Description - Violet Flame
The description belongs to the Gesneriaceae family, widely represented in indoor floriculture (Gesneriaceae) Genus Name Description (Episcia) comes from the Greek ‘episkios’ - dark, shaded, it has from 30 to 40 species of plants. In the English sources, the titles are: ‘Flame Violet ’, which means "Violet flame", ‘Peacock Plant ’ (“Peacock Flower”), ‘Chameleon Plant ’ (“Chameleon Plant”) or ‘Orange african violet’ (“Orange African Violet”).
The birthplace of descriptions is the tropical forests of Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Guinea, Suriname and the Antilles. In nature, they grow as undersized creeping grasses, with many lateral shoots, in shady, moist places under trees.
Description of the description
The descriptions have an opposite leaf arrangement, the leaves are elliptical, densely pubescent, depending on the species, from 5 to 20 cm in length and 3-10 cm in width, densely pubescent, usually variegated within the brownish-pinkish-olive-green gamut. A prolonged retention of old leaves by an adult plant, i.e. long stems are not exposed, but are kept completely leafy.
Descriptions are grown mainly for the sake of beautiful foliage, but the flower also looks very beautiful against the background of unusually colored leaves. The flower is a gramophone about 3 cm long and about 1.5 cm in diameter, depending on the species. The petals are usually bright scarlet, the pharynx is yellow mottled, the outer part is red with a longitudinal yellow hatching. But there are varieties of description with pink, orange, yellow, blue, white and speckled flowers.
Rapid growth and prolonged flowering make episodes a valuable subject for room culture. In addition, a very long flowering period is characteristic of the essences - from early spring to late autumn.
Descriptions are usually cultured as ampelous (drooping) plants. Young plants planted in a pot for some time keep upright, but then lay down, at the same time many long side shoots are formed that hang over the edge of the pot. Adult specimens reach a length of about 40-60 cm (rarely more) and have up to 20-30 developed shoots, 5-10 of which can bloom.
Features of growing epistasis at home
Temperature: Moderate during the period of growth and flowering, in winter at least 18 ° C. The description must be protected from drafts.
Lighting: The description likes bright diffused light, but with a lack of lighting, the color of the variegated leaves fades.
Watering: The waterings are sprinkled sparingly during growth and flowering. In winter, watering is cautious and rarer.
Fertilizers: Nutritional supplementation begins around April to early August, weekly. Use special fertilizers for flowering indoor plants.
Air humidity: Descriptions require very high humidity. Pots with these plants are placed on a pan with wet pebbles and, in addition, are regularly sprayed.
Transfer: For growing episodes, it is better to take wide enough pots, not high heights. Transplanted annually in the spring.
Breeding: Seeds, leafy cuttings, daughter rosettes.
The description prefers bright diffused light, without direct sunlight. The best place for placement is windows with a western or eastern orientation. Can grow on northern windows. On windows with a southern orientation, place the plant away from the window or create diffused light with a translucent fabric or paper (gauze, tulle, tracing paper). In winter, the essences provide good lighting.
In all periods, the description prefers air temperature in the region of 20-25 ° C, it is advisable not to lower it below 18 ° C. In the autumn-winter period, drafts should be avoided.
The descriptions are quite sensitive to the watering regime. Excessive moisture and strong overdrying are harmful to them. From spring to autumn, moderate watering is required, as the top layer of the substrate dries. In winter, the watering of the episodes is limited, but the earthen lump is not brought to dryness - they are watered a day or two after drying the upper layer of the substrate. Watered with soft, well-defended water at room temperature.
Since it is undesirable for water to fall on the leaves of the plant, it is advisable to use lower watering.
For the description, increased humidity is desirable. Spraying directly on the plant should not be, as pubescent leaf blades easily rot, so spray the air near the plant by setting the atomizer to a minimum level of spraying. To increase humidity, you can place the pots with the description on trays with wet expanded clay or peat, while the bottom of the pot should not touch the water.
