A creeping herbaceous perennial herbaceous plant is part of the Nettle family. The stems are long, thread-shaped, and covered with small, oval leaves that are bright green in color. The small inflorescences are white or cream colored.
Peculiarities of Soleirolia
In natural conditions, Soleirolia, also called Gelxina, can be found in the tropical part of the Mediterranean as well as in Corsica and Sardinia. It prefers to grow on river and lake shores.
In room conditions the flower is cultivated as a groundcover plant. Gelxina is most often used in the creation of greenhouse compositions. In the wild you can meet only 1 species of Soleirolia. And in room conditions cultivate 4 varieties, with 2 of them occur very rarely, so florists them decorate their homes infrequently. There is nothing complicated about growing this flower, but there are still peculiarities and tricks.
As the plant grows in the nature only in tropical climates, you should be prepared for optimal growth and development of this flower in culture. This requires a certain temperature regime, also special attention to watering, humidity, nutrition, etc.
Gelxina is a light loving plant. Therefore, if you choose a place with scarce light in the room, it will turn into an unattractive bush after a while. The fact is that with a lack of light, the stems become elongated, and most of the leaves fly off.
Experienced flower growers recommend that you put the Soleirolia on a north-facing window, but it will definitely need additional light. If it will receive the necessary amount of light, it will certainly have a favorable effect on the condition of its leaves, which will become more dense, juicy and shiny. When deciding where to place the plant, remember not to let the leaves be exposed to the sun directly, since this can cause sunburn, which might lead to discoloration and death of the leaves. If the light is bright but diffused, then the flower will grow and develop normally.
In the warm season, the optimal temperature for Solairolia is about 20 degrees.
Keep in mind that the room where the flower is located should never be hotter than 25 degrees. If the temperature in the room is more than 20 degrees, the bush should be moistened regularly and quite often with a sprayer, also try to increase the level of humidity in other ways.
In winter, make sure that the room is no colder than 15 degrees. If it gets colder to 8 degrees and below, the flower will die. In winter, moisten the shrub from a sprayer systematically once every 7 days.
Do not place it near a heater because the hot air will kill the flower.
Do not allow the root ball to become too dry in the container as this will impair growth and development and also damage the decorative effect of the plant. Make sure that the potting soil is always slightly moist, but do not allow the liquid to stagnate in the roots as this can lead to rot. In this regard, when planting the flower at the bottom of the pot make a good drainage layer, for this you can use fine expanded clay. While the flower is young, it must be watered systematically 1 time in a couple of days, more mature plants are subjected to this procedure less often, and more precisely, no more than twice every 7 days (immediately after the drying of the top layer of the soil mixture).
During the cold season, water the Soleirolia approximately once every 7 days.
Suitable potting soil
This crop prefers a loose soil mixture that is air permeable. For example, the substrate can consist of sand, leaf turf and peat (1:1:1) or you can buy ready-made soil mixture for palm trees. When transplanting young plants, remember to make sure you have a good layer of drainage at the bottom of the pot.
Transplant in the springtime.
The soil mixture described above can be used for this purpose. It is also possible to take other soil mixture, as long as it is loose and has good water permeability, and the acidity can be low or neutral. Soleirolia is a delicate and very fragile plant. In this regard, when transplanting the bush is necessarily taken together with a lump of earth. When transferring the flower from the old container to the new one, be sure to hold the stems because they can easily be injured.
To ensure that the root system of the flower developed normally, it is recommended to choose a low and wide pot for transplanting, do not forget to make a good drainage layer at its bottom, you can use a small keramsit or vermiculite for this. When the shrub is transplanted, compact the surface of the potting soil slightly and then water generously.
Feed Solyrolia in spring, summer and in the first weeks of fall. It does not need feeding during the winter. Fertilizers for ornamental foliage plants are used and are applied systematically at intervals of twice a month.
You can tell by its appearance if the plant is lacking nutrients; in this case, the stems will become elongated and the foliage will become faded.
Soleirolia starts flowering in the springtime. If it grows in natural conditions, then its blooms last about 8 weeks and are quite lush. During this time each shoot is decorated with small inflorescences which consist of small cream or white flowers, which although they are not of much decorative value, look quite nice. When the flowers die off, no fruit is produced in their place.
This flower is very rarely trimmed, but it tolerates this procedure quite painlessly. If you like, you can give the plant a nice-looking shape. In order to make the bush more lush and spectacular, it is recommended to carry out a small thinning of its stems in early spring. This will stimulate the growth of the bush and it will become thicker and prettier after a while.
As with many plants grown at home, the Helxina has a dormant period during the winter.
This is why it is cared for a little differently during the cold season. Moisturize the soil mixture in the pot at this time should be about 1 time in 7 days, and make it fertilizer is not necessary, because in winter the flower does not need them. Still need to pay special attention to the humidity in the room where the Soleirolia grows, because because of the working devices heating it can greatly decrease. To maintain a suitable humidity level near the shrub, place open vessels filled with water or a humidifier, and regularly once every 7 days, moisten the foliage with water from a sprayer. When spring arrives and the dormancy period is over, take care of the flower as described above.
