HOW TO GROW AND CARE FOR OUR PLANTS
The Bauhinia they are very decorative plants not only for their flowers but also for their characteristic leaves.
Species: see the paragraph on "Main species"
The genre Bauhinia it includes arboreal and herbaceous plants native to the tropical areas of Asia and Africa.
They are plants also known by the name oforchid tree because in some species the flowers are reminiscent of orchids and because they can become real trees reaching even ten meters in height and beyond. It is in fact mostly trees and shrubs with more or less thorny branches characterized by a hard wood.
The leaves are composed, formed by two leaflets welded from the petiole up to half of their length so as to remember with their shape the hoof of a cow or a camel.
The flowers are gathered in cluster inflorescences, simple, apical or axillary and are formed by five petals of which the upper one is generally larger. Their peculiarity is that in different species they open at dawn and close again at midday when all the petals fall. The following day, a new flowering takes place.
There are about 200 species in the genus Bauhinia among which we remember:
There Bauhinia purpurea It is a plant native to India and China and is particularly sensitive to low temperatures. The leaves are deciduous, leathery, bilobed and heart-shaped at the base.
There Bauhinia variegata it is a not particularly tall species and is native to China. The flowers are pink with red veins, slightly perfumed and are produced from winter to spring.
There Bauhinia tomentosa is a plant native to Ceylon with oval leaves in two by two. The flowers are yellow, bell-shaped, covered with a light down that makes them velvety.
There Bauhinia grandiflora it is native to Argentina and Uruguay and is the species that is most cultivated in regions with a Mediterranean climate as it can easily withstand minimum temperatures around 6 ° C so in many Italian regions it can be safely bred outdoors . The leaves are deciduous, bilobed, light green in color with a particularly evident central rib. It blooms throughout the summer.
There Bauhinia galpinii it is a species native to southern Africa and has a distinctly shrubby habit even if there are some varieties of creeping plants. The leaves are bilobed of a very light green color and the flowers are very bright red.
There Bauhinia inermis it is native to Mexico with white flowers gathered in terminal spikes.
The Bauhinia they are tropical plants and in cold climate regions can only be grown indoors.
They are plants that love the air and the sun, therefore during the spring-summer period it is preferable to take them outdoors and place them in a sunny position.
During the spring-summer period the Bauhinia should be watered abundantly, taking care not to let the water stagnate in the saucer and waiting for the soil to dry between one watering and another.
During the other periods the watering must be drastically reduced, just enough not to make the soil dry out, as the plant enters vegetative rest.
TYPE OF SOIL - REPOT
The Bauhinia they are not particularly demanding plants in terms of soil even if they prefer a soil rich in organic substance and very well drained. To do this, place several pieces of earthenware on the bottom of the pot to help drain the irrigation water.
In consideration of the fact that they are plants that have a rapid development it is advisable to repot every year.
During the spring - summer period the plant is fertilized with a fertilizer diluted in the irrigation water every two weeks, slightly reducing the doses compared to what is reported in the package.
It is preferable to use fertilizers that in addition to having the so-called macroelements such as nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) than microelements such as iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), boron (B), molybdenum (Mo), all important for a harmonious growth of the plant.
The blooms occur during the summer and are spectacular.
At the end of winter the Bauhinia it should be vigorously pruned by reducing the foliage to always have a compact plant and to favor flowering.
Be careful to use shears that are perfectly clean and disinfected to prevent them from becoming a vehicle for parasitic diseases.
There Bauhinia multiplies by seed.
MULTIPLICATION BY SEED
The seeds can be sown in spring in a seedbed where they will be left for the first year of life, keeping the environment humid and with moderate temperatures. After a year they can be transplanted into single pots and always kept in a controlled environment. From the third year the young plants can be permanently transplanted and treated as an adult plant.
PARASITES AND DISEASES
There Bauhinia it is a very disease resistant plant.
The name of the genus was dedicated to the botanists Jean and Caspar Bauhin, two Swiss brothers.
Due to the shape of its leaves it is also calledcamel paw as it remembers it.
Several studies have shown that the species Fortified Bauhinia it has therapeutic properties and can be used to treat diabetes and blood sugar.
The species Bauhinia blakeana was adopted as a floral emblem of Hong Kong in 1965 (photo on the side) as the plant was first discovered in Hong Kong in 1880.