The plant is well suited for growing in mini-greenhouses and terrariums.
During the period of active growth, the springs are fertilized in spring and summer once every 2 weeks with a solution of complex mineral fertilizers, diluted 2 times relative to the instructions for use. Organic fertilizers are also diluted 2 times with respect to the recommended proportion.
Episia grows quite rapidly and therefore requires the formation of a bush. After flowering, the shoots are shortened and daughter rosettes from cut stems are planted in the same pot so that the bush is more magnificent.
Fast-growing ampelous varieties of description have the property of sprawling, easily rooted in neighboring pots. For this reason, it is recommended to suspend plants or put them on pots so that creeping shoots do not take root, as this reduces their decorative value.
Handling plants is recommended annually in the spring. For the cultivation of essences, it is better to take wide enough pots, of small height. The soil should have a slightly acidic or neutral reaction (pH 5.5-6.5). The soil mixture consists of 2 parts of leafy soil, 1 part of peat (or greenhouse land) and 1 part of river sand, sphagnum moss and pieces of charcoal. Also, the substrate for the description can consist of sheet soil, peat and sand (3: 1: 1), with the addition of sphagnum and charcoal.
You can use purchased Violet mixtures, etc. Provide good drainage and large drain holes at the bottom of the pot.
Descriptions are easily propagated by stem cuttings, individual leaves and seeds. Propagation by seeds will lead to the loss of varietal characteristics. The easiest way to propagate is the rooting of the side shoots. Developed shoots with 3-4 nodes without their own lateral processes are placed in water, but do not immerse them deeply (no more than 3-4 cm).
You can also, without separating the daughter rosette of the description from the mother plant, substitute the pot and dig a shoot in the area of the bend a few centimeters into the moist soil. Usually there are no problems with rooting of stem cuttings - they will take root within you within a week.
It must be remembered that the temperature of the soil during the rooting of the epistemia should be at least +18 ° C, and preferably around +25 ° C. Young plants pass several times as they grow (with a frequency of once a month), i.e. transplanted without destroying the earthen coma into the dishes, 2-3 cm larger in diameter than the previous one. The maximum pot size for adult plants is about 20 cm in diameter.
A simple way of propagating the epithets with stem cuttings is to root them directly in the soil substrate. They are separated and planted in light soil in a small pot (diameter 7-9 cm) and placed in a hotbed or cover the pot with a jar.
For descriptions, the so-called "Light" earth mixes. The substrate should pass water and air well, pH about 5.5. You can use land mixtures designed for violets (senpolia). Here is one of them: take 4 parts (for example 4 cups) of “leaf” land, add 1 part peat and 1 part sand. You can add a little crushed sphagnum moss or charcoal. At the bottom of the pot, put drainage of fine expanded clay, crushed polystyrene or pebbles.
For descriptions, in principle, you can use land mixtures sold in stores for indoor plants, however, it must be borne in mind that almost all of them are made on the basis of peat and it is advisable to add leaf soil in a ratio of 1: 1, you must also monitor so that the pH of the mixture is about 5.5. The sheet earth is the topsoil (5 cm) from under the roots of birches, lindens.
It can also be used for descriptions by adding coarse sand (correspondingly 1 part of sand to 4 parts of the earth by volume); or small expanded clay (in the ratio. 1: 6); or other baking powder: perlite (1: 5); crushed sphagnum moss (1: 5); peat (1: 3).
The following mixture is used in the cultivation of descriptions: 2 parts of grassroots peat, 2 parts of leafy land and 1 part of crushed dry sphagnum moss. Sphagnum moss has several advantages over other baking powder: it is very porous, extremely hygroscopic, has a slightly acidic pH that is optimal for descriptions and has anisyptic properties, which is very convenient when propagating these plants without intermediate rooting in water.
