Allamanda - The Jungle Bell
Among indoor plants there are not many cultures with bright yellow colors of flowers. The unique golden-lemon color of the simple but dazzlingly beautiful flowers of allamanda is a happy exception. The impression of fashionable minimalism and insolence in this plant only enhances the beautiful greenery. Caring for this indoor culture will not be difficult at all if you provide it with very bright lighting.
Bright jungle bell exterior
Allamanda's popular nicknames vividly describe her appearance. "Jungle bell", "golden trumpet" - these epithets really better than others convey the main characteristics of the plant. Indeed, simplicity, conciseness of forms and spectacularity, minimalism and catchiness are the best that is in allamands.
Allamanda (Allamanda) - a genus of plants of the Kutrov family (Apocynaceae), named after the professor at the University of Leiden, Frederick Allamand. The genus has 15 species.
The most common in room culture was allamanda laxative (Allamanda cathartica) It is difficult to guess that this allamanda belongs to evergreen vines. Indeed, in a room culture, a plant develops more likely in the form of evergreen shrubs and rarely shows all its abilities in vertical gardening. But if you give allamanda a laxative will, then curly shoots can reach 5-6 m in length. A beautiful pillow of greenery in a plant is formed due to large, up to 14 cm long leaves of a narrow, elongated-ovoid shape, sitting on the shoots opposite. Cold, emerald color as if created in order to contrast with flowering. And it is allamanda laxative really outstanding. Large funnel-shaped flowers reach a diameter of 5-6 cm, stand out with a bright, yellow-lemon-golden color with an almost imperceptible whitish base. Flowers bloom at the tops of the shoots, the corolla lobes slightly resemble lilies. Bright “tubes” seem to crown the bushes, and a rich and even color makes an unforgettable impression.
A charming representative of the Kutrov family, when they first met on the shelves of flower shops, seems like a plant remarkably compact. But you should not be mistaken about the size of the allamanda: it is a large, constantly growing plant that will quickly "lose" the influence of growth inhibitors and show all its true power. At the same time, the growth rate is average, but the nature of the plant does not allow it to be ranked as a compact indoor accent culture. Allamanda needs to be given a lot of space, this plant loves solo parts and does not tolerate competitors nearby: placing it in the interior, it should be borne in mind that in proud loneliness allamanda can eclipse even a whole group of the most vibrant smaller cultures.
Allamanda blooms throughout the summer, from May to September. But the timing is often shifted, stretched, changed.
In addition to the basic look, the plant has a number of decorative forms:
- noble nobilis with a reddish tone of shoots, lanceolate, sessile, very long twenty-centimeter leaves and gold flowers up to 12 cm in diameter with an unusual light spot in the throat and a delicate aroma of magnolias;
- hendersonii species with accelerated growth, very thick, leathery leaves collected in knots of 4 pieces and orangeish, with bright spots on the petals of large flowers up to 12 cm in diameter;
- large-flowered form of grandiflora with only 10 cm in diameter, but very numerous lemon flowers, small lanceolate leaves and curly shoots, which is more suitable for the role of an ampel than others.
In addition to allamanda laxative, in the genus allamand there are about 15 plant species, of which half are also used as indoor plants. In addition to the most popular species, the following decorative types of jungle bell include:
- Allamanda Schott (Allamanda schottiiformerly known as allamanda oleandris — allamanda neriifolia) - shrubby nature by form with lush, arcuate drooping shoots up to 90 cm long, long pointed elliptic, very dark leaves and flowers with a diameter of up to 4 cm with a swollen base of the corolla tube;
- Allamanda Blanchet (Allamanda blanchetii, formerly known as allamanda purple — allamanda violacea) - a slowly growing liana with pubescent, grayish-gray leaves up to 15 cm in length, collected in knots of 4 pieces, with unusual light lilac-pink flowers arranged in pairs at the tops of the shoots.
All without exception, allamands require the same conditions of detention and the same care. This plant can be grown in the role of a dense bush, or you can let the shoots stretch out and reveal the potential of the climber to the fullest. In fact, only the formation affects the form of allamanda growth. Despite the fact that allamands require keeping in the winter in cool conditions, no complicated measures will be necessary to ensure everything necessary. These are quite friendly cultures that require careful attention, which will not cause trouble and will gratefully respond to the time taken. The only drawback of allamanda is essentially its toxicity: not only the juice, but also all parts of the plant are toxic, causing irritation to the skin and mucous membranes. When working with a plant, especially during pruning, be sure to protect your hands with gloves.
Illumination and placement of allamanda
Unlike many indoor plants with the status of flowering, allamanda is not at all afraid of direct sunlight. She needs to be provided with the brightest lighting, protected only from midday sizzling rays. The leaves are most decorative in bright diffused lighting, but the plant also looks great in sunny locations. Allamanda will feel great even on the southern windowsills, as well as on all partially southern locations. It grows beautifully in greenhouses and bright conservatories, by panoramic windows, on warm balconies and loggias.
An important feature of allamanda - its already long flowering can be stretched for almost the whole fall, if you start to lighten the bushes in time and compensate for the seasonal reduction in lighting.
