Leia - an air miracle
The name of this amazing plant is still associated with the princess from the legendary star movie saga. Yes, and to the liking of Leia - a real aristocrat. Demanding, difficult, sensitive to adverse conditions, she reveals her beauty only in caring hands. But then her beauty is unique. This large plant with a translucent crown of carved leaves boasts unique colors and textures. And although Leeya has not yet managed to join the list of the most popular cultures, her modern-daring beauty attracts more and more fans.
Razlogaya and air leey
If you are looking for a large tree or shrub plant that would literally look like a weightless and airy one, then leeya is just for you. It is simply impossible to describe it otherwise. The translucent, patterned, incredibly exquisite crown of this representative of quite rare indoor plants is incomparable. Yes, and Leia itself in its decorativeness and structure simply does not know the competitors. But in spite of this unique airiness, Leia is only just beginning her path to fame. You will not find the plant on every corner, but it is still worth looking for.
Leeya (Leaa) - a small genus of decorative and deciduous plants, in room culture represented by only four species. Lei belong to the subfamily of the same name - Lei (Leeaceae) Grape family (Vitaceae), which in addition to them does not include any more genus of plants. And already this special classification of this kind directly indicates how unique the plant itself is. Leah was named after James Lee, a legendary 18th century gardener from Scotland. In nature, plants are found in Malaysia, India and the Philippine Islands.
Without exception, all representatives of the Leia clan are evergreen highly decorative shrubs with a surprisingly translucent, lace crown. Lei reach a height of one and a half meters in height, but most indoor lei are limited to approximately a meter in height. The shoots are thin, strong, erect, densely branching from the base, creating a wide and lacy crown even below. The bark is shiny, very rarely rough. Leia leaves are pinnate, with lanceolate-pointed lobes. Large teeth along the edge make the greenery of the plant even more carved.
Leaves on the shoots rarely sit, due to which a feeling of that translucent lace is created. But the main advantage of the foliage of this indoor shrub is still color. Bright gloss shine emphasizes rare olive or bluish tones of green color, in many lei changing to purple, bronze and copper tones. Any color of the plant is associated with precious metals. Many people compare the leaves of the leeya with the holly, and there is a distant similarity, although the leia reveals much more of its individual features upon closer acquaintance.
Leia bloom is considered rare, but under favorable conditions, adult plants can please them. And although this plant is classified as purely decorative and deciduous, the bloom of the leeya and the fruits tied after it fascinate. Thick, delicate and very beautiful shields of small pinkish flowers seem almost jewelry on the plant. But the main show begins when the fruits begin to ripen on the leey: the dark red berries in the corymbose fruit-trees somewhat resemble the decorative version of the mountain ash and look very impressive.
The most popular plant of the genus Lei is Leeya red (Leaa rubra, we really like to call her Lei bright red — Leea coccinea, although this name is synonymous with a completely different leey - Guinean). An evergreen shrub with not very active branching, flaunting with easily recognizable cirrus leaves, consisting of symmetrical lanceolate lobes from 5 to 10 cm long. Large teeth along the edge combine with light waves, which only enhances the reflections of the glossy surface. The tip of the lobes is not just pointed, but needle-shaped or spiky elongated. Hydatodes are located on cuttings and leaves - special stomata or water glands that can release pink or white crystallizing drops of moisture. The inflorescences of the red leea are corymbose, elegant, rise above the shoots, upon closer examination, one can appreciate both the rare shades of the pink color and the beauty of the yellow stamens.
Three other types of leey are much less common, although they also deserve attention.
Leeya of Guinea (Leaa guineensis) Is the only species not with cirrus leaves. Evergreen and very beautiful, this beauty can boast of complex leaves up to 50 cm long, consisting of large lanceolate lobes with a distinctly “ribbed” surface and symmetrical lateral veins. The young leaves of this leuya are bronze, only gradually becoming more green and repainted in dark olive, but still remain very beautiful. Brick lace inflorescences are very effective and literally glow like a necklace against a background of large leaves.
Leia is pleasant (Leaa amabilis) - a plant with variegated large leaves. It seems as though she is releasing individual huge sheets, but in reality they are only fractions of large complex leaves. Small teeth along the edge completely coincide with the pattern of lateral veins on the sheet. Glossiness is not as pronounced as in other species, but its leaves have a more interesting wrinkled texture. The dark green color, brighter on young leaves, is complemented by a stripe of white spots on the central vein and white dots on each side vein, creating a kind of border from the dots along the edge of the leaves. The plant looks very motley. The purple back of leaf blades only adds to the beauty of the plant.
Scientists all over the world can not decide on the status of one plant. Leeya Burgundy (Leea sambucina Burgundi, or simply Leea Burgundi) is called either one of the plant varieties, then a separate form, or even a separate species, although the status of the Leea sambucina species itself also remains undefined. Outwardly, the plant almost completely repeats the features of red lei, only with a different color. If red leeya can boast of grayish-gray “metallic” effects, then burgundy leeya offers slightly more noble effects. The bronze-leaved Burgundy is an evergreen plant, with an amazing color of greenery, preserving all the lace grace inherent in red lea. The shoots of the plant are red, shiny, the inflorescences are also red.
