La Hypoestes phyllostachya It is a small plant that you want to have indoors. It has pink or green leaves, depending on the variety or cultivar, and since it does not usually grow more than twenty or thirty centimeters in height, it can be placed, for example, on a piece of furniture in the hallway, even if it is narrow.
However, when we intend to buy it to last us many years, we find a problem: it is very delicate. It cannot stand the cold, its leaves are damaged by the air currents generated by the air conditioning and other devices, and it fears waterlogging. In addition, when the environmental humidity is low, it has a hard time. So, how to make it survive?
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How is the Hypoestes phyllostachya?
Let's talk first about its origin and characteristics. Our protagonist is the most common species of the genus hypotheses, of which fifteen different varieties have been described. It is popularly called blood leaf or flamingo plant, and is native to the tropical regions of Madagascar. In its natural habitat it reaches a height of 1 meter, but in cultivation it is very difficult for it to exceed 30 centimeters.
Its leaves are oval and measure about 5 x 2 centimeters.. They are usually dark green in color, but may have red, pink, or white spots. It produces small pink, white or lilac flowers, and when they are pollinated, the fruits ripen, which are capsules inside which we will find many seeds.
What are the care we should give it?
Now that we know a little more about her, it's a good time to learn about her care. In this way, if we dare to acquire one, we will know what to do so that it remains as beautiful as the first day:
Where to put it? If we take into account that it does not resist low temperatures, it is best to keep it indoors if we live in an area where frosts are recorded. But also, it is important that it is placed in a room where there is a lot of light, and away from air conditioning, fans, etc.
Of course, it should not be placed next to the window, since it would burn. It is preferable to put it away from it, and rotate the pot a little each day so that all its parts receive the same amount of light.
Can you have it outside?
If it is the case that temperatures are high throughout the year, with minimums of 10ºC, it is possible to cultivate the Hypoestes phyllostachya as an outdoor plant. Even though it's cold in winter, can be had outside in spring and summer no problem. But it must be protected from sunlight, because if it is placed in a sunny place it will suffer significant damage.
Irrigation and humidity
The flamingo plant does not support drought or excess water. For this reason, it must be watered when the soil is almost dry with rainwater, bottled or without lime. During the summer it will be done frequently, since it takes less time to dry, so it is likely to have to be watered about 3 times a week; the rest of the year, as the temperatures are lower and the solar radiation is less intense, less irrigation is required. Likewise, you have to pour water until it comes out through the drainage holes of the pot; or until soil is well soaked.
As for environmental humidity, if we live on an island or near the coast, we will not have to do anything. But if, on the other hand, we are far from the sea or a river, it may be very low, so we will have to spray the plant with rainwater or with a suitable for human consumption every day, or put containers with water around it.
Soil or substrate
It is a plant that grows in soils rich in organic matter and well drained, so if we are going to grow it in a pot we will put a light and fertile soil, such as the universal substrate of trademarks Flower, weedness, Boom Nutrients o Westland. By clicking on the links you can buy them.
And if we want to plant it in the ground, we will do it as long as it drains the water quickly and is fertile. Otherwise, we will make a hole of about 50 x 50 centimeters, then we will cover its sides (except the base) with shading mesh and fill it with universal substrate.
It is highly recommended to pay the Hypoestes phyllostachya from spring to fall so that it grows well, with health and strength. For this, you can use universal liquid fertilizers, or one more specific for green plants. Regardless of which one we choose, we will follow the instructions that we will find on the product packaging.
If we prefer ecological fertilizers, we can fertilize it with guano, for example, or even with others such as eggshells, compost, or mulch.
It is true that it is a small plant, but if its roots come out of the drainage holes, or if it has been in the same pot for more than three years, it will do well with a change. The transplant will be done during the spring, so that it can resume its growth quickly.
It does not resist cold, perhaps down to -1ºC if it is a punctual and short-term frost. If the temperature drops below 10ºC, it is preferable to grow it indoors, at least during the winter.
Where to buy?
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