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Brigamia Insignes - botanical name - Brighamia insignis pachycal stem succulent belongs to the subfamily of the lobelia family of campanula (Campanulaceae), growing on the coastal cliffs of the islands of the Hawaiian archipelago.
At home, brigamias are quite undemanding and unpretentious, grow up to 1 m in height. People often call them palms, for their appearance - a relatively smooth, non-woody, evenly tapering trunk upward, crowned with spreading fleshy leaves, covered with a waxy bloom. By the way, the milky juice of brigamia can irritate the skin, it stings if it gets on the wound.
Thickened trunk - caudex is able to store the amount of water sufficient to survive rather long droughts. Flowers usually appear light yellow flowers up to 3 cm in diameter with a long tube (8-10 cm) appear in the fall and have a faint vanilla aroma. Fruits are dry two-chambered achenes about 2 cm long (polyspermous), but artificial pollination (with a brush) is necessary to obtain seeds. The seeds ripen for at least one and a half months, the ripe capsule cracks, and the seeds fall out, they can be sown immediately.
Temperature: Bigamia is thermophilic, in summer it is optimal about 25-27 ° С in summer, in winter a cooler content is desirable - about 20 ° С, at least + 15 ° С. Does not tolerate hypothermia of the root system. In the summer, it is better to expose it to the open air in a garden or balcony, but provide protection from rain and wind.
Lighting: For this succulent you need a bright sunny place, it can be safely placed on the southern windows. However, you should gradually get used to the bright sun in spring, because because of the very thin bark, the plant can get burned. And in winter, especially if the central heating is working, you need to turn on the supplementary lighting in the evening and in the morning, while it is dark outside, otherwise the brigamia begins to lose leaves. Use fluorescent or LED bulbs.
Watering: Water the caudex plants sparingly so that the soil dries out almost completely between waterings. In summer, on hot days, water is watered about once a week, and in winter - once a month. Brigamias are very sensitive to over-watering, and root rot can easily start from this, so do not plant it in a pot that is too large and periodically loosen the soil.
Fertilizer: In the spring and summer, they are fed with a special fertilizer for cacti, adding it to the water for irrigation. Top dressing no more than once a month.
Air humidity: Brigamies need high air humidity, so they must be sprayed daily with a fine spray bottle.
Soil: You can use a commercial cactus potting mix - "Cactus +", again with the addition of 1 part sand. The pot should be 1 cm (no more) wider than the plant's root system. Drainage to the bottom of the pot is mandatory. Young plants are transplanted annually, adults over 3 years old are transplanted in a year, but the top layer of the earth is replaced annually. After transplanting, they are watered no earlier than a week later.
Reproduction: Seeds, cuttings. Before rooting, the cut of the cutting must be dried for at least 2 days, then placed in a greenhouse on clean dry sand. The greenhouse must be aired daily, and the cutting should be sprayed with warm water.
You can propagate brigamia by seeds. To do this, they need to be soaked for a day in water at room temperature, then planted in a mixture of peat and vermiculite (in equal parts). The germination temperature is 25-28 ° C, the dish with the crops should be placed in a bright place, on the windowsill, and covered with glass. Seeds germinate within 2-3 weeks. Once the seedlings are about three centimeters tall, they can be planted in pots. I advise you to take the smallest 8-10 cm pots.
Difficulty caring for brigamia
1. During budding and flowering of brigamia, it is impossible to change the location with respect to lighting, so that the plant does not shed its buds.
For the successful flowering of brigamia and its full development, in the autumn-winter period it is necessary to provide additional lighting, which will provide a 12-hour daylight hours. This can be achieved by turning on the backlight a couple of hours before it brightens on the street and with the onset of evening twilight. For these purposes, I use fluorescent lamps using timer-relays. Good lighting, uniform watering and, in general, proper care are the key to the rapid flowering of brigamia.
2. Due to the low humidity, brigamias are very easily affected by spider mites. Therefore, for the purpose of prevention, it is necessary to increase the air humidity to 50-60%.
Brigamia responds very well to bathing her under warm (but not hot) showers. This should be done once a month, if there is an opportunity, it is a good idea to arrange a "sauna": fill the shower cabin with steam, put the plant there and leave it for 5-6 hours (do not turn off the light in the bathroom). Such measures help prevent the appearance of a tick. But if, nevertheless, a pest has appeared, the leaves should be sprayed, especially from below, for example, with the bio-insecticide Bona Forte.
The author of the article: Lyudmila Popova (Buttercup)