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Video: Cufea (Cuphea) Fiery Red, Reproduction And Care, Species And Hybrids
New plant for indoor and ornamental floriculture
According to the horoscope, the zodiac sign of Libra (September 23 - October 23) is accompanied by plants: large-crested pineapple, Japanese azalea (white), Chinese rose, Japanese fatsia, chrysanthemum, wavy-leaved krosandra, capsicum, codiaum, truncated zygocactus, heliotrope hybrid and red kufeya fire …
Cufea can be classified as indoor flower plants that are little known to most amateur flower growers, but it is worth paying more attention to. The name of the genus - Cuphea (family Verbeinikovye) - is rather prosaic, it was assigned because of the shape of slightly curved fruits: "kyphos" is translated from Greek as "bent", "crooked". The genus includes, according to various sources, from 200 to 250 species of herbaceous perennials, semi-shrubs and shrubs, common in the temperate, subtropical and tropical regions of Central and South America.
Among them there are annuals more than a meter high. It also includes a group of low-growing dwarf shrubs and shrubs, interesting due to the numerous small bright flowers and long flowering.
They are useful for open field growers, who especially often use plants of some types of kufei in more southern latitudes for growing in containers. So the following kufei are kept - creeping (C. procumbens), lavea (C. llaavea), cinnabar red (C. miniata), purple (C. x purpurea) and lanceolate (C. lanceolata).
For growing in the premises of our zone, both the listed species and the "domestic" types of kufei are quite suitable - fiery red (C. ignea or C. platycentra), hyssopolis (C. hyssopifolia) and micro-petal (C. micropetala). And it is the last group of species that is usually found on sale. Of course, a pot of kufei seedlings can be taken out to our garden after the period of spring frosts, in order to keep there until the cold weather.
Due to the high light-loving nature, it is better to place the kufei indoors where there is a lot of bright light, but in the hottest summer hours there should be mandatory shading from direct sunlight. It grows well on windows facing west and east. For this very thermophilic plant, it is desirable to provide a temperature of 20 … 25 ° C in summer, and 15 … 18 ° C in winter.
Although this plant is considered to be quite drought tolerant, it is not recommended to abuse this quality. Abundant during active growing season - from April to August - watering is gradually reduced by autumn, and in winter it should be extremely moderate, but complete overdrying of the soil substrate is not allowed.
Kufeya normally tolerates low air humidity, however, for its normal growing season, the florist should still spray the plant with warm water. During spring and summer, it is fed every two weeks with a weak solution of mineral fertilizers intended for flowering indoor plants, which ensures abundant flowering of kufei.
Experts advise to carry out an annual transplant of kufei in the spring. For this purpose, a fertile soil is needed, consisting of leafy, sod, peat and humus soil, river sand (in a ratio of 1: 1: 1: 1: 0.5). Be sure to arrange a good drainage layer at the bottom of the container in the form of fragments of pots.
Kufa is propagated by semi-lignified stem cuttings and seeds. There are two most favorable periods for this - spring and late summer. The cuttings root quite well if a number of conditions are met. If planted in fertile soil, then it should be well moistened, but without excess water (temperature 22 … 26 ° C). If the cuttings are placed in water (20 … 22 ° C), then its layer should not exceed 1.5-2 cm. This is constantly monitored and water is added to the required level as it evaporates.
With seed propagation, usually kufeya is grown through seedlings. Its greenish-brown seeds (up to 3 mm in diameter) are light (about 300 pcs per 1 g), very similar to curved discs. They are usually sown in late March - early April (the second term is more suitable for open ground). It takes no more than 7-10 days for seedlings to appear. It must be borne in mind that during germination, the seeds secrete a sticky substance. Therefore, if they are located too close to each other, then a lump is formed, resembling a cake, from which a single seed is extremely difficult to extract.
