Rechsteineria - a room exot for experienced gardeners
Luxurious velvet edge on the leaves of indoor plants is not uncommon. Soft silver velvet, glowing and shimmering in the light, seems an unsurpassed luxury. And although this plant does not have such an impressive appearance, and the size is very modest, the beauty of the leaves compensates for all the shortcomings. And when long narrow tubes of scarlet color bloom on the peduncles, this whimsical exot reveals completely all its uniqueness and recalls that not all Gesneriaceae are identical in character.
- What does gloxinia-rechsteineria look like?
- Silver leaf species gloxinia-rechsteinerium
- Conditions for growing indoor rechsteinerium
- Rehsteiner lighting and placement in the interior
- Temperature and ventilation
- Rechsteiner care at home
- Diseases, pests and growing problems
- Propagation of Rechsteineria
What does gloxinia-rechsteineria look like?
Differences between gloxinia and rechsteineria
The most highly ornamental species of rechsteinerium (or rechsteinerium) most popular in indoor culture have recently been re-qualified from the independent and easily recognizable genus Rechsteineria (Rechsteineria) into a much larger plant genus - Sinningia or Gloxinia (Sinningia). But disputes over the relationship of these plants and how much rechstainerium can be compared with a much more densely leafy and spectacularly blooming syningia do not subside and cause more confusion.
Despite the fact that both plants represent the family of the best velvety-pubescent indoor flowering crops, rechsteineria and gloxinia outwardly differ significantly. Of course, they have a lot of common features, but flowering and leaves easily make it possible to distinguish the former rechsteineries from the more familiar gloxinia-syningia.
Unlike large-flowered with luxurious blue-bells, Sinningia, Rechstaineria produce only red, narrow and modest tubular flowers. And the bright green color of much more numerous gloxinia leaves is replaced by luxurious silver velvet.
Whether it is called further by Rechsteineria by their own name or dubbed them with silver synningies is not decisive. Moreover, many natural wild plant species are still classified as rechsteineria. These are special plants that, regardless of name, are easily recognized in any company.
Botanical description of the plant
Rechsteineri are Hispanic endemic. These are not very common and not often found on sale plants that are rightly ranked as exclusive exotics. In nature, Rechsteineria can be found in tropical forests, where their silver edge glows in the shadow of large vines and trees. The natural range of the Reichsteinerium "stretched" from Mexico to Argentina.
Rechsteineriums are herbaceous perennials with large leaves and modest dimensions. Species of rechsteinerium do not exceed 25-30 cm in height, the shoots of the plant are straight and very pubescent. Rechsteineria is easy to distinguish by a tuberoid-thickened rhizome.
The leaves of the plant are up to 20 cm long, ovate-oval, with a blunt apex, located whorls or opposite to the top of the shoot. The edge of the leaves is thick, but short, felt, velvety, very pleasant to the touch. The light green base color of the leaf blades is almost hidden under the silvery sheen of the pubescence. A solid or slightly wavy edge emphasizes the beauty of the leaves.
Rechsteinerias in their development go through a period of complete rest, dropping leaves by the beginning of winter. Dying for the winter, on the one hand, does not allow Rechsteineria to maintain high decorativeness throughout the year, but on the other hand, it allows you to remove the plant from the windowsills and simplifies maintenance. Typically, the rest period begins in October and ends by February.
How does rechsteinerium bloom?
Despite the fact that it is the leaves that are considered the main pride of Rechsteinerium, and you should not forget about flowering. Of course, neither the size nor the beauty of the flowers can be compared with the bells of related gloxinia, but they still deserve attention, decorating the plants.
Strikingly narrow tubular flowers are collected in apical low-flowered umbrellas. Two-lipped, up to 7 cm long, they conquer not only with a narrow tube, but also with a special, scarlet-salmon, dark red, muted color, the nobility of which perfectly matches with the silver edge.
The flowering period of Rechsteinerium lasts all summer.
Silver leaf species gloxinia-rechsteinerium
In the genus Rechsteineria (Rechsteineria) - more than 70 plant species, the qualifications of which are being actively revised today. In room culture, only two species of former rechsteinerium are actively used, and the plants are strikingly similar to each other, differing only in color.
White-fronted Rechsteineria (Rechsteineria leucotricha) or white-fluffed Sinningia-gloxinia (Sinningia leucotricha) is a Brazilian compact herbaceous perennial with tuberous rhizome and straight shoots up to 30 cm high. Leaves of 3 or 4 pieces are located in whorls, narrower, narrower, with eggs. The basic color is not visible due to the very dense pubescence, which gives the plant a grayish velvetiness. The tubes of flowers are strikingly narrow, with a salmon hue.
