Nematanthus belongs to the Gesneriaceae family. Under natural conditions, it is a shrub or herbaceous plant that grows or is attached permanently to other plants (epiphyte). The genus includes about 30 species. The birthplace of Nematanthus is South America. According to modern classification, it once entered the independent genus Hypocirth.
The shoots of the nematanthus are climbing, creeping or drooping, up to 90 cm long. They first grow vertically, then fall under their own weight. Its leaves are small, juicy, elongated with a sharp tip, painted green, in some species the lower side of the leaf plate is purple.
For the unusual shape of the flowers with sepals grown together, the nematanthus is sometimes called the "goldfish". Corollas of the plant are colored in orange, pink, red, purple. The flowering is plentiful, long, lasts all summer.
Nematanthus is also considered an ornamental deciduous and ornamental flowering plant.
Types of Nematanthus
- Nemantanthus Ankle - shrub with oval smooth leaves up to 10 cm long and red flowers.
- Nemanthus Vetstein - it is a plant with thin drooping stems with a maximum length of 90 cm. The leaves are small, as if waxy, of a beautiful dark green color. Blooms in yellow-orange flowers.
- Nemanthus Tropicana has yellow-orange red-striped flowers.
- Nemantanthus Gregarius - It is thanks to this species that the nematanthus is sometimes called the goldfish. Its yellow-red flowers really resemble aquarium fish in shape and color.
- Nemantanthus Priorechny is a climbing plant with lemon flowers. Leaves are shiny, green above, reddish below, smooth and shiny, 5-10 cm in size.
- Nemanthus Fritsch - shrubs up to 60 cm high with a pubescent stem and pink flowers. Leaves painted red on the underside reach 7.5 cm.
- Nemantanthus Naked - semi-ampoule shrub with glossy small leaves and bright orange flowers.
- Nematanthus Monetifolia - plant with drooping shoots and tiny light green leaves. When the red flowers with a yellow limb bloom, the plant discards the leaves.
- Nematanthus Fine-bristled - miniature, no more than 25 cm tall plant with orange-red flowers.
Nematanthus is not among the plants that are easy to care for, but if you follow all the rules exactly, taking care of it will not take much time.
Temperature and lighting
Nematanthus needs a lot of sun, he will feel great on the south window and only in the summer afternoon it may require shading. This is one of those plants that can grow fully under artificial lighting. Highlighting is needed in winter.
In summer, room temperature is suitable for nematanthus. A cooler wintering at 16-18 degrees stimulates flowering. The plant can withstand a lower temperature, but then it should be almost stopped watering.
Humidity and watering
Humidity does not matter. Sprayed only at high temperature and dry air.
Watering is plentiful in summer, moderate in autumn, and scarce in winter. Do not allow stagnation of water at the roots and drying out of an earthen coma.
Fertilizer and fertilizing
Nematanthus is fed spring and summer with full mineral fertilizer, and in spring it is done twice a month, and in the summer - every 3-4 weeks. Top dressing is stopped after flowering.
Soil and transplant
The substrate is suitable for the Saintpaulia with the addition of crushed brick, sand, crushed coal, sphagnum moss and pine bark so that the soil is more suitable for epiphyte.
Often there is no need to transplant the plant. It is enough once every 2-3 years to transplant the flower into a larger pot with a good drainage layer. The pot for nematantus is small and small - it has a weak root system.
Flowering and pruning
Nematanthus blooms for a long time and abundantly on the shoots of the current year. For flowering to be plentiful, and for a bush, a beautiful plant needs annual pruning.
Nematanthus grown as an ampel plant is cut weakly, only to stimulate the formation of side shoots. The flower, which is shaped like a bush, is cut in half. You can do this in the fall immediately after flowering or in the spring, in late February - early March.
Nematanthus is propagated throughout the year by apical cuttings with at least four internodes. It is better if there will be 6-8 of them.
Rooting can occur in water, perlite or peat. All you need is a high temperature, about 22-25 degrees, daily spraying, light and a transparent film for shelter. For rooting, it is better to take thick shoots of previous years, since young twigs can rot.
When young plants grow, they are planted in the ground a few pieces.
Pests, diseases and possible problems
When pests appear, the nematanthus is treated with an insecticide, for example, an actelik.
In the absence of drainage or stagnation of water at the roots of the plant, various rot can affect the plant, powdery mildew disease is also possible. Stop watering and spraying and treat the flower with a systemic fungicide.
With improper watering and too cold contents, the nematanthus can discard leaves and flowers.
Excess fertilizer will cause yellowing of the leaves.
If you spray the plants at noon, a burn may appear on the leaves.
From watering with cold water, the plant can drop leaves.