The seeds of kufei are characterized by high light sensitivity: they grow faster in the light, therefore they are not embedded in the soil (you just need to press it slightly into it, and cover it with glass on top). The optimum temperature for their germination is 20 … 22 ° С. Good illumination of seedlings is necessary: with a lack of light, it stretches very quickly.
Young kufei plants dive, as a rule, at a slight slope into deep containers, which are installed in a sufficiently illuminated place so that they do not stretch too much if there is little light. Otherwise, you will have to pour soil under the cotyledon leaves later so that the long seedlings do not fall. If the plants are planned to be transferred to open ground, then for normal life the seedlings should be pre-hardened. When the danger of spring frosts has passed, young kufei plants are placed in open ground (late May - early June), where light nutritious or moderately fertile soils are chosen for them (seedlings are planted a little deeper than they were in picking containers).
For this purpose, there should be a well-lit place in the garden; in extreme cases, it can be planted in a slightly shaded one. But it is categorically not recommended to plant young plants in damp corners of the site where there is no air movement. When planting, the distance between them should be at least 30-35 cm. At this time, watering of seedlings in dry weather is especially important. Care consists mainly in the timely weeding of the weeds. Kufeya blooms in late June - early July and continues to bloom until frost. It should be borne in mind that the vegetative mass of kufei grows rapidly, therefore, pinching and pruning is carried out to regulate branching. Some flower growers keep pots with kufei in the outbuildings of country houses - on light terraces. These extraordinarily beautiful flowering plants look great thanks to their hanging stems on the support walls in hanging pots and baskets.
The most popular among indoor species is considered to be fiery red kufea (origin - Mexico and Jamaica). This is a shrub or herbaceous perennial with a height of 25 to 40 cm (depending on how they want to get it - in the form of an erect bush or ampelous plant). Its shoots have opposite, oblong or ovate-lanceolate pointed leaves up to 6 cm long, 2 cm wide.
Single flowers (2-3 cm long) are located on short pedicels in the axils of the leaves, they are almost without petals, very unusual in their color. The tubular perianth (calyx) is bright red with a small dark purple limb with white ends and a black pharynx. There is a short swelling (“spur”) at the base of the perianth.
For the obvious resemblance of flowers to a smoldering cigarette, as if covered with ash, in England this kufeya acquired the popular name cigar plant (cigarette plant). Recently, this species has received the Coan form of two colors - the usual red-orange and white. If the fiery red kufei is grown as a balcony culture, then too elongated shoots are only slightly shortened.
The fiery red kufeya is characterized by very intensive growth and active branching. If you create optimal conditions for her and ignore the pinching, then she will give such long shoots that they, under their weight, will fall to the ground, turning into a ground cover plant, or hang out of the container, like an ampelous culture. Flowering of kufei is long. Blooms in mid-July.
Propagated by seeds. According to experts, 1 g contains 700-750 seeds. Although under the conditions of good cultivation, kufei fiery red gives seeds, it is not easy to collect them, since as it ripens, the ripe fruit cracks and they fly in different directions.
When exposed to favorable soil conditions, such seeds germinate and give seedlings. You can, of course, close the boxes with a light piece of gauze to hold the jumping seeds. Then these harvested or purchased seeds are sown. Experienced growers assure that plants obtained from seeds are more beautiful. Fire-red kufeya can also be propagated by cuttings: green apical cuttings give roots in water after 10-15 days, and even faster in summer in warm weather.
This type of "home" kufei also looks great in the open ground of our zone (in separate flower beds, in the form of a line along the paths or in a group on an illuminated alpine hill). It goes well with other summer outdoor (container and balcony) plants, especially if it is in the foreground.
Shoots lying on the ground take root, so they can be planted out when the flower rejuvenates. Therefore, with an autumn transplant, only small bushes should be taken from the mother bush. In general, this species is usually cultivated as an annual plant, grown on balconies and terraces. But you can leave it to overwinter and make it bloom for next year. Then in the fall, at the end of flowering, watering is reduced, and for winter maintenance, a cool (10 ° C) light room is found for the plant; watering - once every 10 days. In March, this plant is transferred to a warmer room.
