HOW TO GROW AND CARE FOR OUR PLANTS
Browallia they are delightful little plants that are very widespread and appreciated for their simplicity of cultivation and for their generous and abundant blooms.
Species: see the paragraph on "Main species"
The genre Browallia belongs to family ofSolanaceae and includes plants native to southern America also known as "Sapphire flower".
These are species successfully grown as houseplants. Despite being an evergreen plant it is mostly grown as an annual as it has the goodness to flower the same year as sowing.
The stems of the plant are thin and flexible, the leaves are lanceolate, small, shiny with marked ribs and the flowers are large, varying in color from white to blue depending on the species and variety.
They are plants that are highly valued if grown in hanging baskets thanks to the curved stems rich in leaves.
There are about ten species in the genus among which we remember:
There B. speciosa it is the most widespread species characterized by lanceolate, bright green leaves, with blue - violet flowers of about 5 cm in diameter, with a corolla that opens into five lobes closed at the base.
It reaches up to 60 cm in height.
There are numerous cultures among which we remember: the B. speciosa'Blue Troll' (photo below),
the best known and most widespread, small in size with blue flowers with a white central part; there B. speciosa 'Marine Blue' with blue flowers and theB. speciosa 'Wight Troll' with white flowers (photo on the side).
There B. viscoseIt is a plant that does not exceed 30-60 cm in height characterized by blue-violet flowers with sticky stems and leaves of a beautiful intense green color. Also of this species there are numerous hybrids among which we remember the Sapphire with very intense blue flowers and a white central part.
There B. grandiflora produces blue flowers with a white central part.
TheBrowallia they are very simple plants to grow.
During the spring-summer period they require temperatures around 13-18 ° C even if slightly higher temperatures are tolerated very well. During the winter the optimal temperatures are around 10-13 ° C.
They are plants that love the light, but not the direct sun.
They love the air so make sure that the environment in which they are located is sufficiently ventilated but without drafts that are not tolerated.
They are plants that are very often bred as annuals despite being perennial plants as, by planting the seeds in spring, the same year will have a splendid flowering.
In the spring-summer period it is necessary to water in order to keep the soil moist, while in the autumn-winter it is necessary to make sure that the soil is barely damp. It is advisable to wait for the soil to dry on the surface between one watering and another.
It is a plant that loves to have a humid environment so during the hottest seasons, make sure the leaves are constantly sprayed.
TYPE OF SOIL - REPOT
If you decide to breed it as a perennial plant, repot it when you notice that the pot has become too small to contain the roots (usually every 2-3 years).
Use a good fertile soil by adding a little peat and coarse sand to help drain the irrigation water.
It is fertilized regularly every two weeks throughout the spring-summer period using a liquid fertilizer diluted in the irrigation water by slightly decreasing the doses compared to what is reported in the package.
During the other periods the fertilizations must be suspended.
Use a good fertilizer that in addition to having the so-called macroelements such as nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) also has microelements such as iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), boron (B), polybdenum (Mo), magnesium (mg) all important for a correct and balanced growth of the plant.
Flowering occurs during the spring - summer period.
ThereBrowallia, if you decide to breed it as a perennial, at the end of flowering it should be vigorously pruned by cutting off the dry branches.
If you want to have a bushy plant then it is advisable to do the topping of the vegetative apexes.
Make sure that the tool you use for cutting is clean and disinfected, possibly with a flame, to avoid infecting the tissues.
The genus propagates for seed.
SEED MULTIPLICATION takes place in February by distributing the seeds evenly on a tray (or vase) containing seed soil mixed with a little coarse sand. The seeds, to bury them evenly, you can push them under the ground using a flat piece of wood.
To prevent any attacks by fungi, it would be advisable to administer a broad spectrum fungicide together with the irrigation water.
Cover the tray with a clear plastic sheet to ensure a good temperature and prevent the soil from drying out too quickly.
Place the tray in a shady place, with temperatures around 10-13 ° C and keep the soil always moist (use a sprayer to moisten the soil) until the moment of germination.Remove the plastic every day to check the humidity of the soil and eliminate any condensation that has formed in the plastic.
When the seeds have germinated, remove the plastic sheet and as the plants grow, increase the amount of light (never direct sun) .Among the new plants there will certainly be those less vigorous than others, identify them and eliminate them in this way you will guarantee more space to the most robust plants.
When they have reached such a size that they can be handled, transplant them very carefully, being careful not to damage the seedling (you can use a fork to use as a lever) in a soil as indicated for adult plants and treat them as such.
These new plants will give a splendid flowering already the first year of life.
PARASITES AND DISEASES
Leaves that become sloping, withered and remain closed
If the leaves show this symptom it means that the environment is too dry.
Remedies: maintain a more humid environment around the plant with more frequent nebulizations.
The leaves are dirty and sticky
This symptom on the leaves denotes the sure presence of aphids or as they are commonly called lice.
Remedies: the plant must be treated with specific pesticides readily available from a good nurseryman.
This plant is also known by the name of sapphire flower.
The name of the genus is supposed Browallia it was dedicated to Johan Browall (1707-1755), a Lutheran bishop of Abo in Finland and a friend of Linnaeus.