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Araucariaceae family. Homeland Australia, New Zealand and South America. There are 19 species in the genus. Luxurious coniferous tree - is the only coniferous species among indoor plants. Araucaria is easy to grow and attractive for home furnishings. In nature, araucaria are large trees, reaching several tens of meters, but in culture they grow very slowly, reaching about 1.5-2 m in height.
Araucaria heterophylla Araucaria heterophylla is the most common species. It is a slow-growing plant with tough, leafy branches arranged in whorls. The tree has a pyramidal shape. The needles, although spiny at the ends, are soft, slightly curved, about 1.5-2 cm long.
Also, under indoor conditions, Brazilian Araucaria or narrow-leaved Araucaria angustifolia is grown - it has a pyramidal crown and thin thorny leaves, 2-5 cm long.
At any time of the year, for this plant, it is necessary to select a cool place in the room, the desired temperature is 10-12 ° C, the plant does not tolerate temperatures above 15-16 ° C, the needles begin to turn yellow, growth slows down greatly.
Bright diffused light, light partial shade. It grows well on the east window, in a room only with supplementary lighting, otherwise the needles turn pale from a lack of light, the plant is strongly stretched. In summer, it feels better outdoors in the shade.
Araucaria equally poorly tolerates both dry land and waterlogging. In the summer, it is watered more abundantly - after the earth dries out in the upper half of the pot. In autumn and winter, with a decrease in temperature, water is less often, after the earth dries out in the upper layers, wait another 3-4 days before watering again. Do not water araucaria with hard water, only rain or boiled water.
To feed araucaria, use the usual complex mineral fertilizer in a half dose, i.e. two times less than for other indoor plants. Top dressing is carried out from April to August in 3 weeks. Organic fertilizers are not used for araucaria.
Araucaria prefers moderate air humidity - optimally about 50%. In summer, it does not need spraying, only in dry weather, when there is no rain for a long time. In winter, if not transferred to a cool room, it suffers greatly from dry air. It has to be sprayed twice a day.
Repotting is carried out as needed when the pot becomes cramped. This is usually every 2-3 years. The approximate composition of the soil mixture: 1 part of sod land, 1 part of coniferous land, 1 part of sand, the second option: 1 part of garden land, 1 part of leafy soil and 1 part of sand. In addition, half a glass of chopped pine bark should be added to 1 pot, pH = 5.5-6.0 mildly acidic. It is imperative to pour a high drainage at the bottom of the pot. Purchased land is also suitable for cypresses and other conifers, as a last resort, for rhododendrons, with the addition of 1/4 of the sand.
Seeds and cuttings. Seeds are sown in a mixture of coniferous and leafy soil, pre-soaked for a day in water with the addition of stimulants (zircon, seedling). Seeds are sown in pots (about 12 cm in diameter), buried about 2 cm into the ground, or rather, they are stuck into the ground with a sharp end down, thick up. You can also put it flat (horizontally), burying it only 0.5 cm in the ground. The soil is evenly moistened, and the pots are placed for germination at a temperature of 15 ° C. It is important that the substrate is evenly moist at all times. Seeds germinate within 1-2 months. In this pot, the seedling is grown until the first umbrella of leaves (first tier) opens. Then they are transferred into a larger pot.
It propagates by cuttings with difficulty (the probability that you will succeed is no more than 1%), it is better to buy rooted plants. Theoretically, only apical cuttings can take root (it does not propagate from lateral branches). The stalk, cut in July-August, is planted in coarse sand, after carefully dusting it with root, rooting can last for several months. In January (in winter they must be grown with supplementary lighting) they are transplanted into pots (part of heather (coniferous) land and part of sand). In March-April, they are again transplanted into fresh soil.
Since ancient times, doctors have advised people with asthma to grow araucaria at home. In addition, araucaria improves the chemical composition of indoor air. Adding up to 30% fresh coniferous soil to the soil mixture for araucaria has a simply miraculous effect. The plant responds to this with good growth and strong green needles.