Types of strobilantes and tips for growing it

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Types of strobilantes and tips for growing it
Types of strobilantes and tips for growing it

Description of strobilantes, breeding, recommendations for watering, selection of soil and fertilizers, transplantation and reproduction, problems in cultivation, varieties. Strobilanthes are part of the large Acantaceae family, which also contains about 250 species of representatives of the green world. The tropical regions of Asia are considered the homeland of growth, but the island of Madagascar and one species found refuge in America. The genus got its name from the fusion of two Greek words - "strobil", which means a cone, and "antos", of course - a flower. On the territory of old England it is customary to call this highly decorative plant nothing other than the "Persian Shield" - Persian Shield. Probably, the coloring of the leaves and their patterned edges prompted the inhabitants of foggy Albion to such ambiguous associations.

The plant takes on a shrub form, the leaf mass can drop or remain an evergreen representative of the flora - it all depends on the species.

All the beauty of this plant is centered on its very interesting shade of leaves. They benefit from the contrast of purple and green tones. The growth rate of the "Persian shield" is high, its shoots can stretch by 15 cm in a year. Usually its life span is quite long - for several years, if you do not engage in rejuvenation by cuttings. This is necessary because, over a long period of time, strobilantes grows strongly, takes on a very sloppy and unaesthetic appearance.

Recommendations for growing strobilantes

Strobilantes stems
  1. Lighting. The plant likes good, but not too bright lighting. The windows of the eastern and western locations are suitable, where streams of sunlight pour only in the morning or in the evening hours and they are not so burning. However, many growers argue that it is possible to successfully grow strobilantes on the northern window, but only in this case it will be necessary to supplement the bush with the help of phytolamps. If the window in the room faces the south side, then you will have to either hang tulle from a translucent light fabric so that it protects the leaves of the plant from burns or install a pot with a "purple handsome" in the back of the room.
  2. Content temperature. It is important for the "Persian shield" to withstand moderate indoor heat values. In summer, the thermometer should not exceed 24 degrees, and in winter, the heat should not fall below 18 degrees - this will be the key to more successful further budding and flowering. If, nevertheless, the temperature dropped below 13-16 degrees, then strobilantes may stop growing.
  3. Humidity when growing "Persian shield" should be in the range of 40-60%. Moreover, in the early stages, when the plant is just brought into the room, then it is necessary to increase this indicator in all available ways: put mechanical humidifiers next to the pot, carry out daily two-time spraying of the leaf mass, put the flowerpot with the plant in a deep and wide dish, on the bottom of which they pour a small layer of gravel or expanded clay (you can use medium-sized pebbles or coarsely chopped sphagnum moss) and pour a little water, evaporating, it will reduce the dryness in the room. Over time, strobilantes will be able to slowly adapt to the humidity conditions in the room, and you will not have to take care of it so carefully.
  4. Watering the "Persian shield". Since the plant is a resident of places with high humidity, it will also need abundant watering. This especially applies to the time when the thermometer is approaching the mark 24 - it is recommended to moisten the soil 3-4 times every seven days.With the arrival of cold weather, especially if the plant spends "wintering" at low temperatures, watering is reduced to once a week. The substrate should be moderately moist and have time to dry out a little between watering procedures, approximately to a depth of 1–2 cm. It is important that there are holes in the flowerpot to drain excess moisture, which is recommended to be removed from the bowl under the pot so that there is no stagnation. If this rule is not followed, then decay of the root system may begin and the flower cannot be saved. Watering strobilantes is necessary using soft distilled or carefully settled water. This will be a guarantee that there are no harmful hard salts and impurities in it.
  5. Fertilize it is necessary in the soil almost annually, since the plant always grows its deciduous mass and blooms. Choose liquid formulations of mineral dressings for decorative deciduous indoor plants. It is recommended to slightly moisten the soil before applying the preparation and only then to carry out top dressing.
  6. Pruning of the "Persian shield". In order for the plant to look attractive, it is necessary to regularly form a bush. Even if frequent pinching of the tops of the stems is carried out, strobilantes are very reluctant to branch. If for a florist you want to achieve flowering, then with the arrival of May days, it is recommended to stop pinching. When cutting, the main thing is that the main stem is not touched, otherwise it will lead to the death of the entire bush. Some growers remove the lower leaf plates so that the whole plant gets more light. Sometimes strobilantes are grown next to plants in which the lower part of the trunk is bare at the very base, an example is Croton.
  7. Transplantation and choice of substrate. Although the growth rate of strobilantes is quite high, it is necessary to replant it only when all the soil has been mastered by the root system and the root processes have become visible through the drainage holes of the pot. But it is recommended not to pull too much with the change of the flowerpot and soil, you still have to perform these operations every 2 years. Choose wide containers. In the flowerpot, it is necessary to make small holes to drain excess water and a layer of 1-2 cm of drainage material is poured onto the bottom of the container (expanded clay of the middle fraction or pebbles of the same size can act).

