Features of the eschananthus
The plant in nature grows in the south and southeast of Asia, in areas with a tropical and subtropical climate. They belong to the genus Aeschynanthus. The genus includes many species, often very dissimilar to each other in leaf color and flower shape.
In nature, they rarely take root in the ground. Usually grow as epiphytes on other plants, on stones or rocks as lithophytes. Aeschinanthus is grown indoors as a hanging plant and placed on shelves.
Shoots can reach 60 cm in length. They form opposite pairs of ovoid leaves. The foliage is dark green, often drooping, slightly leathery and tough. Length 12 cm, width 4 cm.
Beautiful flowers develop at the ends of shoots in pairs or clusters, depending on the species. In most species, the flowers are red or orange, and bloom in groups at the bottom of the branches.
Growing eschinanthus in pots
Most species of Eschinanthus are epiphytes and for this reason have an underdeveloped root system. Due to the underdeveloped root system, they grow well in a limited space, and do not require much space. A small pot is fine for them.
Home care rules :
- warm, bright location without direct sunlight;
- humidity must be high enough;
- temperature from 20 C to 25 C;
- regularly watered and sprayed with water;
- use warm water with a low lime content, preferably rainwater;
- fertilize from March to August about every 2 weeks.
- dormancy in winter at about 16 °C promotes flowering.
Eschinanthus in the house requires a lot of light. He needs a year-round warm, bright place with high humidity. The flower does not like direct sunlight at all, which can cause foliage burns. The temperature should be constant between 20 and 25°C.
Therefore, it is better for him in a bright east or west window than in a south window, where he should be darkened at noon. The north window might be too dark for her.
The flower is very afraid of the cold, so it is grown in an apartment or in a greenhouse with a temperate climate. Eschinanthus needs room temperature between 18 and 22 °C even in winter.
When the temperature rises, it is necessary to provide the plant with higher air humidity, since at high temperatures the plant ceases to absorb water through the root system. You can place it on the floor of the room.
Temperature fluctuations lead to heat or cold stress. If the temperature has risen above a favorable level, this is expressed by yellow and wilted leaves. After severe hypothermia, the leaves become softer, sluggish.
In summer, it can be placed outdoors without exposure to direct sunlight.
If the Aeschinanthus is cared for in warm and humid conditions, these plants will not have a dormant period and will grow all year round. However, due to lower light levels during the winter months and shorter days, plant growth slows down considerably.
Aeschynanthus prefers loose soil that can be mixed with some sand. A permeable, humus-rich soil is ideal for caring for Aeschynanthus. They need slightly acidic soil. The ideal soil pH is between 5.0 and 6.0. Plants also do well in simple compost-based potting soil.
Good water permeability is essential. A layer of gravel at the bottom of the pot is recommended.
Under no circumstances should the plant remain dry. The root ball should always be slightly damp, and not dry out between waterings. Therefore, regular watering is necessary, avoiding waterlogging at all costs. The flower needs less water in winter, but should be kept moist even at this time of the year. Water sparingly between October and March.
Important! Eschinanthus can not be watered with cold water, room warm water is always used.
Equally important is the high level of humidity that can be achieved by regularly spraying the flower.
Additional Information! The pot can be placed in coasters filled with pebbles and water. If the humidity is high enough, the plants develop healthy and beautiful, provided other care requirements are met.
The plant does not have a high nutrient requirement. During the flowering period, it is optimal to fertilize every two weeks, adding some kind of universal fertilizer to the irrigation water.
The best time of year to transplant is spring. Generally should be repotted every 2-3 years or when the roots grow out of the pot. The root ball is removed from the pot, the old soil is shaken off the roots and all dead roots are cut off. Then they are transferred to a new pot of a slightly larger size.
It is not necessary to cut the flower, but if some shoots have become too long, it is better to cut them in the spring, keeping at least a third of the length. Damaged stems, dry leaves and flowers are also removed.
From about June to September, Aeschynanthus species form tubular flower clusters hanging from shoots. The flowers are usually red, but there are varieties with orange-red or yellow flowers.
Box fruits in room culture develop very rarely.
Note! Under no circumstances should the plant be moved during the flowering period. Even small changes in location can cause buds and flowers to fall off.
Reproduction of the eschinanthus
Aeschynanthus can be propagated by cuttings or layering. Cuttings can be carried out all year round. To do this, cuttings are cut about 10 cm long and placed in a sand-peat mixture. Then the pot is covered with a plastic bag and placed in a bright place where there is no direct sunlight.
After the roots have formed, the covering is removed. After about two weeks they are large enough to be transplanted into a large hanging basket. To achieve dense bush growth, several small plants are planted together.
Propagation by layering is a propagation method aimed at rooting stems still associated with the mother plant.
Growing outdoors in summer
Provided that the day or night temperature does not fall below 15 ° C, the Aeschinanthus can be looked after in the open air, in a place protected from bright light. The plant should not be illuminated by the scorching midday sun.
Diseases and pests
The flower is especially sensitive to low humidity. When the temperature fluctuates, the buds suddenly fall off.
Sometimes the aeschinanthus is attacked by aphids, which suck the juice from the leaves. They dry up and then fall off. From time to time, plants should be carefully checked for infestation by these pests.
Spider mites cause leaves to turn yellow. A thin cobweb on the underside of the leaves is an alarm signal. When sprayed with water, the cobwebs become clearly visible.
From time to time, the plant can be affected by thrips. Infected flowers lose their vitality and wither away. Severely affected leaves die off.
Main types and varieties
There are many different hybrids, and every grower has a choice. Most often there are red flowers, but there are also orange-red or yellow ones. Fiery red flowers attract attention. It’s really hard to choose from the many types of Escinantos and hybrids.
Varieties and species that are most common
E scinanthus avanesis
A species with small oval-shaped leaves and a very intense color. Beautiful red flowers appear among green leaves with serrated edges. In the center of each flower, you can see several bright shades of yellow.
The species develops at about 50-60 cm. The stems are lowered, on which small leaves are painted in the most intense shades of green. Flowering occurs in spring or early summer. The flowers are red, with a yellow inner side of the corolla.
Native to Thailand, the beautiful species of Aescinanthus is well suited for growing in small hanging baskets. The lanceolate leaves are larger than those of the Lobbianus and Javanesis species, and are bright green with reddish tints. Flowers that appear during the hot season are not very showy.
It does not develop much in length, but forms a dense bush of leathery light green leaves.
Beautiful red or orange flowers create an extraordinary spectacle. This is one of the species that boasts the most abundant flowering.
Aeschinanthus tricolor is a charming flower. The flowers are beautiful: on a red background, small shades of orange and spectacular stripes of black. Flowering occurs at the end of summer.
The lanceolate leaves, arranged along flexible stems, may be opposite or spiral. The flowers are very large (from 5 to 8 cm) of a beautiful dark red color with a yellow central part. Escinanto radicans attracts attention with its shape and color (especially when grown in hanging baskets) and its pungent smell.