The epiphytic plant dyschidia (Dischidia) is directly related to the family Asclepidaceae. In nature, it can be found in tropical areas of Polynesia, India and Australia. Growing in the wild, dyschidia is capable of attaching to the trunks of powerful plants by aerial roots. At home it is usually grown as an ampel plant.
A special support is recommended for growing this liana.
On it, the plant is fixed by means of aerial roots. Dyschidia has 2 kinds of leaves. The first kind is rounded, thin and colored in green leaves. The second type is quite fleshy leaves, their edges can fuse, resulting in a kind of small pitcher, which can store liquid. These leaflets are about 5 centimeters long and are green on the front side, brownish red on the back.
In nature, various insects, such as ants, often take up residence in such pitchers. The flower absorbs moisture from these natural reservoirs by means of aerial roots, which proliferate into them. Flowering is observed several times a year. The small florets, gathered in whorls of 3 or 4, may be colored pink, white or red. They are formed in the leaf axils.
Home care for dyschidia
Bright light is needed, but it must be diffused. The plant should be protected from direct sunlight.
Very fond of heat and grows quite normally in high air temperatures. The recommended summer temperature is 25 to 30 degrees, with no colder than 18 degrees in winter.
High humidity is necessary.
Experts recommend systematically moistening the foliage from a sprayer or pouring pebbles or expanded clay into a tray and pouring some water, but in this case make sure that the bottom of the container is not in contact with the liquid. Found very well in humid greenhouses or terrariums.
How to water
Water in moderation. For example, it is advisable to water when the top layer of substrate has dried to a depth of 2-3 centimeters. Watering should be soft (filtered, boiled or settled for at least 2-3 days) water at room temperature.
During winter watering should be sparing.
Feeding in spring and summer once every 2 or 4 weeks. Fertilizer for ornamental foliage plants is used.
Transplanting is done in the springtime. Young plants should be transplanted once a year and adults only if necessary.
Light soil with good air permeability is needed. For planting, you can use commercial bromeliad soil. In greenhouses and terrariums, you can grow dyschidia on blocks. To prepare the soil mixture, combine 1 part pine bark pieces (or fern roots) with 2 parts moss, and a small amount of charcoal should be added. Don't forget to make a good drainage layer at the bottom of the pot.
Can be propagated by seeds and by cuttings.
Cut apical cuttings, which should be between 8 and 10 centimeters long. Treat the cuttings with Cornevinum and then plant the cuttings in a substrate consisting of sand and moist peat. Cover the cuttings with a cellophane bag or glass and place in a warm place (at least 20 degrees). The greenhouse must be aired daily.
There are often cuttings to be found in jar leaves. To do this, take apart the leaf and cut the cuttings.
After the flowering period is over, pods appear, which contain seeds. The seeds are similar to those of the dandelion, they are just as volatile. Sow in the spring in a substrate consisting of peat (or light soil) and sand.
Cover the container with glass or film and put it in a warm place (20 to 25 degrees). Seedlings require picking.
Pests and diseases
May be infested by mealybugs or spider mites.
It can become ill if not properly cared for:
- Root rotting on the shoots and root system - too much watering;
- leaf color changes to red - too much light;
- does not develop jug-like leaves - dry air;
- tips turn brownish - too little humidity.
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