The soil is selected light and nutritious. Its acidity should be in the range of pH 5, 5–6, 5. Purchased soil for indoor plants, to which a small amount of calcined sand is added, can also be suitable, but you can still make up the soil mixture yourself:

  • sod soil, leafy soil, river sand or perlite, peat soil or humus (all parts of the components are equal);
  • greenhouse soil, leaf humus, coarse-grained sand or perlite (all parts are equal).

Recommendations for self-propagation of strobilantes

Blooming strobilantes

You can get a new beautiful purple bush using cuttings. This process can be carried out in spring or summer. To do this, it is necessary to cut the tops of the shoots in such a way that there are at least 3-4 leaves (internodes) on the cut cuttings with a length of 7 cm, and it is important that from the cut to the first node there is at least 2 cm. The next step is to process the cut with any a root formation stimulator (for example, "Kornevin"). You can also make such a solution yourself - squeeze out a tablespoon of aloe vera juice and add half a tablespoon of grated potatoes there. After the sections are carefully processed, it is necessary to plant the branches in a mixed substrate based on peat, humus and coarse sand (the parts must be equal). The soil is poured into small 200 gr. transparent plastic cups.

Instead of such a soil mixture, you can also germinate in clean, moist sand, water or peat-sandy soil. Before planting, the soil is slightly moistened with a spray bottle.The strobilantes stalk must be planted to a depth of 2 cm. Then it is recommended to wrap the planted branches with a cut plastic bottle or plastic bag, you can cover it with a glass jar. This is to create conditions for a mini-greenhouse, where there will be constant humidity and heat. This design is installed in a bright and warm place, but it is important that the midday bright rays of light do not fall on the seedlings, otherwise the branches will die without letting the roots go. Heat indicators should not fall below 20 degrees. Do not forget to regularly ventilate the plant and moisten the soil with a spray bottle. After the cuttings show signs of growth, new leaves begin to appear, then it is necessary to transplant into large pots with soil, which is also suitable for adult specimens of the "Persian shield".

Problems in the cultivation of strobilantes

Strobilantes blooms

Most often, the plant can be affected by spider mites, aphids, whiteflies, or mealybugs.

The spider mite is manifested by the formation of a light, almost invisible cobweb, which will soon cover all the stems and leaves of the plant. When aphids are affected, green or black bugs are clearly visible, which, multiplying in large numbers, begin to completely cover the branches of the plant. If the strobilantes was hit by a whitefly, then a whitish shade of a point appears on the back of the leaf plates - the eggs of the pest, and if you do not take any action, then after a while a large number of white small midges will appear on the bush, which will take off as soon as you touch the leaves … When a mealybug is affected, a cotton-like bloom appears in the internodes and on the leaves.

When dealing with these pests, folk remedies are used, such as:

  • Soap solution obtained using 30 gr. laundry soap, which must be grated on a coarse grater or cut and dissolved in a bucket of water. This liquid remains for infusion for several hours, then it is filtered and the plant can be sprayed.
  • An oil solution is created on the basis of a few drops of essential oil dissolved in 1 liter of water.
  • As an alcoholic solution, you can use a tincture of calendula.

It is necessary to process not only the plants (wiping the leaves with a cotton swab moistened with the above substances - this will help to manually remove most of the pests or thoroughly spraying the bush), but also the place where the pot was. If, over time, insects are still visible, then a systemic insecticide can be applied. Treatment with it is necessary again again for prophylaxis after 2 weeks.

