The kufei plant (Cuphea) is a shrub or herb from the Derbennikov family that lives in the tropics and subtropics. Mexico is considered the birthplace of the flower. These plants are distinguished by low growth rates, and even under natural conditions, the size of the largest adult specimens is no more than 1.5 m. The genus includes over 250 species. Its name translates as "bent" and refers to the shape of the fruit. Being a native of the tropics, kufeya has some peculiarities of content, but in general it will not be difficult to grow such a bush at home.
Flowering of kufei begins in mid-spring and lasts until October. At this time, tubular flowers with 6 petals appear in the leaf axils or above the foliage. Due to their beautiful flowers, kufei are often used in various decorative compositions. They can be combined with shorter species or annuals. Bushes are able to grow even in pots and containers. In the open field in more northern regions, kufea can be grown as an annual. In regions with a warm climate, it tolerates wintering well and can be grown as a perennial. If such a bush is planted at home, its height will be no more than 60 cm.
In its native land, kufeya is grown on an industrial scale. There, the bushes are valued not only for their decorativeness: fatty acids are released from their seeds, which are used as a component of household chemicals, for example, shampoos. In addition, kufeya is considered a honey plant.
There are also a number of beliefs associated with the plant. It is believed that kufeya helps to establish communication and strengthen bonds between people. Therefore, containers with these colors are sometimes installed in office meeting rooms. The energy of a flower is considered positive, therefore, a kufei is no worse for a house than for work.
KUFEYA is a new acquisition for my windowsill.
The table shows brief rules for caring for kufei at home.
|Lighting level||The plant needs bright diffused light; southeast or southwest windows are well suited. Flowers growing on the south side should be shaded during the day.|
|Content temperature||The most comfortable growing conditions are 23-25 degrees in summer. In winter, it should not be colder than 12 degrees.|
|Watering mode||In summer, the soil is abundantly moistened a couple of times a week, during the dormant period, in winter - once a decade.|
|Air humidity||The flower prefers humid air, in the heat it is constantly sprayed.|
|The soil||For growing kufei, a universal soil or a mixture of leaf and garden soil, peat and sand is suitable.|
|Top dressing||A couple of times a month during the period of active growth, mineral compositions are used, including potassium and phosphorus.|
|Transfer||Young plants are transplanted every spring, adults - 2-3 times less often.|
|Pruning||In the spring, the branches of the bush are cut by a third, this will contribute to more lush flowering and the formation of a neat crown.|
|Bloom||Flowering occurs in spring and ends at the end of summer.|
|Dormant period||The dormant period lasts from November to March.|
|Reproduction||Seeds, cuttings, dividing the bush, layering.|
|Pests||Whitefly, aphids, red spider mites.|
|Diseases||Gray rot due to improper care.|
Kufa growing in a pot will be able to maintain a healthy and attractive appearance, as well as regularly delight with flowers, if appropriate care conditions are created for the plant.
Kufei needs bright but diffused light from southeast or southwest windows. The bright light of the southern windows can lead to reddening of the edges of the foliage, therefore, during periods of especially scorching sun, the bushes shade a little. Keeping kufeya on the north side is not recommended. Lack of light will lead to stretching and thinning of the shoots, as well as the lack of flowering.
The plant appreciates fresh air, but it should be protected from drafts. In the summer, you can carry the kufeya to the street or to the balcony.
Kufeya is distinguished by its thermophilicity, therefore, it is important to monitor the temperature regime of its content. In summer, a temperature of about 23-25 degrees is suitable for a plant, while in winter it should be slightly lowered - to about 18 degrees. But it should not fall below 12 degrees, this can adversely affect the health of the flower. Bushes also do not like sudden temperature changes; they should also be protected from drafts. Plants caught in the cold air stream begin to shed their foliage.
In summer, the container with kufei can be carried outside or onto the balcony. There she is kept in a place protected from the wind. In the house, they try to place the plant further from the vents or air conditioners.
For watering kufei, settled slightly warm water is suitable. They try to constantly keep the bushes in moist soil, preventing it from drying out. After watering, you can mulch the root area with sphagnum or coconut substrate - they will slow down the evaporation of moisture. In the summer, watering can be carried out about twice a week. The kufeya is watered abundantly, allowing excess water to escape through the drainage holes.
At the same time, stagnation of moisture in the soil can lead to root rot. Good drainage and the use of soil disintegrants - perlite and vermiculite, as well as brick chips - will help to avoid its development. With the arrival of autumn, watering is gradually carried out less often, in winter you can moisten the kufeya once a decade.
