Pachistachis - effective candles
Pachistachis yellow is a favorite type of not so big kind of ornamental shrubs, in which foliage and flowering are equally beautiful. Pachistachis can be found in the lists of cultures with the brightest palette of colors, with the most catchy bracts or among the best cultures for modern interiors. For all its original and striking appearance, pachistachis manages to remain a fairly unpretentious plant and requires stable, but by no means difficult care. This plant gratefully responds to attention to itself and pleasantly surprises with age, although it requires control.
Pachistachis yellow - a bright, flowering soloist with beautiful leaves
Pachistachis belongs to the Acanthaceae family and is a long-term, stable ornamental plant, attractive even at a time when inflorescences do not bloom at the ends of the shoots. From the genus Pachistachis, only 2 species are used as cultivated plants, but only the most popular can boast pachistachis yellow (Pachystachys lutea) This evergreen perennial in nature is found only in tropical forests, but on three continents - from Australia to East Asia and South America. The name pachistachis translates as "thick spike".
Despite the fact that the size of pachistachis (for sale) is most often limited to 25-40 cm in height, this plant should not be underestimated in terms of size. The more adult the pachistachis becomes, the more bulky and branched a bush it turns, showing off not only with its details, but also with an impressive crown. Without control, this plant is able to grow up to 1.5 m, in order to maintain a more or less compact form, it needs constant formation.
The densely branched shrub produces erect, not too branching shoots, gradually wooding from below and seeming thin. The branches of pachistachis are almost completely hidden under large leaves. Broad-lanceolate or lanceolate-ovate, elongated, with a pointed tip, leaves with deep protruding veins and a glossy surface create a strikingly impressive crown with a bright coldish color that contrasts perfectly with the color of the apical inflorescences.
The flowering of pachistachis is nothing but dazzling. The apical spikelets of inflorescences are formed by tight-fitting yellow bracts with a bright, sunny-yellow hue. Four-sided, they seem to be radiant pyramids with a strict geometric structure, capable of reaching 10 cm in length. The real flowers of pachistachis are white, tubular, with a thin corolla divided into narrow lobes. They glance between the bracts, as if sticking out to the sides, giving exoticness to the whole plant.
The flowering period of this indoor plant traditionally lasts from March to October, while the flowers bloom quite quickly, in 10-12 days. But bracts of pachistachis in dense spikelets last up to several months, providing the plant with a constant decorative effect. On one plant, up to 20 inflorescences bloom simultaneously.
The combination of tones of bright yellow and dark emerald shade of green with light white spots makes pachistachis one of the most fashionable indoor plants. This culture is considered one of the best soloists, although you can exhibit pachistachis in a group with other indoor exotics. When choosing a location for pachistachis, the possibility of increasing air humidity should be considered. This plant is often called one of the most suitable for the interior of the kitchen, due to increased moisture requirements and the need to ensure a stable warm environment.
Yellow pachistachis care
Pachistachis is not the most capricious, but rather demanding indoor culture. It can be recommended to both beginners who are ready to provide plants with systemic care, and experienced flower growers. Tolerance to room temperatures, adaptability to lighting and the absence of any unusual requirements for irrigation makes the pachychitis with the plant quite predictable. The most difficult thing is to provide this evergreen shrub comfortable for it with high air humidity, especially when you consider that you can’t do with ordinary spraying only.
Pachistachis adapts very well to different lighting conditions and can be grown in partial shade or in a bright place, it blooms well regardless of the intensity of the light. The plant does not tolerate direct sunlight or strong shading, but in places with more or less bright diffuse lighting, the pachistachis blooms equally abundantly.
The eastern and western window sills are considered ideal for this culture, but by no means worse than the pachistachis will feel in the depths of the interior, provided that enough light rooms are selected and not far from the window.
Artificial illumination is not the best idea for this plant, but if it is just about light compensation for the lack of light, then the pachistachis will not refuse these additional procedures. Maintaining uniformity of illumination allows achieving almost year-round flowering from pachistachis. But at the same time, to compensate for the reduction of light in autumn and winter, it is necessary to take really significant measures, rearranging the plant to much more illuminated areas in southern locations with minimal illumination.
But if pachistachis discards inflorescences and it has a period of dormancy, then the need for light intensity decreases and the plants either do not rearrange to more illuminated areas, or even move away from the window to obtain contrast and more abundant flowering in the next season (but still within partial shady places).
This culture adapts perfectly to normal room temperature. For pachistachis, it is important to control not the upper, but the lower allowable temperature values. Even during the coldest time of the year, the air temperature in the room where the pachistachis is located should not fall below 18 degrees. At rest, temperatures of about 19-21 degrees are permissible for the culture, but throughout the year it is better to maintain air temperature above 20 degrees. Pachistachis does not react well to heat, but high temperature values can be compensated by appropriate care.
Particular attention should be paid to cold drafts and the location of pachistachis near glasses or windows, the contact of pots with cold surfaces in winter, which can adversely affect the attractiveness and health of the plant.
Pachistachis irrigation and humidity
For pachistachis, even a short-term drought can be detrimental, but complete drying of the substrate at the roots should be avoided by any available methods. But waterlogging increases the risks of the spread of pests and diseases. For this plant, it is necessary to establish such a frequency of watering at which the soil will constantly remain uniformly moist. It is best to carry out these procedures after several top centimeters of soil in pots have dried.
