The beautifully flowering evergreen liana Stephanotis is a member of the Lastovnevye family. This perennial was first discovered on the island of Madagascar. Today, in natural conditions, it can be found on the territory of Malaysia and China, or rather, in their tropical forests.
The liana is distinguished by its rapid growth: every year its curly stems become approximately 0.6 meters longer. Under natural conditions, the length of shoots can reach 600 cm, but in room culture they are rarely longer than 100 cm. The beginning of flowering occurs in May. Throughout the summer period, the bush is decorated with snow-white umbrella-shaped inflorescences, which look especially impressive against the dark green background of leathery leaf plates. In some cases, the bush blooms again in September.
Each flower has a staminate tube surrounded by five petals, which are similar in shape to a pig’s ear. This is what influenced the choice of the name of the plant. The fact is that “stephanotis” in translation from Greek means “a crown of ears”. The flowers of stephanotis have similarities to jasmine, namely: a star-shaped shape and a delicate aroma. That is why, among the people, Stephanotis is also called Madagascar jasmine.
Brief description of cultivation
- Temperature conditions. In winter – from 14 to 16 degrees, and in summer – from 16 to 25 degrees.
- Air humidity. Increased. During the summer months, the bush should be sprayed up to four times a week. It is also recommended to place the pot on a deep tray filled with wet pebbles.
- Illumination. Needs a lot of light. The best option is an oriental window sill. Needs shading from direct sunlight. When placed on a northern windowsill, backlighting is required.
- Watering. In the summer – about three times a week, and in the winter – 3 times a month. The water should be slightly warm and well settled.
- Substrate. You can buy a ready-made universal soil mixture for flowers. For DIY cooking, combine peat, sand, leafy and sod soil (1: 1: 2: 1).
- Fertilizer. They begin to feed the liana in the first days of March. Top dressing is carried out approximately 1 time in 10 days (not more often). To do this, use mineral fertilizer for indoor plants in liquid form. In this case, to prepare the solution, take ½ part of the recommended dosage.
- Transplant. Until the bush is two years old, it is transplanted once every six months. At the age of 2–5 years, vines are transplanted annually in the spring. In older bushes, the top layer of the substrate is replaced with a fresh soil mixture every year.
- Reproduction. By seed method or by apical cuttings.
Home care stephanotis
In order for Stephanotis to grow and develop within normal limits, you need to try to provide him with optimal conditions and proper care. In order for the liana to bloom magnificently all summer, during the period of laying new buds, which is observed in winter, it is transferred to a cool place, while watering should be rare. There she should stay all winter, and closer to spring, a gradual increase in temperature should be carried out. The plant needs systematic ventilation of the room, but it must be protected from drafts.
To grow vines, you need solid support. It can also be cultivated as an ampelous plant in a hanging basket. Do not forget to systematically trim the weakened stems, as well as shorten 1/3 of the extended lateral shoots. After the buds are formed on the bush, they should not be disturbed or carried from place to place, as this can lead to their flying around.
In order for the bush to grow well and bloom profusely, it will be necessary to observe the optimal temperature regime. In the winter months, the bush must be in a cool place (from 14 to 16 degrees). It is during this period that new flower buds are laid. Therefore, if you place the bush in a warmer place, then in the spring it may not bloom. Stefanotis is placed as far as possible from the batteries, or you can install special heat shields on them.
The optimum air temperature for liana in the summer is from 16 to 25 degrees. She reacts extremely negatively to excessively high temperatures. On hot summer days and throughout the entire heating season, it is necessary to monitor the humidity level in the room. It must be increased.
Remember that indoor stephanotis can suffer from sudden temperature changes and drafts.
Such a tropical vine reacts extremely negatively to excessively dry indoor air. Regularly dampening the foliage with a spray bottle will help the bush survive the hot summer months. In the summer, stephanotis is sprayed about four times a week. Throughout the day, you can alternately moisten the bush itself and the air near it from the sprayer.
The container with liana can be placed on a deep tray, which is pre-filled with wet pebbles. Household humidifiers can also increase humidity. And you can also put an open vessel filled with water near the bush. In winter, the plant is sprayed more rarely or completely abandon this procedure.
In order for Stephanotis to grow healthy and bloom profusely, it must be provided with optimal lighting. Such an exotic liana needs a large amount of bright diffused light. Due to poor lighting, the decorativeness of the plant decreases, and its flowering and growth also deteriorate. Therefore, the northern window sill is not suitable for him, since there is very little light there. However, in this case, backlighting can be provided to the bush.
