Hypoestes (Latin Hypoestes) is a tropical, refined representative of the Acanthaceae family, more than 100 species are known. Distributed on the island of Madagascar, can also be seen in some African regions.
Lush shrubs and herbaceous highly branching plants, with oval, pointed smooth leaves 7-12 cm long, sometimes with jagged edges and an unusual, special coloring. A lot of bright red or light pink spots are scattered on the leaf plate in a chaotic manner, which stand out in contrast against a green background.
The flowers are small, inconspicuous, located on short pedicels, collected in axillary inflorescences at the tops of the stems. The color of the flowers is lilac.
The exotic representative of the overseas flora is valued for its variegated foliage, and after flowering the shrub loses its former decorative effect, therefore it is better to cut off the flower arrow that appears before the hypoesthesia blooms.
Other names: Hypoestes, Hypestes, Variegated peas.
Hypoestes - popular types:
Hypoestes phyllostachya - violet-red leaves, lavender flowers, solitary. The evergreen dwarf shrub is distinguished by a variety of forms and varieties. A common species in home floriculture. With proper care, it quickly gets used to new living conditions.
Spinous hypoestes (Hypoestes aristata) - unlike its relatives, this species is valued for its exuberant flowering. Grown as a garden plant. The bush grows about 1 m, the crown width is 50-60 cm. The leaves are green, the flowers are pale pink or pale purple in color.
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Hypoestes is one of the hardiest plants known in indoor floriculture, flower care is quite simple. The main thing is to provide proper lighting, timely watering and regularly inspect the plant.
The flower will decorate with its presence any interior of a living room or office. An elegant perennial will be an excellent soloist in your collection. The variegated, expressive patterns on the leaves give it a special appeal.
A pot with hypoesthesia looks exquisite in the kitchen, besides, this flower loves high humidity, it will be comfortable here. You can combine several copies of hypoesthesia with different coloring of foliage in one flowerpot and get a colorful composition. For this, select a spacious container so that the flowers are not cramped. A picturesque tropical masterpiece placed in the living room disposes to relaxation, awakens a poetic perception of beauty.
Lighting. Needs bright diffused light, provide ten hour daylight hours to maintain decorative beauty. In winter, you need to use artificial lighting, otherwise the bright coloring on the leaves will fade.
The best place for a flowerpot is the sill of the east or west window. If for some reason it is necessary to place a tropical guest on the south side of the apartment, keep away from the window and take care of shading. It is highly undesirable to place the plant on the north side - it withers quickly.
Temperature. The optimum temperature is 22-26 degrees. In too hot weather, often spray the flower with settled water. In the cold season, the temperature column in the room where hypoesthesia lives should not fall below 18 degrees. Cold air, a sharp temperature drop and drafts threaten to reduce the viability of this plant and, as a result, leaf fall.
Air humidity. In the wild, hypoesthesia is used to humid climates, so spray the flower daily, several times a day in summer. Instead, you can put the flowerpot in a pallet with damp expanded clay or install next to a humidifier. Take a warm shower from time to time, so the leaves are saturated with moisture and at the same time washed out of dust.
Watering. Abundant watering is required, dry land will lead to loss of foliage. In the cold season, water it every two days, the rest of the time every day, watch as the topsoil dries. Although hypoesthesia loves moisture, be careful, over-watering can cause root rot.
Top dressing. Fertilizers are applied from spring to autumn every three to four weeks. As part of the top dressing, there should be as little nitrogen as possible, it harms the foliage, leads to a loss of color brightness. Combined universal mixtures are suitable for decorative leafy crops with a high potassium content.
Transfer. You need to replant every two to three years in the spring. Choose a pot that is moderately wide, with low walls, at the bottom of which, without fail, pour a drainage layer to prevent stagnation of water. The substrate can be found at the flower shop, with a versatile composition designed for variegated plants.
Trimming and shaping. To make the bush look well-groomed, have an attractive appearance, you need to cut off the tops of the central shoots. When sunny spring days begin, rejuvenate pruning for a lush, beautiful crown.
Bloom. White or reddish flowers fade and fall off rather quickly. After that, the plant loses its former attractiveness, stretches, the leaves become smaller. When you notice that the plant is about to bloom, trim off the flower arrow.
Reproduction. The most convenient breeding method is by cuttings. Carried out at any time of the year. It is important to have at least two nodes on the handle. They take root in water mixed with charcoal or in sandy-peat soil. Favorable air temperature is 23-24 degrees. Cover the cuttings with a glass jar or bag for successful rooting. Then the rooted sprouts should be transplanted into prepared vases with a substrate.
Can also be propagated by seed in a greenhouse. Seeds should be sown in spring, in March, sprinkled with soil a little and covered with glass or a bag. The air temperature in the greenhouse must be maintained at 15-18 ° C. The seedlings will be ready for transplanting in three to four months.
Diseases and pests. It is very rarely attacked by typical pests such as aphids, mealybugs and spider mites.
The main problems happen due to improper care:
Hypoestes in winter. Move the flower away from central heating radiators. Supplemental illumination with fluorescent lamps is recommended to extend daylight hours, otherwise the leaves will lose their bright color. Temperature is 18-20 degrees. Watering is moderate, after the top layer of the earth dries up.
Interesting Facts. In their native lands, hypoestes is used in cooking for making salads, instead of spinach. In folk medicine, a decoction from the leaf plates of a flower is used to relieve eye inflammation.