Most of the houseplants delight their hosts with beautiful, bright and fragrant flowers in the spring and summer, when their colors merge with the greenery of nature. During winter frosts, most plants slow down their growth and go into a dormant state. One of the most popular home flowers - Decembrist will be able to surprise with abundant blooming before the New Year holidays. Florists recommend that you buy this plant, carefully study its features and care rules, then not only a Christmas tree, but also a magnificent flower will be a Christmas decoration.
Decembrist - a branched flower that belongs to the cactus family and forms a large number of inflorescences. The natural habitat is the tropics. The plant has flat jointed shoots with notches at the edges. A distinctive feature is the absence of thorns . Each shoot consists of several segments, the length of which can reach 5 cm. New segments appear on the tops of the old, forming long and delicate shoots.
Schlumbergera flowers (this is the official name of the Decembrist) are formed on the top of the shoot, the petals are in the form of tubes. The maximum size of inflorescences can reach 10 cm. The color scheme of flowers is in the range from pale pink to dark red . The structure of the buds depends on the plant variety.
For the full growth and development of a flower, it is necessary to create the most comfortable conditions for it. Despite belonging to the cactus family, Decembrist is more demanding on the frequency of irrigation, soil type and lighting. Christmas flower needs regular watering and protection from direct sunlight. Poor soil quality and overdried land can trigger disease development and plant death.
When choosing the location of the plant, preference should be given to windows that face north or east and have diffuse lighting. Comfortable temperature conditions range from +10 to +20 degrees. The optimum temperature for flowering in the winter is +15 degrees. Experienced growers are advised to avoid sudden temperature extremes.
For the uniform formation of new segments on all shoots, you must regularly turn the pot relative to the window glass.
During the formation of buds, it is strictly forbidden to carry out this manipulation in connection with the possible shedding of flowers. To increase the flowering period, it is necessary to lay small pieces of ice on the surface of the soil. The main conditions for the formation of a large number of buds are a low level of illumination in the winter and the absence of an additional source of artificial light.
High humidity is another indicator that affects the state of Decembrist. To humidify the air, it is advisable to place containers with water or different types of tropical plants on the windowsill. An indicator of a comfortable level of humidity is the presence of air roots between the segments of the shoot. In winter, it is strictly forbidden to place plants near heating appliances or create artificial partitions between the battery and the indoor flower. To form a crown or to obtain planting material, it is necessary to pinch off the shoots and in no case use cutting objects.
Pot and soil selection
To get a healthy and strong flower, florists recommend choosing the right container for planting and a nutritious mixture. Due to the presence of a small root system, you need to choose low pots with a large diameter. In specialized stores you can buy pots made of clay, ceramics and plastic. Florists recommend giving preference to ceramic and clay containers.
The main condition is the presence of drainage holes that can be made by the manufacturer or owner of the flower on their own. In the process of plant transplantation, it is necessary to increase the diameter of the planting capacity.
The main signs of high-quality soil for Decembrist:
- low acidity;
- loose structure;
- the presence of a drainage layer;
- high level of movement of water and air;
- the presence of perlite and particles of bark;
- the presence of mineral and organic fertilizers.
With independent preparation of nutrient soil, it is necessary to combine sand, sheet and peat soil in equal proportions , as well as add sod and humus . The introduction of fresh manure will negatively affect the development of the plant. To prevent the development of fungal and infectious diseases, it is necessary to decontaminate the soil mixture. If there is no possibility of cultivating the land, you just need to add charcoal to the composition.
Heavy and acidic soil mixtures are not recommended. In flower shops, you can buy ready-made soil mixtures for this type of indoor flower, which are of high quality and meet all established standards.
Planting a young plant in a new container should be carried out only in the spring, handling the flower into a larger diameter pot. It is strictly forbidden to transplant a flowering Decembrist. The main stages of transplantation:
- formation of a drainage layer;
- partial filling of the new tank with earth;
- plant transplantation together with an earthen lump;
- abundant moisture in the soil.
To form a new plant, you can plant seeds, root processes, small parts of the stem, cuttings and leaves.
Planting shoots to obtain a new plant is a painstaking and lengthy process that must be carried out in late spring or early summer. The main stages of planting processes:
- selection of the desired segment on the shoot of the mother plant;
- breaking off shoots with aerial roots;
- charcoal slice treatment;
- preparation of stock from the stem of the prickly pear or from peresian lianas;
- cleavage of the prepared stem;
- sharpening the bottom of the shoot in the form of a wedge;
- fixation of the shoot in the split stem of the stock;
- fastening the structure with a rope or adhesive tape.