On the southern window, the liana will need mandatory shading from the scorching direct rays of the sun. The western or eastern windowsill is best for her. On a rainy day, as well as in the autumn-winter period, it is recommended to turn on the phytolamp during the day.
Despite the fact that this culture is moisture-loving, it should be watered sparingly. In the spring-summer period, watering is carried out 1 time in 2-3 days, and in the autumn-winter period – 1 time in 10 days. You can moisten the soil mixture in the pot only after its top layer dries. Stagnant water in the substrate can cause the development of root rot, from which the bush can die. Due to a lack of moisture, the foliage begins to dry out, and pests may also appear.
Such an exotic makes special demands on water for irrigation. It should be well settled, and its temperature should be slightly above room temperature. However, constant watering with fresh water can lead to a slowdown in growth and a decrease in the tone of the bush. In this regard, once every 30 days, it is poured with water in which lemon juice or citric acid is dissolved (for 1 liter of water from 3 to 5 drops or 0.2 grams).
In the process of reproduction of Stephanotis, the cuttings that have given roots are planted in small pots, 50 mm in diameter. With further transplants, when selecting the size of the container, the size of the bush should be taken into account. The new container should be about 20 mm larger in diameter than the old one.
For planting an adult liana, choose a container that reaches 15–20 centimeters across. At the same time, when choosing a container, one should not forget that in an overly large pot you can not wait for the vines to bloom. At the bottom of the container, there must be drainage holes.
The soil mixture can be purchased ready-made or prepared by hand. It is important that the substrate is permeable to air and water. A high-quality soil mixture should also be loose, slightly acidic or neutral.
To prepare the substrate with your own hands, it is necessary to mix deciduous, sod and humus soil in equal proportions. A little perlite (sand) is added to the finished soil mixture, as well as brick chips and finely chopped sphagnum moss.
In order for the liana to bloom and grow well, it needs timely feeding. They are carried out during the growing season, which begins in the first days of spring. The bush is fed no more than once every 10 days. For this, a universal fertilizer in liquid form for indoor flowering crops is suitable. The dosage recommended by the manufacturer should be reduced by 2 times.
After the formation of the first buds, it is necessary to use a fertilizer with a high content of phosphorus and potassium and low content of nitrogen. Top dressing is carried out until mid-autumn. It is at this time that the bush begins to prepare for a dormant period.
It is necessary to transplant the vine systematically. The frequency of procedures is influenced by the age of the plant. While the bush is young (up to 2 years old), it is transplanted 1 time in 6 months. From 2 to 5 years old, the transplant is carried out annually. Older specimens are not transplanted. Instead, the top layer of the substrate in the container is regularly replaced.
Please note that during transplanting a clod of earth, you need to try to keep it intact. In this regard, it is recommended to use the transshipment method for transplanting. To do this, the bush is carefully pulled out of the pot and planted in a new container. In case of accidental injury to the root system, the frequency of watering should be reduced, while it is recommended to add an agent that stimulates root growth to the water. Also, this bush needs more frequent moistening from a spray bottle.
Liana after transplantation does not need feeding for 15 to 20 days. Please note that the flowering bush cannot be transplanted.
If it comes into contact with the skin, stefanotis juice can cause allergies. In this regard, when working with a flower, hands must be protected with rubberized gloves.
At the end of the dormant period at the very beginning of spring, it is necessary to prune the bush. This contributes to the rejuvenation of the vine, maintaining its spectacular appearance and changing its shape. Only the main stem is not pruned, while all lateral shoots must be shortened by a third of their length. If you shorten the branches too much, then because of this, Stephanotis will hurt for a long time.
Elongated and weakened shoots must be completely cut out. With proper and timely pruning, flowering will be lush and spectacular.
The full development of such a spectacular liana in nature is possible only when its long stems stretch up and cling to tall and powerful shrubs and trees. If shoots entwine a plant located in the immediate vicinity of stephanotis, then it develops excellently and blooms magnificently. However, if there is no suitable support, then the shoots weaken, turn yellow and die.
That is why the liana must definitely install a reliable vertically located support along which the stems will climb up. Most often, an effectively curved frame made of a thin metal rod or wire is used for this purpose. It is best if the design is three-dimensional and tall.
The structure is placed directly in the plant pot. It needs to be well buried for better stability. Further, the structure is entwined with shoots. The shape of the support can be different, so you can create the most bizarre decorative compositions.
Stephanotis blooms in indoor conditions for a relatively long time. If you have provided the bush with proper wintering in a cool place with occasional watering, then the flowers will adorn it for several months, filling the room with a subtle scent similar to jasmine. As a rule, in the home culture, the flowering of creepers begins in May and lasts until autumn. And if you take care of the plant correctly, then in September it will delight you with re-flowering.
