Nemantanthus: home care
Florists are sometimes puzzled by what to choose: beautiful leaves or bright inflorescences. Often beautifully flowering plants have completely nondescript foliage, and varieties with rich and variegated foliage bloom plainly. Among domesticated flowers, there are not many harmonious species, one of them is nematanthus, also known as the "goldfish" or "lingonberry". This species has magnificent brilliant leaves and amazing vibrant colors. What kind of variety is it and how to care for it - read about it further.
Botanical description of the plant
Nematanthus is classified as an epiphytic liana of the Gesneriaceae order. It is also correct to call it hypocirrhoida nematanthus, since the genus Nematanthus is combined with the class of Hypocirrhosis. It grows naturally in the moist forests of the Amazon in the form of small shrubs and vines. It settles on tree branches, fallen trunks, on loose soil.
The leaves of the nematanthus are fleshy, shiny, have an ovoid shape. The foliage colors are heterogeneous: on the outside it is bright green, and on the inside it is multi-colored: from burgundy to lilac. Young leaves are straight, but later they bend and hang under the weight of their own mass.
The buds are wax, with 5 cm long petals converging inward. They are formed on a short peduncle. The "golden fish" blooms with pink, yellow, orange, ruby and purple flowers from early spring to late autumn.
Did you know? The name of the flower was given by the German biologist G.A. von Schroeder, combining the two Greek words "νημα" - thread, hair, and "άνθος" - a flower. Interpretation exactly means "a flower on an elegant pedicel . " Grow a flower as an ampel decor in hanging containers or flower pots. It is mainly an indoor species, the height of which does not exceed 60 cm.
|Root system||Aerial, developing in the sinus|
|Stem||Curved, creeping or erect|
|Leaf color||Above - bright green, below - a palette from burgundy to purple|
|Flower shape||Tubular, funnel-shaped, with a pocket-shaped whisk, similar to an aquarium fish|
|Flower color||Pink, purple, yellow, red, orange|
|Fruit shape||Seeds are formed in a box|
The main types
There are about 30 species of nematanthus, which, according to the specificity of flowering, are combined into subgroups. In the premises, such varieties are often grown:
- Wetstein (Nematanthus wettsteinii). The most popular type. Ampel and potted plant, which produces many intertwining branches 90 cm long. Small dark green glossy “wax” leaves are located on the stems. The flowers are cylindrical, red-orange, up to 2.5 cm long.
- Fritsch (Nematanthus fritschi Hoehne). Large variety. The leaves below are painted in ruby color. Green above, covered with a slight edge. Bushes of an adult plant have curved branches and grow up to 60 cm. Inflorescences are bright pink, funnel-shaped.
- Coin (Nematanthus nummularia). Ampelic variety. The leaves are rounded, fleshy, pubescent, light green in color, at the end of flowering they fall off. Inflorescences are bright red, decorated with a yellow corolla.
- Riverside (Nematanthus fluminensis Fritsch). Curly variety with large (up to 10 cm in length) leaves, painted purple below. The flowers are elongated, up to 5 cm, with a deployed pharynx and fluffy tube, painted in lemon yellow (sometimes white) shades.
- Nematanthus gregarius (Nematanthus gregarius). More often offered in stores. It is his yellow-red, golden inflorescences that resemble aquarium fish.
- Ankle (Nematanthus longipes DC). A braided shrub with powerful light green leaves about 10 cm long. Peduncle - thin, oblong. The flowers are red-coral, have pronounced bulges on the tube.
- Small-bristled (Nematanthus strigillosa). Evergreen epiphyte up to 20–25 cm tall with straight, sometimes branched shoots. It has small glossy ovoid leaves and tubular yellow-orange flowers.
House growing conditions
Although caring for a "goldfish" does not imply special efforts or special training, certain conditions must be observed.
Location and Lighting
Nematanthus needs a lot of bright and diffused light. Direct sunlight can burn delicate inflorescences and foliage. For this reason, in summer the plant is best placed on the east and west sides. If you place the pot on the south window, the flower should be protected, in the north you have to provide additional lighting.
Important! Without the proper amount of light, buds will not form. In winter, the flower has enough artificial light.
Temperature and humidity
From spring to autumn, when the plant grows and develops, it has enough room temperature (+19 ... + 25 ° C). In the resting phase, which occurs in winter, the temperature should be +14 ... + 16 ° C.
The humidity level for the life of the nematantus should be maintained within 50-60%. Therefore, in the warm season, nematanthus is recommended to be sprayed as often as possible. But you must remember that the higher the temperature, the more moisture should be, and vice versa.
How to care at home?
Despite the fact that the "goldfish" began to be grown as a room flower from the middle of the 19th century, this variety did not become widespread. Many fear that it is difficult to care for such an exotic flower. In fact, timely watering, top dressing and pruning is all that is needed.
At the stage of intensive growth and flowering, bushes need to be generously watered, and during the dormant period, the frequency is reduced to moderate. Humidify the soil as the surface of the soil dries up with standing water at room temperature.
Important! Additives in tap water have a detrimental effect on the plant. If a variety with large leaves is grown, it is advisable to use a differentiated method of hydration, which is calculated based on the size of the foliage, the plant itself and the composition of the earth mixture.
In the phase of intensive growth, it is necessary to top dress once every 10-14 days. Ready-made complex fertilizers for flowering plants with an increased concentration of phosphorus and potassium are suitable for the “goldfish”.