In apartment conditions, kufei requires an increased humidity of about 65% - after all, the humid tropics are considered the birthplace of the bush. Dry air can weaken the plant as well as attract pests to it. To avoid this, kufeya is regularly sprayed. In the summer heat, the number of such procedures can be up to 3 times a week. Until the foliage of the kufei is dry, it should be sheltered from the direct sun. In winter, the bushes are kept away from the batteries, put on a pallet with wet pebbles, or an open vessel with water is placed near them.
The abundance of flowering of the kufei, as well as its health, depends on the choice of the pot. In a slightly cramped container, the bushes will bloom more luxuriantly. If the kufeya has completely outgrown the old pot, then the diameter of the new one should be about 3 cm larger. Adult plants are grown in containers about 25 cm in diameter.
The selected pot must have holes for water drainage.
Kufeya is not too demanding on the choice of substrate. For her, a universal purchased soil of a slightly acidic reaction is suitable. The main thing is that it is sufficiently loose and fertile. As a substrate, you can use leaf and garden soil, as well as peat and sand, taken in equal proportions. To improve the quality of the resulting soil, crushed moss, crushed coal and baking powder are additionally introduced into it.
For a more spectacular flowering and strong immunity, the kufeya is periodically fed. For this, universal formulations are used, including phosphorus and potassium. They are used twice a month during the period of active growth, introducing nutrient solutions in the late afternoon after watering. Along with the usual top dressing, foliar is also carried out. Fertilized kufeya should be kept in partial shade for a couple of days.
Young kufei should be replanted every spring, changing the pot to a slightly more voluminous one. Adult specimens are transplanted about once every 2.5 years. During this period, the bush manages to fully master the land in the container.
At the bottom of the new pot, which should be about 3 cm wider than the old one, it is necessary to lay a drainage layer, and pour fresh earth on top. A bush of kufei is placed on top, and then gradually the voids are filled with soil, tamping the earth near the roots. After watering, a little more substrate is added to the pot, but the growth point of the bush should maintain its previous location. The transplanted kufeya is kept in partial shade for several days, and feeding is resumed after about a couple of weeks.
If the kufeya was purchased in a store, some time after purchase it should be transplanted into fresh soil, trying to clear it of the shipping earth.
The kufea will need systematic pruning. If necessary, sanitary pruning can be carried out all year round, removing wilted flowers, dried or too elongated branches from the bush.
Formative pruning is carried out in the spring, before active growth begins. To do this, you should shorten all the branches of the kufei by about a third. In some cases, just pinching the tips of the shoots will be enough. During this period, you can also give the crown of the bush the desired shape - round or pyramidal.
Kufei flowers appear closer to April, while flowering lasts until mid-autumn. Inflorescences are formed on its branches, composed of small tubular flowers up to 3 cm in diameter. Their color is red, lilac and pink, as well as white.
All varieties of kufei have six-petaled flowers, while the two upper petals are slightly larger. Each such flower does not stay on the plant for long, and fading inflorescences should be removed so that the bush quickly forms new buds.
The splendor of the flowering of kufei is significantly influenced by the dormant period (its plants should be kept cool), as well as a little tight capacity. After flowering, unusual curved fruits are tied on the bush.
After a long wave of flowering, the kufei should rest. Its resting period lasts from November to March. At this time, it is recommended to keep the kufeya in a cooler (but not cold) room, and also to reduce watering, spending them about once every 10 days. Top dressing at this time is not carried out - untimely stimulation of development will only deplete the kufeya.
You can get new copies of kufei using its seeds or cuttings.
Seed propagation is rarely resorted to: the seeds of kufei are small enough and have a low percentage of germination. If the bush is nevertheless decided to grow from seeds, they are superficially placed on wet soil, slightly pressing to the surface, but not sprinkling. During germination, the seeds form a sticky substance, and if they are not separated, they can stick together. Crops are covered with glass or foil and kept at a temperature of about 22 degrees. A week later, with the appearance of sprouts, the shelter is removed. Seedlings dive into individual pots as soon as they form the first leaves.
Kufeya. Cuttings, care.
Vegetative propagation gives faster and more reliable results. Cuttings are harvested in spring, choosing the apical segments of strong shoots up to 15 cm long. The bottom cut is made at an angle. It should be treated with a rooting stimulator, and then the cutting should be planted in moist soil. From above, the seedling is covered with a cut of a plastic bottle, periodically removing the cap for airing or watering. With the appearance of fresh foliage, the shelter is removed. When the cutting is rooted properly and forms a couple more leaves, you need to transplant it into a permanent pot. You can pre-soak the cutting in water until the roots appear. This usually takes about a week. Sometimes several cuttings are planted in one pot.
Along with cuttings, kufei can also be propagated by dividing the bush or layering.
