Hymenokallis (Latin Hymenocallis) - a genus of the Amaryllis family, representatives of which are common in the tropics and subtropics of South America, the West Indies and the Antilles. In culture, they are grown as indoor or greenhouse plants. In the literature, hymenokallis is sometimes called "ismena" ("ismene") or "pancratium", but in fact these plants belong to different genera, united by one family.
The genus Hymenokallis has been little studied, since many of its most interesting representatives grow in hard-to-reach places. This also explains the confusion in terms and the constantly changing taxonomy of the genus.
Read more about growing hymenokallis below.
Hymenokallis is a bulbous plant with belt-like leaves with a pointed upper edge. A groove runs along the central vein of the soft sheet plate. Large fragrant flowers of hymenocallis, collected in shields of 7-15 pieces, have a high decorative value. Hymenokallis differs from related ismen by the absence of a false stem that appears in ismen as a result of the death of leaves: ismen, unlike hymenokallis, are deciduous plants. These close relatives also differ in the shape and direction of the flowers: the graceful carved bells of the ismen are located at an angle, and the bindweed flowers of the hymenokallis look up. Ismen and Hymenokallis have other, less obvious differences.
When growing evergreen hymenokallis in a pot culture, certain rules must be followed. This light-loving plant is not afraid of direct sunlight, so feel free to place it on the southern, southeastern and southwestern windowsills: hymenokallis will not bloom on the northern window. In summer, the plant thrives on the balcony or in the garden.
In winter, during the period when the day becomes short, you need to provide the hymenokallis houseplant with additional lighting, since it needs at least ten hours of daylight hours.
In the photo: Growing hymnocalycium in the garden
In the spring and summer period, hymenokallis feels great in the usual temperature for a living room. In winter, if you do not have the opportunity to provide the plant with the necessary lighting, try to keep it in cooler conditions - 14-18 ˚C: move the pot closer to the glass and fence off the warm air rising from the radiator with foil, foam or plastic. If you install a phytolamp or other suitable lamp over the hymenokallis, then you will not have to lower the temperature: the hymenokallis will not retire, but will continue to grow actively.
The development of an optimal watering regime for hymenokallis is one of the main difficulties in growing a plant. In nature, hymenokallis lives in coastal zones, wetlands and is accustomed to an abundance of water, therefore, during the period of active growth and flowering, its substrate should be slightly moist all the time.
However, even short-term waterlogging should not be allowed, otherwise the bulb may begin to rot.
From October to November, the number of waterings is reduced, preparing the plant for winter rest, which usually lasts about 3 months. The leaves of the plant will tell you when to water the hymenokallis: from thirst, they lose their turgor and hang. If the hymenokallis spends the rest period in the cool, it does not need to be watered until the end of February, but then watering is resumed and gradually returns to the usual humidification regime. For watering hymenokallis, filtered or settled water at room temperature is used.
Hymenokallis does not require special measures to increase the humidity of the air, but from time to time rinse the leaves of the plant from dust under a warm shower, doing this so that water does not get on the flowers and buds.
In the photo: Planting hymnocalycium in the ground
Liquid mineral complexes for bulbous or flowering indoor plants are used as fertilizers for hymenocalis.
Do not use preparations with a high nitrogen content, as they cause intense growth of greenery and at the same time inhibit the formation of flower buds.
Prepare the nutrient solution according to the manufacturer's instructions. Fertilizers are applied on a wet substrate once every 2-3 weeks during active growth. In winter, feeding should be excluded.
The hymenokallis is painful to touch the bulb, so it is advisable to disturb it with transplants as little as possible - once every 3-4 years. It is advisable to combine this process with vegetative propagation of hymenokallis - separation and planting of daughter bulbs.
By the way, babies grow only in specimens that have reached the age of three. They are carefully separated from the mother bulb and planted in a pot with a drainage layer and a substrate consisting of three parts of leafy soil with the addition of one part of coarse river sand and the same amount of turf soil. Hymenokallis grow well in a substrate of sand, peat, humus, leaf and sod land in a ratio of 1: 1: 2: 2: 2. Transplanting into ready-made soil for bulbous crops purchased at the store is also permissible, but it is advisable to add a little crushed charcoal to it.
