A very unusual and rather interesting plant is kufeya. In the wild, it is found only in America, or rather, in its southern and central parts. This unusual name comes from the Greek word "kyphos", which translates as bent, crooked. Perhaps this flower has acquired such an unusual name due to its curved fruits. On the lands of America, you can find about 250 species of kufei, which also include annual dwarf shrubs and shrubs.
As an annual garden plant, kufeyu is grown by gardeners living in the northern latitudes. However, this flower is also grown indoors. This plant can winter well in the southern regions, and it is most often grown there as a perennial shrub.
Flowering in kufei is quite long and it begins in March, and ends only in October. During this period, his terry bushes become incredibly beautiful and refined. Most often, this shrub is planted in rather voluminous vases or concrete containers are used.
From the seeds of an annual species of this plant, laurel acid is obtained, the use of which has been found in chemical production. Gardeners, on the other hand, began to grow this shrub quite recently, about 15 years ago. Breeders have developed about 10 new types of kufei.
KUFEYA is a new acquisition for my windowsill.
Choose a place for planting kufei should be one where there is a sufficiently large amount of light. It should also be borne in mind that she simply needs direct rays of the sun for normal growth and development.
In the southern regions, this lovely plant can be planted directly in the garden and grown like an annual shrub. These lush bushes of incredible beauty can also be grown on a balcony or terrace, in a flower bed, as well as in a pot, hanging planter, etc.
In the event that the kufeya grows in a pot, it can be taken outside during the warm summer months so that it can enjoy the fresh air. It is necessary to put the pot in a bright place, which will be well protected from the wind. With the onset of October, the flower is brought onto a closed veranda. And with the onset of frost, it is returned to its usual place.
In order for the bush to look beautiful and well-groomed, you should regularly remove dry leaves and flowers, as well as dead parts.
This plant needs to be watered abundantly in spring and summer. When the cold begins, the number of watering should be reduced, but this should be done gradually.
This adorable bush does great at room temperature. But in winter, he needs a temperature of only 5 degrees Celsius. Pruning should be done in the last weeks of winter. The branches should be shortened by 1/3 part. This is done to rejuvenate old shoots.
Watering is often and abundantly in spring and summer, watering is reduced in autumn, bringing it to a minimum in winter.
Fertilize the soil often enough. Kufeya has a very positive attitude towards organic fertilizers. In spring and summer, top dressing is done every time during watering. For this in 10 liters. water dissolve 20 grams of complex mineral fertilizer.
If desired, once every 1-2 weeks, you can fertilize with a water-soluble complex fertilizer for foliar feeding. In this case, the resulting solution should be sprayed on the foliage. And for a change, you can feed the plant with fertilizer for flowering.
It needs to be replanted every year. For this, you need to choose a soil that is perfectly drained and fertile. In order to make the desired mixture yourself, it is necessary to mix sheet soil (after sterilizing it), sand and peat in a 2: 1: 1 ratio.
This plant is mainly propagated by cuttings. For this, not very lignified ones are selected. It is best to do this on warm spring days, while the daytime outside temperature should be at least 18 degrees.
To make the bush look more beautiful, you need to plant several cuttings in one pot at once. After the 3rd pair of leaves appears, you will need to pinch the top.
Also, this wonderful plant can be grown from seeds. To do this, it is best to purchase seeds of such varieties as kufeya lanceolate or Dutch red selection. The months April and May are great for sowing. For good seedlings, a temperature of 18-22 degrees is needed (this also applies to propagation by cuttings). The seeds should be placed in a not very large container, and covered with a polyethylene bag on top. This container must be placed on the windowsill, and it must be warm. In this case, it is not necessary to fill in the earth. When the sprouts appear, the seeds are placed in small glasses. After the flowers grow up, they are transplanted into another more spacious container.
Kufeya. Cuttings, care.
Dark spots can form on the foliage, and there are also frequent cases of rotting of the root neck or other parts of the bush. This plant is also susceptible to attack by the whitefly. Often, diseases of kufei are associated with the appearance of gray rot or mold. If such problems are found, it will be necessary to process the bush with a special preparation for this type of rot, as well as a fungicide.
It is interesting
There is an opinion that kufeya contributes to the rapprochement of people. As a result, it is often grown in meeting rooms and offices. And if you put a pot with an elegant bush in the room, then the atmosphere in it will become more favorable and cheerful.
Among gardeners, the following types are popular:
The bush of an adult plant reaches a height of half a meter. It is decorated with thick, very beautiful foliage, as well as lovely flowers that have a white or purple color. Grown from seed, however, acquiring them is quite difficult. As a rule, seeds are highly germinating and are sown in a greenhouse or in open ground.
