Crossandra Wavy (Crossandra) - Beauty From The Tropics, Growing In An Apartment
Crossandra Wavy (Crossandra) - Beauty From The Tropics, Growing In An Apartment

Video: Crossandra Wavy (Crossandra) - Beauty From The Tropics, Growing In An Apartment

Video: Crossandra Wavy (Crossandra) - Beauty From The Tropics, Growing In An Apartment
Video: Crossandra infundibuliformis - grow and care 2023, March

Wavy crossandra is a difficult to grow, but very beautiful plant that can be a decoration of the home. According to the horoscope, the zodiac sign of Libra (September 24 - October 23) corresponds to: hybrid achimenis, pineapple, codiaum, Chinese rose (hibiscus), truncated zygocactus (Decembrist), Ackerman's epiphyllum, feathery celosia, night cestrum, Japanese fatsia, chrysanthemum, ceraria bloody), fiery red kufeya, hybrid heliotrope; large-leaved hydrangea, paprika (Mexican, Christmas), wavy-leaved crossandra.

Crossandra belongs to the Acanthus family, named after the famous Mediterranean plant - acanthus soft, whose large leaves were imprinted by ancient architects on the capitals of the columns of Greek temples. In this family, two and a half thousand species of inhabitants of the tropical (less often subtropical) regions of our planet are known. Among them are herbaceous plants (including lianas), shrubs, less often trees; there are many species, both beautifully flowering and decorative deciduous thanks to the unusually colored leaves.

crossandra, crossandra
crossandra, crossandra

The name of the genus Crossandra itself comes from the Greek words "krossos" - "fringe" and "andr" - "masculine" - from the fringe of the stamens. There are more than 50 species of herbaceous perennials, shrubs and even low trees, which are now widespread in the light tropical forests of Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and about. Madagascar. Plants are characterized by wonderful red, pink, yellow and orange flowers, collected in an apical corymbose inflorescence.

So far, the crossandra has not been sufficiently appreciated by St. Petersburg amateurs. Due to the great "capriciousness" of this heat-loving plant, only the most experienced flower growers could master its cultivation. In our apartments, he does not always manage to create favorable conditions of detention. After all, the crossandra owes its origin to the humid tropical forests of Southeast Asia, India and the island of Sri Lanka. Therefore, more often the crossandra can be found in specially equipped home micro greenhouses or in small greenhouses than in the rooms of ordinary amateurs.

Crossandra is a perennial herb that, with good care, has a height of 40-100 cm (depending on the species or variety), therefore, for long-term cultivation at home, more compact varieties should be preferred. It has erect shoots with petiolate opposite leaves up to 8 cm long. They are elongated-oval in shape, sharply turning into a petiole, pointed, slightly wavy along the edge, glossy, green or grayish-green, covered with sparse hairs.

crossandra, crossandra
crossandra, crossandra

Axillary dense spike-shaped tetrahedral inflorescences (with flowers of red, orange and other colors) 3-4 cm in diameter with a large pubescent bracts at the base are located at the ends of the shoots. This plant is characterized by long flowering, but the flowers themselves are short-lived - they live only a few days. However, the spikelet continues to grow, reaching a length of 12-15 cm, more and more flowers bloom on it. To prolong this beauty, it is recommended to stimulate flowering by cutting off the faded spikelet. If this operation is not performed, then the power of the plant will go to the formation of seed pods, which, when ripe, throw out very small seeds with a crash, scattering in different directions. Then they germinate even in neighboring pots.

Under very favorable conditions, the plant can bloom almost all year round. However, according to flower growers who have some experience in growing this plant, it is advisable to provide a room culture of crossandra (especially in our latitudes) with rest during the winter period.

For room maintenance, a permanent place is selected for the crossandre (no drafts are allowed), bright enough, but with diffused light, avoid direct sunlight. The plant can be placed in partial shade, but then it will develop slowly, flowering will not be so abundant and long.

There is an opinion that the crossandra does not like close proximity to other plants. It is strongly not recommended to take it out of the room. In summer, the temperature is possible within 18 … 25 ° C (but its sharp drop is undesirable), the optimum is 20 … 22 ° C, in winter - not lower than 16 ° C. When the temperature drops (from 16 to 12 ° C), there is a rather high risk of losing the plant.

The flower grower is obliged to be very attentive to watering the crossandra. During the active growing season from March to August, it is watered and fed regularly. The soil should not dry out, so the plant is watered abundantly with soft water at room temperature as the top layer of the soil dries up.

However, an excess of moisture in the substrate and stagnation of water in the sump are unacceptable. It should be borne in mind: the less light the plant receives, the more its watering should be limited (if the soil is still wet to the touch, it should not be watered). Given the fact that the crossandra is an inhabitant of the humid tropics, it is provided with the necessary air humidity.

crossandra, crossandra
crossandra, crossandra

She feels bad if her leaves are not daily sprayed with a fine spray of settled water, the temperature of which is slightly above room temperature. It is better to do this in the morning, trying not to fall on the flowers. You can place the plant pot on a pallet of damp pebbles or place it in damp moss. This technique makes it easier for him to endure hot summers and dry winters. The grateful crossandra responds to the increased humidity of the air around itself with a greater brightness of its glossy leaves and a lengthening of the flowering period.

Top dressing is done every 7-10 days with a weak solution of any fertilizer intended for indoor plants, for example, from the Kemira group. You can use a diluted organic fertilizer solution once a month. In winter, during the resting period of the plant, watering is very careful, but strong drying out of the soil substrate is not allowed. They also make sure that the plant (especially its root system) does not cool down near the cold window glass on frosty days.

