Afelandre, or aphelandra (lat.Aphelandra) - a genus of flowering plants of the Acanthus family, common in the tropical regions of America. The name of the genus is formed from two roots of the Greek language, means "simple man" and explains the presence of simple unilocular anthers in plants of this genus.
There are about two hundred species in the genus, some of them are common in indoor culture.
Read more about the cultivation of Afelandra below.
In nature, aphelandras are herbaceous perennials or low-growing shrubs up to two meters tall, but in culture they grow no higher than 70 cm.The leaves of aphelandras are large, dark, shiny, sometimes smooth, sometimes prickly, with a wide median and lateral veins, painted white , cream or silver color. Flowers up to 2 cm in diameter with large and hard bracts, often brightly colored, are collected in terminal pineal or spike-shaped inflorescences and have a two-lipped corolla - lilac, red, yellow or orange; the lower lip of the flowers is three-lobed, the upper lip is two-toothed.
The home flower of Afelandra is valued not only for its beautiful and long flowering, but also for its spectacular large leaves.
The Afelandra plant is native to the tropics, and it is important to create conditions close to natural for its normal growth and development. How to take care of Afelandra at home? This flower needs bright lighting: in winter, a south-facing window will suit it, and in the warm season, when the sun's rays are especially burning, Afelandra needs a bright, but diffused light. The flower can spend summer holidays in the fresh air, but only with mandatory protection from direct rays, wind and rain.
In the photo: Growing Afelandra at home
The heat-loving Afelandra flower grows well at the usual temperature for a human dwelling - 20-25 ˚C. In winter, the plant is more comfortable in a slightly cooler temperature, but it should be at least 16 ˚C.
The fast-growing Afelandra begins to lose its lower leaves with age and loses its attractiveness. To give the plant the shape of a lush bush, the ends of its shoots are pinched from time to time.
Adult afelandras are pruned at the end of February, before the start of the new season, leaving only 30 cm high hemp from the shoots.
Afelandra is moisture-loving, so the substrate in her pot should be slightly moist all the time, however, frequent and strong waterlogging is unacceptable. Watering is carried out with boiled, thawed, filtered or simply settled cold water.
In the photo: Blooming yellow aphelandra
The houseplant Afelandra, like other inhabitants of the rainforest, needs air saturated with moisture. To increase the humidity in the room, you can use an electric humidifier, but it is cheaper to simply spray the air in the room from a fine spray or keep a flower pot on a pallet with damp pebbles or expanded clay.
Like any other houseplant, the aphelander needs to be fertilized. Top dressing begins in the spring and stops when the plant finishes blooming. Mineral complexes for flowering indoor plants are used as fertilizers. The frequency of dressing is 2-3 times a month. In winter, Afelandra does without fertilization.
Caring for Afelandra at home involves a regular transplant. Young plants are transferred from the old pot to a new one every spring, and older plants need to change the pot once every 3-4 years. Afelandra is grown in a soil mixture of equal parts of leafy earth, peat and sand, adding a little coconut fiber and charcoal to it, but first the pot is filled with a third of the volume with drainage material.
In the photo: Beautiful leaves of Afelandra
At home, Afelandra can bloom for a very long time: from spring to the beginning of winter. The duration of flowering usually depends not only on the conditions created for the plant, but also on the type and variety of afelandra. The average flowering time is two months. Withered inflorescences must be removed from the plant.
In order for the afelandra to bloom well next year, it is necessary to provide it with a period of relative dormancy after flowering: move it to a cooler, but no less bright place, reduce watering and completely stop feeding.
At home, Afelandra can be propagated both by seed and vegetative - by apical or leaf cuttings.
Afelandra seeds are sown in February or March in a substrate consisting of leafy earth (4 parts) and sand (1 part). For the speedy germination of seeds and the further development of seedlings, the room temperature is maintained at 20-22 ˚C. The process will go faster if you use a mini greenhouse with bottom heating. The grown seedlings dive into the substrate, consisting of equal parts of sod land, sand and leafy soil. With good care, seedlings can bloom in the first year.