By right, the best "creation" of breeders. This is an excellent ampelous plant on which bright red flowers bloom in a huge amount, cascading in cascades. Sometimes it is grown as a not very large bush. Its magnificent appearance will surely attract attention even among the sea of other colors. The fact is that bright red flowers contrast beautifully with dark greens.
This species is very popular among gardeners, and it grows well in an apartment environment. It is also called a "cigarette", and this is due to the flowers (similar to tubes) of red color with dark edges, which is very similar to a smoldering cigarette. This shrub is very fond of warmth and should be taken out into the street only in the last days of May or the first days of June. It looks like a neat little bush that blooms very beautifully with bright red flowers. He will make your windowsill, loggia or balcony elegant.
This annual shrub is distinguished by its elegance and beauty. It has gorgeous, dark, dense leaves, and its flowers are rather small, having a red wine color. Most often it is grown in hanging pots, in a flower bed or in a container. And also this plant looks very impressive both in group planting and in single planting. It is propagated by cuttings, the flowering of which begins from the first days of the next summer.
This is a neat small bush that perfectly retains its shape and does not disintegrate due to heavy rain or wind. As a rule, propagates by cuttings. Since May, cuttings of this wonderful shrub can already be purchased at the flower shop. Despite the fact that the flowers are small in size. Such a kufeya looks very impressive during flowering, since there are incredibly many pink, white or lilac flowers on it, and they completely cover the bush. This species is very thermophilic and needs quite abundant watering. Most often grown in patios or on balconies.
The bush usually reaches a height of 0.9 meters. Its flowers are painted in a dark lilac color and have an elongated tubular and at the same time incredibly beautiful shape. It blooms for a very long time from July to October. As a rule, reproduction takes place at the expense of seeds.
Like all flowering houseplants, crossandra prefers well-lit places. Such a place can be a window sill of any window in the south direction. But in the summer, if you do not take the plant out into the fresh air, the flower should be protected from the scorching sunlight. She tolerates the neighborhood with other indoor plants easily, and even prefers it to loneliness.
Note. If in the summer you decide to take the crossandra out into the fresh air, then be sure to protect it from wind and precipitation. The flower is delicate and can be severely damaged by rain and wind.
In winter, the plant requires no less light than in summer, and the southern windows are the best place for them. But if this is not possible, then artificial lighting should be organized for the crossandra.
Normal room temperature is fine for keeping the crossandra. In this respect, she is not picky. The temperature range is quite wide + 18-28 degrees. But it is also undesirable to go beyond these limits. In the summertime, try to keep the temperature below +30, and in winter it does not drop below +15. The main thing that you need to pay attention to is the inadmissibility of a sharp change in temperature and the presence of cold drafts.
Crossandra is very sensitive to improper watering. Both overdrying and waterlogging are equally harmful to her. The next watering should be carried out only after the top layer of soil in the pot dries up. But you cannot delay watering. This is especially dangerous on hot summer days, when the earth dries up very quickly. Crossandra reacts instantly to dry earthen coma. Its leaves droop and become slightly lethargic.
Important! If you do not take action immediately, you can lose the plant. Without water, the crossandra can die within a day.
The best way to restore the plant is by immersion. Regular overhead watering may not be enough. The method consists in immersing the plant pot in a container of water. In this state, the earth in the pot is completely saturated with earth. If you completely immerse the pot in a bucket of water, you can see air bubbles squeezed out of the ground by the water. You can hold the plant in water until the leaves of the crossandra regain their previous elasticity. Usually an hour or an hour and a half is enough. Or you can take it out after the air bubbles on the surface of the earth cease to stand out.
The quality of the water should also be considered carefully. Do not use tap water. She and with different impurities, and cold. If possible, filter it, but it is better to have a supply of settled, warm water. The frequency of watering depends mainly on the season and the condition of the plant. In winter, watering is significantly reduced. It also decreases in the intervals between flowering.
Like any native of the tropics, the crossandra needs high humidity. It should be at least 70% at a high temperature of the content and at least 50% at a low one. It is not particularly difficult to create acceptable moisture for the plant. You can limit yourself to frequent spraying several times a day. But it is better to use other methods of air humidification together with them. So the simplest thing is to put a pot of crossandra in a deep tray with wet expanded clay, pebbles or moss. You can place a container filled with water next to the pot. The most ideal option is an air humidifier.
Note. When spraying crossandra, try to avoid getting water on flowers and buds.
Do not forget about regular ventilation of the room. This is especially true in winter, when the air is dry by heating devices. Protect the plant from drafts while airing, or rather, move it to another room.
Fertilizers are applied during the growing season and flowering of the crossandra. Fertilizers are commonly used for flowering houseplants, both mineral and organic. A good result is given by the alternation of mineral and organic fertilizers. If there are no specific instructions for the use of a particular fertilizer, then you can feed the crossandra once every 10 days.