Possible difficulties in growing essences
Descriptions are not affected by the main sucking pests that are common in indoor culture. The main danger for them is rot, caused by excessive moisture in the soil with insufficient lighting and low temperatures in winter. It is also possible to rot stem and leaf cuttings of the description during propagation.
Prevention of rot: the exclusion of waterlogging in the pot (mandatory availability of drainage holes in the bottom of the pot, watering after drying of the top layer of soil in the pot); adding crushed charcoal (5-10% by volume) or milled dry moss of sphagnum (10-20% by volume) to the soil during transplantation. A plant with a rotten or diseased root system appears sluggish with wet soil in a pot. Cuttings are cut from such a plant and root them either in a jar of water or immediately in the ground. The old soil must be discarded, and the dishes boiled.
With very dry air, the tips of the leaves may dry out and young growth may fade. Irregular watering may cause the leaves to curl in some varieties. In too intense sunlight, the leaves may fade. In a very dark place, the plants also lose their color and they become very small.
Descriptions can be affected by aphids, mealybugs, root nematodes, and other root pests. Control measures - the use of drugs with an insecticidal effect: actellik, neon, cymbush, etc. It is necessary to spray the plant with a solution and water the soil so that the liquid comes out of the drainage hole in the bottom. Treatments are repeated 2-3 times with an interval of 7-10 days. When infected with a nematode (causing the formation of tumors on the roots), cuttings are cut from the plant, the earth is thrown away, and the dishes are boiled.
Popular types of essays
Carnation (Episcia dianthiflora)
Synonym: Alsobia clove (Alsobia dianthiflora) - isolated in a separate genus Alsobia. The birthplace of the plant is Mexico. A perennial tropical plant with two types of shoots: shortened with close leaves and long thin, darkening with age, rooting in nodes (mustaches) bearing daughter rosettes.
The leaves are small, 3 cm long, 2 cm wide, elliptical to ovate, along the edge of the town, dark green with a purple midrib, short-velvety pubescent. The flowers are single, white with purple dots in the throat and fringe lobes along the edge of the limb. There are a number of highly decorative varieties.
Episcia copper red (Episcia cupreata)
It grows in shady places, at an altitude of 2000 m above sea level, in tropical rainforests in Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil. A perennial herb, has significantly larger sizes than the previous species. Creeping shoots, easily rooted in the substrate.
The leaves are elliptical, round-elliptic, at the base almost heart-shaped, 6-13 cm long and 4-8 cm wide, densely pubescent; brown-green to copper on top, with a white broad stripe along the middle vein and spots, reddish below, with a green stripe in the middle. Single flowers, fiery red or scarlet red; corolla tube 2-2.5 cm long, inside yellow and red spots, outside red. It blooms in summer, in July-September.
It is actively used when crossing and has many cultural forms and varieties:
- with very large (11-14 cm) leaves, brownish-olive above, shiny, greenish-silver along the veins, pinkish below;
- with leaves silver-gray-green, shiny, with a brownish-olive edge and spots between the veins, pinkish below the edge;
- with large, brownish-olive leaves, softly pubescent, with a wide bright copper strip along the middle vein;
- with leaves rigidly pubescent, silver-greenish with a brownish-green edge and spots between the lateral veins;
- with leaves smooth, light green with silver stripes along the middle and lateral veins.
Creeping Episcia (Episcia reptans)
It occurs in shady places in tropical rainforests in Brazil, Colombia, Guiana, Suriname. Perennial herbaceous plants. Creeping shoots, long, branched. The leaves are elliptical, 4-8 cm long and 2-5 cm wide, heart-shaped at the base, densely pubescent, olive green and brown on top, reddish below, slightly wrinkled above, serrate-ciliated at the edges; along the middle vein and up to half the length of the lateral veins with a silver-green narrow strip.
The flowers are solitary, located in the axils of the leaves, on the red pedicels; corolla tube 2.5-3.5 cm long; pharynx of corolla 2 cm in diameter, pink inside, red outside. It blooms in July-September. It is widely used as an ampel plant.