Leey care at home
How such a unique plant has not yet become a star and a universal favorite, is, of course, easy to understand: leeya is far from being a “simple girl” in nature. But her beauty fully compensates for her love of high humidity. Moreover, Leia does not require non-standard temperatures even in winter. Many much more popular and boring indoor plants present far more demands on care. And all that Leee needs is a modest constant care and stability of the environment.
Lighting for leey
This Indian beauty even in room culture remains a photophilous plant. Direct rays of the sun leave burns on the leaves, affect the color, and the plant is more comfortable in diffuse lighting. But even in light shading, growth is disturbed and the color palette of greens changes. True, such photophilicity is characteristic only for varieties with reddish, bluish, metallic effects. If Leia has “boring” green leaves and they don’t have those very precious reflections, then such specimens can be set in partial shade of any intensity.
In winter, the reduction in natural lighting must be compensated for by relocation to brighter places or artificial illumination.
Leia can be grown both in living rooms and in the bathroom, where its aerial beauty against the background of wall decoration always looks amazingly jewelry. True, you can place it in the bathroom only if there is a sufficiently large window.
Unlike many exotics, Leia does not need a cool wintering, strict control of the temperature range, does not suffer from heat, provided that the air humidity is constant. All you need to take care of is limiting the lower temperature to “extreme” 16 degrees. Below this indicator, the temperature should not fall even in winter. Throughout the year, Leia feels great in normal room conditions. Optimum temperatures - from 20 to 25 degrees.
Leia loves a stable environment. The plant must be protected from drafts, it is not necessary to take it out to the open air, expose it to any sharp changes in the temperature regime.
Watering and humidity
Like many Tropicans, Leeya prefers stable soil moisture. The more uniform the irrigation regime and the more constant the soil moisture indicators, the better. Waterlogging and drought are equally dangerous. Watering for this plant is carried out often, but not abundantly, after drying of the top soil layer, which allows you to maintain the most constant humidity. In winter, especially if temperatures fall below 20 degrees Celsius, leeya reduce watering and carry out these procedures 1-2 days after the topsoil has dried.
For the normal development and preservation of the decorativeness of foliage, Leee will need high humidity. But to think that it is necessary to transfer Leia to a conservatory or a flower window is a big mistake. This plant feels great in ordinary living rooms, just care you need to introduce additional measures to moisturize the air. Moreover, you do not need to search for combined methods, it is enough to either put the plant on a pallet with moist expanded clay, pebbles, gravel (so that the water does not touch the bottom of the pot), or simply conduct regular sprayings.
Leia feels great when working on automatic irrigation systems and hydroponics.
Feeding for Lea
Fertilizers for this plant are selected from among complex, containing both mineral and organic components of preparations intended specifically for decorative and deciduous plants. In universal fertilizers there is no necessary trace element balance.
The frequency of top dressing is standard. They make 1 time in 14-20 days.
Feeding for this evergreen plant in the cold season is not necessary. It is enough to apply fertilizer in the spring-summer period, from the moment of the beginning of active growth to its stop.
Transplant and substrate
Plants are transplanted annually only at a very young age, when Leeya actively builds up both the crown and the rhizome. Adult bushes are handled half as often (if there are no signs of full development of the substrate, then you can carry out the procedure once every 3 years). In the absence of transplantation, it is better to change the topsoil to fresh, but without affecting the roots of the plant. The plant tolerates emergency transshipments well in large containers: as soon as you notice signs of stunting or crawling out of the drainage holes, regardless of the season, safely transplant this beauty. Planned transplants are carried out in the spring.
The substrate for Leia should be quite standard - loose, permeable, light. The plant feels great in universal ready-to-use mixtures. If you mix the soil yourself, then combine the sand and the sheet soil in equal parts and add twice as much turf soil.
For this, plants do not transplant, but transhipment, avoiding contact with the roots. At the bottom of the tank lay the middle layer of drainage.
Diseases and pests of leea
Leia cannot boast of enviable stamina. Mealy mealybugs and aphids are very fond of her, with untimely isolation from diseased plants in the leuya collection, she will necessarily suffer. It occurs with waterlogging and gray rot. It is better to deal with problems immediately by treatment with insecticides and fungicides.
Common growing problems:
- lack of flowering, slow growth, pale foliage and gradual yellowing of the lower leaves with strong shading or scarce top dressing;
- falling buds in cold or during overflow;
- withering and dying of leaves in the cold, with improper watering;
- twisting and yellowing of leaves when watering with cold water or drought;
- yellowing of leaves in dry air.
Leia breeding methods
Cuttings (semi-lignified shoots are cut in summer into fragments with one leaf and one internode, all sections are oblique, at an angle of 45 degrees). After treatment, the cuttings are planted after treatment with growth stimulators in a regular substrate for lei, and cover with a cap on top. Rooting is carried out at a temperature of from 20 to 25 degrees with regular spraying and airing.
Air layering (an incision is made in the internodes, wrapped with moss or substrate according to standard technology).
The seeds. They are very difficult to get, but if you managed to collect them yourself or purchase them, then the seeds are sown in a moist substrate, slightly sprinkled on top with a thin layer of sand or not sprinkled at all. Crops are regularly sprayed, kept under a hood or film with frequent ventilation, in a bright place. Lei seeds are germinated at a temperature of 22 degrees Celsius. Plants do not dive, they are allowed to release a second or third true leaf, and then they are planted 2-3 in small individual containers and grown as adult leeys.