Crossandra

Crossandra

Life form Low bush.
Family Acanthaceae
Origin Southern areas of India, Sri Lanka.
Ease of cultivation Crossandra – simple in the cultivation and care of plants. However, it requires special wintering conditions.
The size of an adult plant 30-50 cm in height at home, up to 1 m in nature.
Growth rate 20-25 cm per year. Such a plant reaches a plant for a year, if grown from a handle.
Lifespan Perennial, but it is advisable to rejuvenate from the cuttings or cut the bush, since after 2 years the branches lose decorativeness.
Temperature In the summer: preferably not above 86 ° F, the ideal temperature during the year is 64,4 ° F;in winter – a minimum of 55,4 ° F, in the event that the plant is kept in dry conditions.The plant can even withstand a short-term cooling to 32 ° F for 2-3 days.
Humidity Requires a humidity level of 50% or higher, can be placed in a tray with a wet gravel.At spraying it is impossible, that water got on flowers.
Lighting Crossandra loves bright diffused light, can grow on the south window to shading from the midday sun.
The soil For cultivation, it is necessary to prepare a mixture of the following composition: 1 part of compost land,1/3 of coarse sand or perlite, 1 part peat, 1 part of leaf. Always use a pot with a hole.
Watering Requires moderate watering at room temperature, at least once a week in the summer,and once every 14-16 days in winter. Excess moisture is harmful to the roots, especially in winter.
Fertilizer Fertilize every two weeks, a universal liquid fertilizer.
Reproduction In the spring, cut off cuttings 8-10 cm long, remove the lower leaves and plant cuttings, pretreated hormones, in a mixture of moist sand and peat under a polyethylene film. At a temperature of 69,8 ° F(it is better to put the container on the radiator) in about 3 weeks, the roots will appear. After that, plant the cuttings3 pieces in a small pot (9 cm in diameter) and pinch the top for better branching.Cuttings cuttings rather complicated.Can be propagated by seeds at a temperature of 69,8 ° F and above, which are sown in a mixture of peat and sand and kept under a film.Germination occurs after 2-3 weeks. When the temperature is raised to 86 ° F, the seed germination increases.A month later the seedlings are dived and transplanted into 6-cm pots, and later (but not later than August)after pinches pass in 10-cm pots.
Bloom Crossandra blooms from May to September. Flowers – orange tubular, asymmetric, collected in spikelets, do not smell.On average, the flower lasts a few days until the moment of wilting. After flowering, boxes with seeds are formed, which, if hiton them, water bursts and scatter seeds for a distance of up to 3 m.
Transfer Replant every 2 years in the spring to replace the land with fresh. Ensure that there is good drainage.
Features of care The summer requires ventilation, but leaves are spoiled by drafts. A young plant should be plucked for better branching. Does not tolerate products of gas combustion. After 2 years of growth, the plant needs to trim the stretched shoots by one-third.During growth, it is possible to trim the lateral branches to stimulate the flowering of the plant. Faded flowers should be removed.The plant requires regular hygienic procedures – rubbing the leaves with a damp cloth.
Difficulties It is affected by a spider mite. Rot on leaves, inflorescences and at the base of stems occurs when excess watering and stagnant moisture, especially in the cold. Due to excessive watering, the leaves can also become softer.With a strong supercooling, the plant usually discards the leaves. If the atmosphere is too hot and dry, the leaves twist.From strong drafts, the plant can wilt, and the leaves fall off.The leaves can become stained from the products of gas combustion. The lack of flowering is most often associated with insufficient lighting.
Toxicity A harmless view for humans and pets.
Beneficial features Flowers are used by the people of India to decorate the headdresses, and also as an offering when visiting the temples.There is information about the therapeutic properties, in particular flower extract crossandra is a hepatoprotector.

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