Soleirolia Proper Care and Features
After planting a young plant, be prepared that after only 4 years it will gradually lose its decorative quality. That's why you need to take care of its renewal, namely the available ways to propagate this flower. It can be propagated by seed, cuttings, rooting stems and bush division.
In order to grow helxinia from seeds, they must first be bought. This is recommended to do at a specialized store.
The seeds are sown in a container that is pre-filled with a soil mixture designed for growing palms. After sowing is finished, gently moisten the surface of the soil mixture from a sprayer with clean water. After that, the container from above is covered with a film (glass) and transferred to a place where it is always warm, and the crops need a large amount of bright but diffused light. Do not forget to ventilate them regularly, for this purpose, opening the cover for a while, as well as timely moistening the substrate from a sprayer. When the seedlings emerge and have grown a little, they should be unpacked into their individual pots.
Splitting the shrub
Rather quickly and easily you can propagate Solairolia by splitting the shrub. This is done by separating a part of the bush during transplanting, which is taken together with a root ball. The grafts are planted in individual pots. Since this method of propagation is unusually easy, it is the most popular with florists.
You can also grow Helxinia from cuttings if you wish.
To do this, cut several branches from the parent bush. For rooting, the resulting cuttings are planted in a mixture consisting of peat and sand. Instead, they can be put in water, where they will just as quickly give roots. As a rule, the rooting of the cuttings lasts about 20 days, after which they are transplanted into permanent pots and cared for as an adult flower.
In order to get a young bush of Soleirolia you can use a method of propagation such as rooting shoots.
To do this, the branch is not cut off, but simply bent to the surface of the substrate in the pot and covered with a layer of soil mixture on top. In just a few months, a sprout will form, which will have its own roots. It is then cut off from the mother bush and planted in a permanent pot.
Soleirolia or Gelxinum houseplant. How to propagate!!
Diseases and pests
The soleirolia plant is very resistant to pests and diseases.
However, if not well cared for and given optimal growing conditions, it too can develop problems such as:
- Gray rot. You can tell if a plant is affected by gray rot by the gray-colored fungal growth that forms on the surface of the foliage. As soon as the plaque is detected, you should immediately cut off all affected stems, and also reduce the amount of watering and air humidity. If everything is done in time and correctly, then the flower will not die.
- Brown rot.
As a rule, this disease affects the stems, causing them to become thin and wither. As soon as the first signs of the disease are noticed, spray the bush with a solution of "Rovral", and be sure to follow the instructions. As a preventive measure, it is recommended to cut off all dead leaves and shoots in a timely manner.
- Feverfly. If a whitefly settles on a Soleirolia, you can tell by the curling, yellowing and dying of the leaves.
To get rid of this pest, the flower is treated with a solution of the fungicidal drug Actara.
- The spider mite. Withering and dying leaf plates are most often a sure sign that a spider mite has settled on the flower. As soon as the first signs of the pest are detected, spray the bush with Fytoverm.
- The bush is withered, can it be saved? Although a rather capricious plant, Helxinia is very hardy.
If the shrub has completely dried up due to the florist's negligence, it can still be saved. To do this, cut off all the withered shoots, and plant the roots in a new pot and in a fresh substrate. After only four weeks, the bush will become lush and beautiful again, but only if you take proper care of it.
Soleirolia species with photos and names
This species is a grassy, low groundcover plant with stalking, thin stems. The root system of the plant is filamentous.
On each of the thin branches there is a large number of small leaf plates of oval shape, which have a silvery shade. This species blooms very rarely in the room and forms small cream or white flowers that are of no decorative value.
The stems of this groundcover herbaceous low plant are very fragile and slender. On them grows a large number of small oval leaves of green color, along the edge of which runs a thin white border. When grown at home, flowering is very rare, and small white-colored inflorescences are produced on the bush, which are considered unattractive.
This low plant has stalky, thin stems that are covered with lush foliage. The shape of the leaf plates is oval and they are colored in a golden-salad shade. If you cultivate this variety indoors, you probably won't be able to see it bloom. The fact is that this variety has only one bush in a hundred that blooms in the room.
This variety has a compact and miniature bush that can only reach about 20 centimeters in diameter.
The stems are long, thin and fragile, and the small dark green leaves grow on them. With optimal care, this flower will become a very striking little shrub often used for living room arrangements.
Superstitions and omens
Since Soleirolia is a very hardy plant, it is suitable for beginner flower growers. It can also be safely grown in a house where there are pets or children, because this flower does not contain any toxic substances.
Specialists also say that this plant can neutralize negative energy in the house, and even improve the health of its owner.
Also it can absorb the negative energy emitted by household appliances and refresh the atmosphere with its positive energy.
SOLEIROLIA or HELXINA is a perfect unpretentious plant | Care and breeding at home