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The once exotic plant clerodendrum, also known as the "tree of fate", until recently could only be seen in greenhouses.
It was believed that plants accustomed to a tropical climate are capricious and do not take root at home.
Clerodendrum really requires the increased attention of the grower and special gentle care. But he also thanks him with a bright, lush bloom of extraordinary beauty, which makes others fall in love with him at first sight.
Photo of a plant in a pot
See what a healthy and well-groomed plant looks like:
How to properly care for a houseplant?
Location, capacity and soil
Attention. In the agricultural technology of a flower, everything is important, even the smallest detail. But all the features of clerodendrum care are understandable. In fact, it is necessary to create conditions for the plant as close to natural as possible, and this is high humidity and rich, but diffused lighting.
In nature, Clerodendrum grows in the tropics. Some of its species are small trees or vines, but most often it is a shrub. The sun's rays enter the plant through naturally changing gaps in the abundant green cover of large trees.
therefore at home, clerodendrum should be placed in well-lit places, but not under the scorching sun. East or West window sills are best suited for this purpose. When choosing the south side, the flower should be protected, for example, with a transparent curtain. Capacity and soil should be selected taking into account the fact that the plant constantly needs moisture.
Using moistened expanded clay in the pan of the flower pot will help maintain the desired moisture level.
The capacity should correspond to the size of the flower. Since it grows quite intensively, it needs to be transplanted often, up to 2 times a year, in a pot with a larger diameter. For active growth, a flower needs good nutrition, first of all, it is a soil saturated with useful components.
It must necessarily include:
- leafy land;
- clayey soil;
- fine-grained sand.
When buying ready-made mixtures, you should pay attention to the presence of vermiculite and fine-grained sand in their composition.
Attention! Before transplanting the plant, the soil must be disinfected. This will most likely avoid possible diseases, as well as save you from pests and parasites.
Lighting, humidity, temperature
In addition to the correct location of the flower, it should be remembered that it has a dormant period from late autumn to early spring. Therefore, care in the cold season is somewhat different from the summer. First of all, more diffused lighting is required. For these purposes, the plant is often transferred to a darker place.
If in the spring-summer period the plant vitally needs constant moisture, which is maintained by proper watering and regular spraying, then in winter, when the clerodendrum is resting and sometimes even completely sheds its leaves, these actions are no longer so significant.
And here the temperature regime plays an important role in both summer and winter. In the warm season, the flower will be comfortable +18 - 25 ° C, in the cold autumn-winter period, the plant prefers coolness, about +15 ° C. If the flower overheats in winter, then abundant flowering in the season is unlikely to be possible.
Clerodendrum is a very moisture-loving plant. The abundance of large leaves promotes rapid evaporation. In addition, the flower grows extremely quickly in size, which also requires constant feeding.
In hot weather, the frequency of watering can be up to 2-3 times a day. It is necessary to navigate by the state of the leaves: drooping and faded indicate a lack of moisture. Drying out of the soil is unacceptable.
The flower cannot be watered "for future use." There should be enough water, but not in excess. The soil should always be slightly damp. Watering should be carried out at approximately the same time intervals, increasing their duration in the winter.
Water for irrigation must stand for at least a day.During this time, chlorine, dangerous for a flower, disappears from it. For abundant flowering, it is important to constantly maintain high humidity (read about why clerodendrum does not bloom, how to provide proper care for it, read here). To this end, clerodendrum must be sprayed, preferably every day.
If the flower is small, instead of spraying it can be put under the shower, after covering the ground with foil to prevent erosion. Leaves of large plants are periodically wiped with a damp sponge.
Starting in spring, the plant must be fed. organic and mineral fertilizers once every 2 weeks.
Fertilizing should not be the same as pruning. The required time interval between these procedures is 2-3 weeks.
You should choose the type of feeding at your own discretion. Possible options:
- fertilize the soil during transplanting or transshipment;
- apply long-acting fertilizers sold in the form of sticks;
- use liquid fertilizers (suitable for both root and foliar applications).
During the rest period, fertilization should be stopped.
When and how to trim and pinch?
The desired the shape of the clerodendrum can be formed by pruning and pinching. In addition to aesthetics, these procedures are also important for the abundant flowering of the plant. Pruning is carried out in several stages:
- At the onset of a dormant period, when the plant sheds its leaves, all its shoots are shortened by 1/3 of the length, in the future this stimulates abundant branching and flowering.
- In the spring, before the beginning of the growing season, it is necessary to carry out sanitary pruning with the removal of dry and dead shoots.
- Formative pruning is carried out as excess leaves and twigs appear to produce the desired plant shape.
If you want clerodendrum to grow as a bush, then the branches must be pruned as the deciduous mass grows.
Important. To obtain a tree, it is necessary to leave a single strong shoot, regularly cleaning it from emerging branches. When the desired height is reached, a neat crown is formed by pruning and pinching.
In nature, clerodendrum is a vine. He is able to form this form on his own. Therefore, to create an ampelous shape, it is only necessary to cut the plant before the beginning of the dormant period and at the beginning of spring.
Like any other plant, clerodendrum can become a refuge for pests. First of all, these are:
- spider mite;
- powdery mildew;
- Shield most often affects the back of the leaf, sucking the juice from the flower and contaminating it with sticky secretions. It is excreted with soapy water, with severe damage - with karbofos. Processing should be carried out once a week for a month.
- Spider mite reveals itself as a slightly noticeable cobweb, while the lower part of the leaves is covered with white dots. It appears most often due to insufficient moisture. As a preventive measure, it is useful for the plant to arrange a soapy shower or wipe the leaves with soapy water. When a spider mite appears, a high-quality 3-4 single treatment of the stems and leaves with an antiseptic is necessary.
- The appearance of white bloom on the leaves may indicate a powdery mildew infection. Damaged leaves must be removed, and healthy leaves must be treated with a fungicide for indoor plants, three times, with an interval of 10 days.
- If clerodendrum stops growing and starts shedding leaves during the active growing season, the mealybug may be the reason. When it appears, characteristic off-white balls are formed on the shoots and roots of the plant, resembling cotton wool in consistency. In this case, the flower should be treated with alcohol and insecticides.
Clerodendrum, a stunningly beautiful and unusual plant, can also be started on your own windowsill. Yes, it will take some effort. But with proper care, you will be more than rewarded for your labor in the form of amazingly abundant blooms and lush, bright green foliage. Real tropics at your home!