Winter irrigation for pachistachis is carried out very carefully, maintaining only light soil moisture. When kept in close to the lower indices of room temperature, pachistachis can be watered infrequently, up to 1 time in 2 weeks. If the pachistachis blooms further, watering is not reduced.
Like almost all exotics in our interiors, pachistachis needs high humidity. Complicating the process of creating an optimal environment for this plant is the need to use only the so-called atmospheric methods; refuse to spray, since the ingress of water drops on inflorescences is not permissible, it leads to decay of the bracts; in fact, the spraying method can only be used in winter or at a time when the pachistachis does not bloom.
For pachistachis, a water tray is installed without contact with the bottom of the pot or special humidifiers. When placed in the kitchen or in other rooms with high humidity, pachistachis does not need additional measures.
Despite the attractive luster of pachistachis leaves, they do not like rubbing or other treatment. It is necessary to get rid of dust from this plant very carefully, with the help of warm scenting (only not at the flowering stage) or with the most soft sponge (cloth, brush) manually. Rubbing leaves with any polish for glossy pachistachis is strictly prohibited.
Pachistachis Nutritional Supplements
Fertilizer for yellow pachistachis is desirable to be applied throughout the year, making the procedures more moderate for the rest period. During the active development phase, classical feeding with a frequency of 2-3 weeks is suitable for pachistachis, but from September to February fertilizers are applied once every 6 weeks. For pachistachis, it is imperative to use complex organo-mineral fertilizer, the balance of substances in which meets the requirements of flowering plants.
Pachistachis responds very well to the application of long-acting fertilizers, especially in the form of slowly dissolving sticks or granules. Such fertilizers make it possible to simplify care and refuse to top-dress at any time of the year, provided that regular fertilizer stocks and soil are regularly replenished in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.
Without regular formation, pachistachis greatly expands, stretches and loses its attractiveness. Before plants, it is necessary to remove all dead or damaged shoots from plants and remove damaged leaves. After flowering is complete, the faded tops of the shoots are trimmed down to the first pair of leaves, stimulating the preservation of decorativeness by the remaining inflorescences and the plant as a whole.
Regular shortening of pachistachis shoots to 1/3 of the height contributes to the formation of a dense, dense and abundantly flowering crown. On young bushes, the first pruning is best done cardinally enough, up to a height of 10-15 cm to get a denser crown and the basis for further formation. At each lateral shoot on the plant, it is necessary to pluck a third pair of leaves, tier by tier forming a dense and fairly compact crown.
On adult pachistachis, annual pruning is usually reduced to pinching the tops, which allows you to get more inflorescences. But if the pachistachis needs to be formed, the branches are pruned harder.
Trimming of pachistachis is traditionally carried out before or together with a transplant.
Pachistachis transplant and substrate
It is advisable to transplant this plant not as needed (after the roots completely fill the substrate in a pot), but annually. A transplant after or simultaneously with pruning is carried out for this plant, regardless of age. The period of transplantation for pachistachis is classic - February-March.
For pachistachis, any universal substrates purchased or compiled independently are suitable. For it, sand, peat, humus and leafy soil with a double portion of turf land are mixed in equal parts. It is advisable to add crushed charcoal or bone meal to the soil.
The procedure itself is quite simple. A fresh drainage layer with a height of at least 5 cm must be laid at the bottom of the tank. Plants are not transplanted, but transplanted, trying to avoid contact with the roots.
Diseases and pests of pachistachis
Of the pests of pachistachis, the greatest harm is caused by aphids and whiteflies, but they are also rare on this plant. Pachistachis can be considered a stable plant, problems on which are possible only in a very neglected state. If the pachistachis is healthy, then they are practically invulnerable. When there are signs of pest damage, it is worth starting the fight immediately with insecticidal drugs.
Common problems in pachistachis cultivation:
- falling inflorescences and dropping leaves when the substrate is too dry in the pot;
- curl of leaves at too cold temperatures;
- dropping leaves with drafts;
- drying of the tips of the leaves in dry air;
- exposure of the lower part of shoots as a result of natural processes and the need for rejuvenation;
- stretching shoots and fading leaves in too strong shading.
Reproduction of pachistachis
This plant is propagated only by vegetative methods. Pachistachis can be propagated during the period of the most active growth and preparation for flowering, from pruning to the beginning of June. For summer cuttings, only shoots are selected on which inflorescences do not form, but more often they use the branches remaining after spring pruning (if they have at least two internodes). And the process of grafting itself is quite standard.
Cuttings of pachistachis from 10 to 15 cm long are cut only from the tops of the shoots, be sure to cut at an angle of 45 degrees and treat the bottom of the cuttings with a solution of growth accelerators for several hours. Rooting is carried out under a cap in any universal substrate or a mixture of sand and peat. For rooting pachistachis shoots, a stable temperature of 20 to 22 degrees Celsius with daily spraying and ventilation is considered optimal.
On average, the rooting process takes 2-3 weeks. As soon as there are signs of rooting, it is imperative for the cuttings to pinch the tops of the shoots and transfer the plants to large enough pots with a diameter of about 12 cm, planting one or more seedlings in one pot to get a thicker bush. From the very beginning on the pachistachis they begin to carry out mandatory pinching of the lateral shoots and tops up to 4 prunings per year, forming a base plant of compact size with no less than 12 - 15 tops.