Muehlenbeckia is an unpretentious houseplant that forms a scattering of small round leaves against the background of thin, woven brown shoots. From it, you can form a ball in a hanging basket or let it run along the support while obtaining a magnificent green shape.
For the thin, curly, wavy shoots in the people, she is called the Wire Vine, the Vine of Maiden Hair.
And although this plant can bloom with small greenish-cream axillary flowers, they are of interest mainly for the aroma, so the plant is considered more decorative-deciduous. It can be placed both indoors and in cool winter gardens. It is one of the few shade-tolerant plants.
Home care of Muehlenbeckia
For Muehlenbeckia, a universal soil for indoor plants containing perlite is suitable. Independently it can be composed of turf earth: leafy earth: sand in a ratio of 1: 2: 1. The optimal acidity is from acidic to neutral (pH 5.0-7.0).
It is advisable to transplant Muehlenbeckia every year in the spring in March-April, if the pot is small, and 1 time in 2-3 years, if the dishes for it are roomy enough. The size of the pot during transplantation is increased slightly – only by 2-3 cm The plant does not tolerate injury to the roots during transplantation, so it is better not to transplant adult specimens, but to transfer them. In those years when transplantation is not performed, replace the upper 5 cm of soil with fresh, with the addition of Biohumus.
Muehlenbeckia is an excellent shade-tolerant plant. This is one of the few houseplants that prefer a shaded place. Its placement is at a distance of no more than 1 m from the eastern, western and, especially, southern windows. Direct sunlight is detrimental to it, they cause drying out not only of the foliage, but also of the shoots. But you can’t overdo it with the shadows. In deep shade or on northern windows, the plant will become low-decorative, lose the density of stems and leaves.
Muehlenbeckia grows better in cool room conditions, does not tolerate heat well, so the room should be ventilated. In summer, the plant arranges the usual room temperature of about + 20 ° C, in winter – in the range of + 10 … + 15 ° C. Muehlenbeckia does not like sudden changes in temperature, so you need to change the conditions gradually.
Muehlenbeckia should be watered abundantly, with the drying of the top layer of soil between watering. However, in winter, when the plant falls into a dormant state and begins to partially lose its leaves, it is necessary to reduce watering. Between watering, keep the soil slightly moist, without stagnation of water, so that the roots do not rot. But make sure that the soil does not dry out completely, otherwise, the leaves will fall.
Spraying the plant in order to increase the humidity of the air is actively carried out in the summer, with water at room temperature. In winter, spray carefully, only in case of severe dryness of the air.
It is necessary to feed muhlenbeckia at least once a month, using special fertilizers for indoor plants. In the spring-summer period, you can feed every 2 weeks, in winter – occasionally.
The plant does not have a pronounced period of rest. It comes forcibly, due to reduced natural light, and lasts from October to February. During this period, the temperature of the content is gradually reduced, slightly increasing the intervals between watering and spray rarely.
Muehlenbeckia can bloom with very small flowers in August. And although they are hardly noticeable, you can enjoy their pleasant aroma.
Muehlenbeckia does not need special pruning, but tolerates it well and grows quickly. The stems are pruned to the desired length in the spring-summer period. You can also pinch the tips of the shoots to stimulate branching so that the plant is lush and densely deciduous.
The greatest threat to Muehlenbeckia is the spider mite.
Reproduction of Muehlenbeckia
Muehlenbeckia is propagated by division, cuttings, and seeds.
The division is carried out in the spring when transplanting. Cuttings are good throughout the spring-summer period. Several cuttings are usually planted in a pot at once to achieve a quick decorative effect, although one cutting will eventually develop into a full-fledged plant. Cuttings take root quickly because the plant often gives roots in nodes in places of contact with the ground.
Possible problems in the cultivation of Muehlenbeckia
- In autumn, the plant partially loses its leaves – this is a natural process for a semi-deciduous semi-shrub;
- Leaves fall off in spring or summer – due to over-drying or overwatering of the substrate;
- The leaves turn yellow – this is due to heat or direct sunlight, usually in the summer, but in the absence of fertilizing, it may indicate starvation of the plant;
- The plant does not bloom – because of too shaded location or unseasonable during the period of rest of the reduced temperature regime.
Types of Muehlenbeckia
As an ornamental houseplant since 1842, one species has been used:
Muehlenbeckia complexa a plant of New Zealand, found on sand dunes and in coastal shrubs, climbs trees to a height of up to 5 m, completely covering them with its greenery. Such thickets serve as a refuge for many insects and small birds, contributing to the conservation of their biodiversity.
The shoots are brown, curly, wavy, tangled together, sometimes rooted in knots. The leaves are very small, rounded, 0.6-2 cm in diameter, bright green, on brownish petioles 3-10 mm long. During the period of winter dormancy, it partially sheds its leaves. The inflorescences are axillary, of 1-5 five-membered greenish-cream flowers up to 0.6 cm in diameter, inconspicuous, but fragrant. It produces tiny white translucent waxy triangular fruits in the shape of a bell.
- A species of Muehlenbeckia complexa var. trilobata it is distinguished by deeply lobed leaves.
- Nana is a variety with a compact, non-curly form of growth.