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Family of acanthus. Homeland of the tropics of Asia and Australia. These are herbaceous perennials, rather shade-tolerant, but demanding in indoor cultivation. About 100 species are widespread in nature.
At home they grow Hemigraphis alternating Hemigraphis alternata - having lodging and easily rooting stems. Leaves are opposite, ovoid, cordate at the base and crenate along the edge, with pubescent petioles. The surface of the leaf is smooth, green above with red veins, purple on the back. It blooms with small white flowers collected in loose apical ears. The plant is remarkable in that its leaves in a semi-dark place have a greenish-silver tint, and in bright diffused light they acquire a metallic tint.
Gemigraphis is not very popular in Russia, but undeservedly ignored - it is an excellent indoor plant that does not require cold wintering. It is better to grow it in hanging baskets and pots, like a ground cover, planting it in tubs with large plants - palms, ficuses, yucca, dieffenbachia, etc. begonias, dwarf varieties of syngonium or philodendron.
Gemigraphis - care and cultivation
Temperature: Gemigraphis is thermophilic, in summer it grows at normal room temperature, about 20-25 ° C, does not like heat and stuffiness - closed poorly ventilated rooms when the temperature is above 30 ° C. Nighttime temperature drop is not desirable below 15 ° C. In winter, like all acanthus, it prefers a slightly cooler content at 17-18 ° C, at least 14 ° C.
Lighting: Gemigraphis grows well in bright diffused lighting, does not tolerate direct sun from February to August from noon to 16-17 hours - at this time of the year, the plant will do well on the east or north window. And in the period from September to January, hemigraphis grows well on the southern or western windowsill. If you have windows on the shady side and it is very hot in winter, it is worth supplementing the plants so that the shoots do not stretch and shrink.
Watering: Abundant during the period of active growth - the soil should have time to dry out in the upper part of the pot, but not completely dry out. In winter, watering is moderate, 2-3 days after the top layer of the earth dries up. Gemigraphis does not tolerate overdrying of an earthen coma, the leaves may wilt, but after watering the turgor is restored. But excessive watering can lead to root rot and plant death.
Fertilizing: The plant is fed in two weeks from April to September, using fertilizer for decorative deciduous houseplants.
Air humidity: Gemigraphis loves humid air, so it must be regularly sprayed if the air humidity is below 50%. In winter, when it is very dry, you need to put the pot on a wide pan with damp pebbles or sphagnum moss, but so that water does not flow into the pan.
Transfer: It is necessary when the soil is salinized - gray, like ash or reddish bloom appears on the surface of the earth - hemigraphis does not tolerate soil salinization. Also, a transplant is necessary if the plant has grown a lot and the pot has become small. You can make up the soil yourself: take 1 part of sod land, 1 part of leaf, 1 part of humus earth, 1 part of small pebbles, 1/2 part of vermiculite or pine bark. When replanting, drain about 2 cm tall with small pieces of Styrofoam or broken pieces of coconut.
Reproduction of hemigraphis
Stem cuttings in spring and summer. Hemigraphis propagates very easily - just cut off the cuttings 7-10 cm long, break off the two lower leaves, and put them in a glass of water. You can plant cuttings in the ground when the roots grow about 4 cm, in spring or summer it takes about 1 month for rooting.