Whitfieldia

Whitfieldia

Life form Bush
Family Acanthaceae
Origin Tropical Africa
Ease of cultivation Easy to grow a plant with little difficulty
The size They can reach large sizes (up to 1 m in the natural environment). In room conditions, it is better to limit the size of the plant to a height of 60-70 cm in a regular pruning.
Growth rate High, for one season shoots are extended by 10-15 cm.
Lifespan Perennial.
Temperature In summer: preferably not higher than 86 ° F, at night it can be 35,6-37,4 ° F below; in winter – a minimum of 59-64,4 ° F.
Humidity At least 70%, you should put the plant in a pallet with wet gravel or spray every day, and use all methods of increasing  humidity.
Lighting It likes bright diffused light and does not tolerate direct sunlight. An eastern or western window is suitable, and the plant should be placed further away from the glass. According to some reports, whitefeldia can also bloom in the penumbra.
The soil An easy fertile soil is suitable. 1 part of the sod land, 1 part humus land,   1 part   coarse sand or perlite and 1 part peat and 1 part humus land. Always use a pot with a hole must be good drainage.
Watering Requires abundant watering, at least 3-4 times a day in the summer, in the winter more moderately – once a week. The soil must be moderately moist, excess and stagnant moisture is harmful to whitfeldia. At the same time, the plant is weakened by insufficient watering.
Fertilizer Once every 2 weeks, with liquid fertilizer. Positively responds to organic fertilizers.
Reproduction In spring, cut off the grassy cuttings 5-8 cm long with two knots and put them in moist sand with peat under a polyethylene film. It is desirable to pre-cut the cuttings with a rootstock, sometimes the rooting is difficult. At a temperature of 71,6-75,2 ° F, roots will appear. Plant several rooted cuttings in a small pot and, as it grows, pinch the top twice for better branching. They overtake, when the plant completely spans the roots of a clod of earth in a pot.
Bloom In room conditions bloom October-March with elongated spicate inflorescences. Flowers are white (in some species brick-red).
Transfer Transplant each year in spring in a pot 2 sizes larger than the previous one. When transplanting, you can cut the roots of whitefeldia, because they grow very quickly.
Features of care The main difficulty is the formation of an attractive appearance of the plant. The plant should be cut regularly for branching. It does not like smoke, gas products, drafts. In summer, the whitefeldia can be carried to a balcony or garden, but the plant should be placed in a place protected from the bright sun and wind. In winter, do not place the plant near the radiators. It is often necessary to wipe the leaves with a damp cloth. With age, Whitefeldia blossoms better and more abundantly.
Difficulties It is affected by a spider mites, mealybugs, whiteflies. The bright color of the leaves pales, they melt, the plant is strongly stretched under insufficient illumination. The ends of the leaves dry up, the leaves curl, they appear areas of dry brown tissue in bright light and dry air (the plant should be put in a bucket of water, and then put in a shadow and cool, damaged leaves and branches must be removed). If the lower leaves turn yellow and fall off with a damp and viscous soil, the plant is waterlogged, it should be transplanted into new soil, removing rotten roots. In conditions of insufficient ventilation, powdery mildew may appear
Air cleaning
Toxicity


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