The ornamental deciduous plant siderasis is remarkable for its discreet but attractive beauty. It attracts attention with unusual “fluffy” leaves, because of which it is affectionately called bear ears. The flower seems cozy, homely – next to it is calm and warm. An alien from the warm tropics can not be called popular, but lovers of exotic plants breed it in a home flower garden to give it a special “calm” note.
Features of culture
Plants from the genus Siderasis, belonging to the family Commelinaceae, are superficially similar to tradescans belonging to the same family. In nature, they are found in the South American tropics. There is no diversity of species – there are only two of them. In culture, only one species is siderasis brownish (S. fuscata). Previously, it was assigned to the genus Tradescancia and called Tradescancia brownish. In a short time, it grows rapidly, forming a magnificent carpet. Great for greenhouses, winter gardens as a groundcover.
The name of the flower – “siderasis” – comes from the Greek word “sideros”, translated as “iron”. This is due to the peculiarity of the plant – the leaves, stems, peduncle are covered, like armor, with reddish-brown short hairs.
The stem of the herbaceous perennial is shortened, not pronounced. Fleshy oval or elliptical leaves are large (length – about 20 cm, width – 7-10 cm), collected in a wide dense rosette, which grows in width. Depending on the conditions, in height it grows by 15-40 cm. The outer side of the leaf is uneven swamp-green in color, in the center a white-gray vein is pronounced, the underside is purple, covered with hairs. With the stem, the leaf is connected by a short petiole-groove.
Flowering is long – from May to October. Small (about 2 cm in diameter) bluish or delicate shades of purple three-petaled flowers with white stamens stand out beautifully against the background of dim leaves, emphasizing the discreet beauty of the plant.
It is believed that siderasis is able to establish a balance of energies in the apartment, bringing calmness, constancy. For overly impressionable and emotional people, it helps not to react to resentment, not to succumb to despondency, helps to gain confidence in their abilities. If you put a flower in the bedroom, it contributes to a quick fall asleep and a restful sleep.
It is difficult to grow siderasis brownish from seeds at home, so it is purchased in specialized stores or a seedling is bought on the market. The plant can not be called unpretentious – it is demanding on the humidity of the soil and air. But, if the necessary conditions are created, then it is not difficult to maintain them.
The natural habitat of the species is tropical moist forests, where its representatives grow under the crowns of trees and bushes, content with diffused light. In bright sun, the color of the leaves, already not very bright, turns pale, acquires a yellowish tint, the leaf loses its elasticity. In the shade, the bush stretches, becomes untidy, the characteristic color changes. Lighting requirements for each flower are different, so the place must be selected individually, rearranging the pot. North-facing windows, a shelf, or a stand next to a window is the best place for a flower.
Siderasis belongs to the category of indoor plants that grow well in artificial light, replacing natural light. It can be illuminated, grown in artificial light.
Tropical culture is heat-loving and perfectly tolerates the temperature regime of the living room, but without sudden changes. The optimal temperature in summer is 22-25 ° C, in winter it should be slightly lower – 18-21 ° C. When the temperature drops to 14 ° C and below, the plant stops developing and dies. The flower does not like extreme heat.
In the apartment, as a rule, the air is dry, which is unacceptable for a plant from the humid tropics, so you need to take measures to create comfortable conditions for it. The minimum humidity level is 70%. It is impossible to moisten the air next to the pot and spray the flower with a spray gun – drops of moisture stuck between the villi will cause decay. Humidity will increase the humidifier, placing next to the pot containers with water, pallets with pebbles, claydite, moss, also filled with water. If this is not possible, then the flower is grown in a florarium, where it is easy to maintain the necessary humidity.
Rules of care
When caring for siderasis, it must be borne in mind that in nature it grows in the tropics, so the conditions for its maintenance should be as close as possible to natural. This is achieved through proper watering, fertilization, protection against pests and diseases.
In order to avoid a sharp drop between the temperature of the soil and water, the water is kept in a room for several days, where it is heated to room temperature and settled. Water carefully – drops should not get on the stem, leaves. Hard water is softened by adding a few crystals of citric acid or drops of lemon juice.
During the period of active vegetation (March-October), water regularly, but moderately, trying not to flood the soil, since the plant does not tolerate stagnation of moisture between the roots well. The signal for watering is a dried layer of soil from above. In winter, when the temperature of the content is lower, water less often and in smaller volumes. The frequency and volume of watering change gradually – in the autumn they begin to increase the interval between watering, reduce the amount of water. If the lump of the earth often dries up, the plant partially sheds its leaves. It will be long and difficult to recover after that.
Siderasis is fed during the period of active vegetation, i.e. in spring and summer, autumn and winter, when its activity decreases, it is not necessary to fertilize. As a dressing, you can use universal complex fertilizers for indoor plants, reducing the dosage by half. They are introduced into moist soil in the form of a solution with a frequency of 10-14 days.
Protection against pests, diseases
The culture is resistant to infections and pests, but if the rules of care are violated, it can get sick. If the lump of earth often dries up, the room is hot, the air is dry, then aphids, shields, which feed on the sap of the plant, can settle on the leaves. It will not be possible to mechanically remove insects – it is impossible to wipe or wash the leaves with pubescence, so you will have to spray the above-ground part and the soil with an insecticide.
Rotting of the roots, the change in the color of the leaves to brownish-brown is observed with stagnation of moisture, when there is no drainage hole in the pot, when watering often and immoderately, especially in cool weather. It is necessary to free the roots from the ground, prune the sick, treat the rest with a fungicide and transplant the flower into another pot, completely replacing the soil.
Siderasis brownish grows slowly, its root system is compact, it masters the volume of the container for a long time, so it is transplanted not often – once every 2-3 years. The pot is chosen with drainage holes, low, of small volume – in a large pot, if the root system is superficial, the soil turns sour.
How to plant:
- at the bottom of the container lay a layer (1/3 of the volume) of drainage from claydite, pebbles, broken bricks;
- fill with soil (universal soil for indoor plants, soil mixture of leafy, turf earth and sand (2: 2: 0.5));
- water, wait until the water is absorbed;
- make a hole the size of an earthen lump, roll a lump, fill the voids, slightly compact, water.
Methods of reproduction
Siderasis is propagated by seed method, division of the bush, cuttings. The seed method at home is practically not used because of the difficulties in creating the necessary conditions for seedlings. Cuttings are possible only in the case when the plant is adult. From the bush, the top is cut off and rooted in sand, a mixture of sand and perlite. The container with the sapling is covered with a jar, a package for 7-10 days. The greenhouse must be ventilated to remove condensation. When the cuttings give roots, it is transplanted into a pot.
A convenient option for reproduction is the division of the bush. You can get the material for planting when transplanting, which is carried out when replacing the container. The plant is removed from the pot, the roots are carefully cleaned from the ground and a sharp tool is cut off part of the bush. The cut is dipped in a root growth stimulator and planted in a prepared container, watered. Seedlings are kept in partial shade for several days.