The genus bouvardia is directly related to the marigold family. It is represented by not very tall evergreen flowering herbaceous plants as well as shrubs. In nature they can be found in the subtropical and tropical regions of Central America and Mexico.
The plants of different species can vary in height from 50 to 150 centimeters. The upright, weakly branched shoots have sparse internodes.
They bear short-petioled whorled or opposite leaves. Simple leaves reach 3-11 centimeters in length and are broadly lanceolate to lanceolate in shape. They can also be ovate with a pointed apex. The leaf plate is slightly leathery and smooth.
Flowering is prolonged.
It lasts from the beginning of summer to the end of autumn, sometimes blooming in winter. Multiflowered large fragrant inflorescences resemble a bouquet. They grow at the ends of annual stems and in some species their diameter is 15 centimeters. The tubular florets have 4 lobed petals that are bent back.
Housing Bouvardia at home
With the years, the popularity of this plant has declined.
However, it is quite undemanding and not that difficult to care for.
Needs good yet diffuse light. For bouvardia to develop and grow normally it needs light of 3000 to 3900 lux.
In summer, moderate temperatures of 20 to 25 degrees are recommended. During winter, the plant needs rest, but only if it is not flowering in winter.
During the dormant period, it is placed in a cool place of 10-12 degrees, no colder temperatures are allowed, as this can cause the leaves to freeze.
How to water
When the plant is growing strongly, regular moderate watering is provided. It is advisable to water only when the top layer of substrate has dried to a depth of 2 or 3 centimetres. Make sure there is no standing liquid in the soil as this can cause rotting of the shoots and the root system.
When winter arrives, watering should be reduced, but the leaves and stems should not be allowed to become sluggish.
Water the plant in mild, chlorine-free room temperature water.
High humidity is not necessary. However, for hygienic reasons it is advisable to give the plant a warm shower regularly to remove accumulated dust and dirt from the leaves.
To make the shrub more lush and flower more abundantly you should prune it systematically in the 1st year of life. And in the autumn or spring before the intensive growth period starts, all shoots should be cut back to ½ size.
A suitable soil should be nutrient-rich and have good water and air permeability. A commercially available universal potting soil is also suitable for planting, but not too much vermiculite or perlite should be added. Earth mixture can be made your own hands, you must mix peat, sod and leaf soil, and sand in a ratio of 2:4:1:1.
Fertilizing is carried out during intensive growth 2 times a month. Use either compound mineral fertilizer or a universal fertilizer for houseplants.
It is forbidden to add fertilizer to the soil in winter.
Precautions of transplanting
The disadvantage of this plant is that abundant flowering in it is observed only on the 2nd year of life. In all the following years, it will not be as abundant or the bouvardia will not bloom at all. In this regard, experienced florists recommend replacing this plant once every 2 years with a young one. Transplanting is carried out only on young bushes that are one year old.
This procedure should be done in the springtime, and the flower should be placed in a larger pot.
The bouvardia can be multiplied very easily and simply with cuttings. Apex stems are used for cuttings. The cuttings should have 2 or 3 internodes. Rooting is quick and easy and even a simple glass filled with clean water can be used.
Dividing the sprawling bush, you will also propagate the bouvardia. But in this case there will be no renewal of the plant and therefore the flowering problem will not be solved.
Diseases and pests
The most common disease of this plant is root rot. It is usually caused by a stagnant liquid in the substrate when watering too much. When you will plant the plant, it is necessary to make a sufficiently high and good drainage layer in the container for preventive purposes.
The bush affected by root rot is simply disposed of, because it is impossible to cure it, and it is recommended to cut it up to get young plants.
Also quite often such a plant suffers from leaf chlorosis. The cause of this disease is unsuitable water used for watering. To combat this disease, as well as for preventive purposes, it is necessary to carry out feeding with iron chelates.
The flower is resistant to pests, but it can be infested with aphids.
To get rid of it, the foliage should be well washed by giving Bouvardia a warm shower.
There are several species growing in the room.
Bouvardia yellow (Bouvardia flava)
This species is tall and can reach 1 meter in height. It has lanceolate leaves and yellow-colored flowers.
Also a rather tall flower, but its leaves are ovate pointed and the snow-white flowers are incredibly fragrant.
Bouvardia jasminiflora (Bouvardia jasminiflora)
This is a dwarf plant that can reach 0.6 meters in height. It has white, fragrant flowers that look and smell like jasmine. It blooms in winter.
This is the most popular species.
It can reach up to 70 centimeters in height. It has ovate, pointed leaves that are dark green in color. They reach 5 centimeters in length. Flowers vary in color from deep to light pink or crimson depending on the variety. There are some terry forms available.