Temperature and need for fresh air
Allamanda belongs to the heat-loving indoor crops. But in the development of this Tropicana native to South America, there is a clear dormant period during which the temperature must be lowered. And even though allamanda does not need cold content in winter, it is necessary to lower the temperature by at least 5 degrees. In spring and summer, allamanda should be kept in a stable, not too hot climate - at room temperatures from 20 to 24 degrees Celsius. But from November to February (or rather, until the first signs of growth) for the plant, the temperature is lowered to 15-18 degrees.
This plant can not stand drafts, from which it is better to protect the Tropicana by any means. Ventilation of rooms in winter is especially dangerous, when fluctuations in air temperature can greatly affect the attractiveness of foliage.
Humidity and watering
Allamanda, like all tropical cultures with active growth and beautiful flowering, is moisture-loving. And watering for her should be plentiful. But the plant does not like waterlogging to the same extent as the slightest decrease in comfortable humidity. The procedures are carried out, adjusting the frequency according to the degree of drying of the soil: as soon as the top layer of the substrate in the pot dries, the following procedure is carried out. Monitoring and applying an individual approach strategy to allamanda irrigation is the best choice. Accordingly, in winter, when the temperature drops, watering is reduced, but not reducing, but just continuing to let the top layer of the substrate dry out. A sharp decrease in humidity and complete drought are unacceptable for allamanda even from November to February.
Allamanda prefers high humidity conditions. In this regard, this houseplant can be called a typical tropical exotic. But at the same time, it does not need 90% humidity and is content with “average” indicators of 60-70%. You can achieve comfortable conditions for allamanda by simply spraying and installing homemade or purchased humidifiers. Two methods of humidification should not be used simultaneously; simple measures will be sufficient. But when spraying, be careful not to drop moisture on the flowers.
Feeding for allamanda
This plant needs fertilizers only during the period of active growth. Feeding is carried out from March to September, using not fertilizers for flowering plants, but full mineral fertilizers of a universal type with the obligatory content of trace elements. The optimal frequency of feeding - 1 time in 3 weeks.
Pruning and plant supports
Allamanda without control develops rapidly, quickly loses compactness and is difficult to contain. This plant needs constant formation. The best strategy is to pinch the shoots, immediately restrain the young twigs to thicken and preserve the beauty of the bushes, and add the planned annual pruning to pinching. It is better to carry it out after the beginning of the dormancy stage, at the end of November, shortening all the shoots by a third or half height (a cut must be done above the leaf nodes). It is better to add to the main formative measures the constant “cleaning” of the plant from excessively thickening, thinned, weak shoots.
If you grow allamanda not in the form of a thick bush, but as an ampelous culture or want to use it as a full-fledged vine, refuse pruning in the fall, allowing the shoots to stretch. In this case, the allamands need to ensure the tying of branches: long shoots are unstable, and for any allamanda, except for Schott, support should be established.
Allamanda transplant substrate, capacities and specifics
The substrate for allamanda must be fertile, permeable, high-quality and neutral, it must contain peat. Perfect for this culture are ready-made substrates for decorative leafy plants or universal substrates with a low proportion of sand. A mixture of sand, peat and humus in equal parts with a double share of leafy soil or a mixture of leafy soil and peat, in which halves of sand, humus and soddy soil are added in half, are suitable.
Allamanda is best transplanted as needed. Rapidly developing plants are transferred to new, large containers annually, but adults can be transferred to new containers only after filling the earthen coma with rhizome, with a frequency of only 2-3 years. A transplant is performed in the spring, after the completion of the dormant stage.
If you want to grow allamanda as a shrub, then it is very important for her to choose not too large and wide containers: the closer the pot, the easier it is to form thick curtains.
This houseplant is easy enough to propagate. For this, you can use both seeds and cuttings.
Allamanda seeds are sown according to the standard technique in a mixture of peat and sand, previously moistened with warm water. Seeds are rarely laid out, immediately covered with glass or film. For allamanda, you need to create a warm environment with a temperature of 22 to 25 degrees. Humidity is very important for germination, which is maintained by regular spraying. Aeration of crops is carried out daily. Allamanda seeds germinate slowly, sometimes the process takes up to 2 months.
Cutting cuttings is best at the very beginning of active development, in February-April, using semi-lignified shoots up to 10 cm long. Cuttings can be rooted simply in moist sand, after treatment with a growth stimulant and with mandatory lower heating. For grafting, you need to create the same conditions as for seeds - a temperature of about 23-25 degrees Celsius, constant spraying and airing. After rooting, the cuttings are transplanted into a regular substrate and grown as seedlings, only after 4-6 weeks they switch to a typical allamand care for adults.
Pests and diseases in allamanda
Under comfortable conditions, allamanda is a fairly stable culture. If the air is too dry or in a weakened state, it is vulnerable to spider mites, whiteflies and nematodes. Pest control is better with integrated measures.
Common growing problems:
- curl of leaves with excessive watering or hypothermia;
- brown leaves at low temperatures or dampness;
- elongation of shoots and pallor of greens with poor lighting or insufficient nutrition;
- the appearance of black spots at the base of shoots is waterlogging or an urgent need for increased lighting.