This plant blooms for a long time. Almost all summer - from late spring to early autumn. It blooms very beautifully! And the leaves of the crossandra can compete with many decorative deciduous plants. The flowers are odorless and are collected in inflorescences. Their color and size may be different, but this already depends on the variety. The lifespan of each individual flower is short. After flowering, a seed capsule forms on the plant. But if you want the flowering of the crossandra to be long, the inflorescence starting to fade, you need to cut it off. Soon the plant will give a young peduncle.
The most optimal time for pruning a crossandra is after flowering, in the fall. The pruning is carried out thoroughly. In addition to hygienic pruning, that is, removing all dry and damaged branches, branches that grow inside the bush, are unnecessarily thin and fatty, are cut out. Also, during pruning, a more neat look is given, too long branches are pruned. Sometimes spring, light pruning of the crossandra is carried out. Twigs that have dried up during the winter and are too weak are removed.
Attention should also be paid to pinching young shoots. This stimulates the formation of lateral branches of the plant, prevents exposing and stretching of skeletal branches. This is especially true for young plants.
Prolonged flowering and existence in atypical conditions for themselves require full-fledged winter rest for the crossandra. In places of its natural growth, such a period is absent for it. But new conditions of existence dictate new rules. The days are getting shorter and cooler as the plant prepares to go dormant. During this period, the rules for caring for a crossandra also change.The temperature of the content decreases to a level of + 15-17 degrees, feeding completely stops, the level of air humidity decreases, and watering is significantly reduced.
Note. During the rest period, the crossandra should not be sprayed, maintaining the required level of humidity in other ways. Spraying can be replaced by wiping the leaves with a damp sponge.
But even during the rest period, the crossandra needs good lighting. Keeping the southern window on the windowsill will help to solve two problems at once - to provide a lower temperature and sufficient lighting. Otherwise, you will have to illuminate the plant with lamps. Before the end of the dormant period (late winter - early spring), the crossandra must be prepared for the active period. Carry out hygienic pruning, pinch, slightly trim the tops of young shoots to heighten branching and future flowering.
The first and most necessary transplant is carried out immediately (or almost immediately) after the purchase of the plant. Immediately, this is in the event that a non-flowering plant was purchased. If the crossandra blooms, then you should wait until the end of flowering, and then immediately transplant. This is due to the fact that the earthen mixture for indoor plants sold in stores is essentially a technical mixture saturated with various stimulants. When their effect ends, the soil becomes practically unusable.
First, you need to thoroughly soak the earthen lump. This can be done either by the immersion method described above, or by watering it abundantly. Gently remove the plant from the pot and carefully, taking care not to damage the roots, clean them of the soil. You may still have to soak the ground. If a little soil remains on the roots that cannot be removed, leave it.
Choose a new pot in such a way that it is slightly larger than the technical one in which the crossandra was. Check the presence and size of the drainage holes in the pot. Make additional or expand existing ones if necessary. Create a good drainage layer on the bottom of the pot. Then a layer of prepared nutrient soil. The layer should be of such a thickness that when a plant is placed on it, the root collar is above the surface of the ground. Top up the rest of the earth.
Note. Crossandra transplantation with a complete land replacement is carried out only after purchase or in case of emergency. All subsequent transplants are carried out by the transshipment method, that is, without clearing the land. It is only slightly allowed to clear the outer layer of the coma without touching the roots.
Water the plant after transplanting. If the ground has subsided, then fill it up.
As a rule, young plants are replanted annually in spring. Young crossandra is considered up to three years of age. Each subsequent pot should be no more than 2-3 centimeters larger than the previous one, and maybe less. It all depends on the growth of the root system.
Regular transplants are unnecessary for adult plants. They are carried out only as needed, for example - when the pot is clearly small. Crossandra has a hard time transferring transplants, she should not be disturbed once again. You can limit yourself to the annual change of the top layer of the earth.
It can arise as a result of improper watering of the plant or infection by a fungus. In this case, the root system of the crossandra decays or the soil becomes acidic, which also leads to decay of the roots. The plant is immediately removed from the pot, the roots are completely cleared of soil. Then you should carefully examine the roots and remove rotten and damaged areas. Sprinkle the cut sites with activated charcoal or charcoal powder. You can pre-dip them in a solution of any fungicide. After transplanting, water the flower by adding the same fungicide to the water.
Note. After any of the transplants, the crossandra should not be fed for two months.
The easiest way is to purchase ready-made soil in the store. But you can cook it yourself.
Leafy ground - three parts
Compost soil - three parts
Peat - three parts
Clean coarse sand - one piece.
