HOW TO GROW AND CARE FOR OUR PLANTS
The Kohleria they are much appreciated for the beauty of their flowers, small, tubular, richly colored and very decorative.
Species: see the paragraph on "Main species"
The genre Kohleria of the family ofGesneriaceae it includes several species of plants native to Central and South America.
It is a perennial plant, herbaceous or shrubby, characterized by the presence of stems and leaves rich in dense hair that gives the plant a velvety appearance.The plants are equipped with fleshy rhizomes and are very appreciated for their particularly colorful flowers with exotic designs. The flowers are characteristic as they have a tubular shape, with five rounded terminal lobes, usually pendulous and variously colored.
There are about 20 species in the genus Kohleria among which the most common are:
The species Kohleria hirsuta it produces numerous orange-red tubular flowers, covered with a thick down.
It blooms in the fall.
There Kohleria eriantha it is characterized by lanceolate leaves of intense green color, thickly covered with hair and with reddish margins.
The flowers are tubular and gathered in clusters of red-orange inflorescences with yellow spots. It blooms in summer.
The species Kohleria warscewiczii formerly known as Kohleria digitaliflorapresented oval leaves of very intense green color. The pink and white and purple-spotted flowers are tubular and grouped in cluster inflorescences. It bloomsin summer - autumn.
There Kohleria amabilis it has dark pink flowers, spotted with brown, pendulous.
The Kohleria they are easy to grow plants that do not require special care.
They are plants that do not tolerate cold therefore in areas where winter temperatures drop significantly they must be taken to a protected place.
They need exposure to direct sunlight but not in the hottest hours of summer days, so a semi-shaded location would be perfect.
There Kohleria it should be watered regularly starting from spring and throughout the summer, waiting for the soil to dry on the surface between one irrigation and another.After flowering, start to significantly reduce watering and starting from autumn and throughout the winter, given that the plant goes into restorative rest, water just enough so as not to completely dry out the soil.
During the hottest period, to ensure good humidity, you can place the pot on a saucer where you will have placed some expanded clay where there will be a constant stream of water which evaporating will ensure a humid environment.
In any case, be careful to avoid water stagnation in the saucer which are not tolerated.
TYPE OF SOIL - REPOT
There Kohleria it needs a good fertile soil to which is added some grass, coarse sand (or perlite or vermiculite) to favor the drainage of the watering water as it does not tolerate water stagnation.
Generally repotting takes place every year, coinciding with the division of the rhizomes.
I always recommend using terracotta pots as, being porous, they allow the earth to have gas exchanges.
From spring and throughout the summer, administer a good liquid fertilizer diluted in the watering water once a month, halving the doses compared to what is reported in the fertilizer package.
It is advisable to use a fertilizer that in addition to having 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), molybdenum (Mo), all important for a correct and balanced growth of the plant.
Usually the Kohleria it cannot be pruned. Only the parts of the plant that dry up or become damaged are eliminated to prevent them from becoming a vehicle for parasitic diseases.
For any cutting operation on the plant, remember to use blades that are well cleaned and disinfected (possibly with a flame) to prevent them from becoming a vehicle for parasitic diseases.
The multiplication takes place by cuttings or by simple division of the plant.
MULTIPLICATION FOR TALEA
In summer, 10cm long cuttings can be taken by cutting them immediately under the node. It is recommended to cut in an oblique direction as this allows to have a greater surface for rooting and avoids the accumulation of water on this surface. <
It is important to use a very sharp blade to avoid fraying of the tissues and that it is clean and disinfected (preferably with the flame) to avoid infecting the tissues.Then remove the lower leaves and settle in a compost formed by peat and sand in equal parts making holes with a pencil, as many as there are cuttings to be placed, taking care to compact the soil afterwards.
The box or pot is then covered with a clear plastic sheet or a hooded bag after placing sticks in the ground to keep the plastic away from the cuttings and tightening the bag with an elastic to prevent moisture loss. Every day the plastic is removed to check the humidity of the soil (it must always be slightly damp) and eliminated from the plastic the condensation that has surely formed.
Once the first shoots start to appear, it means that the cutting has taken root, at which point the plastic is removed and the pot is placed in a brighter area and expects the cuttings to become stronger. Once they are large enough, they are transplanted into the final pot and treated like adult plants.
MULTIPLICATION BY DIVISION OF THE PLANT
At the end of winter-early spring the rhizomes can be divided into several portions making sure that each portion is provided with at least one sprout. The cutting surfaces must be treated with broad spectrum sulfur-based fungicide products and left to dry for a few days.
The sprouts are planted in small pots (diameter not exceeding 10-14 cm) and at a depth of about 1 cm with a soil formed by fertile earth and peat. and water very little. One realizes that the division has been successful when the new shoots begin to appear. When they have reached a height of at least 20 cm, they can be repotted in a larger pot with the same soil used for adult plants and treated as such.
PARASITES AND DISEASES
The edges of the leaves dry out
This symptom is the clear sign that there is low ambient humidity.
Remedies: arrange the plant as indicated in the paragraph: «Watering».
The leaves dry out and fall off
This symptom is due to a state of malaise in the rhizomes, where a rot is probably underway due to excessive watering. To check this, remove the plant from the pot and check them. If you find any soft parts then proceed as follows.
Remedies: remove the rhizomes from the pot and wash them under running water; remove the damaged parts and treat the cut surfaces with a broad spectrum sulfur-based fungicide; repot using a new mixture as indicated in the paragraph "Repotting" and wait a few days before watering.
Presence of small mobile insects on the plant
If you notice small light-colored mobile insects you are almost certainly in the presence of aphids or as they are commonly called lice.Observe them with a magnifying glass and compare them with the photo on the side, they are unmistakable, you can't go wrong.
Remedies: treat the plant with specific pesticides readily available from a good nurseryman. These are generally systemic products, that is, they enter the lymphatic circulation of the plant and are therefore absorbed by the nutrient during nutrition.
The leaves turn yellow and appear mottled with yellow and brown
If the leaves begin to turn yellow and after these manifestations they are crumpled, take on an almost dusty appearance and fall, an infestation due to the red spider mite, a very annoying and harmful mite, has probably incurred. By observing carefully you will also find thin cobwebs especially on the lower page of the leaves.
Remedies: increase the ambient humidity (a dry environment favors their proliferation) and possibly, only in the case of particularly serious infestations, use a specific insecticide.
1) Image taken from the website www.dollyyeh.idv.tw
Common name: Glossinia or Gloxinia.
Origin: South America.
Genre description: includes about 20 species of herbaceous, perennial, tuberous and delicate plants, so much so as to require cultivation in a warm greenhouse, with the possibility of bringing them indoors for the flowering period. The leaves are large, tomentose and opposite or verticillate. The flowers, tubular-campanulate in shape, are velvety and variously colored (depending on the species and varieties).
Sinningia speciosa (photo www.mobot.org)
Sinningia speciosa var. Emperor William (photo www.fotki.com)
Also known as "don't touch me" due to the fragility of its flowers, Impatiens Walleriana is a very common plant especially in balconies that do not enjoy excellent lighting. Native to Africa, this genus of plant has 500 different species, almost all annuals. Specifically, Impatiens Walleriana, also known as Impatiens Holstii, is a perennial species characterized by elongated leaves whose shade can vary from green to bronze.
The flowers appear instead through a wide range of different colors, especially due to the high number of hybrids that exist on the market. However, the sturdy and fleshy stem never exceeds 40cm in height. This plant does not tolerate cold climates and sudden changes in temperature, the ideal temperature is that which is around 18 °. This temperature, if kept constant, can guarantee annual flowering even indoors.
To cultivate the Impatiens Walleriana it is necessary to keep the plant away from its worst enemies: the cold and excess water.
Even if it is a plant that fears low temperatures, it is advisable to keep it away from any direct sunlight and at a temperature that is not below 12 °. The temperature must also be as constant as possible, therefore keep it away from drafts or temperature changes between outside and inside. The watering must be well thought out, it is advisable to dose the water with particular attention. In fact, the earth should be watered only if it is very dry, it is not recommended to water the leaves by nebulizing them, in order not to favor the development of molds in the leaves and the proliferation of parasites on them. Due to the sensitive predisposition to stress it is better not to repot the plant if it is not strictly necessary. In spring it is possible to fertilize and this operation can be repeated after 15 days if necessary.
If you want to multiply the plant, it can be done by cutting, but being very careful not to damage the stem which could fray. More suitable, for this type of plant, is rather the sowing to be carried out in spring, but with specific soil and paying particular attention to fungi that could attack the newly sprouted plants.
Diseases and treatments
Fungi, molds and parasites easily affect Impatiens
Walleriana and its soil, if not kept in optimal conditions.
Unfortunately this beautiful plant fears infestations a little more than the others.
Particular attention must therefore be paid especially because important episodes may require the use of specific insecticides and long treatments to return the plant to optimal conditions and the plant, sensitive by nature, could get stressed.
This occurs above all when the presence of the "red spider" is evident, which presence is manifested through the unsightly yellow spots on the leaves. Lice, on the other hand, are less invasive, but they must still be removed mechanically with a wet cotton swab.
This plant is also well known for its therapeutic properties and for its use in natural preparations such as "Bach flowers". Also very popular for its ability, according to folk medicine, to heal scars and burns.
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Senecio maritimus o S. cineraria o Cineraria maritima: perennial herbaceous species native to the Mediterranean regions. Often grown as an annual species as a bedding plant for silver-white leaves. The inflorescence is composed of small, yellow, daisy-shaped flowers, grouped in corymbs: they must be removed because this plant is appreciated for its foliage. The leaves are up to 15 cm long, divided into 10-12 segments. Leaves and stems are completely covered in a silvery white fluff. It reproduces by sowing or by cutting portions of mature stems.
Senecio cruentus o Cineraria cruenta: annual species native to the Canary Islands. The typical species is sometimes perennial and even the newly selected hybrids are sometimes multi-annual. Many selected varieties (hybrid Cineraries) used especially in flower beds. Among the many varieties on the market we mention: "Stellatus", "Grandiflorus" and "Intermedius".
Senecio elegans o S. purpureus or Jacobaea elegans: annual species native to South Africa, bushy and compact, has oblong, deeply lobed, viscous toothed, dark green and 12 cm long leaves. The inflorescences are composed of many purple-red daisy-shaped flowers (3-4 cm in diameter). Easy to grow, it needs fertile soil and sunny exposure.
Senecio expiration o S. angulata: climbing shrub native to South Africa. It lives well in temperate climates while in cold ones it easily dies down to ground level. Very common in the Riviera where it is used to cover walls (winter flowering). in less favorable climate areas it blooms in October-November. It has small, toothed leaves, 4-8 cm long, the numerous flowers are daisy-shaped, bright yellow and gathered in compact panicles. It reproduces by sowing (in a warm greenhouse) or by cutting.
Senecio greyi: evergreen shrub, with a compact appearance, originally from New Zealand. Particularly suitable for maritime areas. It has oblong-ovate leaves, dark green with a white margin on the upper side, covered with white down on the lower side. The inflorescence is formed by a terminal panicle up to 15 cm long and 12 cm wide, composed of many yellow daisy-shaped flowers. It reproduces by seed or by cutting.
Senecio rowleyano: succulent plant with creeping stems forming a turf. If grown in hanging pots, the stems hang down about 60cm.
Senecio vulgaris (Common Senecione): herbaceous weed typical of cultivated fields. It has a short cycle that takes place in two or three months from the germination of the seed, with several generations per year. Generally 20 to 40 cm tall, with ascending or erect stem, branchy, with alternate, lobed or toothed leaves, the lower ones with a long petiole, the upper sessile flowers are yellow and tubular.
Senecio bicolor (Berlin Botanical Garden) (photo www.agraria.org)
- Leaves discolored with straw yellow spots and yellowed edges: direct sun exposure and / or insufficient watering.
- Shriveled, yellow and withered leaves: insufficient watering and / or humidity.
- Aphids: attack leaves and flowers. They suck the sap and make the plant sticky. They are eliminated by washing the plant and treating it with specific insecticides.
- Cottony mealybugs: it can attack plants, especially in the presence of hot and dry climate. It is necessary to remove them, treat the plant with an anticoccidial product and raise the environmental humidity rate (spraying and foliar washing allow to eliminate the scale insects in the larval state). As an alternative to the chemical product, the affected parts can be scrubbed with a cotton swab soaked in water and alcohol.
- Mites: they can attack buds and buds, causing deformation of leaves and flowers. They fight with acaricidal products.