Graptophyllum

Graptophyllum

Life form Shrub, grassy
Family Acanthus – Acanthaceae
Origin, distribution, synonyms The genus of graptophyllum includes 14 species that originate from New Guinea (3 species), Australia (4), Nigeria (1), Fiji Islands (3) and New Caledonia (3).   As an ornamental plant, only the New Guinean species is cultivated – graptophyllum pictum (Graptophyllum pictum). Sometimes it is also called justice painted (Justicia picta) or a caricature bush. There are about a dozen varieties, differing in the intensity of the color of the leaves: from pale green with white spots to chocolate-bronze color.
Ease of cultivation Lung
The size Up to 1,5-2 m
Growth rate High
Lifespan Perennial
Temperature Thermophilic, in summer contain at + 73,4-82,4 ° F, in the winter not below + 60,8-64,4 ° F.
Humidity Graptophyllum prefers increased humidity, it needs regular spraying or maintenance in dishes with wet pebbles or expanded clay. However, it can also adapt to the dry air of the apartment.
Lighting It is best to use a bright light, you can grow on a southern window, but in the summer it will require shading. It can also grow on the west and east window. In low light, the color of the leaves dims.
The soil It is best to use a loose breathable substrate consisting, for example, 1 part humus, 1 part of the turf soil, 1 part peat, 1 part perlite or sand. Drainage and a pot with an opening are mandatory.
Watering In the summer, abundant watering is required, especially in conditions of high air temperature. With insufficient moisture, the leaves quickly lose the turgor, which, as a rule, is restored after watering. In winter, water less often.
How to fertilize From spring to autumn fertilize complex mineral fertilizers approximately once every 3-4 weeks.
Reproduction Easily propagates vegetatively with the help of cuttings about 15 cm long. Root in water or a mixture of peat with sand. It is advisable to cover the stalk with polyethylene. Rooting lasts 4-6 weeks.
Bloom The plant blooms in summer with pink-red tubular flowers collected in a brush. In indoor conditions, flowering is rare.
Transplant and care Transplanted in the spring, slightly increasing the diameter of the pot, young plants annually, old as the roots fill the earthy coma. Transplantation is carried out carefully, trying not to hurt the roots severely.   The plant needs pruning, constantly removing the dried old shoots. In spring it is necessary to shorten too long branches, giving the shrub a certain shape.
Difficulties When there is insufficient watering, the leaves lose the turgor, if this occurs regularly, the leaves may fall off. At the same time, with excessive watering in the cold, if the plant is contained in dense soil, rotting of the roots is possible. The plant stretches and loses the bright color of the leaves with a lack of light. In dry air drying of leaf tips is possible.   It is affected by spider mites, scutes, aphids.
Beneficial features Leaves and young fruits of grape-phyllum painted after cooking are edible. The plant contains such biologically active substances as saponin, tannin, pectin and has medicinal properties. Infusion and alcohol extract from its leaves is used as a diuretic, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic and anesthetic.   In the homeland of the plant, its juice is used to treat skin ulcers, wounds and burns, and as a substitute for soap. In traditional medicine of Indonesia mix pounded leaves with coconut milk is used to reduce the swelling.
Toxicity Graptophyllum is not toxic.


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