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Pumpkin family. Homeland China, Malaysia, India. There are about 30 species in nature.
Neoalsomitra is a relative of watermelon, cucumber and pumpkin, so most species are of no decorative value. The only species that has become widespread as a houseplant and has beautiful foliage is Neoalsomitra sarcophylla.
Neoalsomitra sarcophylla Neoalsomitra sarcophylla is a perennial, evergreen caudex plant. Caudex is rounded, about 15 cm in diameter, the stems, if not cut, can reach 3-4 m in length. On the stems spirally twisted antennae to hold the shoots for support. The leaves are alternate, finger-dissected, trifoliate (three leaves each). Each of the leaves is leathery, oval, pointed at the end, narrowed towards the base, with a clearly defined central vein. Flowers are unisexual, cream or greenish cream. Male flowers are collected in rare inflorescences, female flowers are single.
Neoalsomitra - care and secrets of growing
Temperature: In summer, normal room temperature, in winter it is cooler, at 15-16 ° C, at least 10 ° C, with complete dryness of the soil, it is permissible up to + 5 ° C. Those. until late autumn, you can keep the plant on a glazed balcony, insulating the pot in sawdust.
Lighting: Bright diffused light, sun in the morning or evening, light shading in the afternoon, but only from March to August. If the plant remains in normal household conditions in winter, you can keep the pot on the south side without shading.
Watering: Abundant in summer, as soon as the soil in the upper half of the pot dries up. In winter, if the temperature is below 18 ° C, watering is moderate, after the soil dries up, wait another 7-10 days with watering. When dry, the tips of young shoots dry. Neoalsomitra leaves are large, have a very large evaporating surface. When overdried, the plant will not die, only if it has caudex, but drooping leaves after watering may not recover.
Air humidity: Responds well to regular spraying of leaves in summer.
Fertilization: Top dressing is carried out during the growth period from March to August every 2-3 weeks. Use fertilizer for cacti.
Transfer: Annually in the spring. Neoalsomitra is undemanding to the soil, a purchased mixture for succulents is suitable. In nature, it grows on clay-peat soil. At the bottom of the pot, it is better to drain about 2 cm. The main condition for the soil is good drainage, the soil should easily, instantly absorb water after watering and also easily evaporate it. Therefore, you can take a universal soil and add fine gravel (2-3 mm crumbs) to it.
Reproduction: In the spring, seeds and cuttings. Caudex is also formed by cuttings.
By the way, in nature, Neoalsomitra grows next to tall trees and, clinging to their trunks, extends its shoots upward, closer to the light. When grown in a pot, it also needs support.