HOW TO GROW AND CARE FOR OUR PLANTS
There Plumbago it is an evergreen, shrubby and climbing plant, very decorative and is known by the names of
Species: see the paragraph on "Main species"
The genre Plumbago belongs to family Plumbaginaceae and includes plants native to the temperate climate regions of Asia and are also known by the name ofPLUMBAGGINE or BLUE JASMINE.
These are annual or perennial plants with shrub and climbing habitof very varied aspect in terms of very disordered growth with stems that develop up to 4.5 m in spontaneous plants but if bred and appropriately arranged on supports, they allow to have very decorative and more contained plants.
They are plants used as climbers that in summer give very beautiful blooms.
The flowers, gathered in spike inflorescences from 20 to 30 cm long, are blue or red depending on the species and variety and consist of a tubular part about 4 cm long which opens into a corolla formed by 5 petals spreads about 2.5 cm.
There are about ten species among which we remember
PLUMBAGO CAPENSIS (P. AURICULATA)
There Plumbago capensis It is native to South America and is known by the name of BLUE JASMINE and is the most widespread and cultivated.It is a climbing shrub that can reach 2 m in height if bred at home. Both the stems and the branches are woody and provided with petiolate leaves of a beautiful intense green, oval and up to 5 cm long.
The flowers are blue in color, gathered in groups of 20 to form 25-30 cm long spikes that bloom from summer to late autumn.There are several varieties that differ from each other for the different color of the flowers such as the Plumbago capensis var. Sunrise with white flowers.
PLUMBAGO INDICA (P. ROSEA)
There Plumbago indicates is a small evergreen shrub native to eastern AsiaSud. It is very appreciated for its flowering even if it is a less generous climber than the capensis with less luxuriant blooms. It requires less cultivation and less pruning.
Its leaves are less long than the auriculata and the flowers are gathered in spikelong even 20 cm of scarlet red color.
The Plumbago they are rustic plantswhich do not present particular cultivation difficulties.
They cannot bear the cold, especially when young, in fact the temperatures must not fall below 10 ° C. High summer temperatures are better tolerated.
They love the lightso they should be exposed in full light and for a few hours even in direct sunlight but not in the hottest hours of the day.
It can be grown in pots or outdoorsin temperate climate zones it is sufficient that they are positioned so that they do not receive direct sun during the hottest hours of summer days and sheltered from drafts.
If they are grown outdoors and the winter season suddenly has excessive temperature changes, be sure to protect the roots and stem with straw, peat or non-woven fabric. In any case, it can be safely raised indoors and taken outdoors only during the summer, but remember that it fears frost.
equip them with supportstrellis type even some simple poles to which the branches will be fixed. If a support is not fixed it will have a falling bearing.
During the vegetative period ie from spring to summer the Plumbago should be wateredabundantly and it is necessary to wait until the soil is dry on the surface before carrying out the next irrigation.
Beware of water stagnations that are not tolerated.
It loves a humid environment so it should be sprayed regularly until the flowers appear and then suspended so as not to stain them. It is best to spray the plants early in the morning and never when in the sun.
TYPE OF SOIL - REPOT
It is repotted in early springusing a pot a little larger than the previous one up to the maximum size of 30 cm using a good fertile soil.Once this measure is reached, remove only the first 3-5 cm of soil and renew with fresh soil.
It is important to place gravel or pieces of earthenware on the bottom of the pot in order to favor the rapid draining of excess watering water as it cannot withstand water stagnation.
I personally recommend using clay pots although many opt for plastic pots (cheaper and more drainage holes). I believe that terracotta ones are preferable as, being porous, they allow the earth to breathe.
During the spring - summer period it fertilizesevery two weeks using a liquid fertilizer diluted in the irrigation water while during the autumn and winter the fertilizations must be suspended.
Use fertilizers that in addition to having the so-called macroelements such as nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K) also contain the so-called microelements, i.e. those compounds that the plant needs in minimal quantities (but still needs them ) such as magnesium (Mg), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), boron (B), molybdenum (Mo), all important for the plant.
Slightly reduce the doses compared to what is stated in the fertilizer package.