Of the troubles that arise when growing the "Persian shield" can be distinguished:

  • elongated shoots or blanching of the color of the leaf plates, and their noticeable crushing occurs due to insufficient illumination;
  • the tips of the leaves begin to dry out, and the edge becomes covered with brown spots when the light is too bright or the air is too dry;
  • spotting can appear if spraying with cold water has occurred and the plant has dried out in bright sunlight;
  • if with the arrival of the winter months the color of the leaves has become less saturated, then this is a consequence of a natural process.

Interesting facts about strobilantes

Young shoots of strobilantes

According to some feng shui experts, strobilantes successfully copes with the negative emotions that are present in the room where the pot with the plant is located. He is credited with truly magical abilities. "Persian Shield" helps everyone who has been willing to resist depression, frequent life failures, and the routine course of life for a long time.

Also, this purple handsome man is used by room decorators, since a lush bush will always attract the eyes of people who enter the room.

Types of strobilantes

Strobilantes unequal

Although the family is quite numerous in home cultivation, only a few representatives are found:

  1. Strobilanthes dyerianus Mast. The territory of Burma is considered the birthplace of this beautiful bush. Shoots are stretched up to a meter in height. They can partially lignify at the base and have a slight pubescence. Leaf plates are located opposite on the stem and are devoid of petioles, sessile, grow up to 30 cm in length and 9–10 cm in width. They take an elongated elliptical shape with a long pointed at their apex. The edge has a shape in the form of small teeth, the leaves are covered with bristly hairs. When the leaf is still young, it casts a purple tint with a silvery, as if metallic color, all veins and the edge of a rich emerald color, and the back is purple-violet. Over time, the purple hue of the leaf plates is lost and they become a rich dark green color. Inflorescences of strobilantes are located in the leaf axils and take the form of spikelets. The calyx of the bud is divided into 5 lobes, which are linear and obtuse in appearance. The corolla has a very interesting pale violet tone, it is also divided into 5 lobes, its tube is swollen and the limb petals are short and wide. The color of the buds can be pale bluish. The flowers themselves are completely nondescript and bloom occurs very rarely.
  2. Strobilanthes anisophyllus In literary sources, it is also called Goldfussia or anisolic strobilatnes. The homeland of growth is considered to be the wooded territories of the Himalayas, areas of the islands of Java and the Philippines. The plant takes the form of a shrub or semi-shrub. Most often, a bush of this species attracts attention with multiple large and small leaves of a linear-lanceolate burgundy shade, which eventually become a thick green color. On the tops or in the axils of the leaves, inflorescences grow, collected from flowers, resembling bells in shape. Bracts are completely covered with scales. The buds are painted in a pale lilac shade, with bent corolla lobes. The length of the entire flower reaches 4 cm, and the corolla is 2 cm in diameter.The color lasts no more than three days. Often, because of the abundant and prolonged flowering, the plant is popularly called the "winter groom". Bell-shaped buds replace one another, and the process stretches over several winter months. But even with the arrival of spring time, up to 5 flowers can remain on the bush.
  3. Dark purple strobilanthes (Strobilanthes atropurpureus). Perennial plant, with a straight stem, with a shrub growth. Reaches a height of 90 cm. The leaf plates practically sit on the branches, their petioles are measured 8 cm in length. On sterile branches, elliptical or elongated-oval leaves grow, measuring 25–30 cm in length and 5–8 cm in width. There is a long pointed tip at the top of the leaf. The leaves, which are located on flowering stems, are lanceolate-elongated or oval. And these leaf plates are measured as 3-7 cm in length and 2, 5-3 in width. The edge is crenate or with sharp teeth. Flowers can be painted in blue or blue to black shades. They grow up to a diameter of 3 cm. They can be arranged singly or in pairs, gathering in inflorescences in the form of spikelets. The length of the inflorescence is 15 cm. Fruit-capsules have an oblong shape with a length of 1, 8 cm.
  4. Strobilanthes callosus. Shrub, reaching a height of 2–6 m. The leaf plates are located opposite, their shape is elongated-elliptical (lanceolate-elongated) with a serrated edge. They grow to a length of 10–20 cm. Flowers in the form of a tube with a corolla of bent petals, the edges of which are wavy. The corolla is colored purple, the tube at the base and the petals themselves are pinkish-white.

What strobilantes looks like, see here:

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