Clerodendrum Flower: Overview of Species and Growing Features
“The Tree of Fate” or “Love and Innocence”, whatever the name of this plant, to those who first see its flowering, it cannot but sink deep into the soul. Moreover, clerodendrum has many different species, but the most common ones bloom truly unforgettably.
The smell is no less interesting, since each species has its own individual, unique aroma, which comes not only from the flowers, but also from the leaves of the plant. It is not for nothing that clerodendrum is one of the ten most flowering indoor plants.
Description, classification changes
The genus Klerodenrum is currently included in the subfamily Tenacious (Ajugoideae) And it, in turn, is part of the family Lacock (Lamiaceae).
But relatively recently, clerodendrum belonged to the family Verbenovs (Verbenaceae) Thanks to this, until now, some sources of habit continue to rank him in this family.
The homeland of this plant can be called most tropical and subtropical regions of Africa and South Asia (China, Korea). Among the many species there are shrubs, vines, and even small trees.
The shoots of the clerodendrum are quite flexible, but quickly lignified in its lower part, which allows the formation of fairly powerful crowns. On the stems and leaves of many species, there is often pubescence of short hairs. Despite the great diversity of species, all clerodendrums have two characteristic features: tetrahedral stems and the wrinkled surface of the leaves. The leaves are usually very large with brightly visible relief veins.
Well, the flowers are so diverse that it is impossible to describe. Usually they are located at the ends of the shoots, collected in brushes or shields, and differ in a peculiar structure with unique details.
Variety of species
According to various sources, there are from 150 to 400 species in the genus Clerodendum. Only one species was previously present in room culture, but currently the number of species of clerodendrum grown at home is increasing every year. The most popular ones are described below.
- Clerodendrum Thompson (C.thomsoniae) - this species was still grown by our grandmothers - an evergreen vine with shoots up to 3-4 m in length. The leaves are oval or ovoid, slightly wrinkled, with pronounced venation. The flower is a white swollen cup in the shape of a Chinese lantern with a red corolla inside. There are many varieties, including yellow-green leaves. Flowering lasts from March to June.
- Clerodendrum brilliant (C.splendens) is an evergreen curly or erect shrub with large oval and round leaves with a pointed peak and a wavy edge. Red flowers with a green cup can bloom in good conditions from spring to autumn.
- Chinese clerodendrum (C.chinense), a synonym for fragrant clerodendrum (C.fragrans) - a small shrub in nature reaching only 2 meters in height. The stems and leaves are pubescent. The flowers are white or pink, simple or double, with the scent of violets and citruses. With good care, flowering is possible throughout the year.
- Clerodendrum of Wallich (C. Wallichii), synonym for smooth-leaved Clerodendrum (C. laevifolium) - a low shrub with oblong glossy, dark green leaves, with a wavy edge and pointed at the end. The flowers are white with stamens and pestle twice the length of the petals. They are collected in huge racemose inflorescences. For its beauty, this type of clerodendrum is called the “bride veil”.
Indoor care requirements
Light and temperature
Clerodendrum needs a lot of light for flowering and well-being. In this case, direct sunlight is allowed only in the autumn-winter period or in the summer in the morning and evening. Therefore, he will feel good in the summer on the eastern and western windows, and in the winter - on the southern. In all other cases, backlighting is necessary. Interestingly, a lack of light affects clerodendrum even more than a warm winter. It can lead to the absence of flowering, and to the elongation of shoots and even to the falling of leaves.
If we bear in mind the abundantly blooming clerodendrum, then they have pronounced stages of dormancy and active growth. Therefore, in summer, plants contain at standard room temperatures from + 19 ° C to + 25 ° C. In hotter weather, clerodendrum requires too high humidity and flowering will slow down, so it is advisable not to allow this. In winter, for clerodendrum, it is necessary to lower the temperature of the content to + 12 ° C - + 14 ° C. As a result of a warm wintering, partial or complete loss of leaves and damage by a spider mite are possible.
Of course, full flowering is also not expected.
Clerodendrum is sensitive to ethylene, the gas that indoor fruits give off, so do not put them next to the plant. Also, delicate leaves can fade from cigarette smoke and exhaust fumes.
Watering and humidity
Clerodendrum loves to be watered abundantly from the very beginning of the growing season and during the entire flowering period. But the topmost layer of soil should still dry between watering. And with the onset of autumn, watering can be slowly reduced and during the rest period it completely depends on the temperature of the air and soil. Between watering, most of the soil in the pot should dry. But you should not dry a completely earthen lump, otherwise the roots may dry. Sometimes clerodendrum leaves can tell when to water. When they begin to lower slightly, the plant needs to be urgently watered. Only soft, filtered water can be used. It should not be colder than the temperature of the soil.
Although clerodendrum love moist air, regular spraying will be enough for them in the summer. In winter, while observing the cool content, an increase in air humidity by the plant is not necessary at all. And in the case of a warm wintering, it still does not really help.
Clerodendrum is fed only during the period of active growth, from March to September, about twice a month.
It is best to use special fertilizers for flowering plants with a minimum nitrogen content. It is also possible several times a season to feed potassium lignohumate and vermicompost.
Clerodendron is usually transplanted in the spring, when it actively begins to grow. Young plants need an annual transplant. Solid adult specimens should not be disturbed more often than once every 2-3 years. The soil can be made up of equal parts of leaf, turf, peat soil, sand and pine bark. The soil should be slightly acidic. Before planting clerodendrum, the substrate must be disinfected, as is done for seedlings: in the oven, scald with boiling water or with the help of fungicides.
The new capacity is taken only a few centimeters more than the previous one. At the bottom of the pot, a drainage of 3-5 cm high is mandatory. For clerodendrum, the transplant is replaced by transshipment to minimize disturbance to the delicate roots of the plant. All voids in the new tank are covered with fresh soil and spilled abundantly with water.
Pruning is a mandatory procedure for caring for clerodendrum, as a large flowering shrub, not originally intended for development in a pot.
Usually it is carried out at the very beginning of the growing season, when the first signs of active growth appear on the plant. Without spring pruning, clerodendrum may not bloom at all. After all, his flowers appear on the shoots of the current year.
First of all, it is necessary to remove all dry, damaged and weak shoots. Then, all remaining branches are shortened by ¼ of their length.
To form the crown, the shoots can be shortened even more, for example, by half.
Clerodendrum propagated by seeds and stem cuttings in the warm season. Cuttings are taken after pruning and easily rooted in a jar of water. Seeds are sown in the spring under the film and grown with plenty of light and heat.
Of the pests and diseases, aphids and whiteflies are the most dangerous. It is necessary to treat the plants with insecticides. Triple processing is desirable to ensure that the problem is finally resolved.