Table of contents:
The nightshade family. Homeland of the tropics and subtropics of Central and South America, Mexico. In nature, there are about 150 species of evergreen deciduous shrubs and small trees.
- Cestrum graceful Cestrum elegans is an evergreen shrub, up to 1.5 m in height, with drooping, pubescent shoots. Leaves are lanceolate or oval, pubescent on the underside. Flowers are collected in racemose or umbellate inflorescences. The corolla of the flower is red, funnel-shaped or tubular, up to 2.5 cm long. Blooms from April to September, quite profusely.
- Cestrum golden yellow Cestrum aurantiacum is a shrub, up to 1.5 m in height. Leaves are ovoid or oval in shape, with a wavy surface. Flowers are collected in racemose inflorescences. The corolla of the flower is orange-yellow, funnel-shaped or tubular, up to 2 cm long. The flowers are fragrant, the aroma of flowers is especially enhanced by night.
- Cestrum nocturnal Cestrum nocturnum is a shrub, about 1.5 m in height. Leaves are ovoid or oval in shape, with a slightly wavy surface. Flowers are collected in racemose inflorescences. The corolla of the flower is white, funnel-shaped or tubular, up to 2.5 cm long. Flowers open at night, from which this species got its name.
- Cestrum bundle Cestrum fasciculatum - shrub, up to 2 m in height. Leaves are ovoid or oval in shape, about 10-12 cm long. Flowers are collected in corymbose apical inflorescences. The corolla of the flower is red, funnel-shaped or tubular, about 3-4 cm long.
- Cestrum nocturnal Cestrum nocturnum is a shrub up to 4 meters high. Leaves are simple, narrow, lanceolate, 6-20 cm long and 2-4.5 cm wide, smooth, shiny. The flowers are greenish-white, with a thin tubular corolla 2-2.5 cm long, with five sharp lobes, 10-13 mm in diameter, open towards night, extremely fragrant, sweetish aroma. The fruit is an oblong berry, 10 mm long, dark purple. This species has a variety with yellowish flowers.
Cestrum - care and cultivation
Temperature: moderate in summer, they do not like the nightshade very heat and stuffy rarely ventilated rooms, the optimal temperature for growth is within 18-26 ° С. In winter, cestrum is kept in cool conditions about 12-14 ° C, at least + 10 ° C, this is necessary so that the plants do not stretch out, the leaves do not shrink.
Lighting: Cestrum is photophilous, but in summer it can get burns from direct sunlight. In summer it grows well in bright, diffused light. If the plant is dark, then there are not many leaves on it, it blooms poorly. In central Russia, in winter, the sun is not at all aggressive and you can put a pot with a plant on the south window from October to March without shading.
Watering: in summer, abundant or moderate, after the top layer of the earth dries out (about half the depth of the pot). During the growing period, the soil inside the pot should be slightly damp at all times, but not too damp. In winter, watering is very moderate, depending on the temperature, after a week or more, after the soil in the upper half of the pot dries out.
Fertilization: from May to September, Cestrum is fed with special liquid fertilizers for flowering indoor plants, every week. It is preferable to use fertilizers with an equal NPK ratio, for example 10-10-10, or 1: 1: 1.
Air humidity: Cestrum loves humidity of at least 50%, therefore it needs periodic spraying. In winter, when kept in a heated room, cover the batteries with a screen or damp towels.
Transfer: annually in February-March. Soil - 2 parts of sod, 1 part of humus, 1 part of leafy soil, 1 part of fine gravel (2-3 mm) or vermiculite. Good drainage at the bottom of the pot, even if it is clay about 1-2 cm. After abundant watering, be sure to loosen the top layer of soil. If a salt deposit has formed on the surface of the earth, you need to remove the top 2 cm of the soil with a scoop and add fresh soil. Cestrum naturally grows on light sandy soils with an acidity close to neutral (6.5-7.5). But at home, alkalization of the soil can lead to a disruption in the assimilation of some nutrients and chlorosis of the leaves, so try to keep the acidity of the soil no higher than 6.3-6.5.
Reproduction: Cuttings and seeds in early spring. Cuttings root quite easily in water, roots appear within a month. The seeds are sown in a mixture of peat and vermiculite, lightly sprinkled with earth. The optimum temperature for germinating seeds is 25-26 ° C. Usually 6 weeks before germination is enough, which must be immediately placed in a very bright place or under a lamp. Due to the lack of light, cestrum seedlings are very weak, thin and unviable.