Gemantus or Hemantus: growing and reproducing indoors

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Gemantus or Hemantus: growing and reproducing indoors
Gemantus or Hemantus: growing and reproducing indoors

The structure of the plant, agricultural technology in the cultivation of hemantus, advice on flower reproduction, difficulties in growing and ways to solve them, interesting facts, types. Representatives of this family have already firmly established themselves in our homes and offices, delighting with their delicate colors. But this specimen does not resemble any of the samples of this numerous grouping of the planet's flora, which were previously assigned to the Liliales family for the shape of their buds. The conversation will focus on such an unusual flower as Heamanthus, which is now part of the Amaryllidoideae family. As previously mentioned, other varieties of the family are also grown in the rooms, such as hypeastrum, simple onion, eucharis, nerine and clivia, and this is not the whole list of flowers beloved by growers.

It is interesting that all plants of this family are distributed throughout the lands of the planet, excluding Antarctica. But they, like Gemantus, “honor” exclusively the South African territories (Namibia and the Cape) for their native habitat. As a houseplant, it is most often customary to grow a variety of white-flowered Gemantus. The genus received its scientific name thanks to Karl Linnaeus, who was engaged in the creation of a classification of the entire plant world of the planet known at that time. It was he who took over this name in 1753 from the French professor of botany Joseph Pitton de Tournefort, who invented the concept of the genus, which served as the beginning of further work on the ordering of botanical specimens. Often, following a simple transliteration of the Latin name, the plant is called Hemantus.

But this name itself was based on two ancient Greek words "haemo" and "anthos", which translate as "blood" and "flower", respectively. As a result, the plant was named the Bloody Flower, and this is due to the color of the buds of the typical representatives of the species. But more wonderful names are known among the people by which this flower is called - deer tongue, hare ears, due to the similarity of the leaf plates and their location with parts of these animals. Some of the varieties are also called Scadoxus, since the varieties of Hemantus were classified in this genus according to today's taxonomy.

So, this plant is either an evergreen "inhabitant" of the planet or one whose foliage falls off for a while. As well as all amarylis, the hemantus has a bulbous root, which is distinguished by ovoid or pear-shaped contours. This bulbous formation is usually completely buried in the ground and is very rarely seen above its surface. The number of leaf plates is limited, they have a belt outline and a fleshy appearance. There are three varieties that are succulents - plants that can accumulate moisture in their parts. The color of the leaves is dark, rich emerald at the top, and slightly lighter at the bottom. The location is often opposite. Even when flowering has not yet come, the hemantus has a decorative appearance due to its leaves. The number of leaf plates can be up to 6, but more often a pair of them. The surface above is smooth, glossy, on the back - there is pubescence, similar to velvet. As soon as new leaves grow, the old ones begin to die off.

A dense inflorescence in the form of an umbrella is collected from the flowers, crowning a flower arrow. The peduncle is usually located slightly to the side and is located at right angles to the leaf plates. It is surrounded by bracts with a red or snow-white tone, with ovoid contours. The corolla of the bud is short, tubular. Filiform stamens usually grow 6 units, they end in an elongated anther. The pistil is also threadlike, with a stigma divided into 3 parts. The ovary is located below and has a spherical shape. The smell of flowers is not pleasant, but they are capable of self-pollination.

After flowering, the fruit ripens in the form of a fleshy rounded berry with a diameter of up to 1–2 cm, inside which black seeds are placed. The color of the berry can be whitish, reddish, orange or pink.

The plant is quite unpretentious and even a novice florist who decided to find a flower with interesting shapes can cope with its cultivation.

