HOW TO GROW AND CARE FOR OUR PLANTS
The Ceropegia they are delicious succulent plants, very widespread and appreciated above all as hanging plants and for their extreme ease of cultivation.
Species: see the paragraph on "Main species"
The genre Ceropegia includes succulent plants with tuberous roots characterized by particularly intertwined stems with an erect or creeping posture, with very decorative leaves and appreciated for wall covering.
The stems can be erect or creeping and more or less thin and flexible depending on the species. The crawling species are particularly suitable for being kept in hanging baskets and as ground cover.
Ceropegia are plants native to South Africa and the Canary Islands but also from Arabia, China and Australia.
There are about two hundred species in the genus Ceropegia among which we recall the best known and most widespread:
There Ceropegia woodii it is the most widespread and cultivated species, native to South Africa. The stems are very long (up to 90 cm), thin and flexible and of a reddish color that bear the succulent leaves, small and heart-shaped arranged in an opposite way, with white stripes on the upper page and purple on the lower one. The flowers are 2.5 cm long, with a tubular corolla with an enlarged base of brown-red color and appear at the axil of the leaves at the end of summer.
There Ceropegia radicans she is also originally from South Africa.
It has a creeping habit with small fleshy dark green leaves. The flowers are erect with a tubular shape enlarged at the base with green, white and purple lobes welded to the ends.
There Ceropegia fusca unlike the previous ones, it is an upright species and is native to the Canary Islands very similar to a reed.
It has succulent stems, gray in color, often tinged with red with very small leaves. The flower is small in size and inconspicuous.
There Ceropegia dicothoma it is native to the Canary Islands with erect, robust, light green stems, small and narrow deciduous leaves and very light yellow flowers.
The Ceropegia they are not particularly difficult plants to grow if you take into account that, despite their appearance, they are not particularly rustic.
It is a plant that must remain where temperatures do not drop below 7-10 ° C. It can be grown outside but if the temperatures during the cold periods fall below these values, it is good to store the plant in a sheltered area.
They should be exposed in full light, preferably to the south or west.
Air currents, especially cold air currents, must be avoided.
The Ceropegia from spring and throughout the summer they should be watered moderately, making sure that the soil is moist and letting the soil dry between one watering and another.
During the other periods the plant should be watered very moderately, making sure that the soil does not dry out completely.
TYPE OF SOIL - REPOT
The Ceropegia they are repotted in spring using pots slightly larger than the previous one even if it is not a plant that is repotted every year.
A cactus soil or a mixture of fertile soil, peat, decomposed leaves and fine sand, all in equal parts, is used. It is important to ensure good drainage of the irrigation water by placing pieces of earthenware on the bottom of the pot.
The tubers must be planted very superficially (about 1 cm deep) and if the pot will be kept suspended, arrange the tubers at a distance of 4-5 cm between them.
The fertilizer should be administered only during the active growth period, i.e. during the spring-summer period every 2-3 weeks, diluting it in the watering water and halving the doses compared to what is reported in the package.
Using good fertilizers that in addition to having nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) also have microelements such as iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), copper (Cu), zinc ( Zn), boron (B), molybdenum (Mo), magnesium (mg) all important for a correct and balanced growth of the plant.
They are mostly generous plants that bloom during the spring-summer period.
For the Ceropegia we do not speak of real pruning but simply of eliminating the stems and leaves that gradually dry up to prevent them from becoming a vehicle for parasitic diseases.
The multiplication can take place by cuttings or by planting the tuberous growths that form along the stems.
MULTIPLICATION FOR TUBEROUS EXCRESCENCES
The concrescences that grow along the stems of the Ceropegia plant are simply detached in early spring and planted in a soil formed by peat and sand in equal parts.
MULTIPLICATION FOR TALEA
At the beginning of spring, 8-10 cm long cuttings are taken by cutting just below the node with an oblique cut to have a greater surface for rooting.
After removing the lower leaves, they are planted in a compote formed by peat and sand in equal parts.
Place the pot with the cutting in an area of the house where temperatures are around 16-18 ° C and in light shade and water little.
The rooting of the new Ceropegia plant takes place within two months and you will realize this as the new shoots will begin to sprout. At that point you can transfer it to the final pot using a soil as indicated for the adult plant.
PARASITES AND DISEASES
The leaves shrivel
If the leaves wrinkle and fall it means that not enough water is given, especially during the spring-summer period.
Remedies: increase irrigation but always wait for the soil to dry between one watering and another.
The leaves fade and the distance of the stem between one pair of leaves and another becomes significantly longer
This symptom indicates poor lighting.
Remedies: move the plant to a brighter and sunny position.
The plant grows little, loses vigor and does not produce flowers
This symptom is to be attributed to poor fertilization.
Remedies: the plant needs a regular fertilization plan as indicated in the "fertilization" paragraph.
presence of small flaky formations on the plant
Flaky formations on the green parts of the plant can mean the presence of cochineal and mealy cochineal in particular, easily recognizable and if scratched with a fingernail as they come off without problems.
Remedies: they can be eliminated by rubbing them with a cotton swab soaked in alcohol or you can wash the plant with water and neutral soap by rubbing gently with a soft sponge. After that the plant is rinsed thoroughly to remove all the soap.