Beloperone

Beloperone

This home plant will be appreciated by lovers of bright exotic cultures. To some, the inflorescences resemble a shrimp and a crayfish neck, but most people consider this ear to look like a firebird feather. Another popular name is room hops. The feature for which flower growers value white beloperone is the ability of this flower to bloom all year round. But in order for the bush to please with its decorative effect for many months in a row, proper cultivation and competent care are necessary.

Description

The homeland of the flower is considered to be the tropics and subtropics, where it grows in the form of a shrub. This evergreen plant in the wild grows up to several meters in height. The name comes from Greek and translates as the tip of an arrow. This is due to the characteristic shape of the peduncles.

There are several dozen species in the genus, and flower growers often choose those that do not grow too large. The branches of old specimens can become completely woody, but this is observed only when grown in tubs or in greenhouses and conservatories. Shoots are naked, pubescent or slightly pubescent. Sometimes fluff is also found on foliage.

The leaves can be oval or lanceolate, bright or dark green in color. The color of the flowers depends on which part of the peduncle the buds are located on: from white to dark red. Moreover, the higher the semi-umbrellas are located to the top of the peduncle, the lighter they are.

Varieties

Despite the abundance of varieties and hybrids, only a few are used in indoor floriculture. This is due to the limited ability to adapt to dry air and the absence of a daily temperature difference. Also not suitable are those varieties that are oppressed with a lack of land.

For home care, the following types of Beloperone are recommended:

  • Plumbagolistnaya (Beloperone plumbaginifolia). Popularly called pig-leaved. It grows wild in Brazil and is an upright subshrub with a moderately branched crown. Leaves are lanceolate, smooth, hard. In open ground or in a large tub, it grows up to 1.5 m. Flowers – up to 6 cm. In room conditions, it is rarely cultivated due to capriciousness and demanding care.
  • Drip guttata (Beloperone guttata). Homeland – Mexico. Evergreen meter shrub with oval leaves arranged oppositely. Fluff is visible on the upper and lower surfaces of the leaf plates. Inflorescences are long, drooping, up to 20 cm in length. At home, it branches abundantly, often forms a crown with hanging shoots up to 80 cm long. It can bloom 10-12 months a year, but only if it has enough lighting.

Among flower growers, the following varieties are popular:

  • Beloperone purple (longispica purpurea) with red bracts and white petals.
  • Beloperone purple  (violacea) with an ampelous crown shape.
  • Beloperone variegated  (variegata) with pronounced mosaic foliage.

Beloperone variegated

All varieties require the same approach and cultivation rules.

Cultivation and care

The most important factors for growing a white beloperone indoor flower are watering, lighting and ensuring seasonality. Florists classify shrubs as unpretentious crops.

Location

It is important to provide the plant with good lighting. To do this, it is placed on the windows of the south or southeast orientation. At the same time, direct rays of light can cause burns, especially on foliage that has appeared in winter. Shading the glass with a special foil that reflects ultraviolet is considered ideal. It will come in handy during the hot summer months, but already at the end of August it can be removed.

The lack of lighting is easily determined by the fact that the bracts lose their color saturation. From this, the internodes become thinner, strongly elongated, the plant looks weak and sick. To remedy the situation, you will have to apply additional illumination with fluorescent lamps or phytolamps. It is necessary to provide 12-hour daylight hours.

The container must be positioned so that it is not in drafts, otherwise the flower stalks will wither and fall off.

Watering

Since the semi-shrub comes from the subtropics and tropics, it needs moisture throughout the year. The difference between the seasons is that in the warm months the watering regime is more intense, and in winter it is moderate. Settled, rain or melt water is used, it must be soft so that salts do not linger on the soil surface. Watering with cold water is detrimental to the plant in the same way as stagnant water in the pan. Half an hour after watering, the excess liquid must be poured out, otherwise the roots may rot.

Beloperone in a greenhouse

Before watering the next time, you need to make sure that the earth has dried out 4-5 cm deep. This is checked by dipping a finger into the substrate. The humidification regime begins to be reduced from October, and resumed in April. In the cold season, 1-2 waterings per month are enough.

Air humidity

Beloperone care should include air humidity control. Excessive dryness increases the risk of damage by various parasites. Such a danger can arise during the winter months if the pot is placed near radiators that dry out the atmosphere, or when heated by air conditioning and a fan heater.

To increase humidity, it is recommended to use an ultrasonic or mechanical humidifier. It is enough to turn on the device for an hour a day. If there are no such devices, you can get by with spraying from a spray bottle, but it is better not to get on the flower stalks. You can spray the gravel poured into the pan. Moistened moss spread at the base of the pot gives good results.

Temperature regime

In nature, the shrub grows at high temperatures, but one of the characteristic features is its excellent adaptation to a different temperature range. In summer, the pot can be placed in the yard, on the balcony or loggia, where it will be better. If this is not possible, then the plant is left in a room with a temperature of about 20 ° C.

