Despite its toxicity, moodiness and extreme sensitivity, Brunfelsia of all kinds and varieties in the West are considered one of the most fashionable flowering crops. This exotic beauty is called either a competitor of violets, or their tropical replacement. But one thing is certain: Brunfelsia is a really flowering and elegant plant. Beautiful and very bright foliage, simple and touching Brunfelsia flowers can become the main decoration of the interior. But to enjoy the beauty of a unique plant, you will have to make a lot of effort.
Expressive looks capricious Brunfelsia
Brunfelsia (Brunfelsia) Is a fairly large genus of flowering herbaceous perennials with evergreen leaves and similar flowering, individual species of which differ only in the size of the bushes and the forms of growth. The main advantage of the plant is its colorful flowering, limited only by a cold palette of colors. Among gardeners around the world, Brunfelsia is known as “Morning-Day-Night” (or “Yesterday-Today-Tomorrow”) for the ability of flowers to change colors. These exotic cultures belong to the nightshade family and are the closest relatives of eggplant and tomato.
A bushy and somewhat sloppy plant for sale is represented by modest and compact crumbs - bushes with a height of 15 to 35 cm. But under indoor conditions, Brunfelsia, unlike flower centers, is not treated with growth inhibitors and it quickly makes up for it, becoming hardly bulky. This is a lush and sparse, far from compact crop, with an age exceeding 50 cm in height and turning into a tree or bush without proper control.
Brunfelsia has very beautiful leaves. Leathery, large, they are painted in a bright and cold shade of dark green, which in the interior seems surprisingly fresh. Pointed at the ends, oval-elongated leaves are not densely arranged, alternately, sit on short petioles, but create a lush crown.
This culture is not in vain ranked among the beautifully flowering indoor stars. Widely opened, simple tubular flowers seem elegant and modest, but due to the contrast with the leaves are surprisingly catchy. In diameter, they reach 5 cm, more often collected in small inflorescences up to 10 flowers each. The flowering of Brunfelsia begins when even the winter stars are already completing their parade - in February. This charming exotica flaunts flowers from the end of winter to the end of spring, and sometimes in the first month of summer, and then gives priority to other plants with more typical periods.
Brunfelsia colors include cool shades of white and blue spectrum. Most varieties are painted in blue and purple, but there are varieties with white, yellow, purple colors. A distinctive feature of Brunfelsia is the loss of its bright initial color over time. Purple, blue, purple flowers of the plant become white after a couple of days. Since they bloom in waves, unevenly, flowers of various colors can be observed on the plant, which only adds Brunfelsia charm. The most common Brunfelsia do not smell, and rare large species are distinguished by a strong pleasant aroma, soft spring and quite sweet.
Species and varietal diversity of Brunfelsia
Today, in room culture, one species is most widespread. brunfelsius - low flowered (Brunfelsia pauciflora) Compact, easy to mold and less capricious, it adapts better to indoor conditions and is more durable. It is her appearance that is considered typical of Brunfelsia. Many attractive varieties have been developed on the basis of low-flowered Brunfelsia:
- dark lilac, with flowers up to 8 cm in diameter, the "Macrant" shape;
- light lilac with a white eye “Floribunda” form;
- violet-flowering variety "Eximia".
In addition to low-flowered, occasionally larger types are also on sale:
- Brunfelsia single-flowered (Brunfelsia uniflora) with large, up to 10 cm long leaves and solitary, up to 2.5 m in total flowers, changing the lilac color to blue and white;
- Brunfelsia broadleaf (Brunfelsia latifolia) with short, wide, dull leaves and very large, but not too elegant flowers;
- "Night beauty" Brunfelsia American (Brunfelsia americana) with light oval leaves and cream flowers with a small corolla and a long tube, the aroma of which becomes very intense in the evenings and nights.
Growing Brunfelsia is quite difficult. This plant is for experienced gardeners who can provide brunfelsia with vigilant care and a quick response to any developmental disabilities. All the difficulties associated with this culture are primarily associated with the need to stimulate flowering in cool conditions and the plant's extreme intolerance to any changes. This exotic beauty needs stable lighting and temperatures, scrupulous care.
Lighting for Brunfelsia
Despite belonging to capricious plants, Brunfelsia is able to adapt and bloom beautifully under sometimes not similar conditions. This is a photophilous plant that tolerates partial shade, but only in one case: if the lighting does not change, remaining stable throughout the year. In typical Brunfelsian room conditions, it is better to provide a bright, but not too bright lighting place without direct sunlight. The classic location for Brunfelsia is the eastern or western window sills and shaded places on the southern window sills.
With the advent of autumn, Brunfelsia must be rearranged to a more illuminated place. The plant is planted either on the southern window sills, or in the brightest places of the eastern and western. For brunfelsia, you can partially use artificial illumination.