Kufea is a wild native of Mexico and Guatemala. It is a shrub or semi-shrub (35-50 cm high) with numerous profusely branching shoots, with narrow opposite, sessile or short-petiolate leaves (up to 2.5 cm long, 0.4 cm wide) of dark green color, lanceolate, whole-edged.
Small flowers (about 1 cm in diameter) are numerous and sit singly in the leaf axils. The calyx is tubular, widened upward, short-toothed. The corolla is separate, with six identical petals (according to experts, an atypical feature for kufei), lilac-pink in color. The petals at the base are fused with the calyx.
The shoots of kufei hyssopolis are literally covered with these flowers, but they are sterile, so there are no seeds. The known form of kufei hyssopolis is white-flowered (Alba). This species may be of interest to amateur flower growers cultivating plants of the "bonsai" type. In the lower part of the plant, the shoots are lignified, so it quickly turns into a dwarf tree.
Hyssopolis kufeya is propagated by well-ripened green cuttings (5-10 cm long), which root well in wet sand, even in water they form a good root system. Let me remind you that the leaves are carefully pinched off from the bottom of the petioles so that they do not rot in the water. Hyssopolis kufea requires very careful shaping of the crown. Due to its strong bushiness, the plant of this species can be given the shape of a ball or pyramid. During the summer, the shape of the kufei can only be maintained by periodically pinching the ends of the shoots.
Micro-petal kufeya is a shrub 30-40 cm high with small narrow leaves, very similar to the previous species. Small flowers appear one after another, but not in the axils of the leaves, but above, above them. The top of the flower cups is yellow, but at the base they are scarlet, the throat is greenish, the stamens are red. The petals (there are six of them) are so tiny that they are almost invisible due to the teeth of the calyx. Although kufea is micro-petal and produces many seeds, it is preferable to propagate it by cuttings.
Other types are much less common among amateurs. An annual species - lanceolate kufeya - is unusually beautiful. This is a fast-growing plant (70-90 cm high), with purple, strongly pubescent soft hairs, stems similar to whips with lanceolate light green leaves. He has dark purple tubular flowers (2-3 cm in size), collected in one-sided rare inflorescences-ears. Lanceolate kufea blooms from the end of July. Propagated by seeds (200-250 seeds per 1 g).
Kufeya prostrate - low (about 40 cm) annual plants with strongly branching stems located on the ground with dark green leaves. She has lilac flowers (less often white or purple). Bloom from mid-July. Propagated by seeds (300-350 seeds per 1 g).
The Flaming Bonfire (C. miniata), which is very popular in European countries and so far extremely rare in our country, is an interspecific hybrid of kufei lavei and prostrate, which received its own name. These are ampelous annual bushes (25-30 cm high) with magnificent cascades of their flowers, with which they delight flower growers all summer. As a rule, this kufeya is placed in elegant baskets and hanging pots. Its most popular variant is called Firefly (C. lavea var. Miniata Firefly), which is distinguished by its fiery red flowers. It looks good in compositions with other flower crops that have dark red flowers.
Kufeya as an ornamental plant is still very "young" in comparison with other flower crops: breeders paid attention to it only 20-30 years ago. Some annual types of kufei have found application in perfumery at home. They are grown to obtain seeds from which fatty acids are squeezed out (for example, laurel, which is necessary for the manufacture of shampoos).
To unfavorable conditions (draft, prolonged drying of the soil, cramped pot, getting under freeze), kufeya can react by dropping foliage. Depending on the cause of this phenomenon, the plant is removed from the draft, dry shoots are cut to half the height of the plant, transplanted into a more spacious container, and fed. If you carried out this procedure on time, then the plant will give young leaves after 2-3 weeks. From indoor pests with high dry air, a spider mite may appear on the leaves. When placing kufei in damp shaded corners of the garden, powdery mildew may appear on the leaves.