Scarlet Rechsteineria (Rechsteineria cardinalis, synonym for Scarlet Sinningia, Sinningia cardinalis) is also a Brazilian herbaceous perennial with a typical root-like root and shoots up to 25 cm high. Shoots and leaves are very pubescent. Oval leaves with a heart-shaped base and a blunt apex are light green, with silver velvet of a short edge, which does not interfere with maintaining a sense of "greenness". Scarlet flowers up to 7 cm long are collected in umbrellas at the tops of shoots.
Conditions for growing indoor rechsteinerium
Rechsteineria is often considered a plant for growing only in conservatories in tropical collections. And this is no coincidence. The love of heat and high humidity, special lighting, and indeed, it is easier to satisfy in greenhouses, as well as the requirements for controlled temperatures. But this plant is suitable for indoor culture - subject to very careful care.
The conditions for rechsteineria are easy to pick up, but this plant does not like extremes and changes. For Rechsteinerium, you will literally have to create an ideal environment and take into account any little things, even airing.
After rechsteineria completely discards the leaves and its shoots dry, the plant goes to a dormant period. To achieve flowering in Rechstaineria, the stage of complete dormancy should last from 3 to 4 months. The main thing that Rechsteinerium needs at this time is cool temperatures and absolute dryness. The plant can be removed from the soil and stored in ventilated boxes like any other tuber crops or left in a dry substrate.
Rehsteiner lighting and placement in the interior
It’s not so easy for rehsteinerie to choose comfortable lighting. This plant in indoor conditions retains a love for diffused, soft light, but its light dependence increases. Rechsteinerium should be protected from direct sunlight, exposed in places of light, but not too bright. It is best to monitor the plant during the period of active growth and adjust the level of illumination depending on how the leaves react, focusing primarily on color change signals or wilting.
During the dormant period, as soon as the aerial parts dry out in the plant, lighting for rechsteinerium does not matter. She can remain in a completely dark room, and in partial shade, and in the light. If rechsteinerium is dug up, then its tubers are kept in the dark.
Rechsteineria is a small, decorative, leafy and textural accent for the design of small rooms. The plant best reveals its virtues in solitude, but goes well with any indoor crops with matte and dark leaves. This culture perfectly supports velvet in the textile palette of the interior, can be used as support for silver trim elements.
Rechsteineria is perfect for decorating light window sills and places near the window in rooms with a relaxed atmosphere. Including looks great in the bedroom, bathroom with window, library. For this plant rooms with south or southeast windows are preferred.
Temperature and ventilation
Heat-loving Rechsteineria does not like extreme heat, but will prefer to grow in stably warm temperatures. The greatest decorativeness of leaves in a plant can be observed if the air temperature is close to + 20 ... + 22 ° C during the stage of active development. The minimum temperature is + 16 ° C, but from spring to autumn it is better if the indicators do not fall below + 18 ° C. Increasing to + 25 ° C the plant tolerates painfully.
The rest period for rechsteinerium must be cool. For this culture, after dropping the aerial parts, a movement in temperature from +12 to + 16 ° C should be organized. Too much decrease in these indicators can be fatal, and high temperature will not allow flowering from rechsteinerium.
To awaken the plants, the air temperature increases sharply after planting or transplanting tubers. Before the plant first sprouts appear, rechsteinerium is kept at a temperature of +20 to + 25 ° C. After the start of shoot growth, the plant can be transferred to more familiar temperatures.
For this culture, even slight changes in temperature can become too much stress. She does not even like the difference in day and night temperatures. Drafts are not allowed. Rechsteinerium needs to be protected even from low active air flows, placing it where plants will not constantly walk by.
Rechsteiner care at home
Caring for rechsteineries is often “advertised” as in many ways similar to caring for gloxinia, but it still does not look like the requirements for caring for any other representative of the Gesneriev family.
Rechsteineria is more similar in nature to exclusive exotic species, it is over-demanding and capricious. This plant does not like misses with watering, needs regular water procedures and is not suitable for those who often travels. Constant monitoring and checking the condition, accuracy in everything, of course, do not simplify the care of the plant.
Deciding on the cultivation of Rechsteinerium is necessary after a careful analysis of its capabilities. This extremely capricious culture is suitable for experienced gardeners and those who prefer complex tasks. For beginner growers, Rechsteineria is clearly not the best choice.