For grafting ripe annual shoots 10-15 cm long with two leaves are cut. They do this from March to May or in December-January. For more reliable and quick rooting, the lower sections of the cuttings are treated with Kornevin, Heteroauxin, succinic acid or another root former, after which they are planted in a cuttings with lower heating under a transparent cap. The process of regrowth of roots should take place at a temperature of 20-25 ˚C with regular ventilation and spraying of the substrate. Stem cuttings take root in one and a half to two months, and apical cuttings in 2-4 weeks. Cuttings with formed roots are planted in pots with drainage and a substrate of peat, leafy earth, humus and sand (1: 1: 1: 0.5) and grown under the same conditions as adult aphelandras.
In the photo: Blooming wild Afelandra
In autumn or winter, you can cut off a developed, but not yet old leaf with an axillary bud from a plant, and it is better from shoots that have not bloomed, and plant it for rooting in a mixture of sand and peat, covering it with a transparent cap on top. They contain the cutting at a temperature of 20-25 ˚C, regularly airing and spraying the substrate with water.
Since aphelandras stretch out and shed their lower leaves with age, the best way to restore the decorative effect of old plants is to cut them.
Diseases of Afelandra are rarely affected, but still difficulties with its cultivation do occur. For example, a plant often the tips of the leaves dry and this may indicate low humidity and too high room temperature. You need to start spraying the air or place the flower on a pallet with wet pebbles.
Sometimes Afelandra delayed flower formation, and the reason may be insufficient lighting or lack of nutrients in the substrate. Feed the plant with compound fertilizer and move it closer to the light. If necessary, arrange additional artificial lighting for Afelandra.
Sometimes readers ask a question, why do afelandra leaves fall... If the plant suddenly begins to lose foliage, this may be the result of irregular watering and frequent drying out of the potted substrate. Direct sunlight or watering the plant with cold water can cause the leaves to fall off. However, for old aphelander, this is a normal process.
In the photo: Pink Afelandra blooms
From constant waterlogging, Afelandru can be affected by leaf mold. Cut out sore spots with a sharp sterile instrument, grabbing healthy tissue, and treat the plant along the leaves with a fungicide solution.
But most dangerous for Afelandra verticillary wilting, the cause of which may be a substrate infected with a fungus. As a result of the development of the disease, the vessels of the plant are affected, and it is impossible to save the afelandra. To avoid contamination, sterilize the soil before planting.
Most often, aphelandra on the windowsill are affected by aphids and scale insects. These are sucking pests that feed on the cell sap of leaves and young shoots. With a small number of pests, it will be enough to wash the afelandra under the shower with soap, protecting the soil in the pot from getting dirty water into it. However, the scale insects must first be collected from the leaves with a cotton swab dipped in soapy water or alcohol. But if the pests managed to breed, it will be necessary to treat the plant with a fungicide - Aktellik or Fitoverm, and it is quite possible that more than once.
Or aphelandra orange - a low-growing evergreen shrub with a thick and juicy, slightly reddish stem, which grows stiff over time. The leaves of this species are entire, glabrous, silvery-green, up to 25 cm long, oval-oblong, opposite, pointed at the top. Bright orange flowers with green bracts are collected in a tetrahedral spike-shaped inflorescence up to 15 cm tall.
Most often, a variety is grown in room culture:
In the photo: Aphelandra aurantiaca
Or Afelandra Scuarrosa - also an evergreen low shrub. It has bare fleshy reddish shoots and variegated sessile oval-elliptical leaves up to 30 cm long. The upper side of the leaf plate is glossy, silvery-white veins stand out on it, creating an ornament against a dark green background. The underside of the leaves is lighter than the top. The flowers of this plant are two-lipped, tubular, collected in quadrangular apical spike-shaped inflorescences up to 30 cm long. Bracts bright orange leaves set off yellow flowers. The bulging aphelandra bloom lasts from early summer to November.