This mixture will be both loose and nutritious.
Note. Self-prepared soil for crossandra should be heat treated. For example, steam in an old saucepan with a little water.
It can be propagated both by seeds and cuttings. The seed method of reproduction is more laborious, long and unreliable, but it has a right to exist. Therefore, we will consider both of these methods.
Seeds can be used either from your own plant or purchased. But when propagated by its own seeds, it is almost certain that the maternal traits of the plant will not be preserved. When planting purchased seeds, there is a chance of getting the expected result.
Before sowing seeds, they should be prepared. Preparation consists in soaking the seeds in a stimulant solution (epin, zircon, heteroauxin). In a warm solution, the seeds are kept for a couple of hours, after which they are sown in a light mixture. A mixture for growing seedlings may work, but you can make a mixture of peat and sand or perlite. You can also add a little sphagnum moss there to retain moisture.
Crossandra seeds are not buried deep in the ground, a maximum of 0.5 centimeters. After sowing, the soil is moistened, and the container with seeds is covered with glass or foil and placed in a bright, warm place. The optimum temperature for seed germination is + 20-22 degrees. You will have to wait relatively shortly. After two to three weeks, you can see the result. Throughout the entire period, monitor the moisture content of the earth, ventilate. When the seedlings grow up, they can be cut into small pots or plastic cups, and at the end of summer they can be transferred into large (about 9-10 centimeters) pots. From this moment, you can begin to form the future flower, pinch the tops.
This method is simpler and more reliable. Cuttings are carried out in the spring. You can combine it with spring hygienic pruning. For rooting, cuttings 7-10 centimeters long are suitable. Before planting, remove the lower leaves and make an oblique cut on the lower part of the cutting to increase its area. Dip the cut in root powder before planting. Planting soil can be used the same as for sowing crossandra seeds. Ideally, if there is a greenhouse with bottom heating, but in the absence of such, the handle can be covered with a glass jar or a plastic wrap cap, placing this structure on a warm and light windowsill. Within 3-4 weeks, depending on the temperature, the cutting will take root. After rooting, young plants are transplanted into small, about 9-10 centimeters, pots. The tops of the cuttings are pinched.
There is a simpler and more visual way of rooting crossandra cuttings - in water. To eliminate the likelihood of rotting of the cutting, throw an activated carbon tablet into a container of water and place the cutting itself in it. To speed up the appearance of roots, you can add a little root or heteroauxin to the water. Monitor the water level, add if necessary. When the length of the roots reaches a centimeter in length, the plant can be planted in a pot with soil.
Some difficulties in growing crossandra
Crossandra does not bloom
In the crossandra, the leaves turn black and fall. The reason is usually low temperature of the content or cold drafts. Only rearrangement to another, more comfortable place can help.
The leaves have become faded, whitish. Most likely, this is exposure to scorching sunlight, sunburn.
The leaves become reddish. The reason is the same - too much sun.
The leaves turn yellow and wither en masse. Clear signs of root rot. An emergency transplant with examination and root treatment is required. If all the roots have become dark, lethargic, fibrous, the plant cannot be saved. But if the affected roots are few, then they should be removed, treated with a fungicide, sprinkled with activated carbon powder and planted in fresh soil. All affected leaves and twigs should also be removed. To make it easier for the roots, you can also tame the main trunk of the plant. After transplanting, water, and do not water again until new shoots have come out.
The tips of the leaves of the crossandra turn yellow, the petioles dry out. A clear sign of insufficient air humidity.
Leaves have brown spots. Too low temperature combined with waterlogged soil.
The leaves become pale, the veins stand out clearly, sometimes acquiring a reddish tint. This is chlorosis. Transplant the plant into fresh soil and start treatment with specialized preparations containing iron chelate, or with a solution of the iron chelate itself according to the instructions for them.
The leaves of the crossandra drooped. The reason may be either insufficient air humidity or dryness of the soil.
Crossandra has several enemies. These are aphids, whiteflies, spider mites, mealybugs. Their identification and control are described in detail in separate articles. For review, follow the links. But the best fight against disease and pests is careful care and prevention.
Successful cultivation and lush flowering.
You can get new copies of kufei using its seeds or cuttings.
Seed propagation is rarely resorted to: the seeds of kufei are small enough and have a low percentage of germination. If the bush is nevertheless decided to grow from seeds, they are superficially placed on wet soil, lightly pressing to the surface, but not sprinkling. During germination, seeds form a sticky substance, and if they are not separated, they can stick together. Crops are covered with glass or foil and kept at a temperature of about 22 degrees. A week later, with the appearance of sprouts, the shelter is removed. Seedlings dive into individual pots as soon as they form the first leaves.