Familiarize yourself with the features of proper top dressing of indoor plants.
In autumn, the frequency of fertilizer application is reduced to once a month and the dosage is reduced. In winter, the flower is not fed.
Inflorescences of nematanthus are formed only on young shoots not older than a year. Therefore, the plant should be pruned regularly. This procedure is also important for the formation of a thick and beautiful crown.
Important! Lack of haircut leads to dropping leaves and exposing stems. Strongly overgrown plants are re-rooting, choosing strong shoots for this.
Move the plant to a new container as necessary, when the roots begin to protrude above the surface or stick out of the drainage slots. Perform the transplant process in early spring, before flowering. Old specimens are not transplanted, but allowed on cuttings.
To do this, take a capacity slightly larger than the previous one (3-4 cm). At the same time, several seedlings can be planted in a volumetric pot. The soil is porous, breathable, with a neutral or low acidity.
The ideal composition would be:
- humus - 1 part;
- coarse sand - 1 portion;
- deciduous humus - 2 parts;
- peat - 1 part;
- sphagnum moss or charcoal.
Video: Hypocyte Care
Do not forget about the drainage layer to avoid stagnation of moisture in the soil. Since nematanthus are compact in shape, they often do not need to be transplanted - once every 2 years. At the same time, they look at the root system, how quickly it fills the tank.
The procedure does not differ from the transfer of other plants: the lump is removed, the excess soil and the topsoil are removed. A thick layer of drainage is laid in the new tank and soil is poured from above, up to half the height of the pot. The root system is placed on it and covered with a substrate. You can gently press with your hands. At the end, the plant is watered and left alone.
Important! When moving nematanthus to a new place, it is necessary to avoid contact with the roots.
Nematanthus is propagated through scions or seeds.
For such propagation, take the scions remaining after cutting the shoots. The blanks should be 8–11 cm long and have 4–8 internodes. Only healthy specimens from adult shoots are selected. If the stalk is taken from young animals, it will be badly rooted and rot.
Roots with this method will germinate within 2-3 weeks, after which the seedlings can be planted in separate containers with a loose, air- and water-permeable substrate and a decent layer of drainage. When planting, the stalk is deepened so that a node appears in the soil, from which aerial roots will later begin to grow.
Did you know? According to scientists, about 10% of all plant species are epiphytes. Most often they are found in tropical forests.
In order to correctly perform the sowing of seeds, they are poured onto paper and distributed with weak, patting movements on the surface of the prepared moist soil.
Water the seedlings through the pan. As soon as the first seedlings appear, the shelter is periodically lifted so that air enters.
After rooting of the sprouts, and when the first 4-5 leaves appear, they are planted in separate containers.
Problems in the cultivation of nematanthus appear due to improper care.
If there is a slight air movement in the room where the nematanthus is grown, the plant may become infected with fungal diseases. In this situation, it is treated with fungicides.
- Gray rot. A sign is the gray fluffy mold that appears on the plant. For treatment, the affected parts are removed and replaced by moldy soil. Then carry out the treatment with fungicides ("Fundazole"). In addition, you need to reduce watering, stop spraying and often ventilate the room. As a prophylaxis, the rules of humidification should be observed: in a cool place, avoid excessive humidity.
- Rot. It manifests itself as a mass wilting of leaves, which then turn yellow and die. Treatment should be started immediately. First of all, the plant is removed from the tank and examined the root system: if it is softened and darkened, it is too late to treat the flower. If most of the roots retained elasticity, then you can compete for the flower. To do this, carefully remove the areas affected by rot, dried and transplanted into a new substrate, which is watered with “Carbendazim”. Prevention measures: the plant is planted in a calcined pot and soil, provide high-quality drainage, prevent moisture stagnation.
- Powdery Mildew It appears whitish bloom on foliage and stems. When the lesion occurs in a small area, plaque is removed manually. If the whole leaf is infected, it is removed. Additionally, the flower is treated with sulfur or Fitosporin-M. As a preventive measure, you should often ventilate the room.
Dangerous for the "goldfish" are such insects:
- Whitefly Some advise to clean the plant with a vacuum cleaner - to "draw in" the parasite.
- Aphid. You can detect by twisted buds and stems, which later dry up. For the fight, drugs based on permethrin, "Antitlin", "Biotlin" are used.
- Thrips. As a result of their vital activity, the plant slows down in development, the flowers are deformed, and silver streaks are noticeable on the leaves. At the first signs, they are treated with Akarin, Fitoverm, Actellik.
- Spider mite. These parasites are dangerous in that they suck the plant's juice and reduce immunity. Identify the pest by the state of the leaves: they are covered with yellow spots and cobwebs. You can save the plant by spraying it with soapy water or special means ("Akarin", "Fitoverm", "Actellik", "Tick-borne").
- Mealyworms. Their presence is indicated by "cotton" formations in the axils of the leaves, where these insects usually like to be located. After a while, the leaves fade and die. You can save yourself from pests by treating all parts of the plant with a swab soaked in alcohol.
Did you know? In Poland, the nematanthus is called the " hunchback flower " , in Germany - the " kiss " .
Omens and superstition
- attracts wealth, happiness and good mood;
- purifies air of harmful impurities;
- able to fulfill wishes (only to the one who first notices a blossoming bud);
- the more plentiful the flowering, the more there favors fate.
Proper care and attention to nematanthus will help to grow a magnificent lush flower, which will thank bright, bewitching flowering for care.