Kufi bushes have good resistance to diseases or pests, but improper care can weaken the planting. Errors can be corrected by paying attention to plant signals in a timely manner:
Among the pests, whiteflies, aphids, as well as red spider mites can appear on the bushes. The affected kufeya should first be rinsed under the shower, and then treated with an appropriate insecticide or acaricide. Maintaining the moisture level necessary for the flower will help to avoid the appearance of insects.
It is a thermophilic plant that prefers to grow indoors. But it can be taken out into the street in June, for this it will thank with even more abundant flowering. Popularly called this type "cigarette" because of the tubular shape of the flowers with dark edges. The plant is very compact, looks great on windowsills and balconies.
A wonderful annual that perfectly keeps the shape of a bush even in bad weather conditions. There are a lot of small pink flowers, he loves a lot of heat and water. This species is great for growing on a balcony and flower bed. It also propagates by cuttings and appears on sale in early spring.
A rare annual plant that is very difficult to find in the store. About 50 cm high, with well-developed stems. Flowers from white to lilac. When planted in a greenhouse or open ground, it rises very quickly.
Annual, propagated by cuttings that bloom in early June. The foliage is abundant, the flowers are small, mostly red. You can grow in pots, containers. Looks great both as a standalone plant and in various compositions. Looks original in hanging pots.
The beautiful orange annual is literally strewn with red flowers, which is why it got its name. Also, with timely pruning, it can grow like a small bush. The contrast of red flowers and bright green foliage will leave no one indifferent.
Extravagant tall plant with narrow long purple flowers. Propagated mainly by seeds, like most types of kufei. Pleases with long flowering from early July to late September.
Two years ago, at a kiosk selling seeds, I noticed a packet of seeds of very unusual scarlet flowers. Having bought it, I learned that the plant is called fiery-red kufeya (this flower is popularly called a "cigarette").
This plant is quite unusual in appearance and at the same time very unpretentious care ... Flowers about 3 cm long look like tubes with a white or purple limb around the edges and in shape resemble a cigarette with ash at the end - hence the name.
The kufei bush grows up to 35-40 cm in height and with its branches very much resembles a fan. Kufeya blooms continuously, from spring to late autumn. For long flowering, wilted flowers must be removed in a timely manner. And in order for the plant to bush better, the tops of the stems need to be pinched periodically.
Kufeya - light-loving plant, she prefers west or east orientation windows. She will not be harmed by direct sunlight, the main thing is that there are no drafts. In the shade, the plant will not bloom. Water the plant regularly, but in moderation: the soil in the pot should be constantly slightly damp.
In winter, it is better to keep the plant in a cool room, away from radiators. During this period, the optimum temperature should be + 12-15 ° C. In winter, watering can be reduced almost until the topsoil dries up.Kufeya is not demanding for air humidity.
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Kufea hyssopolis (Сuphea hyssopifolia) native to the tropical regions of Mexico and Guatemala. In North America, it is often referred to as Mexican heather. Another common name is the elven herb, or the herb of the elves (Elfin herb).
It is a compact and dense, densely branched, pubescent evergreen shrub of rounded shape, up to 45 cm high.The leaves are sessile or short-petiolate, simple, lanceolate, glossy, dark green, small, up to 2.5 cm long and 0.5 cm wide, resembling leaves hyssop, which is reflected in the name of the species. It blooms in small, tubular, six-petalled lavender flowers less than 1 cm in diameter, with green calyxes. The flowers are located in the axils of the leaves along the stems singly. Blooms all summer.
There are forms with golden foliage, located not singly, but in small groups, flowers of light purple, lilac, pink or white tones, somewhat larger in size, up to 1 cm in diameter. This plant is worthy of being a collectible.
Kufeya fiery red (Cuphea ignea syn. Cuphea platycentra) originally from Mexico and the Caribbean islands. Commonly known as Firecracker and Cigar flower. Name ignea derived from the Latin word for "fire".
This is a dense, rounded evergreen dwarf shrub up to 60-90 cm in height, usually indoors -20-50 cm. Stems are branched, slender, but fragile. Leaves are opposite, about 3.5 cm long and 0.6-1.3 cm wide, narrowly elliptic or spear-shaped, pointed at the end, dark green, with light veins. In the axils of the leaves, flowers are located singly. They are tubular, bright red, formed by a bright calyx up to 3 cm long, with a dark ring along the edge formed by two reduced petals, with an ash-white pharynx. At the tip of each flower, a ring of stamens, varying in color from yellow to bluish-brown, is visible, they are compared to the burning end of a "cigar". When the flower ripens, a thin filamentous pistil protrudes from the tube.
There are varieties with flowers of orange, pink, creamy white color.
Can be grown in one-luke culture.