The pot for hymenokallis is chosen to be spacious, a layer of expanded clay is necessarily placed on the bottom to prevent stagnation of water in the roots of the plant. The bulb is planted in such a way that it protrudes one third above the surface of the substrate.
When growing hymenokallis outdoors, be prepared to dig up and replant the bulbs annually. Before planting, they are germinated: in mid-February, they are planted in shallow boxes filled to the middle with moistened sawdust or peat. The boxes must have drainage holes that will not allow water to stagnate in the substrate. To prevent the soil from drying out, the containers are placed in a plastic bag, which must be removed from time to time for ventilation. Germination takes place at a temperature of 10-15 ˚С.
In early May, the bulbs are planted in a flower garden, without waiting for the leaves to appear on them. The site for the plant is chosen sunny, and the soil is light and breathable, previously dug up with humus. The bulbs are deepened so that there is a layer of soil above them with a thickness of at least 5 cm.When planting, the principle is the same for all bulbous: the depth of the hole should be equal to three sizes of the bulb, and the distance between the bulbs in a row is left within 15-20 cm. Leaves from the lands will appear no earlier than in 2 weeks, and if they suffer from return frosts, they will recover quickly enough.
Growing hymenokallis in the garden involves watering and feeding the plant. Watering is carried out not at the root, but in grooves specially made at a distance of 10-15 cm from the plants: waterlogging for hymenokallis is destructive, from excess moisture, its leaves turn yellow, become watery in the area of the root collar, lie down, and the bulb dies. In addition, excessive soil moisture in combination with organic matter is the reason for the appearance on the bulbs soft red spots... But due to the rapid growth of green mass by the plant, feeding is still necessary. Complex mineral granular fertilizers are applied to irrigation grooves, mixed with soil, after which abundant watering is carried out.
In the photo: Blooming hymnocalycium in a flower bed
Hymenokallis is especially attractive in autumn, and if you do not let it freeze during the first severe cold snaps, then it will delight your eyes with its bright green leaves until late autumn. But when the leaves freeze, they are cut off, the onion is dug out, trying not to damage the thick long roots of the hymenokallis, washed, dried well so that the outer scales rustle, and stored in a cool dry room, like table onions: put in a plastic trellis box, nothing wrapping and sprinkling with nothing.
Hymenokallis is distinguished by enviable health, and if you create the necessary conditions for it and take good care of it, then you will not have to treat it for diseases. But if the plant is watered abundantly and often at the root, and even in cool weather, gray rot can hit the bulb. As a preventive measure, we recommend that you carefully examine the bulbs when digging up and, having found the affected areas, cut them out with a sharp sterile instrument, capturing healthy tissue. The sections are treated with charcoal powder. If the focus of infection has covered most of the bulb, it is unlikely to be saved.
When grown in room culture in conditions of high humidity, hymenokallis sometimes infect anthracnose and staganosporosis, or a red burn, which can also be eliminated with the help of fungicides.
Of the pests, spider mites, thrips and aphids can pose a danger to hymenocallis. All of them feed on the cell sap of the plant through bites made in its organs. Insectoacaricides Actellik and Fitoverm are effective against these pests. At the first signs of the occupation of hymenokallis by pests, treat the plant, trying to evenly moisten its leaves with a solution of the drug on both sides.
An evergreen native to the Antilles that does not need a dormant period. Its leaves are dark green, narrow, lanceolate, reaching 90 in length and 7 cm in width. The plant blooms for about 4 months with large white flowers, collected 3-5 pieces in an umbrella-shaped inflorescence. The narrow sepals are 7 cm long.
In the photo: Hymenocallis caribaea
Or early hymenokallis, or hymenokallis nice naturally distributed in Peru. It has relatively short (40 to 60 cm) belt-like dark green glossy leaves, and from mid-spring to mid-summer it blooms with white flowers up to 10 cm in diameter with curved sepals and a wide-open crown.
Photo: Hymenocallis festalis
Peruvian endemic with xiphoid dark green leaves and yellow, white or purple flowers with a large and wide crown, due to which only the anthers of the stamens are visible. Sepals are 1.5-2 times longer than the crown. This hymenokallis blooms from mid-summer to mid-autumn.
It differs from other species in long-petiolized leaves and an elongated heart-shaped leaf plate. The plant blooms with white flowers with long, narrow, drooping sepals. The flower crown of this species is practically absent.