Umbrella-shaped inflorescences consist of small, star-shaped flowers of cream, yellow, white or purple color. The 5-petal funnel-shaped corollas are very similar to jasmine flowers. In order for the bush to bloom, it is necessary for its root system to fill all the free space in the pot. Therefore, one of the reasons for the lack of flowering can be an overly large pot.
The dormant period begins in mid-November and lasts until mid-February. The flower at this time should be kept cool (14-16 degrees) and at a moderate level of humidity. Under these conditions, the bush will be able to rest well and prepare for the next flowering.
In mid-October, the plant is stopped feeding, which will help to avoid depletion of the plant. During the last winter weeks, regular feeding should be gradually restored. Also, the bush should be gradually accustomed to a higher air temperature and brighter lighting.
Growing from seeds
As a rule, stephanotis seeds are purchased at a specialized store. The fact is that in room conditions they almost never ripen.
- The seeds are treated in a potassium manganese solution. Then they are sown in a mixture of peat and sand, deepening by 10 mm.
- Moisten crops gently with a sprayer.
- Sprinkle the seeds with a thin layer of substrate and cover the crops with glass on top. The optimum air temperature for germination is about 21 degrees.
- Seedlings appear together after about 2 weeks. At this time, the shelter is removed.
- After the appearance of two true leaf plates, the plants are picked into individual pots.
Most often, indoor stephanotis is propagated by cuttings, since this method is faster and more effective.
- Only apical cuttings are suitable, and each of them should have 3 or 4 true leaf plates.
- For several hours, the segments are soaked in a solution of an agent that stimulates root growth. Then the cuttings are planted for rooting in a substrate of peat and sand to a depth of about 20 mm.
- Top them covered with a plastic bag or plastic cup. Several holes must be made in the shelter for ventilation.
- After about 30 days, roots will grow on the segments.
- After complete rooting, it is necessary to plant the cuttings in permanent pots.
- At the time of adaptation, the bushes are removed to a shaded place.
Reproduction by both seeds and cuttings is carried out at the beginning of the spring period. At the same time, during cuttings, the varietal characteristics of the parent bush are preserved.
If the home stephanotis is properly cared for, it will grow healthy and beautiful. However, flower growers often have problems with it:
- Flying around buds and petals. Poor lighting, or while spraying the bush, droplets of moisture got on the flowers, or the earthen coma dried out, or the container with the bush was moved to a new place during flowering.
- The foliage loses its turgor and becomes dark. The room is too cold.
- Slow growth. The plant needs urgent feeding.
- Yellowing of foliage. Poor lighting or the room is too cold, or water stagnates in the roots (there should be drainage holes at the bottom of the pot), or the flower is watered with hard water. Water the vine with well-settled and acidified water.
- Twisting flower buds. Excessively rare or too scarce watering.
- On the leaf plates, brownish-yellow stains. The scorching direct rays of the sun fall on the bush. Rearrange it or shade it.
- Faded spots on the foliage. The bush is in an excessively dark place.
- Pests. A spider mite, mealybug, aphid, or scale insect can settle on the plant. You can get rid of them with the help of appropriate insecticidal preparations.
Lack of flowering
Many gardeners are faced with such a problem as the lack of flowering. This can be due to various reasons, for example:
- Violation of the conditions of detention and care during the rest period. In winter, the bush stood in a well-lit warm place, fertilizers were applied to the substrate, and it was often or abundantly moistened.
- Flying around buds and flowers. The bush was either moved to another place or turned to the light source on the other side.
- The bush blooms poorly. He feels a lack of nutrients or light.
- The bush is transplanted during the flowering period. At this time, he feels a lot of stress.
- Excessively large container. The roots must completely master the entire earthen lump, only then the bush will bloom.
Types of stephanotis with a photo
In nature, there are 15 species of stephanotis. Only one species is entirely domesticated – the profusely flowering Stephanotis.
Stephanotis floribunda, or waxed flower
Shoots of such an evergreen vine can be about 500 cm long and even more. Shiny, dense green leaf plates can be as large as the palm of a person. During abundant flowering, fragrant tubular flowers of cream or white color appear on the bush. The corolla reaches a diameter of about 50 mm, while it contains five petals. Flowers are collected in loose bunches. About 7 buds can form on one stem.
Variegated Stephanotis (Stephanotis floribunda variegate)
This is a variation on the previous species. The tops of the green leaf plates seem to be smoothed out. The green leaves are adorned with yellow, pale green and white stripes and specks.