HOW TO GROW AND CARE FOR OUR PLANTS
The Gynura they are small plants much appreciated for the beauty of their velvety leaves.
Species: see the paragraph on "Main species"
The genre Gynura of the family ofAsteraceae it includes evergreen plants, native to the tropical areas of Africa and Asia, widespread and cultivated to adorn the houses as they are very decorative and easy to grow.
They are plants characterized by velvety leaves covered with a light red hair which in contrast with the green color of the leaves gives the leaf a violet color. Depending on the species of Gynura they can have an erect or drooping posture and therefore suitable for growing in hanging or climbing baskets.
They produce small orange or yellow flowers that are not very decorative and have an unpleasant smell gathered in inflorescences at the apex of the branches.
In the genre Gynura we find about fifty species but the most used for ornamental purposes are the following.
GYNURA AURANTIACA (GYNURA SARMENTOSA)
There Gynura aurantiaca it is a plant native to India and West Africa and is characterized by long creeping stems that give it a spreading habit. The leaves are fleshy with slightly indented edges, a deep green color and the whole plant is covered with a reddish down.
It blooms at the beginning of spring producing numerous flowers similar to daisies but which it is advisable to eliminate as they are inconspicuous and would make the plant perish too much giving it an ungainly appearance.
It can be grown both as a climbing plant and in hanging baskets.
The cultivar is very widespread G. aurantiaca 'Purple Passion' (synonymous with G. sarmetosa) climbing or creeping with red-colored stems covered with down and lanceolate leaves densely covered with purple-red hairs on the underside, more slightly on the top.
There Gynura bicolor is originally from Indonesia. The leaves are lanceolate, green on the upper side of the leaf and red on the underside. The flowers are orange in color.
The plant is very popular in Taiwanese vegetarian cuisine. We use the tender leaves and the sprouts consumed boiled or sautéed or added to stews to soups. As well as the roots they are used boiled to make tea.
The Gynura they are very easy plants to grow.
It is a plant that loves light but exposure to direct sunlight should be avoided, especially during the hottest hours of the day.
The ideal cultivation temperatures are around 18-21 ° C and should not drop below 10 ° C.
In breeding the plant of Gynura it should be borne in mind that during the autumn-winter period the plant enters vegetative rest so that all activities are suspended.
The Gynura they are plants that require a lot of water, therefore during the summer period it is watered with great generosity while during the autumn and winter it is watered just enough to keep the soil from drying out.
They love humid environments therefore it is advisable to nebulize the leaves, preferably early in the morning, because if you wait for the sun to become too hot, small dark blisters could form.
TYPE OF SOIL - REPOT
There Gynura it is repotted every two years in spring using a substratum formed by fertile soil, peat, loam of well decomposed leaves and coarse sand to favor the drainage of the irrigation water.
Throughout the spring - summer period, a good liquid fertilizer is administered to the plant's irrigation water every 3-4 weeks. During the periods of the year the fertilizations must be suspended.
At the beginning of spring the plant blooms producing small yellow-orange and completely insignificant flowers that it is advisable to remove as soon as they form both to avoid wasting unnecessary energy to the plant and because they have an unpleasant odor.
Pruning of the Gynura it becomes necessary when the plant grows in an untidy way. In this case in spring, before the vegetative restart, give it a more compact shape with a good pruning.
The multiplication of the plant of Gynura occurs by cuttings.
MULTIPLICATION FOR TALEA
In spring (April) cuttings about 8-12 cm long are taken from the apex of the most robust stems.The cutting is cut immediately under a knot and the lower leaves are removed.The cut must be done with a razor blade or a sharp knife to avoid fraying fabrics and after cleaning and disinfecting (preferably with the flame) for good tools to prevent them from infecting the fabrics.
The cuttings thus prepared are planted in a mixture of peat and sand in equal parts and closed with a transparent plastic sheet (see photo on the side). This arrangement allows the soil not to dry out too quickly and at the same time maintain a constant temperature.
To prevent the plastic from coming into contact with the green parts of the cutting, place wooden sticks where you will place the plastic.
Place the pot in an area of the house where temperatures are around 18-21 ° C. Remove the plastic every day both to control the humidity of the soil (it must always be humid) and to remove the condensation that will surely have formed on the plastic. Once the first shoots start to appear, it means that the cutting has taken root, at this point you can transplant the cutting into the final pot and treat the new plant as if it were an adult.
PARASITES AND DISEASES
The leaves turn brown quickly
This symptom indicates that the plant was left without water.
Remedies: take action accordingly.
The leaves of the plant lose their vibrant color
This symptom indicates insufficient lighting.
Remedies: immediately move the plant to a brighter place but not in direct sun.
Small whitish insects on the plant
Small, yellowish-white mobile insects on the plant are certainly aphids commonly known as lice, the most common plant pests.
Remedies: it is necessary to intervene with specific insecticides easily available in centers specialized in gardening.
The name Gynura comes from the Greek ghynè "Female" e ourà «Tail» due to the very elongated stigmas.