Protea

Protea

Life form Grassy, ​​bush
Family Proteaceae
Origin and distribution In total there are about 100 species in the genus Protea, common in southern Africa. The largest of them – artichoke or royal protea (Protea cinaroides) is chosen as the national symbol of South Africa. In our stores, the proteus is often called an “African rose”.
Ease of cultivation For an experienced florist
The size Up to 50-60 cm at home, up to 2 m in nature
Growth rate Low
Lifespan A perennial plant, but can also be used as an annual.
Temperature In summer, the optimum content at + 68-77 ° F, in winter it is desirable about +10, but not below + 41 ° F. The plant can even transfer frosts to 28,4 ° F, but it is better not to abuse its resistance. At high temperatures in winter, flowering will be problematic.
Humidity It prefers dry air, high humidity is harmful, easily tolerates even being close to heating devices.
Lighting A bright diffused light is required, when placed on a southern window, shading is required.At the same time, in case of insufficient illumination, there will be problems with flowering, therefore, in cloudy weather and in winter, phytolamps are often used for backlighting.
The soil The soil for growing the protein must be acidic (pH5.0-5.5), a ready-made substrate for azaleas is suitable. In general, the soil must be rough and air-permeable, so a mixture of peat, sand, perlite, heather land will fit, pine needles can be added.
Watering The greatest difficulty in the care comes from watering, which should not be excessive, but the lack of moisture is also harmful. It is recommended to water the protein often, but little by little. Between watering an earthen mound should dry up only half, it is not necessary to allow complete drying. For irrigation use a permanent soft (sometimes slightly acidified) water. Even less often watered in winter, but in winter the substrate should not dry completely.
How to fertilize Protea prefers poor soils, so it does not need frequent fertilizing, only periodic acidification of the soil is required. Fertilizers containing phosphorus are not very suitable. You can use nitrogen fertilizers (diluting them in 3 times) or special top dressing for azaleas, diluting them in half with respect to the recommended dose.
Reproduction Propagate by apical cuttings about 10 cm long, which are rooted in a mixture of peat and perlite at a temperature of +71,6-75,2 ° F.   Often, seed reproduction is used, but it should be remembered that in this case, blossoming will occur only 5-6 years after germination of seeds. They are sown around the end of February. To accelerate germination, seeds are kept for two months in moist sand in the refrigerator (at a temperature of about + 50 ° F). Then you can keep them for a day in warm water. Seeds are planted in a mixture of peat and sand, submerging to a depth of 2.5 times the size of the seed. The pot is covered with glass.Germination is carried out at a temperature of + 71,6-77 ° F. It can last quite a long time: from one to several months.   When the first leaves appear, the glass can be removed and the plant placed in the conditions of scattered light. Watering should be very tidy, water should not fall on sprouts. At first, growth is very slow, then it becomes a bit more intense.When 2-3 leaves appear, seedlings are planted separately.
Bloom The flowers are very large, pink, red.
Transplant and care Young plants are transplanted every year, but carefully, without destroying the earth clod. Adult plants are transplanted every 3-4 years, when the roots fill the entire substrate. The maximum diameter of the pot is 35 cm. Use a wide, low, best ceramic dish. For a plant, stagnant air is harmful, so it is better to take out a balcony in the summer.   Faded inflorescences are pruned together with the tips of shoots. In spring, shoots are usually shortened by about a quarter.
Difficulties The plant, in general, is resistant to pests can be affected by aphids, phytophthora, black leg.
Yellowing of the leaves suggests alkalinization of the substrate. In this case, it is necessary to pour the soil with acidified water.
Beneficial features The plant is widely used in floristry, because cut flowers last for 2-3 weeks. Also it is possible to make compositions from the dried colors of the protein. Nectar of artichoke protein is used in the homeland of the plant as a cough remedy.
Toxicity Not poisonous


Related posts
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *