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Many people dream of recreating tropical thickets at home and decorating window sills with unusual flowers. However, most indoor plants belonging to the inhabitants of warm regions are far from the ideal of beauty. The beauty of Afelandra stands apart from all of them.
Variegated leaves and bright inflorescences will be a real decoration, even in a single version. The plant is fastidious and capricious, but if you make an effort to study it, the result will not be long in coming.
The main types for growing at home, photo
In nature, there are about 170 varieties of this flower, but only a few, which are perennial shrubs, are suitable for home cultivation.
- Afelandra orange... It got its name thanks to its bright orange flower. Leaves are ovoid, up to 25 cm in length. The stem is gray, juicy.
- Afelandra protruding... The flowers are light yellow. The leaves are decorated with a contrasting pattern along the veins.
- Afelandra crested... Scarlet flowers are located along the inflorescence, forming bright ridges. The leaves are dark, deep green.
In nature, flowering occurs during the warm summer period. At home, where the border of temperature change is erased, the time of appearance of bright inflorescences depends only on the quality of care.
It is not worth talking about the danger, since botanists have no data on poisoning by cultivated varieties, so the content does not pose a threat.
Look at the photo of the plant:
Wild species of Afelandra reach two meters in height, at home, as a rule, does not exceed one. The plant blooms from late spring or early autumn. Bracts are bright, long. Flowers have one pistil and four stamens. On average, flowering lasts 2 months, after which a box with seeds is formed, which are suitable for plant propagation.
Afelandra is very capricious and fastidious. Does not tolerate temperature surges, drafts and excessive drying of the soil. If the conditions of keeping are not observed, the plant dies very quickly.
At any time of the year, the air temperature must be at least 20 0C... In summer, should not exceed 27 0C. The west and east sides of the rooms are best suited. On hot days, the bush should be removed from direct sunlight.
Afelandra is an inhabitant of the warm tropics, so the humidity in the room should be at least 60%. Water should be abundant, do not allow water to stagnate in the pan. Otherwise, the roots will rot.
In the warm season, you can water once every 3 days.... In winter, as growth slows down, you can water less often. The water should not be cold or too hard. Spraying must be done every day.
The plant loves well-lit places with diffused light. Shadow is destructive for the bush, like bright direct rays that lead to leaf burns. In winter, in conditions of short daylight hours, additional illumination is needed. With insufficient lighting, the shrub loses its attractiveness, the leaves become dull.
This procedure is necessary for normal growth and the formation of a beautiful bush. At a young plant, pinch the tops of the shoots. If this is not done, the stems will stretch strongly, and the lower leaves will fall off. An adult plant should be pruned before flowering, at the end of winter..
All shoots are removed, leaving no more than 25 cm. Afelandru is covered with a film, creating a greenhouse, while not forgetting to regularly spray and ventilate the plant. This method contributes to a faster recovery of the bush.
What kind of purchased soil is suitable?
The main criterion is looseness and breathability. You can always buy peat soil and a universal substrate in the store, mix them in a 1: 2 ratio, adding a small amount of perlite or sand. You can also prepare the substrate yourself from earth, dry peat and river sand (2: 1: 1).
Before planting, the soil must be disinfected. It is best to bake in the oven for 5 minutes or spill with boiling water. You can use it after cooling down.
Fertilizers are applied in the summer once every two weeks, and in the winter not more often than once a month. The composition of the top dressing can be changed and adjusted in accordance with the needs of the plant.
- Increasing the amount of phosphorus will help speed up flowering.
- Lack of potassium leads to foliage falling off.
- If the foliage is dull and shredded, nitrogen must be added.
To avoid chemical burns, fertilizers must be applied to wet soil... In the store you can buy ready-made dressings that are suitable for aphelandra, such as: Agricole, Baikal EM1, GUMI - OMI, etc.
Plants are transplanted in early spring. Once a year is enough for young people. More mature (from 4 years old) require a transplant 2-3 times a year. The main stages of the transplant.
- The bush must be watered and carefully removed from the pot.
- If the flower was just bought, it is best to remove the store soil from the roots and rinse them.
- If rotten roots were found during the inspection, they must be removed, and the cut points are sprinkled with activated carbon.
- Be sure to do drainage at the bottom of the pot made of tiles or expanded clay.
- After planting, the plant needs abundant watering. It is not allowed to tamp the ground.
The pot should be large and heavy enough. 5 cm larger than the previous one. Best ceramic. Drainage holes are required!
Afelandra must not be allowed to freeze. Temperature about 13 0C and below is detrimental to the bush. The first sign is the darkening of the foliage.
In winter, due to the lack of long daylight hours, additional lighting plays an important role in the development of the flower... Also, do not forget about timely pruning and protection of the plant from drafts.
Care after purchase
After purchase, Afelandra must be transplanted, washing the roots and removing rotten roots. A young plant requires the same care as an adult flower. It is important to strictly observe the humidity and temperature regime.
Diseases and pests
Afelandra is very demanding on the conditions of detention. The slightest non-observance of the rules of cultivation will inevitably lead to wilting and death of the bush. There are a number of diseases that can be prevented or cured early in development by carefully observing your plant.
- Falling and wilting of foliage... Most likely, the reason lies in too dry air, dry roots and direct sunlight on the leaves. The flower should be rearranged and sprayed with clean water.
Disease should not be confused with falling foliage due to excessive overgrowth of stems. When the aphelandra grows, it sheds the lower foliage. This is treated by timely pruning and is a normal vegetative process. Also, the wilting of the flower indicates constant drafts.
- Drying foliage (it turns brown). There can be two main reasons here:
- Air is too dry.
- Mold. When it appears, the damaged parts of the plant should be removed and treated with a fungicide.
- Dark spots... They appear as leaf burns. The pot should be removed away from the window and avoid further contact with direct sunlight.
- Lack of flowering... The reason is improper care and lack of good feeding.
- Rotting root... This is almost always associated with excessive waterlogging of the soil. The flower should be rearranged to a warmer room and not watered until the ground is completely dry. In more advanced cases, a transplant may be necessary.
Just like any plant, Afelandra is susceptible to attack by a number of pests.
- Aphid... The colonies of this parasite are always very visible. They leave small holes on the leaves, and they themselves prefer the stem and lower part of the leaf, where they are easiest to find. Fitoverm, Aktara and Aktellik are used to fight.
- Shield loves the undersides of the leaves, which acquire a brown coating, and eventually fall off. If the pest has appeared recently, then it is enough just to wipe the sheets with a damp towel, and if the parasite kills the plant for a long time, then you cannot do without chemicals such as Bankol, Aktellik or Aktara.
A diseased bush must be removed away from other plants, so as not to allow infection of other plants.
Afelandra propagates by seeds and cuttings (apical and leafy).
- Seeds are harvested at the beginning of spring and immediately sown in prepared soil. Create a small greenhouse, remembering to air and water. A young plant should not be allowed to freeze. Optimum temperature 20 - 25 0.
- The apical cuttings are cut in early spring and rooted in wet sand. Create a greenhouse and maintain a temperature of 20 - 25 0C. After a month, you can transplant the plant into the ground.
- The leafy cuttings are cut in the fall. To do this, the sheets are cut off together with the axillary bud and immediately rooted in a mixture of peat and sand. Create a greenhouse and monitor the temperature.
Afelandra is not a plant for everyone. Not everyone will be able to pay enough attention to her and monitor her condition. And those few flower growers who gave preference to this particular guest from the tropical forest will be able to appreciate the beauty of this bush. Bright flowers combined with large leaves can decorate the most dull rooms.
In addition to the article, we suggest watching a visual video about home care for Afelandra: