HOW TO GROW AND CARE FOR OUR PLANTS
L'Exacum , small bushy plant particularly suitable for summer decorations when covered with fragrant flowers.
Species: see the paragraph on "Main species"
The genre Exacum belonging to the family of Gentianaceae, includes about forty species of small bushy plants where the only one that adapts to be bred in is the Exacum affine.
L'Exacum affine it is a small plant that looks like a small roundish bush of small dimensions not exceeding 25 cm in height, with opposite, glossy, oval-shaped leaves. The flowers grow numerous in summer, fragrant, lilac or white with, in both cases, evident bright yellow stamens. They are all native to the island of Socotra, in the Indian Ocean.
It is a perennial plant but is normally grown as an annual.
L'Exacum it is a very simple plant to grow. It requires high temperatures, even 30 ° C, a humid environment and excellent exposure to light but not to direct sunlight. Minimum temperatures must not drop below 15 ° C.
Most of the time the Exacum it is treated as an annual plant, that is, when it blooms, it is left to dry in consideration of the fact that it is extremely easy to obtain it by seed. However, if you want to preserve and therefore treat as a perennial, it is simply possible, during the autumn-winter period, not to let it dry out.
During the period of active growth (spring - summer) the soil must always be kept moist but not soaked.
The best way to water the plant of Exacum is to leave it for a few minutes in the saucer filled with water and wait for the earth to absorb the water it needs.
During the autumn-winter period, if you want to raise the plant as a perennial, watering is reduced starting from the moment the plant fades and watered just enough so that the soil does not dry out.
TYPE OF SOIL - REPOT
A good potting soil to use forExacum it consists of garden soil, peat and sand.
There Exacum fertilize once a week throughout the spring-summer period, halving the doses compared to what is stated in the fertilizer package.
During the other periods they must be suspended.
L'Exacum it blooms throughout the summer - autumn period and the flowering will last longer if you have the foresight to promptly remove the flowers from the plant as they wither.
L'Exacum it is a plant that cannot be pruned.
The Multiplication of Exacum occurs by seed.MULTIPLICATION BY SEEDS
The multiplication by seeds of theExacum it takes place either at the end of the summer or in the spring. In the first case, the plant will flower before the following summer; in the second case, flowering will begin in the summer and continue throughout the autumn. So to enjoy the flowers of this delicious plant for a long time, it will be better to sow part of the seeds in September and part of March.
Distribute the seeds evenly in a tray containing seed soil and bury them lightly. Since the seeds are small, you can help them with a flat piece of wood.
Place the tray with the seeds in the shade, at a temperature around 24 ° C and keep the soil constantly moist (use a sprayer to completely moisten the soil) until the moment of germination.To ensure a constant temperature and prevent the soil from drying out too quickly, cover the tray with a transparent plastic sheet (if you do not have a multiplication box available) that you will remove every day to check the humidity of the soil (it must always be moist) that to remove the condensation that will surely have formed on the plastic.
When the first plants begin to sprout, remove the plastic sheet permanently and gradually the plants of Exacum grow, increase the amount of light (never direct sun) and ensure good ventilation. The less vigorous plants must be eliminated because in this way you will guarantee more space for the more robust ones.
When the plants are large enough to be handled, you will transplant them into pots no more than 7 cm in diameter which you will place in an area away from drafts and direct sun. Always keep the soil moist and every day rotate the plants 180 ° to make them grow straight.
When they have reached a height of 6 cm, they should be transplanted into larger pots arranged in groups. For example, to have a nice bush you can use a 15 cm diameter pot where 5 seedlings will be placed.
To obtain a well branched plant, be careful to pinch the apical buds of the plant.
PARASITES AND DISEASES
If you overdo it with irrigation or if you leave the water to stagnate, the plant can easily undergo root rot.
Remedies: immediately flare the plant and eliminate the damaged roots and treat them with broad spectrum powdered fungicides; after which let the soil dry, repot the plant and wait at least a week before proceeding with the following irrigations to give the wounds time to heal.