Young plants of crossandra are transplanted in February-March, and adults - as needed (every 3-4 years), preferably in spring, in a more spacious pot with light, well-drained soil rich in organic matter.

Drainage is arranged at the bottom of the pot. For this purpose, a substrate is prepared, consisting of deciduous, sod, humus, peat soil and sand (in equal proportions). Some growers for adult plants offer a lighter soil - a mixture of leaf, peat, turf soil, sand or perlite in a ratio of 2: 2: 2: 0.5). When purchasing soil in a retail network, they are guided by the requirements for the soil of plants from the Acanthus family.

Crossandra can be propagated by seed and stem apical cuttings. Freshly harvested seeds have a high germination capacity, germinate together within 7-10 days. Seed material purchased in the retail network should be pre-soaked in warm water for 2-2.5 hours. Experienced florists advise sowing seeds on the surface of a slightly moistened peat mixture or coconut substrate, and covering the container itself with glass or film. Provide a temperature not lower than 24 ° C.

In their opinion, the germination of such seeds can take from 3 weeks to 2.5 months. When shoots appear, the container is transferred to a bright place (but not in the sun), make sure that the earth is slightly moistened, since with an excess of moisture, the stalk at the soil level can rot and the plant will die. At the age of one month, the crossandra is seated in separate pots.

crossandra, crossandra
crossandra, crossandra

The selection of cuttings from a healthy perennial plant is carried out in the spring and in the first half of summer. Cuttings (7-10 cm long) are cut (just below the knot) with a sharp knife and the lower leaves are removed. For successful rooting, their tips are treated with phytohormones (for example, root).

When planting, they are deepened into a container with a moist soil mixture consisting of peat and sand in a ratio of 1: 1, to the first sheet, carefully and carefully compact the soil around them, covered with a glass jar or a transparent plastic bag. Incubate at a temperature of 25 … 30 ° C (arrange the bottom heating). When new leaves appear (after 6-8 weeks), the shelter is removed daily for 3-6 hours, allowing the plants to gradually settle in the open air.

Rooted cuttings are planted in separate containers with fertile soil. After 4-5 weeks, experts advise pinching young plants for the successful formation of a bush. If this technique is not carried out, then the plant (depending on the type and variety) can reach a height of 60-90 cm and lose its decorative effect.

With a strong pruning of an already adult plant, the regrowth of new shoots is weak, so it is preferable to form a culture for the first 1.5-2 years. A young plant grows relatively quickly and blooms at the age of several months. I want to repeat: the flowering of an adult plant will be longer if the wilted flowers are removed (cut with a razor) in time.

If the conditions for growing the crossandra are not followed, it may be affected by a number of physiological diseases. With excessive watering, the petioles turn brown, the leaves turn yellow and fall off. Excessive drying of the soil can lead to subsidence and even to the discharge of flowers and part of the leaves. Dry air around the flower can cause wilting of its foliage.

In direct sunlight, the leaves become thinner, and, while recovering, the plant then gets sick, recovering for a long time. With a sharp temperature drop, the leaves can also fall off, which is why the crossandra suffers greatly. Most likely, these yellowed leaves cannot be brought back to life, so they must be carefully cut off and the plant must be created favorable conditions for life.

Aphids and spider mites may appear on the crossandra. Against these common pests on indoor plants, either infusions of insecticidal plants, for example, Persian chamomile with the addition of laundry soap, or biological and chemical preparations, which have already been repeatedly mentioned in my previous publications, are used.

crossandra, crossandra
crossandra, crossandra

While on the domestic flower market there is some confusion regarding a number of species and varieties of crossandra. Of its 50 species, the funnel-shaped crossandra (Сr. Infundibuliformis Nees), growing up to 35-70 cm, is more suitable for indoor conditions. The best variety is considered to be Mona Wallhed (obtained in Sweden).

Bushes of crossandra nilotika (Cr. Nilotika) - 50-60 cm high. It has glossy dark elliptical leaves and brick-red tubular flowers, collected in apical spicate inflorescences, consisting of 5 lobes.

Although the plants of the guinea crossandra (Cr. Guineensis) with wonderful lilac flowers are characterized by a small height (15-20 cm), in indoor floriculture, according to experts, they are very rare.

When purchasing this tropical plant, put it in a bright (but not sunny) place and at first give it maximum attention until it adapts to new conditions, because it could well experience stress when moving.

Then, when your pet recovers from the stress, it will be less of a hassle. If you have a sunny window, shade the glass with gauze. Water the soil substrate abundantly, but then be sure to remove the remaining moisture from the pallet; then do not water until the topsoil is dry.

If the leaves of the purchased plant wilted a little, put it together with the pot in a large plastic bag so that the foliage does not touch its walls, but ventilate daily so that there is no stagnation of air in the bag (after 5-6 days, the bag can be removed). To increase the humidity of the air, treat only the leaves (in the morning and in the evening) with finely dispersed spraying with settled water at room temperature.

If you treat this beautiful plant with love, then in response to your departure, the crossandra will delight everyone with its bright and unique flowering. And you will feel pride in your work and joy from the beauty of the plant.

I note that this beauty can be quite attractive without flowers due to the high decorativeness of its shiny dark green leaves. Although, with due attention to her, she probably will not leave you without her wonderful peculiar flowers of delicate colors that will rise above this foliage. Crossandra can be placed in the bedroom or dining room, and can also be used for cutting.

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