Cultivation of hemantus, home care

Hemantus in a pot
Hemantus in a pot
  1. Location and lighting. Best of all, bright illumination with diffused rays of the sun - east or west orientation of the windows. If the plant is on the south window, then in the midday hours of the summer period you will need to shade it. The white-flowered variety can also grow in the shade.
  2. Temperature. When growing hemantus, heat indicators of 18-22 degrees are optimal, and in the autumn-winter months they are reduced to 10-12 - a dormant period begins. White-flowered Gemantus does not require such a period and it is not required to lower the temperature for it.
  3. Air humidity and watering. As soon as the soil dries up, moisture is required. Overflow and drying of the earthen clod must not be allowed. During the rest period, watering is reduced. Only soft water is used.
  4. Top dressing for hemantus it will be required during the period of growth activation. Only mineral complexes are used, where there is a lot of potassium and phosphorus, or special fertilizers for bulbous flowers. Regularity - every 2-3 weeks. During the dormant period, fertilization is not carried out.
  5. Indicators high humidity is not a requirement for growing Hemantus, it is not necessary to spray it, only sometimes the leaf plates need to be wiped from dust.
  6. Hemantus transplant and substrate selection. A plant is transplanted as its bulb grows. This time comes every 2–4 years. It is recommended to renew the topsoil between replants. For the operation, the time is selected during the dormant period of the hemantus or before the start of vegetative activity. In this case, you will need to be careful, since damage to the roots has a bad effect on the flower. A new plant pot is selected with a greater width than depth. It is better when the container is 2-3 cm larger than the bulb itself. Drainage holes are necessarily made in the bottom so that excess moisture can freely go away, and a drainage layer is laid on the bottom. The bulb is buried in the soil by only 2/3 of its volume.

The composition of the soil does not pose a difficulty, since the hemantus does not have high requirements for it. You can use ready-made substrates for bulbous plants or make a soil mixture yourself by mixing sod soil, leafy soil, peat and river sand (pre-sifted) (all in a ratio of 2: 1: 1: 1). Before planting, the soil must be well mixed and watered.

Recommendations for the reproduction of the "bloody flower"

Gemantus in a flowerpot on the windowsill
Gemantus in a flowerpot on the windowsill

You can get a new plant "deer tongue" by sowing seeds, separating young "children" or leaf cuttings.

As soon as the seed material ripens in the hemantus, it is necessary to collect it so that it does not lose its germination. A container with a moistened peat-sandy substrate is used and seeds are sown on its surface, they are not embedded in the ground. The container must be covered with a piece of glass or placed under plastic wrap - this will create the conditions for a mini-greenhouse. You will need to carry out daily spraying and airing of seedlings. As soon as sprouts appear, and a pair of real leaves grow on them, they pick young hemantus in separate pots. Plants grown in this way bloom only 5-6 years from their planting.

The easiest way is to reproduce with the help of "babies" that form next to the mother's bulb. This must be done by transplanting the parental hemantus. Removing the flower from the pot, carefully separate the small bulbs and plant them in separate containers with a ready-made substrate. Until the plants take root well, they are not tolerated in bright light. Such young Hemantus will delight with flowers already 3-4 years from the time of planting.

It is more difficult to grow with the help of cuttings with leaves. In an adult maternal hemantus, it will be necessary to separate any of the lower old leaf plates that have a fleshy base. It is recommended to powder the cut points for disinfection with powdered activated charcoal or charcoal. Next, you will need to dry the sheet in the air for at least a day. Then the sheet plate is planted in a peat-sand mixture and covered with a plastic bag. As soon as it can be seen that the cutting has taken root, it is transplanted into a separate container with the necessary soil. Such plants also bloom for 3-4 years.

Difficulties in cultivating hemantus

Hemantus sprouts
Hemantus sprouts

Of the pests that can harm the "hare's ear", the scabbard and spider mites are isolated. These insects begin to activate if heat readings rise and humidity drops. To fight, the plant is washed under the shower and the leaves are wiped with soapy water, and if the infection is extensive, then they are treated with insecticidal preparations.

The plant is practically not exposed to diseases. But troubles can happen due to a violation of the irrigation regime, in this case, the bulb decays. Also, problems begin as a result of damage to fungal diseases or staganospore (red burn). It will be necessary to remove the affected sheet plates and treat them with fungicidal agents. Adjust watering and lighting.

If flowering does not occur for a long time, then it is possible that the moisture is insufficient, the dormant period was not sustained, or the heat indicators were too high in the winter months. Because of this, there is even a retardation in the growth of leaf plates. When the leaves are covered with a gray bloom, the consequence of this was the irrigation of unsettled water with increased hardness. If the illumination is too high, then the leaf plates turn yellow.

Interesting facts about Hemanthus

Hemantus bloom
Hemantus bloom

Gemantus will help its owner improve overall well-being by enriching the room with oxygen and ozone, as well as aerons, which will lead to a healthy "electrostatics" in the room. "Bloody flower" leads to the improvement and stabilization of metabolic processes in the human body and acceleration of the recovery processes. At the same time, the pressure of all those nearby in the hemantus is normalized. If you install a pot with a flower next to electronic equipment (computers, TV and other devices), then there is a decrease in their impact on humans. This is all due to the fact that hemantus can enhance sound absorption and, in general, creates an aesthetically pleasing and comfortable environment in rooms.

