Brunfelsia is distinguished by grace and is considered an exotic flowering culture. It can become a real decoration of the interior. But to grow a unique plant at home, you will have to spend a lot of time and effort on care.
The homeland of the fragrant beauty is the Antilles. In ancient times, the flower was considered “sacred” by many sorcerers and shamans. This is not accidental, because the extract from it has a psychotropic effect and causes hallucinations.
The name is in honor of the botanist Oto Brunfels.
The herbaceous perennial with evergreen foliage belongs to the Nightshade family. It is the closest relative of eggplants and tomatoes. At home, its height reaches 0.5 meters, whereas in nature it grows up to three meters.
The erect stem branches from the very base. The leaf blades are large, leathery, dark green of a cold shade. They are attached to the stem on small petioles. The bark is greyish brown. The root system is well developed, powerful and branched. Over time, the roots begin to rustle.
The plant is characterized by colorful flowering. The flowers are very similar to gentian, collected in inflorescences of ten pieces. They look modest and elegant, wide open. They look catchy in contrast to the foliage. Rare species have the strongest aroma than the rest. It has sweet notes and spring freshness.
The flowering period begins in February and lasts until early summer. The opening of flowers occurs unevenly, so on one shrub they can be of different colors. The life expectancy of each specimen is small – only 2-3 days.
Juice should be avoided on the skin, as all parts of the perennial are poisonous. When working with it, it is important to observe security measures. Of particular danger are the fruits of orange color, ripening on the shrub.
In total, there are about 50 varieties of the plant. The most common species is the small-flowered Brunfelsia. It is compact, durable, moldable and easily adapts to room conditions. A distinctive feature is the presence of voluminous umbrella inflorescences. Under favorable conditions, it blooms all year round.
- Floribunda (light purple);
- Makranta (dark purple).
- American. Light elliptical-shaped leaves, creamy flowers with an intense aroma that intensifies in the dark.
- Undulata. Elongated leaf plates, flowers with corrugated edges of snow-white color.
- Australian. The rarest variety, elegant and compact. Numerous large flowers of purple hue.
- Broad-leaved (latylophy). Short, broad, matte leaves. Elegant and large flowers.
- Large-flowered. The shield inflorescences are located closer to the tops. The color is first lavender, then changes to whitish.
- Single-flowered. Large leaves, solitary flowers.
To grow this culture will have to make efforts. This is an activity for florists with experience, able to provide a houseplant with constant care. The difficulties stem from Brunfelsia intolerance of change.
Perennial requires scrupulous care, constant temperature, certain lighting. In addition, there are many more nuances that you should be aware of.
It is important to ensure that the substrate is constantly moist. However, excess water should not be allowed. If you do not comply with this condition, the plant will immediately lose its decorative appearance. The irrigation system is selected by trial and error. In the summer months, the optimal number of watering is two or three per week. The rest of the year, fewer of them are required. The water should be soft (rain or settled).
A significant condition for the full development of the perennial is high humidity. This is a tropical flower that in nature prefers humid climatic conditions. Brunfelsia should be sprayed more often. An exception is made only during the flowering period. Here, the optimal measure would be the installation of pallets filled with pebbles or moss.
You will need regular ventilation in the room where the plant is located.
It is best if the temperature range is from 16 to 18 degrees. In the summer, an increase to 22 degrees is allowed. The flower does not tolerate heat, it can begin to shed leaves and buds.
In October, flowering is stimulated. To do this, the temperature is specially lowered to 9-14 degrees. This will contribute to the opening of buds. In general, the “cold period” should last about eight weeks. For a longer period, it is not recommended to leave the culture at a cold temperature.
Brunfelsia belongs to the light-loving plants. It is able to exist well in partial shade under the condition of stable lighting. In room conditions, it is better to choose bright places without scorching sunlight. From them, she can get burned.
In the fall, the perennial is always rearranged in a more lit place. Sometimes you can use artificial illumination with the help of phytolamps. In summer, it is better to take the exotic beauty to the balcony to provide her with access to fresh air.
Feeding is required moderately. Excess or lack of nutrients is unacceptable. Fertilizers are applied throughout the year, including periods of flowering and dormancy. During active growth, fertilizer is required every couple of weeks. In the interval from November to February, fertilizing is done less often and in smaller doses.
The best option is to use complex mixtures for flowering plants. They can be bought in specialized stores.
In no case should you use fertilizers with an alkaline reaction, this culture does not like this.
Transplantation is carried out during the period of complete rest. Young plants are transplanted annually, and adults once every 2-3 years. The capacity should be only slightly larger than the previous one in size. A layer of drainage material (pebbles, claydite or broken shards) is laid on the bottom.
Brunfelsia prefers fertile and loose soils with an acidic or slightly acidic reaction. A substrate of sand and a mixture of soils (coniferous, turf, leaf) is ideal. Gratefully responds to bone meal supplements.
To maintain the beautiful shape and compact size of the bush, it is necessary to prune the shoots in a timely manner. The procedure is usually carried out at the end of the flowering period. Shortening is done by about a third of the height. This stimulates the growth of young stems and the formation of flower buds. If the perennial is too actively growing, then at other times it is allowed to pinch the tops of the branches.
New offspring can be obtained with the help of cuttings or processes. Also, there is an option using seeds.
The most common way. Materials obtained after trimming are used. The optimal length of apical cuttings for reproduction is 8-10 cm.
Algorithm of actions:
- treat cuttings with growth stimulants (for example, Kornevin), root in the sand;
- cover with a bag or cut bottom from a plastic bottle to create a greenhouse effect;
- maintain a temperature regime of about 24 degrees;
- regularly ventilate and moisten the soil.
It takes a long time for rooting to occur. This may take several months. When roots and young shoots appear, Brunfelsia should be transplanted into a separate container with a suitable substrate for further growth.
Planting material without pre-soaking should be scattered on moist peat soil and create a home greenhouse. Spraying will need frequent and regular – every other day. After about six months, there will be signs of rooting.
Diseases and pests
Despite the capriciousness, the culture has a good resistance to pests. Only spider mites and shields are dangerous, with which insecticides will help to cope.
Of the diseases, it is affected by chlorosis of the leaves, which develops when the release of chlorophyll is disturbed. At the same time, they will begin to discolor and fall. To prevent the problem, it is important to monitor the acidity of the soil and do not forget about fertilizing.
Another trouble is root rot, which develops on shoots with a waterlogged substrate. In this case, you need to remove the rotten parts, change the soil mixture and provide an air layer in the pot. At the time of rehabilitation measures, it is better to reduce the number of waterings.
Sometimes the plant undergoes fungal damage. Then cut off the damaged areas and treat the flower with copper-containing agents. The soil is disinfected with copper sulfate.
In a small amount, Brunfelsia juice has a therapeutic effect on the body. List of useful properties:
- cleanses the liver;
- disinfects wounds;
- activates the lymphatic system;
- relieves convulsions.
Of course, the use of folk remedies based on it is allowed only with the permission of a specialist.
Brunfelsia is a wayward plant, but it is able to decorate any corner in the room. If properly cared for, it will delight with an exquisite aroma and lush flowering for a long time.