Nematanthus: Home Care, Propagation And Transplantation

The Nematanthus plant is a member of the family Gesneriaceae. This genus includes 6 species, which are represented by shrubs, semi-shrubs, epiphytic and semi-epiphytic lianas. In nature, Nematanthus is most commonly found in South America. The genus name comes from two Greek words: "nema", which translates to "thread", and "anthos", "flower". The fact is that some species of this plant have flowers with long and thin pedicels.

They can be painted orange, yellow, pink or red. Externally, nematanthus is very similar to columbine or zipocirta. This is why some of these species were included in the genus Nematanthus.

Home care for nematanthus

Nematanthus: home care, propagation and transplantation


For the nematanthus to grow and develop properly, it needs bright diffused light, and the light day length should be 12 to 14 hours. Choosing a suitable place for such a flower, preference should be given to windowsills located in the western or eastern part of the room.

The flower can also be planted on a north-facing window, but note that in the colder seasons the flower may not have enough light, which can have a very negative impact on flowering. If the flower is placed on a southern window sill, then in summer it will need compulsory shading in the midday hours from the scorching direct rays of the sun, otherwise the surface of the leaves can get burnt. In winter the plant also needs plenty of bright light, as in summer. If sunlight is not enough for the Nematanthus, it can be additionally illuminated by installing, for example, phytolamp. If the flower is very big, you will have difficulty putting it under a daylight lamp.

Temperature control

The flower should be kept warm during the whole growing season. It grows best at 19-24 degrees during this time. In winter, the nematanthus has a dormant period, during which the flower should be in a cooler place (14 to 16 degrees). The plant normally tolerates a short-term decrease in temperature. However, if the room in which it is located for a long time will be colder than 13 degrees, this will have an extremely negative impact on its decorativeness.

If the temperature drops to 7 degrees Celsius in the room, the leaves will turn brown and fly off. If on the contrary it will be very hot (27 degrees and more), this will also have a negative impact on the development of the flower. The flower responds well to a decrease in air temperature at night by 5-10 degrees.


Nematanthus: home care, propagation and transplantation

In the warm season during active growth of the nematanthus water regularly and abundantly, immediately after the top layer of soil mixture in the container dries out. With the onset of the dormancy period in the cold season, abundance and frequency of watering should be reduced, especially if the flower is in a cool room.

Moisturize the soil mixture in the flower pot should only be well-conditioned, soft water, the temperature of which should be close to room temperature. If a species with rather large leaf plates, which absorb more water, is grown, then it is recommended to resort to differentiated watering, and the size of the bush, the size of the leaves and the composition of the potting soil should be taken into consideration.

You can tell if the plant is lacking water by the following signs: small leaf plates fly off and large leaves curl. If the clod has dried out very badly in the pot, then you will need to immerse the bush with the container in a basin filled with water. After the parched substrate is saturated with water, the pot with nematanthus removed from the basin.

If there is a void between the clump of soil and the pot, it must be filled with fresh substrate.

Air Humidity

Optimal air humidity level for room nematanthus is about 50%. Note that the warmer the room, the higher the humidity level should be and vice versa. If the temperature in the room is not more than 21 degrees, then the humidity should be about 50%. At air temperatures up to 27 degrees, the air humidity level should be raised to 60%.

In spring and summer, the flower responds well to daily humidification from a sprayer, warm and soft water is recommended for this purpose. In cool overwintering conditions it is not possible to humidify, but if it is necessary to increase the air humidity, a tray filled with wet pebbles or claydite is taken and the Nematanthus pot is placed on it.


Feed regularly once every 15 days during the growing season, using a complex mineral fertilizer. In autumn the flower is fertilized less often and in winter fertilizer is not added to the soil mixture at all.

Flowering and pruning

Nematanthus: home care, propagation and transplantation

Blooming of Nematanthus starts in spring and ends in autumn time.

However, if the flower gets enough light in the winter, it can begin to bloom. This plant differs from many others grown in room conditions by the fact that its flowers are formed only on young shoots. In this regard, for a lush and spectacular flowering, it is necessary to systematically carry out rejuvenating pruning of the bush. As a rule, the bush is trimmed immediately after it blooms. If the flower is not moved to a cool place during the winter, then its shoots are strongly elongated.

In this case, another pruning will be needed in early spring to shorten the too long stems.