It is customary to decorate not only living rooms with this unusual flower, it looks great in office premises, as it has unpretentiousness and abundant flowering. Interestingly, the flowers can be perfectly dried and then used to create dry flower arrangements. Not bad hemantus is adjacent to ficus or ivy.

Hemantus species and their flowering

Gemantus blooms
Gemantus blooms
  1. White-flowered Gemantus (Heamanthus albiflos) the most common cultivar, it is an evergreen with broad leaf blades that have a tongue-like shape. Their surface is dark green, glossy, along the edge there is pubescence in the form of cilia. The leaves appear along with the flowering stem. In length, they reach 20 cm with a width of no more than 10 cm. Leaves are fleshy, thick. The length of the peduncles also does not exceed 25 cm, but they are quite powerful in outline. Their top is crowned with an umbrella-shaped inflorescence of a spherical type, in which the flowers are white and practically grow sessile. The buds seem to be covered with sheets of greenish or whitish color, and very long snow-white stamens can be seen from the flowers, which end in a golden tint with anthers. It is this variety, thanks to its spectacular foliage, that bears the name "deer tongue". The flowering process takes place from late summer to mid-winter. There are hybrid varieties with large inflorescences.
  2. Gemantus cinnabar (Heamanthus cinnabarinus) possesses oval-shaped leaves, but they can sometimes be underdeveloped. There are 2-4 of them. On a high peduncle is an inflorescence measuring 8-10 cm in diameter, it is collected from cinnabar-red flowers and long stamens. The flowering process begins earlier than all - in the middle of spring.
  3. Hemantus multiflorous (Heamanthus multifllorus) differs in veiny leaf plates, the number of which varies from 4 to 6 units. There is a high peduncle and large umbellate inflorescences. They collect up to 50–90 buds, the petals of which are painted in scarlet red, bright red or pinkish color scheme. Flowering begins in the spring.
  4. Hemantus pure white (Heamanthus candidus) very similar to white-flowered hemantus, but its peduncle is more pubescent, and the back side of the leaves has the same covering.
  5. Hemantus pomegranate (Heamanthus puniceus) has spherical inflorescences, reaching a diameter of 10 cm. Flowers in it are painted in scarlet or red-yellow tones, stipules are green. The leaf plates have a leathery surface, wavy. This variety is also called Pomegranate Skadokus.
  6. Hemantus tiger (Heamanthus tigrinus). In this species, the leaf plates are up to 45 cm long. The flower-bearing stems at the base are distinguished by a brown spotting, they do not exceed 15 cm in length. On their tops are small reddish inflorescences.
  7. Hemanthus Katherinae can be found under the name Scadoxus Katherinae. It features an elongated and thinner foliage, which seems to sit on a false stem, measuring 15 cm. The inflorescences of this species are dense, reaching 20 cm in diameter. They include flowers, the petals of which are painted in a reddish color scheme. Flowering begins in the mid to late summer months. The plant is considered medicinal.
  8. Scarlet Hemantus (Heamanthus coccineus). The leaf plates of this variety are easily recognizable because of their size, which is close to half a meter, they usually grow in a pair. A red color appears at the tips of the leaves. The flowering stem is spotted. The inflorescence also strikes with a bright red color of flowers and stamens protruding from them with yellowish anthers of large sizes. The peri-colored petals are also large, beautifully shaped. Flowering does not occur every year, it falls in the autumn period and does not differ in duration.
  9. Hemanthus Lindenii (Heamanthus Lindenii). It is customary to grow this variety as a garden bulbous culture. The leaf plates are long, with long petioles and arranged in two rows. The surface of the leaves is characterized by longitudinal folding at the central vein; three pairs of leaves usually grow. The flowering stem reaches almost half a meter in length. At its top is a large inflorescence that grows up to 20 cm in diameter. Large buds are connected into it, which are measured 5 cm in length, the color of the petals is scarlet.
  10. Hemantus purple (Heamanthus Lindenii) possesses bracts, painted in a bright red tone, their number varies within 6-9 units. They surround a spherical inflorescence, consisting of a scarlet color of buds.

For more on growing Hemantus, see this video:

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