Saintpaulia is a beautiful name for the genus of flowering ornamental plants belonging to the Gesneriaceae family, also known as Uzambara violet. It grows in nature in the highlands of East Africa, and is not related to violets. However, the cultivated houses of Saintpaulia are usually called violets. "Blue Dragon" is the most sought after plant of them.
Variety history and description
Violet Dragon Blue - the creation of breeder from America Lyndon Lyon. The variety is named for the oriental dragon, a symbol of wisdom, power and blessed life-giving rain. Lyndon Lyon in 2005 for the first time managed to bring out violets of terry, and later star-shaped varieties with flowers in blue shades of complex tonality. Prior to this, exclusively purple flowers existed in nature. From other violets, the “Blue Dragon” is also distinguished by large flowers (8–9 cm) of star-shaped form.
Unusual in the variety is the frame of large strong flowers with a golden-green border. But a contrasting border appears only in cool weather. In the heat it may not be at all.
Hot air contributes to the appearance of pale spots on the flowers. At the next flowering, the appearance of the petals is normalized.
Proper plant care guarantees abundant flowering. Reviews of some gardeners indicate that one bush of this variety gives up to 50 beautiful flowers with a red-purple terry edging. On each peduncle there is an inflorescence up to 7 cm in size, consisting of 3-5 flowers. Their hue ranges from deep blue to deep purple or blue.
The violet has a peculiarity: after the buds with a dark blue center appear, the leaves can curl a little. This is considered the norm. As soon as the flowers appear, they again become smooth. The leaves have a dark green color, on the back they have a reddish tint. Leaf blades are located horizontally, at their edges there are light notches.
The plant forms a large rosette. In some cases, it reaches 45 cm. Space is important for this kind of violets: the adjacent pots on the windowsill should not be located in cramped areas, otherwise the capricious flower will start to lift or even drop leaves.
If the plant is located on the windowsill, the foliage should not be pressed against the glass. The "blue dragon" is not fast growing, and sometimes even "falls asleep", as if pausing development.
For luxurious flowering and the formation of a beautiful violet outlet, it is enough to choose the right pot and suitable soil, adjust the irrigation and introduce fertilizers as necessary. Humidity and temperature have a secondary effect, although the Blue Dragon best survives in moderate coolness. High temperatures can deprive the plant of its aesthetic appearance: the flowers become smaller, the petioles take an unnaturally elongated shape, and the leaves are brown in color.
You can compensate for the heat in the room with adequate ventilation.
It is advisable to mix the nutrient soil for senpolia independently. You will need:
- sheet earth;
- river sand;
You can buy a ready-made mixture suitable for violets in a specialized store. The soil must be kept moist and loosened. Moreover, the substrate may be heterogeneous in composition depending on the method of irrigation preferred by the grower. Top watering involves 2 parts of high peat and 2 parts of perlite or their ratio of 3X1. For wick watering, peat and perlite are mixed in a ratio of 1X1.
To prevent fungal diseases and prevent mold on the soil, it is better to add crushed activated carbon or moss-sphagnum to the soil, which is a natural antiseptic.
If peat is populated with fungal spores or pests, it must be heated in the microwave, steamed in a water bath or pour liquid Fitosporin (the water should be slightly colored).
The violet is comfortable to grow in a low capacity, since it has a superficial vast root system. The diameter of the pot for planting should be less than 5 cm for young violets, 2 cm more after the appearance of young leaves and up to 9 cm for mature plants. The smallest representatives of the “Blue Dragon” are planted in containers up to 4 cm in diameter. Be sure to make drainage holes at the bottom of the pot so that excess water is discharged into the sump. Otherwise, the roots of the violet will soon decay and the flower will die.
Bookmarking buds is possible only with sufficient light. Violet needs 10-14 hours of daylight, so in winter you will need additional illumination. For its organization, fluorescent or lamps with LEDs are suitable. Florists and collectors of violets use a second, more practical option. In addition, LEDs affect the temperature increase around plants.
For the cultivation of the "Blue Dragon" on the windowsill, the western or eastern side is more suitable. The sun on the south side in summer heat can cause burns on the surface of the leaves. If it is impossible to move the flower to a more suitable place, try to shade it. To do this, a reflective film is glued to the glass, and in extreme cases, ordinary paper or newspaper.
On the north side of the senpole, on the contrary, it needs additional lighting.
Temperature and humidity
The optimum temperature for the violet “Blue Dragon” is + 18– + 24 ° С. In the winter season, it should not be below 10 ° С. And also you need to protect the plant from drafts. For lush flowering, humidity is important to maintain moderate. Dryness in the air is an occasion to place the pot on a pallet with moistened pebbles or peat. It is also worth carefully spraying the violet with water, making sure that drops do not fall on the leaves.
You can make such a shower at any time except during the flowering period: otherwise you can harm the inflorescences.
Reproduction and planting
The plant is propagated in spring using:
- child sockets;
Young stalks are previously removed from the petioles. There are 2 ways to germinate them.
- Place in a container of water and wait for the appearance of young roots. Then the petioles are planted in the soil with good drainage.
- In plates with mixed soil under a plastic bag in which vents are made.
The option of transplanting with daughter sockets is the most time-consuming, therefore it is rarely used. Propagation by leaves is similar to the petiole method. Typically, the sheet gives 1-2 children.
As in the case with many other violets, the quality of care for it affects the splendor and flowering period.
The violet always reacts to the gulf of the soil, and the consequences of such a mistake appear only after a few days. Excessive watering is especially dangerous in the heat: plants instantly die from bacteriosis. You can avoid mistakes in watering by observing some rules.
- Water should be warm or room temperature, settled for several days or filtered (reverse osmosis).
- Water should be soft. If it is too stiff, add 1⁄2 tsp. oxalic acid per 5-6 liters of water.
- No water should remain in the pan (top watering).
- Water should not be in long contact with the root system (wick irrigation).
- Drainage is needed at the bottom of the pot, preferably from small pieces of polystyrene foam.
Fertilizer and fertilizing
The large outlet of the “Blue Dragon” needs to be plentifully fed. The use of fertilizers helps the plant in building full roots and good leaves. When fasting, the violet instantly changes its appearance: leaf blades fade, the quality of flowering decreases. Complex mineral fertilizers are administered from a ratio of 1 g per 1 liter of water. Then the soil is watered.
Fertilizing is needed a month later after a plant transplant. You can fertilize with Kemira Lux, Peters or Royal Mix, as well as other formulations intended for the senpolia. It is better to do the dosage 2 times less than recommended by the instruction, and feed the Blue Dragon more often.
Be sure to fertilize the plant in moist soil, so as not to burn the roots.
To learn how to grow a violet from a leaf, see the video below.