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Lovers of indoor flowers try to have the brightest and most interesting specimens of flora in their collection.
Plants growing in warm countries look especially beautiful. A plant like the bulging aphelandra can decorate the interior of any home. What kind of plant is it and what are its conditions of detention - read on.
What is this houseplant?
Protruding Afelandra is a herbaceous shrub native to South America. They refer it to the acanthus family. In nature, the flower is distinguished by its species diversity, but not all of them are suitable for growing at home. Another name for this plant is squarrosa.
Features of the view
The appearance of the bulging aphelandra is rather exotic. The not too hard stem is beautifully framed by bright green leaves of a smooth structure. The foliage is abundantly covered with spots of indistinct outlines and white veins. This feature allows the plant not to lose its decorative appearance even in the absence of flowers. The root system consists of many thin roots and looks like a washcloth.
Flowering usually occurs between mid-summer and can last until October.
The inflorescences of this type of Afelandra are distinguished by a rich bright yellow color, yellow-orange and even red color and a pyramidal shape, which also resembles an ear. The height of the inflorescences is up to 15 centimeters.
Conditions of detention
Like other representatives of the tropical flora, the bulging aphelandra is very sensitive to environmental conditions. For a comfortable existence and beautiful flowering, the plant will need to create a certain microclimate.
- Temperature. In summer, the flower's preferred temperature range is 22 to 25 degrees. In winter, during the dormant period, the temperature can be lowered to a value of 20 degrees. The ideal temperature for setting buds is 10-12 degrees.
In addition to the temperature regime, it is important to maintain high air humidity, especially during the heating season.
The effect is achieved by spraying from a spray bottle several times a day, or by using a household air humidifier.
- How to water? Afelandra is demanding on the irrigation regime and does not like too much or too little water. Watering should be moderate, but it should be borne in mind that the clod of earth surrounding the roots of the plant should always be slightly moist.
It is best to focus on the timing of watering 1 time in 3 days. You can maintain humidity by placing pebbles or expanded clay in a pallet filled with water. Watering must be done at the root, since the leaves are sensitive to moisture ingress. The water temperature should be at room temperature.
- Lighting. Bright lighting is best for the plant, but the sun's rays should be diffused. If the bulging aphelandra grows on the south window, it will need to be shaded. Safely and comfortably, you can position the flower pot on the windows that face the east or west side of the world.
Lack of color can harm this southern beauty, the leaves can fade, the stems can stretch unattractively, and the flowering will be short or not at all. In autumn and winter, when the length of daylight hours decreases, the plant will need to organize additional lighting.
- Pruning. The plant is fast-growing. Pruning and pinching procedures help aphelandra to shape an attractive bush shape. If the plant is young, it will be enough to remove the buds formed on the upper shoots. It is better to prune adult plants in the spring, removing about half the length of the stems and most of the leaves, except for the lowest ones.
Pruning will stimulate the growth and flowering of the aphelandra. A refined bush at first needs frequent spraying and periodic ventilation, but without drafts.
- Priming. The soil in which Afelandra grows should be slightly acidic or neutral. The soil structure is preferable to be loose and light, easily allowing air to pass to the root system. It is easy to prepare a suitable substrate on your own, you just need to observe the following proportions:
- coarse sand, turf and dry peat are taken in a ratio of 2/1/2;
- peat, sand and universal flower soil - 3/2/6;
- garden soil, peat and sand - in a ratio of 1 to 1.
- Top dressing. The rate of fertilization depends on the season. In the spring-summer period, the plant is in the stage of active growth and flowering, therefore, feeding should be carried out at a frequency of 1 time in 7-14 days. In the fall, it will be enough to nourish the flower once a month. In winter, the plant falls into a kind of suspended animation, and fertilizers are not applied during this period.
For aphelandra, feeding is perfect, containing a significant proportion of organic and mineral substances. These can be both self-prepared substrates and industrial fertilizers (Agricola, any universal feeding for flowering plants).
Organics and minerals should be applied alternately.
