The delicate beauty Persian violet, also called exacum, is a biennial. However, in indoor culture, it is most often grown as an annual. Particularly popular is the exacum mix - a mixture of colors used to decorate terraces and balconies. In all, there are about three dozen varieties of exacum that are grown in indoor conditions.
Special features of exacum
The exacum is a compact and not very large bush.
It belongs to the Gentian family. Its dense bright green leaf plates form an incredibly lush cap. Because of this, many people not well versed in houseplants mistake this flower for an artificial one.
The small flowers with a large core of bright yellow color look especially spectacular against the background of a dense leafy cap. The color of the petals can be different, depending on the species.
Such pretty flowers look so beautiful that you cannot believe that they are the work of nature and not of a talented hand.
But this plant has one drawback: in the second year of growth it flowers more sparingly and not as spectacularly as in the first year. The number of buds is significantly reduced and the bush does not bloom as long as in the first bloom.
But despite this, many florists appreciate the exaculum for its fabulous beauty. They plant it every year in vases and cachepots and use it to decorate the area.
Flowering begins in the first weeks of summer and lasts until fall.
Home care for the exaculum
The exaculum is undemanding in its care and growing conditions. However, if you want your shrub to flower lushly and for a long time, you must provide it with optimal growing conditions.
This plant is very light loving. If you want to have a great blooming effect, choose a spot with as much sunshine as possible.
If the shrub stands on a window sill facing south, it should be shaded from direct sunlight or placed inside the room next to a window. Even though outdoors the burning sun does not cause any harm to the exakum, standing on a window screen can cause severe sunburn.
How to water
Because this plant is very light-loving, it evaporates relatively quickly from the substrate. That is why it should be watered abundantly and often. Make sure that the potting soil is always slightly damp.
The substrate must be damp, not wet. Check its state with a finger. Just put your finger on the surface of the potting soil, it should not have muddy spots, just a few moist specks. This will help to avoid stagnant moisture in the roots.
Water the crop only with well-distilled water (at least 24 hours).
The plant feels best when the air is very humid. But you should not allow any drops of moisture to drip onto the buds. A special humidifier is best, or the pot can be placed in a deep tray that is filled with water to increase the humidity.
Persian violets grow best in a light, neutral soil mixture rich in nutrients, which is specifically designed for flowering crops. To prepare the substrate with your own hands, you must take in equal parts leaf soil, coarse sand (must be preheated), humus and peat.
The optimal pot for planting should not be very deep and wide. A drainage layer must be placed at the bottom.
This plant needs systematic fertilization. And the start of fertilizing is directly related to when the bush will bloom. As soon as the buds appear, you should add a multi-purpose mineral complex for flowering crops (see instructions for dosage).
For the minerals to be better absorbed by the plant it is recommended to add the nutrient solution together with the watering.
The plant only needs to be transplanted if you have decided to grow it as a biennial. In this case, when the exaculum blooms, all shoots should be cut off almost to the base. Then put it in a place where it is always cool and dark for the winter. There it will stay until spring.
Remove the flower in the second half of March. Carefully pull the clump of soil together with the roots out of the container. Remove excess old substrate from the root system, then plant the bush in fresh, nutritious substrate.
The plant blooms very abundantly and spectacularly. It usually starts flowering in the second half of May and finishes in the first weeks of fall.
For the flowering to be more showy and the petals more colourful, the flower needs optimal light, plenty of watering in due time and the recommended temperature regime.
Trimming is very important for the plant. Over-extended stems need to be cut back. It is also advisable to cut out the inflorescences which have begun to fade so that the bush will bloom longer. If the flower is cultivated as a biennial, it should be cut back very quickly.
Even though exacum shoots rooted well in water, it should not be grown on hydroponics. If the roots are constantly in contact with the liquid, they will become rotten.
Florists resort to 2 propagation methods to get a new exacum bush: by cuttings and seeds.
Growing from seeds
It is recommended to use seed purchased from a specialized store to sow. The fact is that the seeds collected from the plant cannot retain the varietal characteristics of the mother plant.
Sowing the seed material is carried out in the autumn time. The fact is that it will take a long time to wait for the appearance of buds on young bushes. If sown in the spring, the bushes will not start blooming until the next summer period.
- Buy a low and wide pot with a drainage layer at the bottom. This will help prevent stagnant water in the root system.
- Substrate use a fertile, light and neutral.
- Spread the seed evenly on the surface of the soil mixture. Then moisten the substrate with a sprayer.
- The pot should be covered with foil or glass. The seeds should then be placed in a place where it is always warm and where there is a sufficient amount of diffused sunlight.
The first seedlings should appear after about 20 days. After the seedlings have seen their cotyledons, the cover should be removed permanently. Seedlings should be picked when they have developed their second true leaf.
Charm, beauty, and delight - Exacume, from sowing to flowering
This method provides a lush bush with flowers in a short time. Cut off the top of the stem with two internodes.
Rip off all the lower leaf plates.
Treat the cuttings with a product that stimulates root growth. For rooting, plant the cuttings in light potting soil or place in a beaker of water. The roots will appear after about 15 days.
Pests such as: aphids, spider mite and felt mite are the most common pests to settle on the exacum.
The infested shrub is isolated from the rest of the plant and sprayed with an insecticide.
The plant is resistant to disease. However, if it is not watered properly, it can have problems such as:
- The bush becomes sluggish, stunted, and has foliage falling off. This indicates that the root system is affected by gray rot.
- The foliage has lost its turgor and yellow spots have appeared on its surface.
The bush is watered very frequently.
- Buds are flying off. Low humidity in the room.
Species of Exacum
In culture, varieties of Exacum relative are widespread. This plant is native to the Malaysian Peninsula and East Asia.
Exacum relative (Exacum affine)
The bush of this biennial can reach a height of about 0.3 meters. This particular species has been used by breeders to produce a large number of varieties, each of which is beautiful in its own way. However, Exacum relative itself is not inferior to the ornamental varieties in beauty.
It forms a cap of dense green leaves, on the surface of which, during flowering, small flowers consisting of five petals adorn the surface.
The large core of the flowers is bright yellow, and the petals may be tinged purple or blue.
Blue dwarf (Blue dwarf)
This variety has particularly striking deep blue flowers with round-shaped petals. Unlike the other varieties, this exacum has large, veined leaves with an elongated shape. At the same time they are ribbed at the edge.
This is interesting! This variety is highly decorative and therefore often used to form floral arrangements.
Princesse deep blue (Princesse deep blue)
This variety is very popular in culture. It is used for pot cultivation. The plant forms a dense crown of an almost perfect spherical shape. The green, dense foliage is the perfect backdrop for the small blue-colored flowers that adorn the rich yellow core.
The average height of this plant is about 15 centimeters.
It forms a compact bush decorated with small flowers with purple-blue petals.
Please note! Specialists advise this variety of exacum to be planted in small pots.
The appearance of the plant is very similar to the Romeo variety. However, its flowers are snow-white.
Exacum triverve (Exacum triverve)
This variety, unlike the others, can reach about 50 centimeters in height.
This is why it is considered a true giant among the other varieties of Exacum. Its upright, dense stem is strongly branched.
This variety forms a lush bush. Its large green elliptical leaves are decorated with clearly distinguishable veins. The color of the flowers is blue with a deep yellow in the middle.
Miracle-Exacum. Blooming. Planted in a cachet.