Temperature conditions for brunfelsia
From the beginning of spring to the arrival of autumn, Brunfelsia is similar in its requirements to all other indoor crops. It will feel great in ordinary room temperatures, but it will achieve the greatest effect if the temperatures remain within the range of 16 to 18 degrees Celsius (in summer, allowable values increase to 20-22 degrees Celsius). Brunfelsia does not like heat, too high air temperatures, even with appropriate measures to increase humidity, can still lead to dropping not only leaves, but also buds.
With the advent of October, flowering needs to be stimulated. And this can be done in only one way - lower the temperature to a range of 9 to 14 degrees. Keeping cool in October and November, you will achieve the opening of buds and the beginning of flowering. The total duration of the “cold period” should be 8 weeks (it is impossible to keep brunfelsia in the cold for longer than 12 weeks). Lowering the temperature should be accompanied by maintaining the usual level of illumination by exposure to more illuminated places. At this stage, you need to be careful: if you leave Brunfelsia in warm conditions, the plant will not show in any way that it is uncomfortable, it will look attractive. But later, Brunfelsia not only does not bloom, but also discards the leaves.
Change of conditions should be carried out gradually, slowly. Brunfelsia does not tolerate constant fluctuations in air temperature, drafts, especially cold.
Watering and humidity for brunfelsia
The love of this plant for stable growing conditions is manifested precisely in the requirements for irrigation procedures. The substrate in pots with brunfelsia should remain constantly moist, but without excess water. If irrigation is not regular, and the soil is at least slightly dry or waterlogged, Brunfelsia will begin to drop flower buds and will immediately react with a loss of decorativeness. That is why for brunfelsia it is necessary to build an irrigation system, selecting the ideal frequency by trial and error: between the procedures, only the top layer of the substrate should be dried, not deeper than 2-3 cm. In summer, Brunfelsia is usually watered 2-3 times a week. With decreasing temperatures, to stimulate flowering, watering should be reduced in accordance with the change in the rate of drying of the substrate, but drying up of an earthen coma can not be allowed in any case.
A vital condition for the normal development of the plant is to ensure high humidity. Brunfelsia loves frequent spraying, but spraying is not enough to create stable conditions. And during flowering it can not be carried out. For this culture, it is better to take additional measures - install humidifiers or trays with moss and pebbles.
Brunfelsia top dressing
Despite the fairly long flowering, Brunfelsia is moderately fed. They do not tolerate excess nutrients in almost the same way as their shortages. Top dressing is carried out throughout the year, even during dormancy and stimulation of flowering. But from November to February, fertilizers are rarely applied and in reduced doses (every 3-4 weeks with a half or three times lower dose of conventional mixtures or with ammonium nitrate every 3 days at a concentration of 1.5 g per 1 liter of water). During the period of active growth (in the warm season), fertilizers are applied every two weeks.
For brunfelsia it is better to use complex fertilizers for flowering plants, rather than universal mixtures.
It is possible to transplant Brunfelsia only after flowering, when the plant is at the stage of complete dormancy. It is better to change the substrate and capacity only if necessary - the first signs of lack of free soil. Young bushes are transplanted annually, adults - no more than 1 time in 2-3 years. When transplanting, it is necessary to lay a thick layer of drainage.
Substrate: slightly acidic or acidic, loose and fertile earth mixtures are suitable for brunfelsia. Very well, this culture grows in a substrate consisting of equal parts of leaf, sod, coniferous soils and sand. Brunfelsia gratefully respond to the addition of a bone bunch.
Tanks: the size of the containers, which should be only a few centimeters higher than the previous pot, as well as the presence of a high-quality drain hole, is critical for Brunfelsia.
Without treatment with growth inhibitors, Brunfelsia greatly elongates and grows. To maintain a compact, beautiful shape of the bushes, the familiar appearance of the plant in the care program must necessarily include pruning of shoots. It is carried out immediately after flowering, shortening all shoots by a quarter to a third of the height. If the plant develops too actively, grows or stretches, you can pinch the tops of the branches in the warm season.
Diseases and Pests
Exotic Brunfelsia, despite its status as a capricious culture, is quite resistant to indoor pests. The danger for it is only aphids and spider mites, and even then with a serious violation of the rules of care and deviation from comfortable growing conditions.
Brunfelsia from diseases is threatened only by chlorosis associated with improper acidity of the soil and lack of iron, as well as various rot developing on shoots when the substrate is waterlogged.
Common problems in growing Brunfelsia:
- too pale leaves in bright light;
- yellowing of leaves with an insufficient level of iron in the soil, irrigation with hard water or stagnation of water in pots.
Propagating brunfelsia on its own is not easy. After all, the plant exhibits moodiness at the stage of rooting and adaptation of young seedlings. The simplest, but far from easy, method is propagation by cuttings. Annual pruning of shoots gives a large number of apical cuttings up to 10 cm high, which can be treated with growth stimulants and rooted in greenhouse conditions under a cap. In old Brunfelsia, curtain separation can be carried out. But delenki (even large ones) take root poorly and restoration takes a lot of time.