Tolmia: Home Care, Transplanting And Propagation

Tolmia Menziesa is a not very large bush, decorated with green foliage, at the base of which you can see many offspring that look like the mother plant. It is also popularly called "chicken with chicks", because it looks somewhat similar to this bird, under the wing of which chicks are lurking. This unusual flower belongs to ornamental and deciduous crops and is part of the stonefly family.

Peculiarities of Tolmia

Tolmia: home care, transplanting and propagation

Tolmia is related to groundcover crops. This bushy plant is characterized by its rapid growth and compact size.

It is capable of covering the lower layer of the forest with a green carpet in a short time. In natural conditions this plant is referred to as a soil-retaining plant.

In nature, this plant is most widely distributed in North America, where it is native. This perennial is an evergreen rhizomatous plant, which can vary in height from 0.15 to 0.

5 m. As a rule, the shrub reaches no more than 0.4 m across. A leaf rosette is formed on a short stem. It consists of slightly wrinkled large leaf plates of variegated or deep green color.

The long-petioled foliage is highly decorative. Its surface has a large number of veins of dark green color, as well as soft pubescence. The plates have a heart-shaped notch at the base and a taper at the apex.

At the time of flowering, half-meter-long, spike-shaped inflorescences are formed, consisting of small light purple or cream-colored flowers. The inflorescences look unsightly and therefore it is advisable to cut them off as soon as they appear, which will help maintain the high decorative value of the plant.

This crop is similar to strawberries in that it regularly forms young rosettes consisting of several leaf plates. They are located on long shoots that hang down. If the rosette touches the surface of the soil mixture, it quickly gives roots. This is possible because it has rudimentary roots. Because of this, this perennial can be grown as an ampel plant in the room.

The genus Tolmia has only two species. Outwardly they are very similar to each other, differing only in the arrangement of ovaries. However, only one species, the diploid Tolmia menziesa, is grown in domestic culture. Due to the fact that it has the ability to form many offspring, it is also known by other names: "Thousand Mothers", "Hen with Chicks", "Youth in Old Age", etc. This plant also has another scientific name - Tolmia celandine.

Tolmia in the plant world is rightly considered a rarity. It has an interesting characteristic feature. Most likely only this plant, growing in a small container or pot, begins to form offspring on an adult bush only if its roots braid absolutely the whole ground clod. After dying off, the old leaf plates turn into a nutrient substrate, which is actively used by young rosettes. In nature, reproduction of this plant is very fast with the help of creeping rhizomes.

They form small "green carpets" in a short time, and the main decoration of bushes are bright green young leaf plates, which can vary in size from 5 to 15 mm. Over the course of time the old rosette gradually dies off.

Tolmia care at home

Tolmia: home care, transplanting and propagation

Lighting and temperature

The evergreen plant tolmia is under a forest canopy throughout its life in nature. As such, it does not need a lot of sunlight or a long day of light. Much more important for it is a constant flow of moist and fresh air.

In home conditions, a window sill facing north is best suited for such a plant. If the bush will stand on a well-lit windowsill, it must be necessarily shaded. For this purpose, the window is covered with a medical film or a net with medium-sized cells.

Tolmia is not afraid of drafts and low air temperatures. It feels best at temperatures from 12 to 20 degrees.

In winter, when the bush is dormant, it can be moved to a cold place (about 10 degrees).

Substrate selection

Tolmia: home care, transplanting and propagation

The soil in the forest is very light and fertile. Nutrients are regularly supplied from the decomposing forest litter. In this connection, when cultivating the plant in room conditions, it is necessary to try to select for it such a soil mixture, which by its composition will be as close to the forest soil as possible.

In order to create a substrate with your own hands, it is necessary to combine coarse sand and leaf soil, which are taken in two parts.

Also add one part each of turf, humus and peat soil, thanks to which the earth mixture becomes more fertile and water-holding.

For planting such a flower, use a tall but not wide pot, which should be obligatory disinfected. At the bottom should be laid a quality drainage layer of expanded clay, fragments of pottery and coarse sand. The thickness of the drainage layer should be equal to a quarter of the height of the pot. The method of transplanting the shrub is used because its root system includes many small roots that entangle the clump of soil in the pot very tightly.

Humidity and watering

Tolmia: home care, transplanting and propagation

In the warm season, the plant should be watered regularly and with plenty of water. In winter, when the tomato plant is dormant, make sure the substrate is always slightly moist.

In spring and summer, the plant needs increased humidity. You can easily increase the humidity at home by placing sphagnum moss or clay pebbles in a humidified tray. Through the gradual evaporation of water will increase the humidity.

Just do not forget to timely add water to the tray.

Wetting the substrate using well settled water without chlorine, whose temperature should be close to room temperature. A watering can with a thin spout is used. Use it to gently pour the water around the edge of the container, making sure that the moisture does not get on the surface of the leaf plates. If the water contains a lot of calcium, it can leave a whitish, unattractive speck or rot on the leaves if it gets on the water.