The following plant varieties are popular:
Sections: Houseplants Beautiful flowering Ornamental deciduous Acanthus Plants on A
Laurel is an evergreen tree or shrub. Simple sheet plates, leathery to the touch, have a solid, slightly wavy edge. During flowering, axillary umbellate inflorescences are formed. If young bushes are well cared for, then they will grow and develop normally in the heat with low air humidity. However, it is highly undesirable to grow an adult plant in such conditions.
Seed propagation is carried out very rarely due to the rapid loss of germination. Basically, jatropha is propagated using lignified cuttings.
Seeds can also be obtained at home, artificially pollinating female flowers by transferring pollen from male inflorescences (with yellow stamens) using an ordinary brush. The pollination process is carried out in the very first few days of flowering. For the convenience of collecting seeds, it is recommended to tie a bag of gauze to the fruit, as they are thrown over long distances, up to one meter.
The resulting seeds are sown on prepared soil. Smooth and cover them with a glass jar and put them closer to the heat. Seed germination takes from one to a couple of weeks. Then the hatched sprouts are transplanted into a separate dish. After several months, the transplanted seedlings take on the appearance of adult plants. The trunk increases in thickness as it grows. And the leaves are rounded at first, and later transform into wavy ones. The lobed leaves and the first flowers can be rejoiced only next year.
With this method, the cuttings are dried for a start, then treated with any growth stimulant, for example, heteroauxin. As soil for planting cuttings, take humus and sand in a ratio of 1: 1: 1. A prerequisite is maintaining the temperature at 30-32 degrees. Rooting takes about one month.
At home, clivia can look no less decorative than in nature. In order for the flower to feel as comfortable as possible, it is necessary to create the appropriate conditions for it. Clivia growing in favorable conditions creates almost no hassle for the grower.
For clivia, bright, but always diffused light is suitable. It feels best on western or eastern windows. If a place for a flower was found only on the south side, it should be shaded from the scorching rays. The north side in winter is supposed to turn on the lighting
The choice of temperature for the clivia is considered very important, otherwise it will not bloom. For a plant, a cool content is required during wintering, at this time the room should be kept no higher than 12-15 degrees. The critical temperature for a bush is considered to be a drop to 8 degrees.
With the appearance of kidneys, in the spring, the degree of heat begins to gradually increase. In the summer, it can be about 25 degrees in a room with clivia. With the onset of warm days, you can take out the container with a flower in the garden or on the balcony.
It is possible to achieve repeated flowering of an adult and healthy clivia by artificially creating an additional period of rest for it. In summer, such a plant is transferred to a shady place and for some time is hardly watered or fed. After a couple of weeks, the lower foliage of the bush will begin to turn yellow, but a flower arrow may form. When its size reaches at least 10 cm, the flower is returned to heat and light and is no longer disturbed until the end of flowering.
Homemade clivia should be watered as the soil clod dries. In winter, this is done much less often - about once a decade, or not watered at all. With the onset of spring, after the formation of the arrow, the volume of irrigation is gradually increased. The flower should be watered most abundantly during the budding period. After flowering, in summer, it will be enough to moisturize the substrate once a week.
For watering clivia, filtered or boiled and sufficiently warm water is used. An excess of moisture can result in the appearance of rot on the roots and the death of the plant.
Clivia tolerates dry air quite calmly, the optimum humidity for a flower is about 45%. From time to time, as the foliage becomes dirty, the plant can be wiped or sprayed. A method with a tray filled with water or wet pebbles is also suitable, but the roots of the clivia should not come into direct contact with it. Excess water for them can lead to the development of rot.
For clivia, a fairly loose soil of a slightly acidic reaction is well suited. You can use a universal composition suitable for flowers, or you can compose the earth yourself. In this case, you will need a double portion of turf with the addition of peat and humus.
To make the resulting substrate better conduct water, small brick fragments are added there, as well as perlite or vermiculite. You can supplement such a soil with the help of slowly absorbing phosphate fertilizers. For example, 1.5 liters of land will require about 1 tbsp. l superphosphate.
