Genus Pseuderanthemum belongs to the family acanthus ( Acanthaceae ), includes 47 species of plants that grow in tropical regions around the world.
The name of the genus comes from the Latin words pseudo (false), and Eranthemum (this is the name of a closely related plant genus), i.e. means False Erantemum.
It is a genus of herbaceous plants or shrubs that have cystoliths (crystalline deposits of calcium carbonate) in their cells. Leaves are sessile or petiolate; the edge of the leaf blade is solid, or almost solid, or lobed. Flowers in axillary or apical thyrsi, racemes or ears, with bracts are usually shorter than the calyx. The calyx is deeply 5-lobed, with equal or nearly equal lobes. Corolla with a thin tube and flared end; the limb is five-bladed or two-lipped. 2 stamens enclosed in a corolla tube or protruding from the corolla orifice, and 2 staminodes (sometimes absent). Pistil with two-lobed stigma. The fruit is a 4-seeded club-shaped capsule with a mesh surface. The seeds are lenticular, textured or smooth.
Types of pseuderanthemum
In indoor conditions, the following shrub species are found:
Pseuderanthemum carruthersii, synonyms: Pseuderanthemum reticulatum, Pseuderanthemum atropurpureum. View from Polynesia found on the islands of the state of Vanuatu.
Colorful, erect, moderately fast-growing evergreen shrub up to 1 m tall, with an attractive crown of waxy, wide, pointed, somewhat irregularly shaped, variegated leaves, combining different shades of green with purple and silver, with small inflorescences of pink flowers.
Stems glabrous, smooth, from maroon to purple in color. Leaves whole, simple, opposite, narrow-ovate, extended and thinner at the base, pointed at the apex, waxy, up to 15 cm long and 6 cm wide, dark green, with irregular silvery and violet color; burgundy to purple petioles, about 1–2 cm long. Flowers in erect, loose inflorescences at the ends of branches, pink, brighter in the throat of the corolla. Fruits are club-shaped capsules with 4 flat seeds.
- Tricolor is a form with leaves with yellow, green and pink spots.
- Black Magic – with dark purple foliage and bright pink flowers.
- Variegatum – with white variegated leaves.
Pseuderanthemum longifolia, synonym pseuderanthemum notched ( Pseuderanthemum sinuatum ). Distributed on the islands of the South Pacific.
Evergreen shrub up to 45 cm tall. The leaves are narrow and long, with a sagittal jagged edge. The flowers are located in the leaf axils, tubular, 5-lobed, white with pinkish spots on the lower lobe.
Pseudarantemum loose-flowered (Pseuderanthemum laxiflorum) – originally from tropical America.
Evergreen shrub 1-1.5 m tall (0.5-0.7 m in culture). The leaves are small, bright green, in shape and size reminiscent of pepper leaves. The flowers are purple, 5-petaled, star-shaped. Blooms profusely.
These plants are reluctant to bloom indoors, and are more valued for their variegated, beautiful foliage, combining different shades of green with purple and silver. They can grow up to 1-1.5 m in height, but at the same time they branch little, therefore they are formed by pruning within 50 cm, enhancing branching. The growth rate of these plants is quite high, up to 10-15 cm per year. In the interior, plants can live for a long time, but the lower part of the bushes becomes bare over time, so it is recommended to periodically renew them from cuttings.
In care, Pseuderanthemum is an uncomplicated plant, but it requires warmth and high humidity.
for this plant needs fertile, slightly acidic or neutral, well-drained throughout the volume by adding sand or perlite. The following mixture is suitable: turf land: leaf land: sand (1: 3: 1).
A spring, annual transplant is recommended. The roots of the Pseuderanthemum grow very quickly, so they can be pruned during transplantation. In a very cramped pot, the leaves fall off quickly. The pot is selected in classic proportions, with a drainage hole 2 sizes larger than the previous one.
In the spring-summer period, the plant must ensure the temperature is not higher than + 24 … + 25 °C. In winter, the minimum temperature of the content is + 17 °C. If a lower temperature is maintained for some time, the plant will begin to ache and may die. Pseuderanthemum does not like sudden temperature changes and drafts, which accelerate the exposure of the lower parts of the shoots. In the summer, the Pseuderanthemum cannot be taken out on the balcony or in the garden, in the winter – place the plant near the heating radiators.
Pseuderanthemum loves bright diffused light, does not tolerate direct sunlight. East and west windows are suitable for him, it can grow in the north. Good shading is needed on the south windows. With a lack of light, the leaves turn green, losing their color brightness; with an excess of light, the plant grows more slowly.
for the plant requires abundant, in summer at least 3-4 times a week, in winter – about 1 time per week. For irrigation, use soft, settled water. The soil should be constantly moderately moist, only slight drying of the top layer of the soil is permissible. Even a single drying out of the root zone leads to leaf fall. Do not allow stagnation of water in the pot, this leads to decay of the root system.
For more details, see the article Watering rules for indoor plants.
It is applied every 3-4 weeks using a liquid fertilizer with a high potassium content and a low nitrogen content. This composition of the dressing contributes to the manifestation of the red color of the leaves. The plant responds positively to organic fertilizers (Biohumus, Lignohumate, Potassium humate), which can be alternated with mineral fertilizers.
For more details, see the article Feeding indoor plants.
In the Pseuderanthemum is not pronounced. However, due to the low illumination from October to February, it is advisable to lower the temperature of the content slightly, but not lower than + 17 °C. Watering at the same timeless often, preventing the soil from drying out, and does not feed.
The main difficulty in growing a pseudoantemum is the formation of an attractive appearance because it branches little. The plant should be pruned regularly to enhance branching during the active growing season, maintaining a height of approximately 50 cm.
In indoor conditions, the Pseuderanthemum blooms reluctantly. Inflorescences racemose, white flowers with red fauces, pink or purple, depending on the type of plant.
Pests and diseases
It is affected by spider mites, mealybugs, scale insects, whiteflies.
Read more in the article Pests of indoor plants and measures to combat them.
If the rules of care are violated, signs of non-communicable diseases appear.
Reproduction of psederantemum
Pseuderanthemum is propagated by cuttings.
Green cuttings or cuttings with a “heel” (a piece of wood) 5-8 cm long with two internodes are cut in spring, treated with Kornevin and rooted in a greenhouse at a temperature of + 25 … + 27 °C. Roots appear quickly. Plant a few rooted cuttings in a small pot and pinch the tops twice as they grow for better branching.