At home, for white beloperone, they imitate natural seasonality. To do this, in winter, the temperature is reduced by 4-8 ° C. At the same time, the flower suffers less from a lack of light and gives a good increase in the next season. If seasonality cannot be maintained, then it is important to provide good lighting in winter so that this evergreen crop does not deform.

Top dressing

Whiteperone care at home should include periodic fertilization, as the flower forms buds very actively and needs a lot of nutrients. From April to October, complexes are used for flowering crops with an emphasis on potassium and phosphorus. The solution is applied to moist soil every 2 weeks. From October to April, fertilize once a month, and when kept in a cool room – once every 1.5 months.

Pruning

In order for the crown to be of the correct shape, to grow dense and beautiful, it is necessary to carry out systematic pruning. Also, the formation enhances bud formation and improves flowering. The pruning principles are:

  • after withering, all arrows are cut to the ground;
  • in spring, each shoot is shortened by 1/3 – ½ part to initiate the growth of dormant buds;
  • dried branches or places with signs of damage, spots and dryness are removed all year round.

After the crown is given the desired shape, it is recommended to water the shrub with fertilizer for ornamental deciduous crops. Nitrogen, which forms the basis of such complexes, will allow you to quickly increase the green mass.

Use only disinfected tools, which are pre-wiped with alcohol. It is advisable that the secateurs or garden shears are sharpened in advance.

Transfer

In the first years after the acquisition of Beloperone, it can be a discovery for a grower how fast this indoor plant grows. Until the age of three, with good care, it may be necessary to transplant into a new container twice a year – in spring and autumn, since the root system will be cramped in the same pot.

Beloperone in a pot

Starting from the fourth year, the pace of development slows down, so the transplant is performed only in the spring before the start of active growth and budding. The optimal time is the end of February-beginning of March.

It is best to carry out the procedure by transshipment, that is, do not damage the earth clod, but simply move the bush into a new container, filling the free space with fresh substrate.

The soil

This plant needs a nutritious but well-permeable soil. Only neutral or slightly acidic soil is suitable, alkaline is absolutely contraindicated.

If the substrate is bought in a store, then you can use the soil for azaleas, violets, rhododendrons or conifers. But it will have to be supplemented with coarse sand, perlite or vermiculite to increase permeability.

Sometimes flower growers prefer to prepare the substrate on their own. To do this, take the following ingredients:

  • leaf ground – 2 parts;
  • sod land – 2 parts;
  • ripened mullein (more than 3 years old) – 1 part;
  • high-moor peat (red) – 1 part;
  • quartz sand – 1 part.

After thorough mixing, you need to measure the pH of the soil with litmus paper. To acidify it, use bone meal.

Pot

Since the bush grows a spreading crown, the container must be stable. Ceramic is best suited, as it is heavy and at the same time allows air to pass through the pores, which improves the gas exchange of the root system. The container should be 5-6 cm larger than the previous one.

For normal drainage, there should be holes in the bottom part through which water can freely drain into the pan. To protect the roots from rot, a layer of expanded clay 3-5 cm thick is laid out below.

Reproduction

The easiest way to get this plant in the house is to purchase a young copy in the store.

Reproduction of Beloperone

But besides this, the flower can be propagated in two ways:

  • seed;
  • vegetative.

The second is considered simpler, and the seed is more often resorted to as an experiment, although some with its help achieve excellent results.

Seeds

Reproduction of the white beloperone is not always successful, as the seeds quickly lose their germination. Sowing begins in late March – early April, using ordinary soil for seedlings. The container is kept in a bright place with a temperature of about 25 ° C. You can use a rug for lower heating, but then make sure that the earth does not dry out.

After the development of 2-3 true leaves, the seedlings are dived into separate cups, and the apical shoots are pinched to 1/3 of the part to form a branched crown.

Cuttings

Propagation of Beloperone by cuttings is a simpler option. First of all, after trimming, there is always enough material left for this. Harvest it at the end of February. The branches should be young, up to 10 cm long. Rooting is carried out in a mixture of peat and quartz sand or simply in the sand. Young roots appear in 1.5-2 weeks. When they reach a length of about 2 cm, it’s time to plant the cuttings in separate pots.

Problems and diseases

The flower is unpretentious, but sometimes you may encounter certain problems. If you respond to their appearance as early as possible, the plant will not suffer.

The most common problems:

  • Leaf fading. The reason may lie in the lack of lighting, excessive watering or micronutrient deficiencies.
  • Leaf fall. This happens when it gets cold, dry air or insufficient watering. Drafts also provoke leaf fall.
  • Loss of color in bracts. Observed when kept in a dark place. Before the end of flowering, the fading of the bracts is the norm.
  • Stickiness on foliage and deformation of leaf plates. Occurs when affected by parasites and requires treatment with insecticides or acaricides.
  • Brown spots on leaves. Appear when the plant is flooded with water.
  • Rusty spots. Most often considered a sign of sunburn.

Most of the problems are associated with illiterate care and basic growing mistakes. The best prevention is to familiarize yourself with the rules for keeping this flower, which allow you to get a healthy and beautiful plant on your windowsill.

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