Duranta

Duranta

Life form Shrub, tree
Family Verbenaceae
Origin Tropical South Africa, tropical regions of America (from Florida to Mexico).
Ease of cultivation Easy to grow, unpretentious plant.
The size Expands to 1.5-3 m in height, but usually form a more compact plants.
Growth rate High, annually shoots are 15-20 cm long.
Lifespan Perennial.
Temperature In the summer: 64,4-71,6 ° F, the plant needs a cool wintering, when it is better to maintain a temperature of about 60,8 ° F.
Humidity The plant prefers increased humidity, it is desirable to regularly spray the duranta, but it can also adapt to relatively dry air.
Lighting Bright diffused light, not less than 6-8 hours of scattered light. Durant can grow in the back of the room, but blooming in this case will be less or, most likely it wouldn’t  bloom at all. The variegated forms should be grown under bright light.
The soil It is desirable to use a rich loose soil (pH 5.8-6.5). To a mixture of homemade should be taken: 1 part garden soil, and 1 part of ground sheet and coarse sand or perlite. Always use a pot with a hole and good drainage.
Watering In summer it is necessary to water abundantly every 3-5 days. In winter every 10-14 days. The top layer of soil between watering should slightly dry out, water-logging is harmful. However, a strong drying of the earth coma can cause the lower leaves to drop.
Fertilizer In the summer time it should be fertilized once a week. Fertilizer should not contain a large amount of nitrogen in order to avoid the growth of foliage to the detriment of flowering. Durant reacts positively to organic fertilizers.
Reproduction For reproduction, semi-stubby sprouts and cuttings obtained by cutting can be used. It is better to cut the plant at the end of summer, so that the plant blossoms faster the next year, but you can take cuttings in the spring. Root in a mixture of wet peat and perlite in conditions of high humidity at a temperature of 75,2 ° F, it is possible to pre-treat the stalk with heteroauxin. It is required to cover the container with polyethylene or glass, which can be removed after about 3 weeks. However, the plant easily multiplies, if you just put the stem in the ground. The cuttings are planted and, as they grow, are pricked several times for a better branching. You can root simply in the water. The plant is also spread by seeds. Seeds are sown in February-March and germinated at a temperature of 68 ° F.
Bloom Flowers of blue color 1.2 cm in size are collected in drooping inflorescences. Later on the place of flowers, golden-orange berries are formed. Blooms from April to September.
Transfer Young plants every year in April, slightly increasing the size of the pot. Adult plants can be transplanted every 2 years. It is better not to replant old plants, but to replace the top layer of the soil.
Features of care Another name for the plant is a “room birch”. The plant is great for landscaping offices and children’s institutions. Plants should be cut off regularly in the spring, and pinch to form a bushy shape. However, shortly before the expected flowering, it is better not to run the monkey. Can be used for bonsai. It can also be grown as a half-ample plant. For best bloom it is good to give the plant a short period of rest in winter and keep it in cool conditions. In the summer it is desirable to take the plant in the garden or on the balcony, the duranta needs regular airing. Faded inflorescences should be cut off in time. Durant can be formed in the form of a stamping tree. To do this, the growing shoots are cut off by side shoots. As the seedlings grow, they give him a prop, tied to a peg. When the desired height is reached, the appendage is pricked. As it continues to grow, side shoots continue to be removed, while upper branches are cut off, giving the top a spherical shape.
Difficulties The leaves are shallow, and the stems are stretched with a lack of light. The ends of the leaves wither, and the tops are twisted under insufficient watering or in too dry air. The plant does not bloom most often due to the lack of a cool wintering or lack of light. The leaves become pale, shoots are strongly stretched, when the plant needs fertilizing. It is affected by mites, aphids, mealybugs and quite often whiteflies.
Air cleaning
Toxicity Both berries and leaves are poisonous, they can not be eaten. Skin contact with these plants can cause symptoms ranging from redness, itching and rash to painful blisters and skin burns.

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