The clod of earth in the pot should be slightly moist all the time but do not allow it to become stagnant. The plant should be given a warm shower once every 10-15 days to remove any accumulated dust on the leaves. Before that, make sure to cover the surface of the potting soil with cling film.

Feeding

Tolmia: home care, transplanting and propagation

In the warm season, during the active growth of the green mass, the flower should be fertilized regularly. Both organic and mineral complexes can be used for this purpose.

At this time, feeding is carried out systematically with a frequency of 1 time in 2.5-3 weeks, using a mineral complex fertilizer. For example, before watering make a special mineral complex for ornamental deciduous indoor crops in the soil mixture, instead you can use Nitroammophoska (no more than 6 grams at a time). Mineral fertilizers are used in both liquid and solid form. Liquid nutrient mixtures should be combined with water for watering (1 gram per 1 liter of water), and solid - carefully poured on the surface of the substrate, and then the flower is watered.

During the fall and winter, the shrub does not need any fertilizer.

Tolmia propagation methods

Tolmia: home care, transplanting and propagation

Tolmia cultivation at home uses several vegetative methods for propagation: baby plants, parts of rhizomes and by cuttings. Seed propagation of seedlings does not retain the properties characteristic of the parent bush, especially the variegated varieties. That's why this method is not popular with florists.

Babies propagation

Babies are propagated by separating the offspring together with a part of the leaf or they can be not separated from the parent bush at all.

In the first case you should first cut off that leaf plate with a piece of cuttings 20-30mm long, at the base of which the young bud rosette is present. Fill a small container with a substrate of coarse sand and peat. Then bury the leaf plate petiole in it at an acute angle, and the leaf itself should be in contact with the surface of the substrate. Remove the pot in a shady place and cover the cuttings from above with a transparent cap (bag, glass jar, etc.).

For the baby to give roots and begin to grow, it needs heat, high humidity and regular watering. The rooting process should be complete after 15-20 days. The young bushes should be planted in permanent individual pots after 4-6 weeks, with a diameter of 60-80 mm.

In the second version, the leaf plate on which the juvenile has formed should be pressed well against the surface of the potting soil or pinned down. In the areas where the plate is in contact with the substrate, active growth of the baby stubs will begin.

Once the bush is fully rooted, it should be separated from the parent bush and planted in an individual pot.

Green cuttings

Cut off the leaf plate with a piece of petiole. Both the petiole and the base of the plate should be pressed into the moistened substrate. Next, the cuttings are cared for in the same way as in the propagation of scions. When the young bush is fully formed and stronger, the withered leaf plate of the parent bush should be removed, and the plant itself should be planted in a permanent pot.

Home care for house flowers. Tolmia propagation. how to properly CROWN

Dividing the rhizome

Tolmia is usually propagated by dividing the rhizome when the adult bush is repotted. Take the shrub out of its pot and examine its rhizome. Any crooked or diseased roots should be cut off.

Divide the rhizome into several sections. The places of the cuts should be treated with sulfuric or charcoal powder. The rhizome pieces can then be planted in small pots.

Tolmia in a room decoration

Tolmia: home care, transplanting and propagation

The Menzies green-leaf tolmia and its varieties are used to decorate various rooms. Several varieties of mottled species are also used for this purpose.

The most effective in room conditions such a perennial looks when planting it in a cachet as an ampelic culture. Decorated with leaves of different ages, the tiered bush shimmers with different shades of green, and sometimes you can see golden dots on it. Such a plant is an excellent background for beautifully flowering indoor crops. It is often used to decorate a winter garden or a recreation corner.

There are variegated varieties of such a flower.

They have foliage of variegated color, on which are painted yellow spots similar to the sun's glare. The variegate varieties that are most popular in culture are Maculata variegata and Taff's Gold (Taffa Gold). However, these varieties are more capricious. Unlike the green-leaved ones, they are more demanding to the density and humidity of the substrate, and more susceptible to pests and diseases. In winter during the dormancy period, the variegated varieties should be kept at a higher air temperature (at least 15-17 degrees).

To ensure that the tolmia is always spectacular and tidy, regardless of variety and species, it should be transplanted regularly once a year. And once every five years, old bushes are discarded and replaced with young ones.

Diseases and pests

Tolmia: home care, transplanting and propagation

Pests such as powdery mildew, aphids, spider mites and scabs most often settle on room tolmia. The use of pesticides in the room is highly discouraged. In this regard, preventive measures, or rather regular inspection of plants, are important.

If a whitish fuzz appears on the petioles (with powdery mildew), or a thin web forms on the underside of the yellowing leaf plates (with spider mite), or if brown plaques appear (with scab), spray the plant with one of the biologicals: Iskra-bio, Vertimek, Fitoverm etc. To remove aphids, you can use an aqueous solution of washing powder for children. Before treating the plant, you should check its resistance to the product: to do this, spray a couple of leaf plates and wait for a while.

This plant is highly resistant to disease. However, if moisture regularly gets on the leaves, it will lead to rot.

Note that heat combined with very low humidity can kill the plant.

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