HOW TO GROW AND CARE FOR OUR PLANTS
The Aeschynanthus, commonly known as eschinanto, are splendid plants native to the tropical and sub tropical areas of different countries of Southeast Asia, very appreciated as houseplants as they are very suitable for being raised in hanging baskets.
Species: see the paragraph on "Main species"
The genus, also known as eschinanto, includes some delicious plants that belong to the family of Gesneriaceaewhere we find numerous genres among which the most famous is certainly the Saintpaulia, the African violet.
These are plants native to the tropical and sub tropical areas of Asia, from Indonesia to the Himalayas, with numerous species, mostly epiphytes.
They are characterized by very flexible and sinuous stems, hanging or climbing, which bear elliptical leaves of a beautiful intense green color, the fleshy tubular flowers are red or orange, generally grouped in clusters and fragrant.
Given their characteristics, they are plants particularly suitable for growing in suspended baskets.
The genus includes about 80 species among which we remember:
The A. lobbianusthey are plants characterized by very long stems, falling back numerous small leaves of dark green color, fleshy and shiny.
They produce bright red flowers that emerge from a very characteristic dark red chalice. It blooms during the summer.
It is a species that remains smaller than the previous one, not exceeding in fact the 35 cm of height.
The leaves are large and leathery with a beautiful deep green color. The flowers are red or orange in color gathered in terminal clusters. It is a fast growing species.
Among the different species, theA. tricolor (photo below) is certainly the most decorative because its flowers are red and orange streaked with black which makes them very showy.
There A. javanensis is quite similar to the A. lobbianusand in fact it is often confused with it. Also in this case the leaves are small, oval, with slightly indented margins and the flowers are red with a yellow throat.
There A. marmorata it is not very common as it is not easy to find. It is one of the most beautiful specimens of this genus with long, waxy leaves, veined with yellow on the upper page and brown on the lower one. It blooms during the summer, producing small green flowers speckled with brown.
L'A radicans forms bright red tubular flowers and blooms from May to September.
This species shows the characteristics of the genus with bright red flowers and yellow throat even if the calyx is generally much shorter than the other species. It can reach 60 cm in length. It blooms during the summer.
The cultivation of these plants is not difficult if you take into account that they are native to tropical and sub tropical areas, which means that they need heat during the summer and winters must be particularly mild. In fact, optimal cultivation temperatures are around 21-27 ° C during the summer period while in winter they must not drop below 15 ° C.
They are plants that can also be grown outdoors, where temperatures are particularly mild.
They require good lighting but not direct sun.
In spring, at the vegetative restart, it is necessary to water very moderately. As the season goes on, watering must be increased in order to keep the soil moist. Starting from autumn the irrigations are reduced until it is kept barely humid during the winter.
Wait for the soil to dry on the surface before proceeding with subsequent irrigations.
Being a plant of tropical areas, a humid environment is ideal for her therefore in addition to spraying the foliage with water during the summer, it is good to arrange the vasosu of a saucer with expanded clay or other material in which you will always leave a little of water which evaporating, will ensure a humid environment around the plant.
TYPE OF SOIL - REPOT
Repotting is done in early spring and usually every 3 years using a soil made up of three parts of peat and one of dry moss.
They do not like to have large pots so when repotting, choose one that is slightly larger than the previous one.
The fertilizations start from mid-spring and last for the whole summer; starting from mid-autumn they must be suspended.
Dilute a good liquid fertilizer in the irrigation water, slightly reducing the doses compared to what is reported in the fertilizer package and make sure that in addition to having the so-called macroelements such as nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) it also has microelements such as such as iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), boron (B), polybdenum (Mo), all important for a correct and balanced growth of the plant.
The plant blooms during the summer.
They are plants that cannot be pruned. The branches and leaves that dry up or become damaged must simply be eliminated to prevent them from becoming a vehicle for parasitic diseases.
Remember that any operation carried out on the plant with cutting tools, clean and disinfect them well (preferably with the flame) before their use to avoid infecting the tissues.
Multiplication occurs by cuttings.
MULTIPLICATION FOR TALEA
In spring, take cuttings about 7-10 cm long from the plant choosing them from robust and healthy plants. Cut immediately under the knot by removing the leaves that are further down. The cut must be oblique because in this way there will be a greater surface for rooting and will prevent water from accumulating on this surface.
Make sure that the razor blade or knife is sharp to avoid fraying fabrics and make sure that they are clean and disinfected (preferably with the flame) to avoid infecting the fabrics.
After immersing the terminal part of the cutting in a rhizogenic powder to favor rooting, place it in a soil formed by three parts of peat, one of dry moss and one of coarse sand to favor the drainage of the irrigation water.
At this point, make a hole in the earth with a pencil and arrange the cutting by gently compacting the soil.
Cover the pot with a transparent plastic sheet or a bag capped with sticks so that the plastic is not in contact with the cuttings and place the pot in a place where the temperature is around 20 ° C and keep the soil always moist. Remove the plastic every day to both check the soil moisture and to eliminate any condensation that has formed on the plastic.
When the first shoots appear, it means that the cutting has taken root. At that point remove the plastic and move the plant to a brighter position (not in direct sun). When the cuttings have strengthened you can plant them in the final pot with a soil as indicated for adult plants and treat them as such.
PARASITES AND DISEASES
They are not plants that are particularly prone to diseases.
Spots on the underside of the leaves
The spots on the underside of the leaves could mean an infestation due to cochineals and in particular to the floury cochineal which manifests itself with flock formations on the underside of the leaves and their axilla.
Remedies: they can be eliminated by simply using a cotton swab soaked in alcohol or the plant can be washed with water and neutral soap by gently rubbing with a soft sponge to remove the parasites, after which remember to rinse the plant thoroughly to remove the soap. If the plants are very large and are outdoors, specific pesticides can be used.
The name of the genus comes from the Greek aischyne"Shame" e ànthos "Flower" is to represent that their bright red flowers have become that color out of shame or modesty.
Given the particularity of the flower, usually with a bright red corolla that emerges from a very dark red calyx, these plants in English are also called lipstick plant or "lipstick plant".