Ahimenez is a beautiful perennial plant that is grown in warm home conditions, as well as on verandas and balconies. It blooms for a long time, releasing many cheerful pretty inflorescences, but in winter you do not have to enjoy this flower, as it falls into "hibernation".
The birthplace of Achimenes is the American continents. Since the end of the XVIII century, the plant was brought to Europe from the islands of the Caribbean. In the XIX century, the flower was actively selected, and by the beginning of the XX century, many hybrids appeared. Nowadays, agronomists continue to work on the development of new varieties, especially the Romanian scientist Serge Saliba, who developed about 200 species of this beautiful plant, was especially successful.
Achimeneses are perennial flowers of the Gesneriev family, with thin drooping stems, some varieties have an upright stem. For example, the only species that grows not in America, but in South India is endowed with just such a stem. Leaves pubescent, with a saturated color in the lower part. Single and paired inflorescences are fixed in a thin five-leafed cup.
Achimeneses suspend their life activity, freezing from mid-autumn to early spring (for 4-6 months), when daylight hours become short. In this case, the ground part completely dies. They reproduce by rhizomes, which are small scaly shoots resembling very young fir cones. The plant has no underground tubers, and rhizomes, appearing on the rhizome, play the role of seeds in the process of reproduction. From the end of winter to mid-spring young shoots appear, the first harbingers of "awakening."
During the growing season, you should take care of the plant, so that by the time of "hibernation" rhizomes have gained strength.
Preparation for storage
With the advent of autumn, the plant begins to prepare for winter rest. It stops growing, releasing buds. From the bottom of the stem, the leaves gradually fade and fall. During this period, top dressing and watering should be reduced. The plant gradually ceases to need moisture, an excess of it can lead to rotting of the rhizome and improper formation of rhizomes.
It is necessary to pay attention to temperature conditions and lighting. For a plant that resides in an apartment, it is worth looking for a cooler and darker place.
Rhizomes are considered ready for rest when the ground part completely fades. If the high temperature regime prevents the flower from getting rid of the grassy part, you should completely stop watering it.
Rhiz storage in soil
Rhizomes are stored until spring in several ways: by leaving them in pots or by taking them out. If you decide to leave the plant in the ground, you should carefully rid it of the ground part, cutting it almost to the base. The pot must be moved to a dark, cool place. The optimum temperature for a asleep plant is 12-18 degrees. During this period, watering should be completely absent. Occasionally, you can slightly moisten the earth, in order to avoid its clumping and cracking.
The rhizomes of a young plant obtained by cuttings are too small and weak, they may not survive by spring. They are best kept at room temperature and in a slightly wet mode.
When the "hibernation" comes to an end, it is important not to miss the moment of awakening. They learn about it during the appearance of the first sprouts. During this period, add a little fresh earth to the pot and transfer it to a brighter place. Now you can start watering the plant, and then feed.
Some flower growers take out rhizomes from the pot about a month before waking up, sort them out, sorting out dried specimens, and healthy shoots are transplanted into fresh soil. Before planting, the rhizomes are disconnected so that the shoots are not heaped. They are planted shallowly, otherwise the shoots will weaken. In fresh nutrient soil, the plant wakes up more actively.
Rhizome storage outside the ground
The process of storing scaly shoots outside the ground is started in the fall, after the aerial parts have completely dried. All contents are taken out of the flower pot, the earth is shaken off, gently releasing rhizomes with rhizomes. Weak, diseased material should be removed, leaving only healthy specimens. If fungal diseases and rot are detected, rhizomes with scaly shoots need to be treated with fungicide , after removing the affected tissue.
Before sending rhizomes for storage, they should be dried at room temperature . Then sprinkle with sand and peat and put into plastic bags, each tightly closed. During storage, planting material is periodically examined; when condensed packets form, rhizomes are removed and dried. If this is not done, the plants can again infect the fungus and mold. In addition, humidity can contribute to late germination.
You need to store the material collected in bags in the same way as the one that is left in pots with soil - in a cool, dark place.
Preparation for landing
Before planting, you must make sure that it wakes up. The signal is the formation of sprouts, they can be a few millimeters in size, but they already let you know that the vegetation process has begun. Even with the advent of sprouts with planting, you can not rush, most importantly, produce it within a month. Of course, it is better not to let the rhizomes grow too long, otherwise they may break during transplantation. By the way, a broken specimen also sprouts, but later for several weeks.
The time of appearance of the sprouts depends on many factors, so it is not strictly defined. From February to April, these are purely conditional time boundaries. In case of violation of the temperature regime in the direction of overheating and high humidity, Achimenes may wake up in January. A hasty awakening is also affected by their early fall into hibernation. From late asleep, young and weak plants or in the presence of low temperatures, we can expect sprouts until May.
If the sprout began to move, you can’t stop it. Such a process in January is quite inappropriate, it disrupts the natural biological cycle of the plant. You can try to slow down the growth by moving the planting material to colder and drier conditions.
But long-term illumination is already necessary, otherwise a weak thin and long sprout will form. To organize the right lighting, you can resort to using a fluorescent lamp.
Often, the Achimenes are planted already sprouted, in the form of a strong formed sprout. They grow them in glasses, planting one rhizome in each container. To do this, moistened soil is poured into a glass, planting material is laid in a horizontal position and sprinkled with earth with a layer of no more than 2 centimeters. If necessary, you can pour a little more. The glass should be moved to a warm, bright place. In the evenings, seedlings will need additional lighting. Care must be taken to keep the soil slightly moist. Watering is about once a week.
Planting a plant
A plant sprouted in a glass must be planted in a pot as carefully as possible. If possible, it is better to move the flower along with the soil in which it grew. Pots are selected shallow, but wide. From one to 5-7 sprouts are planted in one container, depending on the volume of the pot. For the cultivation of Achimenes in pots without prior germination, the same flat wide containers are chosen. A plant with superficial growth of rhizomes does not like deep planting. Rhizomes are planted as follows.
- Begin to staff the flower pot with drainage. Achimeneses cannot tolerate the accumulation of dampness; drainage is necessary for them.
- Having laid some sand and gravel at the bottom of the tank, it is covered with more than two-thirds of the earth. The soil should contain peat, be loose and moist.
- Rhizomes are laid on the surface in a horizontal position, their number depends on the volume of the pot.
- Planting material is covered with a layer of earth in 2-3 centimeters.
- If the soil is not wet enough, lightly watered with warm water.
- Pots are transferred to a warm, bright place, covered with cellophane or glass, creating the effect of a greenhouse.
Landing is completed. Next, you need to monitor humidity and temperature conditions. Plants grow well at a temperature of 20-27 degrees. When the Achimenes begin to rise, they will need illumination for at least 16 hours a day, in the evenings for them to leave the lamps on.
Waiting for seedlings
With a standard development of events, the first shoots after planting will be in 3 weeks. Depending on the early or late planting, flower growers try to regulate germination by special methods. If you need to slow down growth, you should reduce the temperature of the plants. In order for the rhizomes to sprout rather, they must be watered with warm water, kept in a well-warmed room.
You can once use water heated to 50 degrees, this will finally wake up the rhizomes. When sprouts appear, you need to wait until they grow a few centimeters, and again add a little fresh soil. With proper care, surprisingly beautiful, variegated achimenes will delight with their flowering for more than six months.