Biologists recommend instilling several processes at the same time and subsequently choosing the strongest and most healthy shoot. Only after the shoot and scion have completely grown together can the fixing material be removed.
The technology for planting segments consists of the following manipulations:
- selection of the required shoot without mechanical damage and signs of disease;
- separation of the selected segment and placing it in a container with clean water at room temperature;
- growing the root system and regularly adding the necessary amount of water;
- the rooting of a young plant with strong roots.
To obtain a beautiful plant with a lush crown, flower growers are advised to plant several shoots in one pot.
The use of chlorinated water can lead to the death of planting material.
Growing a new plant from seeds is an unpopular and complex method that breeders use in specialized nurseries. To obtain a new flower from seeds at home, gardeners recommend purchasing ready-made planting material. Seeds collected at home have low germination and require preplant treatment.
Basic conditions for the germination of seed material:
- Greenhouse effect;
- compliance with the temperature regime;
- regular soil moisture.
Stages of the work:
- warming up the seeds for 48 hours;
- soaking planting material in a growth accelerator;
- disinfection of seeds;
- selection of landing capacity and nutrient soil;
- disinfection of a flower pot;
- disinfection of the earth;
- distribution of seed material over the surface of the soil without dusting it with earth;
- moisturizing the surface of the earth with a spray gun;
- creating a greenhouse effect with regular ventilation;
- picking of young seedlings at the stage of formation of several leaves.
This process is very long and may take more than 7 months. Botanists do not recommend using seeds at home.
The method of planting leaves to obtain a new plant is unclaimed not only among lovers of indoor flowers, but also among professional breeders. In the case of planting leaves, the following sequence of measures must be observed:
- a choice of healthy and strong leaves;
- drying the cut site for several days in a dark and cool place;
- preparation of the pot and nutrient mixture;
- deepening the bottom of the sheet plate;
- creating a greenhouse effect and regular moistening of the soil.
More detailed step-by-step instructions can be found in the specialized literature. Only after the formation of a strong root system can plants be planted in new pots.
Planting cuttings is the most common method of obtaining young plants. The most favorable period for this is spring. Stages of the work:
- selection of planting material (there should be at least 4 segments on the handle);
- the choice of temporary landing capacity and nutrient mixture;
- horizontal planting of the plant in a wet soil mixture;
- creating a greenhouse effect with a plastic bag or plastic bottle;
- regular ventilation of the structure and soil moisture;
- transplanting the plant into a permanent flower pot after the appearance of several new leaves.
How to care?
When growing a Decembrist, a number of tips and recommendations of specialists should be observed. Plant care consists of the following activities:
- soil moisture;
- nutrient application;
- creating a comfortable level of humidity and lighting;
- prevention of the development of diseases.
Basic watering rules:
- regular moistening of the soil with warm water only through the pallet;
- prevention of drying out and waterlogging of the soil;
- use of only settled or rain water;
- uniform soil moisture throughout the year;
- in the summer, mandatory spraying of the plant.
For plant nutrition in spring and summer, you must use mineral fertilizers with nitrogen and phosphorus.
In autumn, experts recommend adding trace elements with potassium, and in winter (during flowering) organic additives will bring maximum benefit. Spraying Decembrist with warm water and boric acid will help increase the number of flowers .
In mid-summer, you can remove the shoots and form the desired shape of the crown. Experienced gardeners use clipped shoots to form new plants. Protecting a plant from diseases and pests is one of the main measures that will help to grow a beautiful and strong flower.
The most dangerous types of fungal diseases are fusarium and late blight. Signs of disease development are discoloration of shoots and dying of segments. The main reason for the appearance of a fungal infection is the use of contaminated soil of poor quality. Special fungicides will help cure these diseases. Ignoring this problem can lead to the death of the plant.
Various pests can also harm the indoor flower. Biologists distinguish several of the most dangerous types of insects:
- spider mite;
- scale shield.
To kill insects, it is necessary to treat the plant and soil with special chemicals.
Failure to follow the rules of plant care can cause the following problems:
- shrinking of shoots - non-compliance with the irrigation regime;
- redness of the leaves is a consequence of exposure to low temperatures;
- drying - the presence of a fungal disease;
- drying and falling of inflorescences - insufficient amount of watering and the presence of drafts;
- lack of flowers - non-compliance with the rules of watering and making nutrients, as well as the level of illumination.
For many decades, indoor plants have been an integral part of the living space.
Green helpers not only decorate the house, but also purify the air and also heal the atmosphere.
Among the huge number of green pets, florists recommend paying attention to the Decembrist, who will be able to please all family members on New Year and Christmas holidays with bright and beautiful flowers.