orange at the base of the tube. Shoots with emerald leaves look amazingly strict.
Cold red and uniform throughout the flower color variety "Mona Lisa" (Mona lisa) - a modern favorite along with a variety "Fireworks" (Fireworks) with its dark, almost black, strokes on the top of the scarlet tubes in the thick scutes of the inflorescences.
One of the most spectacular eskhinantusov - eskhinantus beautiful (Aeschynanthus speciosus), today mainly represented by miniature varieties. Spectacular, similar to fiery fountains from claw-like bent tubes, with long purple stamens, the inflorescences-bunches seem huge against the background of neat oval-lanceolate leaves with a bright but cold color. It is better to allow long, stiff, perfectly even shoots to scatter to the sides, creating bizarre patterned silhouettes.
His fluffy, very bright, gathered in lush bunches of flowers became famous eshinanthus rooted (Aeschynanthus radicans) - a spectacular view with flexible shoots that can easily take root in the soil.
Eschinanthus squat (Aeschynanthus humilis) - one of the most compact dark-leaf species. From nature, it develops in the form of a wide dense bush. Matte, waxy, dark leaves emphasize the beautiful sunny shade of tubular flowers in small-flowered brushes that open on the tops of erect branches.
Eschinanthus with unusual leaves
First of all, they appreciate the luxurious leaves. long-stemmed eschinanthus (Aeschynanthus longicaulis) These plants like to call the old name eskhinantus marble (Aeschynanthus marmoratus) They became famous not only for their large, long shoots, but also for the beauty of matte-wax, with an interesting reddish tint of dark green color, covered with marble-like light patterns of oval leaves.
The flowers are small, green-brick with yellow tints, fused, with protruding stamens, they look very exotic, although they are not easy to notice against the background of brighter leaves.
Eshinantus Rasta (Aeschynanthus rasta) - the trade name of one of the hybrids of eshinanthus, famous for its unusual, twisting leaves, on the curly patterns of which you want to admire and admire. This hybrid eskhinantus gave rise to a whole line of varieties with original foliage, including the variety very popular today Twister (Twister).
Growing Conditions for Escinanthus
Not capricious in one and very demanding in another, eskhinantusy can be called difficult to reproduce plants, which can cause many difficulties in the first months of cuttings. But even at a respectable age it does not get any easier. A bright place, stable conditions and temperatures are the basis of success in the cultivation of eskhinantusov.
Lighting and placement
The photophilicity of eskhinantusov does not extend to sunny places. They are afraid of direct rays of the sun and require all possible measures to diffuse light. You can choose a comfortable window sill of the western or eastern, and in the summer - and the northern window. And you can just put the plants only in the second or third row or place them not on the windowsill, but in the area of diffuse lighting or light partial shade on the southern windowsill. In winter, lighting is increased to maintain the same conditions.
During budding and flowering, this plant must not be shifted and rearranged.
Temperature and ventilation
Eschinanthus, who do not like heat, feel great in a stable temperature of about 20 degrees. They do not like temperature changes.
Escinanthus should spend the winter in cool, but not in the cold. These plants are best kept dormant within the temperature range from 16 to 18 degrees Celsius. It is with these indicators that flower buds are most actively laid. Aeschinanthus for flowering is enough for at least one month in cool.
One of the most difficult moments in the cultivation of eskhinantusov - extreme sensitivity to any drafts. Aeschinantus does not tolerate even a slight temperature drop, a gentle refreshing breeze. It is very dangerous to place them on the windowsills where the sashes are often slightly opened (or the doors are regularly opened). For this, not so little, but a culture that loves stability, you need to choose the most protected places.
Subcooling of the substrate and pot is even more dangerous than the difference in air temperature. Even a few degrees of difference with room temperature can cause the plant the most obvious of the reactions to discomfort - dropping leaves.
Care for eschinanthus at home
Aeschinanthus does not like misses in watering. Uniform soil moisture is the key to success and the main difficulty in growing eschinanthus. But you can’t forget about humidity in general, and about scraps, and about special feeding.
Watering and humidity
It is impossible to find a more sensitive plant to partial drying of the soil and prone to decay at the slightest wetting. Aeschinanthus love light humidity, but uniform throughout the thickness of the substrate. Even a slight drying of the upper layer is already a stress for the plant, and its drying out by half the eschinanthus already meets as a catastrophe.
The choice of over-drained soils that can retain moisture and evenly distribute it is the main guarantee of success. As well as thorough care.
Escinanthus is watered sparingly - often, but lightly, maintaining a stable environment. They grow as well as possible on all soils with inert materials, hydroponics and automatic irrigation, in which the plant can receive as much moisture as it really needs, and the owners may not worry because of small miscalculations and the need for frequent watering.
During the dormant period, the soil moisture should decrease, and the watering themselves should be reduced by about half. The lightest moisture of the substrate, preventing the plant from shedding leaves, but allowing slight wrinkling of some leaves in combination with coolness, will allow the eschinanthus to lay flower buds. After the end of the dormant period, watering cannot be sharply increased. As soon as the growth of the eschinanthus begins, add spraying to the care, and increase the watering itself slowly.
Water quality is a critical factor for this plant. Aeschinanthus grow best when irrigated with rain or melt water, from the "ordinary" only filtered and demineralized versions are suitable for it.
Eschinanthus are demanding on air humidity, especially in the heat. They grow well in display cases, florariums, with stationary humidifiers or pallets with moist soils, but they will not refuse regular sprayings. It is best to use a foggy, fine atomizer. Of course, spraying for eschinanthus is permissible only in the summer.
