Table of contents:
Family of acanthus. Homeland - Central and South America, East India. The genus includes 12 species of evergreen perennial shrubs. Only one species is common as a houseplant. Translated from the Greek "pachys" - thick, "stachys" - ear - this fully corresponds to the appearance of the inflorescence.
Pachystachis yellow Pachystachys lutea is a bush with erect, little branching stems from 70 to 120 cm long. The leaves are opposite, large, oval, pointed at the end and slightly wrinkled. Dark green in color, about 8-12 cm long. Spike-shaped inflorescences, up to 10 cm long with yellow bracts, are the object of decorative attractiveness of the plant. The flowers themselves are white, about 5-7 cm long, very pretty in shape - two-lipped, fused at the base into a long tube. Pachystachis blooms from late spring to autumn - this means that yellow bracts last so long, although the flowers themselves quickly fall off.
But as a greenhouse plant, Pachystachis red Pachystachys coccinea is also grown, it is too large for a room (from 1.2 to 2 m in height), grown for flowers, and the leaves themselves cannot be called too interesting, but they are huge in size - up to 40 cm length. The flowers of Pachistachis are red scarlet surrounded by dark green bracts.
Temperature: In the summer, the usual room temperature, for optimal growth and long flowering, the temperature should be in the range of 22-24 ° C, not higher. In winter, pachistachis prefers a slightly cooler content - at 18-20 ° C, preferably not higher. Winter minimum 14 ° C. At high temperatures, pachistachis grows very quickly - the lower leaves quickly die off, the shoots are bare.
Lighting: Pachistakhis loves a bright place with bright diffused light and protection from direct sunlight in summer, during the hottest hours. The east window is best suited, or the northwest window (not shaded from the street), it is too hot on the south and west window, but cultivation is possible if shading is provided from 11 to 16 hours.
Watering: Abundant in spring and summer, the soil should not dry out completely, but only dry out in the upper third of the pot. In winter, water it sparingly, allowing the soil to dry well (at least to the middle of the pot), but not allowing the soil to dry out completely.
Fertilization: During the growth period from April to August, every two weeks, pachistachis is fed with fertilizer for flowering plants (Fertika-lux, Bona-forte or Agricola for flowering plants, cheerful flower-grower, uniflor-bud and others).
Air humidity: Pachystachis likes high air humidity. The optimum humidity is about 60%. Therefore, in the summer it is often sprayed (twice a day), but in winter, during the heating season, spraying does not alleviate the situation (natural humidity is 20-30%), and pachystachis should be placed on a wide tray with water or wet moss, while the roots should not be in water.
Transfer: Pachistachis are transplanted annually in the spring. Soil - 2 parts of sod land, 1 part of leaf (peat), 1 part of humus and 1 part of sand. Good drainage is a must. It is important that the soil is very loose, does not stick together and quickly passes / evaporates into the water. Therefore, vermiculite and pine bark can be added as leavening agents (it also acidifies the soil). pH = 5.1-6.5 pachistachis, does not like alkaline soils.
Pachistachis is propagated by stem cuttings - about 10-15 cm long. It is better to plant several cuttings in one pot. The plant is cut in the spring, although it takes root easily at any time of the year, but then, the young plant needs very good lighting, and in winter it is usually not enough. Cut cuttings should be put in water, and the jar should be placed in a wide transparent bag, the edges of which should not be tied, but simply straightened. This will increase the humidity around the cutting. After the roots have grown about 5 cm, they can be planted in small pots.