- Transfer. Plants up to 3 years old grow intensively and build up the root system, and therefore need to be transplanted annually. It is enough to move an adult Afelandra to a new pot once every 3-4 years.
The most favorable season for transplanting is spring. The transplanting process is accompanied not only by an increase in the useful volume of a flower pot, but also by a partial replacement of the spent soil with a more nutritious and fresh one. During the procedure, damaged or rotten roots should be removed. More details on this procedure will be described below.
- Pot material and dimensions. Planting or transplanting a protruding aphelandra can be done in any pot, regardless of the material of its manufacture. It is much more important to correctly determine the required size of the flower container.
In large pots, the plant will begin to overgrow the root system, which will slow down the growth of the flower itself. A pot that is too small will also harm the flower, as there will be too little room for roots. It is advisable to choose a medium-sized container, on which holes must be made to drain excess moisture.
- Wintering. For successful healthy development, a flower needs rest in the winter. It will help the plant gain strength and resume active growth in the spring and color formation in the summer. Wintering should take place at an air temperature of 15-18 degrees. Top dressing should be canceled, and watering should be limited so that the topsoil remains dry.
The use of phytolamps is recommended, since the aphelandra does not tolerate poor lighting. With the onset of spring, you can move on to normal conditions of detention.
- Care after purchase. A newly purchased flower needs some rest. It will take about a week for the plant to get used to and acclimate to a new place.
It is important to properly observe the regime of watering and lighting.
After 7-10 days, the plant can be transplanted into a new container.
Transfer and landing
A plant may need to be transplanted both after purchase and as it grows. The new container should be 5 centimeters wider and higher than the previous one. It is imperative to have holes for excess moisture to drain off. Planting and transplanting should be done only in previously disinfected soil.
Possible disinfection methods
- Spilling with boiling water.
- Processing with a solution of potassium permanganate of low concentration.
- Roasting in the oven or microwave.
Algorithm of actions
- Water the soil in a temporary pot so that you can easily remove the flower without damaging the roots.
- Remove dried and rotten areas of the measles system.
- Place a drainage layer about 3 centimeters thick on the bottom of the new pot.
- Add soil so that the layer is about 2 centimeters.
- Install the plant and gently sprinkle it with earth, gradually tamping it.
- The top layer of the substrate can be mulched with sphagnum, expanded clay or small pebbles.
- Water the transplanted plant.
Afelandra protruding is propagated in various ways:
- rooting the leaf.
Let's take a closer look:
- Seed cultivation is practiced in February-March. Seeds are planted in the ground, covered with foil and periodically watered. Seedlings appear after several weeks, and after the appearance of a pair of true leaves, they dive into individual pots.
- Cuttings are made in the spring, or during the beginning of winter. The rooting process can take from a month to one and a half.
- It is recommended to engage in rooting of leaves in the winter.
The selected planting material must have axillary buds.
Diseases and problems of growing
The protruding Afelandra is quite sensitive to environmental conditions. In case of violation of care, signs of various diseases may appear:
|Symptoms||Causes of occurrence|
|The edges of the leaves wither or dry||Air humidity less than 65%|
|Drooping foliage||Too much or insufficient watering|
|Leaves fall||Little light or unbalanced air humidity|
|Dark spots on the leaves||Decay of roots|
|Leaf deformation||Overheating or flaws in lighting|
|Excessive stem growth||Insufficient lighting|
|Putrid lesion of the stem||Fungus damage|
|Root rot||Disrupted care regimen|
Also, the plant is susceptible to pests:
|Insects||Signs of infection|
|Nematodes||The growth of the flower is slowed down, there is no growth of foliage, the roots are dying|
|Aphid||The appearance of specks of brown or green color on the leaves, wilting of the foliage|
|Mealybug||Rolling leaves, affecting them with a white coating, like flour|
Growing a bulging aphelandra at home is an exciting and not too difficult activity. Knowing the basic principles of care will help you become the proud owner of a healthy and flowering tropical plant.
We recommend watching a video about caring for Afelandra at home: