A perennial herbaceous evergreen plant (Callisia) is a member of the family Commelinae. In nature, the flower is found in South and Central America, as well as the Antilles, and it prefers to grow in shade and in high humidity in the subtropics and tropics. The genus consists of 12 species, some of which are cultivated at home. The name "callisia" is derived from two Greek words meaning "beautiful" and "lily". However, this plant is not closely related to the lily at all, but to the tradescantia.
Brief description of cultivation
- Flowering. In the home, callisia flowering is a rather rare occurrence. As a rule, it occurs in the last summer or first autumn weeks.
- Brightness. Grows well in slight shade or in diffused bright light.
- Temperature regime. In spring and summer, 20 to 24 degrees and in cold seasons, 16 to 18 degrees. Make sure the room is no colder than 14 degrees.
- Pouring. During the growing season, water the bush immediately after the top layer of substrate has dried.
During the winter, moisten only after the substrate has dried 1/3rd of its depth.
- Moisture. Needs high humidity in the air. On hot days, systematically moisten foliage with a sprayer.
Feed the flower in April-October 1 time in 15 days, for this purpose a solution of mineral complex is used. In other months the plant is not fed.
- Dormant period. November-March.
While the bush is young it is transplanted regularly once a year, while older specimens are subjected to this procedure less frequently (once every 2 or 3 years).
- Propagation. By grafts, apical cuttings and division of the rhizome.
- Diseases. Decorativeness of the plant may be affected by improper care or unsuitable growing conditions.
- Pests. Spider mites and thrips.
- Properties. The flower reacts extremely negatively to tobacco smoke.
Callisia, care and maintenance!
While callisia can bloom in indoor conditions, it is cultivated as a decorative leafy plant.
There are four types of callisia most commonly cultivated at home: the rook, the fragrant (golden mustache), the creeping and the graceful callisia. All of these species are usually grown as ampelous plants, with the fragrant callisia being considered a medicinal plant.
Home care for callisia
Lighting and site selection
Home callisia needs lots of bright light, which should be diffused. Be sure to shade the shrub from direct sunlight. If the room is sunny, then the shrub can be placed away from the window.
In the kitchen, it is extremely undesirable to place this plant, because it reacts negatively to various vapors, tobacco smoke, impurities in the air, etc. In order for the callisia to feel well, it must be ventilated regularly in the room, and in the warm season it can be moved outside or to the balcony.
Callisia can decorate not only your apartment or cottage, it also feels quite well in the office. However, special attention must be paid to ventilation. Avoid drafts as they are even more dangerous for the plant than stuffiness.
Callisia feel fine in summer at a temperature of 20 to 24 degrees and in winter at 16 to 20 degrees. But remember that the flower must be protected from cold and sudden temperature changes. Make sure that in the winter time the room is not colder than 14 degrees.
In the spring and summertime, soft water, which should be close to room temperature, is used to water the collisia. The substrate in the pot is moistened as soon as the top layer dries out.
In the fall and winter, water the collisia less frequently and sparingly, especially if it stands in a cool room. But remember that the soil mixture in the pot should not dry out completely, because this can lead to the death of the bush. Also make sure that the liquid does not get into the middle of the leaf rosette when watering, otherwise the plant may rot.
Because the Collisia is native to the tropics, it needs high air humidity. Particular attention should be paid to this on hot days in the summer and in the winter when the room is heated.
To protect the flower from the detrimental effects of excessively dry air, the plant should be moistened regularly using a sprayer or, if possible, a household humidifier.
Fertilizers are required from April to October. Fertilize every two weeks with a house plant fertilizer. At other times, the bushes are not fertilized.
Transplanting the callisia
While the flower is young, it needs frequent regular transplanting, which is done once a year.
As the bush grows older, it should be transplanted once every 2 or 3 years.
The new container should be 20mm larger in cross-section than the old one. Fill it ¼ of its height with a drainage layer consisting of pebbles or expanded clay. Transplant the bush into a new container and fill the empty spaces with a mixture of sand, mulch, leaf and sod soil (1:1:1:1). The transplanted flower should be well moistened.
Few flower growers believe that the callisia does not need transplanting. Instead, it is better to take a cuttings from the old bush and grow a new flower from it. Of course, if the bush in the lower part is very bare, then it is better to do exactly that. But if you take care of it properly, it will not grow out so fast.
Callisia can be propagated at any time of year if you wish. You will have to use the same propagation methods as for ivy, trudescans or hoyas
You should cut an apical cutting from the shrub with 3 or 4 internodes. Immerse the cuttings in a glass of water and wait for the roots to grow. After rooting, the cuttings are planted in a pot. For the bush to be lush, several cuttings are planted in one container at once.
How to propagate callisia. Quick and easy. Take it and do it!
It is quite simple to propagate callisia by grafts. Take a shoot and simply bury it in a pot next to the parent bush. If there is no room in the pot, then put a small container with soil next to it and already bury the stem in it.
Once it has roots, cut the stem off the pot and plant it in its own container.
Splitting the bush
There is nothing difficult here either. During transplanting, divide the bush into several parts. Then each division is planted in a separate pot.
The indoor callisia is extremely resistant to various diseases.
But if you do not take care of it often or if it does not have favorable living conditions, problems will arise:
- Drying out of the tips of the leaf-platelets. You water the bush too sparingly or infrequently, and the air in the room is very dry.
- The shoots are elongated and the foliage is falling off. Excessively sparse light.
- Leaves fly off en masse and rot has appeared on the root system.
The substrate is regularly stagnant with liquid. This could be due to frequent watering or poor drainage.
Spider mites and thrips could settle. These pests are suckers, which means they suck the sap from the leaf plates, causing them to turn yellow and die off. The bush itself begins to wither.
To get rid of mites use acaricides, and from thrips - insecticides. Spraying is best done in a well ventilated area or outside as these products are harmful to humans.
Callisia species and varieties with photos
This compact species has creeping, cranked shoots over 50cm long. The shoots are upright at first, but in time they drop down. This kind of flower looks a lot like a trudescantia.
Its height can vary from 0.3 to 0.4 m. On the surface of the shoots and foliage there is a pubescence velvety to the touch. The cell-free, oval-shaped foliage is pointed at the tips.
It reaches about 60 mm in length, with a greenish-purple colored underside and a dark green face with silvery stripes. On the tops of the stems, flowers of a white hue appear. Note that the plant loses its decorativeness after 2 years: the foliage becomes duller and sparse. Restore it by grafting or cuttings.
Callisia navicularis (Callisia navicularis)
This species is quite variable.
The fact is that its ornamentality is in direct correlation with growing conditions and variety. This succulent plant has shoots at the nodes that take roots very quickly. Its succulent lanceolate leaf plates are double-rowed, and they are strongly concave, and there is a longitudinal cleft. The underside of the leaves is purplish-brown and the front surface is greenish-bronze, turning red in the sunlight. The leaves are devoid of pubescence, but there are short villi along the line ascending from the axil.
The leaf plates are 15 mm wide and 20 mm long.
Callisia creeping (Callisia repens)
The bush reaches about 30 centimeters in diameter and up to 20 centimeters in height. The shoots are purple or pale red and rather thin. They are adorned with small deep green leaf plates covered with purple mottles, they are heart-shaped and arranged in 2 rows. Not distinguished by high decorativeness, the flowers are colored in a white shade.
In the garden plot this species is grown as groundcover, and in the room culture the bushes are planted in hanging structures.
- Bianca. The delicate shoots are colored in a purple-reddish hue, while the small leaf plates are a rich green color.
- Panther Pink. The foliage of this plant is green-pink and striped.
Also popular among gardeners are the following varieties of this species: Noam Popula, Pink Lady and Tortle.
Callisia fragrant or Thai (Callisia fragrans)
In people this species is also called golden mustache, living hair, corn, Far East mustache, home ginseng. This type of callisia differs from the others grown at home in that its bush is larger. Its height often reaches about 150 cm. But remember that such a plant needs a good support, otherwise it can break under its own weight.
This plant has 2 types of shoots:
- mossy short upright growing stems, decorated with large leafy rosettes on the tops;
- tubular long horizontal sprouts (jointed whiskers) that the flower needs to 'conquer' new territories.
The large leathery to touch leaf plates are quite fragrant and painted a dark green shade. They are about 6 centimeters wide and up to 30 centimeters long. The underside of the foliage is matte and the front surface is shiny. If the bush is in a well-lit place, its foliage takes on a pinkish hue.
Ampelent plant is callisia...