To make the clivia look as decorative as possible, and also maintain its overall tone, the flower must be periodically fertilized. Once every couple of weeks, after watering, a solution of a liquid composition for flowering is added to the soil. The dosage should be reduced by approximately 3.5 times.
Klivia is not fertilized all year round, but only during the growth period - in spring and summer. You can alternate organic compounds with mineral ones. No top dressing is needed in winter. When choosing fertilizers, it is important to ensure that there is more potassium and phosphorus in them than nitrogen. An excess of this element manifests itself in a too dark color of the leaves and the absence of peduncles.
It is necessary to transplant the clivia when the root system of the plant has completely filled the pot and the roots have begun to look through the drainage holes. The new container is selected so that it is 2.5 cm higher than the previous one. A pot that is too large for clivia will not work. A little cramped space will encourage its flowering.
Despite its powerful size, the roots of clivia are quite fragile. The flower tolerates very painfully all procedures related to the impact on the root system. It is necessary to move it to another container only when it outgrows its pot and ceases to fit in it. Young bushes need such a transplant every year, adults - as needed. Very large adult specimens do not move, they simply renew the top 5 cm of soil.
The best time to transplant clivia is in spring, as soon as the plant has faded. It should be moved carefully, trying not to destroy the soil clod and not damage the roots. A drainage layer is pre-laid at the bottom of the new container. The root collar of the bush cannot be buried. This can lead to decay of foliage and stunted growth.
The flowering of clivia depends on several main factors. The plant should spend the winter in a cool place, it should be watered according to the season, and after flowering, the peduncle should be removed. Compliance with these rules will allow the clivia to bloom every year. The flowering period usually begins in mid-February. At this time, on high (up to 30 cm) peduncles, inflorescence brushes are formed, consisting of funnel-shaped flowers. Due to the fact that they do not open immediately, but gradually, the flowering of clivia lasts about a month. At the same time, up to 40 buds can be on the plant at the same time.
The color of the flowers can be varied: orange, coral, light golden or carmine. Some species may have a yellowish star-shaped spot in the center of the flower. During the flowering period, clivia looks especially elegant.
Afelandra is propagated by seeds and apical cuttings.
Seeds are sown immediately after harvest (in February - March), the substrate is used consisting of leafy earth and sand (1: 0.25). It is necessary to maintain a temperature of 20-22 ° C, when using a mini-greenhouse with bottom heating, germination of seeds occurs faster. Seedlings dive into a substrate consisting of leafy, turfy soil and sand (1: 1: 1.2). Seedlings bloom in the same year.
Annual ripe shoots 10-15 cm long are cut on cuttings, with two leaves in March-May, less often in December-January. Treatment of cuttings with growth stimulants (heteroauxin, root, succinic acid) and bottom heating provides faster and more reliable rooting. The cuttings are rooted in wet sand or a mixture of peat and sand is covered with a glass cover... The temperature must be maintained within 20-25 ° С, constantly sprayed and ventilated. Apical cuttings form roots after 15-30 days, stem cuttings - after 45-60 days. After rooting, the cuttings are transplanted into a mixture of leaf, humus, peat soil and sand (1: 1: 1: 0.5). They grow rather slowly, they need warmth and bright diffused light.
Less commonly propagated by leafy cuttings... In autumn or winter, a fully developed (but not coarse) leaf with an axillary bud is cut off, preferably not from flowering shoots. Rooted in a mixture of peat and sand. Cover with a glass cover, maintain the temperature at 20-25 ° C, spray and ventilate regularly.
Features of the: Old plants lose their decorative effect, stretching out and shedding the lower leaves. Therefore, it is advisable to renew afelander by cuttings. For better flowering, the protruding aphelandra is kept in winter at a temperature of at least 10 ° C and with good lighting.
Orange aphelandra (Aphelandra aurantiaca). © usbg Protruding aphelandra (Aphelandra squarrosa). © Nelva Nora Gandolfo