The flowering periodof the Plumbago it is variable as it depends on the species. In general, however, they are between April and October.
At the end of flowering, every year, it should be prunedvigorously cutting the fustilegnosi at 30 cm from the ground, at any time between the end of summer and the beginning of spring. This operation is very important as the flowers only form on the branches of the year. In any case, it must always be done before the vegetative restart of the plant. In spring it will give back other branches and numerous other flowers.
The flowers as they wither must be eliminated.
If you have the possibility to keep it constantly in a warm environment, the plant will not enter vegetative rest and will produce flowers all year round.
It is important that the tool you use for cutting is cleaned and disinfected (preferably by flame or with bleach or with alcohol) to avoid infecting the tissues.
It multiplies by cutting or by seed.
When choosing the technique to adopt, keep in mind that if you multiply by seed, taking over the genetic variability, you will not be sure to get a plant equal to the mother plants so if you want to have a precise specimen, multiply by cuttings.
MULTIPLICATION FOR TALEA
At any time between May and August, cuttings can be taken from the lateral jets, about 8-10 cm long. Make a cut with a razor blade or a sharp knife to avoid fraying of the fabrics, immediately under the knot, which is cleaned and disinfected to prevent the transmission of any parasitic diseases. pulvererizogena to favor the emission of the roots.
Then place the cuttings in a vase, making holes with a pencil in a soil formed by fertile soil and coarse sand in equal parts.
Moisten the soil without wetting the green parts and then cover the pot with a transparent plastic sheet or a hooded bag and arrange it in a shady area of the house where the temperature is around 21 ° C.
Every day check the state of the cuttings by removing the plastic and at the same time check the soil (it must always remain moist) and eliminate the condensation that will surely have formed in the plastic.
You realize that the cutting has formed the roots as new shoots will begin to emerge. At that point, remove the plastic for good and wait for the cuttings to become more robust. After that you can transplant them into the final pot using a soil as indicated in the paragraph "Repotting" and treat them like an adult plant.
ùMULTIPLICATION BY SEEDS
The multiplication by seeds is carried out in spring by distributing the seeds evenly on a soil for seeds. In consideration of the fact that the seeds are small to bury them, use a flat piece of wood. Then moisten the soil abundantly (using a sprayer that will allow you to wet it more evenly) by mixing a broad spectrum fungicide to the water to prevent any fungal infections.
At this point, close the tray with a transparent plastic sheet or a glass plate which has a double advantage: the first is that it will not dry the ground too quickly, the second that it will allow to have a constant temperature.
Then take the tray and place it in a shady area of the house at a temperature of around 21 - 24 ° C.
Until the moment of germination of the seeds every day remove the plastic and check the humidity of the soil (it must always remain moist) and eliminate the condensation from the plastic (or glass).When the seeds germinate, remove the plastic permanently and place the tray in a brighter (not in direct sun) and ventilated position.
Eliminate the weakest plants to give more space to the strongest ones and expect them to be large enough to be handled. At that point you can take them delicately with the whole stick of earth and place them in the final vase as if they were adult plants.
PARASITES AND DISEASES
Leaves that wilt or hang down
If the leaves show this symptom it means that it is not watered correctly: either too much or too little.
Remedies: adjust the irrigations as indicated in the relevant paragraph.
The plant does not bloom
If the plant has been raised well, the fact that it does not bloom may be due to a soil poor in nutrients.
Remedies: make a good fertilization as indicated in the paragraph "Fertilization".
As a result of a frost, the plant dries up quickly
If the aerial part dies as a result of a sudden frost, it does not mean that the plant is dead. Eliminate the damaged aerial parts immediately and leave it alone.If you have not done so, protect the rest of the plant with straw or non-woven fabric and wait for spring. If it is still alive it will bloom again. To see if there are still healthy tissues, make a small cut in the part that still seems alive to you, if the fabric is green it means that it is not dead.
Small insects that move on the plant
If you observe that there are small whitish-greenish insects on the plant that move, they could be aphids, more known as lice.
Remedies: it is necessary to intervene with aficidi easily available from a good nurseryman.