Aptenia - blooming succulent, all the secrets of leaving
Evergreen aptenia is a tropical succulent, recognizable by its fleshy green leaves and small colorful flowers. Due to the unpretentiousness inherent in succulents, the plant is often grown at home.
Care and propagation of a flower at home, methods of combating diseases and pests, although they are not particularly difficult, they have some nuances.
Succulent belongs to the Aizov familywhose homeland is hot Africa and South America. The name of aptenia is translated from Greek as "midday flower." The plant got its name due to the property of flowers blooming just before noon.
The flower is a native of hot countries, therefore, it requires appropriate conditions for growing a house. These include a specific irrigation system, temperature conditions, moisture parameters, soil requirements, fertilizers, popular methods of reproduction. A feature of succulents is the ability to grow outside the pot on street flower beds.Alpine roller coaster.
The main types of aptenia
The plant has large, fleshy, heart-shaped leaves. Inflorescences are small in size, blue, red, and purple. There are several varieties of aptenia adapted for cultivation at home.
Aptenia hearty (Aptenia Cordiflora)
Fast growing plant. It can be grown both in a pot and on the street as a ground cover crop. The heart-shaped variety of aptenia has the following characteristics:
- height up to 25 cm;
- fleshy lanceolate leaves;
- bright green color;
- inflorescences are small, consist of several flowers no larger than 1.5 cm in size.
The flowering is plentiful. Flowers are formed in the upper axils of the leaves, on the lateral shoots of the plant. The shade of the inflorescences is purple, raspberry.
Differs from the previous variety of aptenia in smaller leaf sizes, smaller large flowers. The most striking difference in the colors of the leaves: succulent has shoots of a gentle green shade with light spots, which is clearly visible in the photo.
They can have any size, shape. The most common plants with leaves framed by a white border. A feature is associated with a gene mutation that blocks photosynthesis in the light parts of foliage.
Gardeners love aptenia for a long flowering period. When creating good conditions, it can be observed from April to the end of August. Inflorescences open until noon, as this requires bright sunlight.
Interesting! Aptenia flowers tend to close at night.
You can achieve abundant flowering, a bright shade of the leaves of the plant, observing the simple rules for caring for succulent.
Aptenia tolerates direct sunlight, so you should choose the most lighted windows. An ideal option can be considered the western, eastern sides. When growing on the street, the plant needs to be planted on a site that is not obscured by larger neighbors.
It is important to understand that when the light decreases, the succulent blooms less actively, and the inflorescences decrease in size.
Important! With a lack of sunlight, the flower should be “illuminated” with the help of phytolamps.
In winter, it’s important maintain air temperature at + 8 ... 10 ° С. If the recommended norm is exceeded, additional illumination is required so that the plant does not fall into hibernation.
Optimal summer air temperature is + 22 ... 25 ° C. Preparing for the winter, it is necessary to gradually reduce the temperature to the recommended levels.
Aptenia requires moistening the soil as needed. You can check whether the succulent needs watering by probing the topsoil - the soil must be dry. It is important that the earth does not crack from drying out.
Waterlogging is also not recommended., this is fraught with decay of the root system. In summer, the frequency of watering is 1 time in 3-5 days. In winter, soil moisture is reduced to 1 time in 10-14 days.
Important! Wrinkles should not be allowed on the foliage - this indicates a lack of moisture.
Use only pre-settled water at room temperature. Cold tap water is not permitted.
In winter, you need to avoid overdrying foliage. Important remove succulents from hot heating radiators, room heaters. In the spring, in the summer moistening of foliage by spraying is allowed.
The procedure is optional if during the cold period the aptenia was subjected to a decrease in temperature.
In winter, the plant does not need to make nutrient mixtures. Active soil fertilization can begin in spring. The procedure is repeated once every 25-30 days.
It is recommended to use ready-made liquid top dressing for succulents (it is important to choose fertilizers with a low nitrogen content). Before use, the drug must be diluted with water according to the instructions specified by the manufacturer.
Planting, transplanting succulents is carried out in the soil mixture for cacti. Soil can be purchased at a flower shop, made independently. Earth should consist of the following components:
- 1 part of turf;
- 1 part of hardwood soil;
- 1 part of neutral acid peat;
- 1 part of river sand.
The components must be thoroughly mixed, slightly moistened before use.
Before flowering begins, the plant must accumulate vitality, therefore appenia organize a period of rest. It lasts from December to March.
It is important to maintain the recommended temperature conditions to give the succulent a rest, to avoid falling of leaves, yellowing of shoots.
The formation of the plant by pruning should be carried out in the fall, before the start of the dormant period. It is also allowed to prune an aptenia in spring, but this is fraught with a late onset of flowering.
Advice! When dropping foliage during the dormant period, it is recommended to cut the shoots in winter.
When succulent is cultivated in a pot, transplanting to a large capacity is required 1-2 times a year. A frequent need is associated with the growth rate of the root system of the flower. When growing in the garden, changing the cultivation site is not required.
The transplantation algorithm is as follows:
- Carefully remove the plant from the old pot. No need to try to free the roots from the old soil.
- At the bottom of the new tank, place drainage - expanded clay, finely chopped polystyrene.
- Put the flower in a larger pot.
- Gently fill the edges with fresh soil.
Advice! 2-3 days after transplanting, the plant should be abundantly watered.
There are several basic methods to increase the appenia population:
- Seed way involves planting seeds in the ground. Under favorable conditions, the first sprouts appear after a few days. It is important to maintain air temperature at + 21 ... 24 ° С. Seedlings are covered with a plastic film to provide a microclimate. Germinated succulents are moderately watered to prevent root decay.
- Propagation by cuttings. A lateral shoot needs to be separated from the mother plant, dried for 2-3 hours in a dark, dry room. After this, the cuttings are planted in containers with sand. It is important to maintain a constant humidity of sand for 7-14 days before the appearance of the first roots. Shoots can be placed in water with the addition of activated carbon for the appearance of roots, then transplanted into the ground.
Novice gardeners choose the method of propagation by cuttings, since it is difficult to obtain seeds when cultivating succulent at home.
Diseases and Pests
Often problems arise with improper care:
- Leaf fall indicates an overdry or excessive moistening of an earthen coma. It is important to establish a watering regime.
- Lack of flowering observed in low light, short daylight. You can solve the problem with additional lighting.
- Rotting shoots observed with stagnation of moisture. A plant transplant is required.
Aptenia can be affected by such insects as aphids, scale insects, mealybug. To control pests, it is recommended to use a weak solution of laundry soap, special insecticides.