If the bush is already very old, it may lose its decorativeness. But do not rush to throw it away. Cut off its strongest shoots and root them as normal cuttings. This ensures that instead of one old one, you will have several young and beautiful bushes.


Nematanthus: home care, propagation and transplantation

Potting Nematanthus in the springtime, but only when necessary. When choosing a new pot for transplanting, consider that it should be only slightly larger than the old one, because in a too spacious container the bush may not bloom for a long time. So, the new container should be 10-20 mm larger in cross-section than the old one.

At the bottom of the pot you must necessarily make a good drainage layer, so as not to be observed stagnant liquid in the substrate, which must be sure to be loose. The soil must be light, loose, with good water and air permeability, neutral or slightly acidic with a pH of 5.

5-6. Approximate composition suitable to grow nematanthus soil mixture may be as follows: leaf soil, sand, peat and humus taken in the proportion 2:1:1:1. We recommend adding small pieces of charcoal and sphagnum moss cut up with scissors to the finished substrate.

Nematanthus / Goldfish (Nematanthus)


Breeding from seed

Nematanthus can be raised from seed if desired. When the capsules that appeared after flowering are fully mature, take a white paper sheet and drop the seeds, which are very, very small, onto it.

Fill a small container with substrate, level its surface and moisten it. To sow the seeds evenly, they should be sprinkled from the paper sheet, while gently tapping on it. It is not necessary to cover the seeds with soil, but the container with seeds must be covered with a film or glass. Moisten the crops in the method of bottom watering (through the tray). After the first seedlings appear, be sure to remove the cover.

Grown seedlings should be pickled, and in one pot it is recommended to plant several plants at once, so that the bush was more lush and showy. The bushes will bloom in a year already.


Nematanthus: home care, propagation and transplantation

To propagate this flower you can also take either apical or stem cuttings. Cuttings can be taken at any time of the year and should be 70-100 mm long. From the lower third of the cuttings all the leaf plates are cut off, and then it is planted for rooting in a loose substrate that is well permeable to air, or in sphagnum moss.

The parent bush, from which the cuttings were taken, the first time it is recommended to shade from direct sunlight. Rooted cuttings are recommended to plant in a permanent pot a few pieces. If the nemantus is not properly cared for or not optimally raised, the following problems will occur:

Diseases and pests

Nematanthus: home care, propagation and transplantation

If the nemantus is not properly cared for or not given optimal growing conditions:

  1. Brownish spots will form on the leaves. This will occur if excessively cold water is used for watering. Remember the water temperature should be about 20 degrees.

  2. Leaves fly off. If the shrub begins to lose its leaves in the fall or winter, the room is too cold.
  3. The root system has dried out. This can be seen in the summer, with very little or no watering, when the potting soil dries out too much.
  4. Yellowing and desiccation of the leaf plate tops.

    The air in the room is too dry.

  5. Flowers turn brown and fall off. This can be due to water droplets getting on the surface of the flowers. So you must be very careful when using a sprayer during flowering.

Moisture too much can cause grey rot and pests such as thrips, aphids and spider mites sometimes settle on the plant.

Nematanthus species

Nematanthus bractus

Nematanthus: home care, propagation and transplantation

This species is a climbing plant. The opposite-looking leaf plates are elliptical in shape and reach about 50-100 mm in length. The leaves are colored satin-green and their undersides have a pale red hue.

Nematanthus fritscha

Nematanthus: home care, propagation and transplantation

In natural conditions, the bush is about 0.6 m tall.

The lower surface of the showy green foliage is pale red, reaching about 75 mm in length. The deep pink flowers have a funnel diameter of up to 50 mm.

Nematanthus glabres

Nematanthus: home care, propagation and transplantation

The species is a climbing epiphytic shrub. The greenish, smooth, suprotectively arranged leaf plates are elliptical in shape, up to 40 mm wide and about 100 mm long. During flowering, pedicels grow out of the leaf axils, which are about 100 mm long.

The funnel-shaped single flowers are scarlet red and swollen at the base of the corolla tube. The calyx includes 5 narrow incised segments.

Nematanthus Vetstein

Nematanthus: home care, propagation and transplantation

In culture, the species is grown as an ampel plant. Strongly branched, slender shoots can be about 0.9 m long.

There is a waxy patina on the surface of the dark green small oval leaves. The flowers are about 25 mm long and are red-orange with touches of yellow. The species blooms relatively long and lushly.

Nematanthus flower Goldfish


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