Watering and humidity
Rechsteineria are susceptible to overly plentiful and sloppy watering. This plant needs to be watered so as to maintain a stable, light substrate moisture - after the topsoil has dried. Moderate, not too plentiful, but more frequent watering is preferred. This plant needs to be watered very carefully, along the edge of the pot. In no case should water get to the root. If possible, it is better to replace the classic watering with drip or automatic watering (lower watering through a pallet is dangerous from the point of view of waterlogging of the soil in the lower layers).
For the winter, watering is stopped completely. But it is undesirable to sharply change the humidity for this plant: watering begins to gradually reduce as soon as flowering is completed, drying up the clod more and more so that after dying off the aerial parts, the plant switches to dry conditions. The reverse transition - from the dormant stage to active growth - also requires very careful watering.
It is better to start these procedures with spraying, after which rare light waterings are gradually increased to regular regular procedures, ensuring stable soil moisture. After planting or transplanting at the end of February, the soil begins to be sprayed, avoiding severe wetting. Classic watering resumes only after the shoots begin to grow, also starting with light procedures and moving on to more plentiful watering gradually.
Water for irrigation should be warm, settled and soft.
Rechsteineria's love of tropical moisture is the most controversial and problematic moment in growing this crop. On the one hand, Rechsteineriums cannot tolerate even the smallest particles of water on the leaves, not to mention getting wet. Spraying for Rechsteinerium is carried out only from a very long distance, "through the air", but it is better to entrust the task of increasing air humidity to humidifiers.
The minimum indicators comfortable for rechsteinerium are 60%. Of course, to install containers with wet moss or pebbles, industrial humidifiers need only during the period of active growth, and not during the rest period, which should be dry.
Fertilizing and fertilizer composition
For rechsteineria, top dressing is carried out only during the period of active growth, from the moment of growth of shoots and leaves to the end of flowering. Fertilize with a standard frequency of 1 time in 2 weeks.
For rechsteinerium, it is advisable to use special fertilizers for flowering plants. If you have a stock of organic fertilizers, then you can alternate mineral and organic fertilizing.
Transplant and substrate
Rechsteinerium during dormancy can be left in the soil or removed from it. But be sure to transplant a plant to a fresh substrate. For this plant transplantation is carried out at a time when the duration of daylight begins to increase markedly - in February. If the flowering and vegetation period is shifted, then 3-4 months after the beginning of the dormancy stage are counted.
For rechsteinerium, you need to choose light, not prone to soil compaction. Fertile, water-permeable, loose and not too coarse substrates with a neutral or slightly acidic reaction are ideal. If the mixture is prepared independently, then you can mix sheet soil, sand and peat in a ratio of 2: 1: 1 using expanded clay, perlite (or any other loosening additive) to correct the texture of the soil.
There is nothing complicated in planting a plant. The tuber is mounted on a mound of substrate so that the top of the root remains above the soil surface (deepening half or slightly more from the height of the tuber). A very high drainage layer is laid at the bottom of the pots, ensuring that a situation with too wet substrate does not occur in the pot. The optimal height of the drainage layer is about a quarter of the height of the pot.
Diseases, pests and growing problems
Despite the status of exotics, Rechsteineria demonstrates considerable resistance to diseases and pests. She is more likely to miss the owners in care than insects and fungi. Rotting stems with improper watering and dampness of the substrate results in the spread of gray rot. Powdery mildew is rarely found on rechsteineriums.
Common growing problems:
- curling leaves in dry air;
- withering leaves in dry air.
Propagation of Rechsteineria
You can get new plants from Rechsteinerium in several ways. But only one way became popular - the separation of tubers. The mother plant in this culture is not inclined to form daughter tubers over time, which, as they grow and release strong roots, could be separated and grown as an independent bush. Kids are a rarity. The tuber itself has to be cut, separating parts with one or two growth points.
Even the drying of sections and treatment with charcoal or fungicide, gentle watering or greenhouse conditions with heat are not a guarantee of rooting.After separation, all parts may die, and the process of long-term rooting and healing does not simplify the task of growing new rechsteiners.
Used for this plant and the method of cuttings. In rechsteinerium, stem cuttings are cut, choosing medium-sized shoots with 2-3 leaves (a prerequisite is the presence of a heel) and rooting them in sand or a mixture of substrate and sand.
For rechsteinerium, it is not enough to maintain stable soil moisture, high air humidity and a temperature of about + 24 ... + 25 ° C. When rooting, you can not do without bottom heating. The cuttings are prone to decay, so humidity should be light, but stable for the substrate and high for air.
The seeds of the plant are microscopic, they require special conditions for germination and, as a rule, rechsteinerium from seeds is not grown at home.
If you grow rechsteinerium, share your experience in growing this exotic in the comments to the article. Our readers will be grateful to you!