Fertilizing and fertilizer composition
Fertilizers for eschinanthus begin to be carried out as soon as the plant starts to grow and complete along with a stop of growth. For eskhinantusov, the standard frequency of 1 time in 2 weeks is excellent.
One of the interesting features of eskhinantusov - they do not like organic fertilizers, including all types of bio-fertilizers and modern preparations based on biohumus. For them, it is better to use only mineral top dressing. It’s easy to choose the type of fertilizer: eskhinantusy grow better when fed with universal full mineral fertilizers, because both greenery and flowering are equally important for them.
Trimming and shaping the eschinanthus
On this crop, pruning can be done as needed. If the plant has extended, dropped leaves, and shoots too long, the branches can be shortened to give them a more compact shape and awakening. But still, the most spectacular appearance from eskhinantusov can be achieved with regular formation.
In this case, annual pruning can be carried out both before and after transplantation, but only at the start of growth.
The main measures for the formation of eskhinantusov:
- Pruning of all shoots, at which the "bottoms" begin to be exposed, to stumps of 10-20 cm.
- Pinching or cutting of 2–3 upper pairs of leaves on all young leafy shoots growing from the base.
Transplant, containers and substrate
For eschinanthus transplants are optional. The plant requires rejuvenation after 3 years without scraps and 4-5 years - with regular formation. In this case, most often the loss of decorativeness occurs much earlier than expected in the absence of haircuts.
In the case of accelerated degeneration, eshinanthus can be planted in groups in groups in which they should develop before losing their decorativeness, instead of the usual transplant, simply planting new (replacing old) bushes grown from cuttings.
If the plant undergoes formation, then it is replanted when old bushes are replaced at uncircumcised eschinanthus — every 2-3 years, as the containers are filled. Pots for plants should be quite tight and not very deep.
Eshinanthus prefer friable slightly acidic or neutral earth mixtures. Too dense, and even more so prone to loss of breathability over time, the substrates for them will not work. They are better grown in simple substrates than very complex soils. Conventional peat substrates with the addition of turf soil, perlite (or sand) are ideal for them.
It is easy to pick up such a simple soil mixture among universal substrates. Vermiculite can be added to any soil to increase its aeration, and charcoal to prevent root damage.
There is nothing complicated in transplanting eskhinantusov. Plants are rarely grown alone, most often combining 3-5 bushes to obtain the very effect of splendor, for which eschinanthus is valued. To separate the bushes is only when each of them acquires a sufficiently branched crown with age or the group becomes too heavy.
If a group of plants is satisfied, then they are not transplanted one at a time, exposing the roots, but are transshipped with a “solid” lump. Plants require not very high, but high-quality drainage. It is selected depending on the size and type of container. For small pots, small crumbs and a layer about 2 cm high are used, and for large containers intended for growing adult plants, large-fraction drainage with a layer of at least 5 cm is used.
Diseases, pests and problems in the cultivation of eschinanthus
The eskhinanthus strikingly eloquently signal that they are uncomfortable. This plant reacts to almost any misses by dropping its beautiful leaves. And very often they do not even begin to turn yellow: the windowsill, dotted with healthy-looking leaves, is one of the wonders that the fiery eskhinantus is capable of.
Escinanthus can be exposed both from drafts, and from hypothermia of the soil, and when it dries up - sometimes not even complete. So the regularity of care and the choice of a protected place are very important for them.
Of the pests, the aphid is most often found, which must be controlled with insecticides.
The main method of propagation of this amazing culture is cuttings. Eshinantusy allow you to choose different terms for cutting shoots and different rooting methods.
In eschinanthus, stem cuttings can also be cut (standard, about 10 cm long, but not with 2–3, but with at least 5 nodes), and rooting not quite simple leafy cuttings, cutting them is not easy with a heel, and with a kidney.
Rooting plants can be in any inert substrate, in clean sand, vermiculite or perlite, in mixtures of peat or sand containing both components in equal proportions. In choosing the rooting method for different types of cuttings, it is worth adhering to different strategies:
- At stem cuttings necessarily remove the lower leaves. Regardless of which substrate the cuttings are rooted in, they are buried by 1-2 cm under a slight slope in the already moistened soil. And containers with shoots must be covered with a cap. Rooting should take place at temperatures above 23 degrees, in diffuse but intense lighting.
- Leaf cuttings root also under a cap, but with control of the duration of daylight and light intensity (from 12 hours, with illumination on cloudy days). To root leafy cuttings from eschinanthus is possible only with lower heating.
On average, rooting of cuttings in this plant takes at least 15-20 days. Young eschinanthus should be transferred to new conditions of detention smoothly, gradually increasing the airing time of plants and slowly lowering temperatures.
Transplantation into separate containers is carried out only 1-2 weeks after the cap is finally removed. True, this is not about individual pots: 3-4 cuttings are planted, for small and weak shoots - 5-6 plants in one pot, reducing the number of plants as they grow during transplantation or transferring in groups. For eschinanthus obtained by cuttings, the standard substrate is diluted by a third with loosening materials.
At the whole stage of growing cuttings and in the first year after transplanting, it is important to create conditions with stable soil moisture and protection even from slight drying of the substrate (up to the middle of the pot, it is already considered an unacceptable level of drying). If such eschinanthus discard the leaves, they most likely will not recover.
Plants become less moody only after the first, and often second, wintering.