In the photo: Hymenocallis tubiflora (Hymenocallis tubiflora)
It grows naturally in Trinidad and on the northern coast of South America. Its broadly lanceolate leaves are also located on long petioles. And the flowers of this species are similar to the flowers of the cordifolia hymenokallis.
Photo: Coastal Hymenocallis (Hymenocallis littoralis)
It reaches a height of 75 to 90 cm, and its bulb is 10 cm in diameter.Its leaves are belt-shaped, green, up to 90 cm long and up to 6.5 cm wide.White, fragrant, narcissus-like flowers are collected in an umbrella located at the top straight, green, smooth peduncle. The coastal hymenokallis has a subspecies multicolored with wide grayish and whitish stripes on the leaves.
In the photo: Hymenocallis broadleaf (Hymenocallis latifolia)
Reaches a height of almost a meter. It has wide leaves of a dark emerald hue and delicate white flowers.
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Growing medinilla requires bright lighting, but the leaves should be hidden from direct, scalding sunlight. If there is not enough light for the plant, then it will either not bloom, or discard the existing flowers and buds. If the room does not have the necessary lighting, then you will need to use special phytolamps or fluorescent lamps.
The ideal location for the plant is west or east windows. A southern room will work as well, but it is important to shade the sun's rays.
The temperature in the plant room must be maintained regularly at a high level. This is due to its place of origin (rainforest). The air temperature should not drop below 20-25 degrees.
In the winter months from December to January, medinilla will be dormant, so the temperature can be reduced to 16 degrees. The plant does not tolerate temperature changes and drafts. It should also not be placed next to heating devices.
Medinilla needs regular, moderate watering during growth and flowering. The soil should not dry out completely. As soon as the top layer of the substrate dries up, you can water the plant. In autumn and winter, when the plant is at rest, watering is reduced. The soil should have time to dry out at a level of 2-3 cm from the surface. In January and February, watering is reduced even more. Watering should be done with clean, settled water at room temperature or slightly higher.
Medinilla comes from humid and hot tropical forests, so the humidity of the surrounding air should not fall below 75%. To do this, several times a day, the leaves of the plant are sprayed with warm, settled water, avoiding contact with the flowers.
It will be useful to place a pot with a plant in a pallet with wet sand or expanded clay. For additional humidification, you can use a container of water placed next to the plant or a special air humidifier. From dry air, the leaves of medinilla become smaller, lose their decorative effect, and the plant itself becomes unstable to the effects of pests and diseases.
Under natural conditions, medinilla is an epiphytic plant and is found on the stems and trunks of other shrubs and trees. You don't need too much mixture for planting a plant in a pot. However, it should be loose, fertile, slightly acidic.
The optimal soil composition for medinilla consists of leafy soil, sod land, sand, peat and humus in a ratio of 2: 2: 1: 1: 1. In specialized flower shops, ready-made mixtures for epiphytes are sold, you can use them. Placement of a good drainage layer at the bottom of the pot is essential. This will prevent moisture from stagnating, and the root system will not suffer from rot.
Medinilla needs regular feeding with fertilizer for decorative flowering plants. You need to apply top dressing once every 10 days. In summer, the plant can be fed with organic fertilizer, but no more than 3 times. With the onset of autumn and until spring, during the dormant period, medinilla does not need to be fed.
A young actively growing medinilla is transplanted annually, but an adult plant needs to be transplanted only once every 2-3 years. When transplanting, the medinilla is shaped and the crown is formed.
A large area of leaves accumulates indoor dust, so an important procedure is to regularly wipe them with a damp soft cloth. The plant loves a warm leaf shower, but it is important to avoid getting moisture on the flowers and the ground. After the medinilla fades, it is cut off.
Growing and caring for and change can take place both in greenhouses and gardens, and at home.
Daughter bulbs do not appear earlier than four years of cultivation. It is necessary to plant children in the garden in May. In winter, they remain on the mother bulb and feed on it. If you separate them earlier, then the daughter bulbs may not survive the winter - there will not be enough strength. Daughter bulbs are planted in a pot with prepared soil. Usually, reproduction is combined with a transplant.
Seed propagation is very rarely used. But this is an unpopular way, since flowering begins in five years. Whereas when propagating by the bulbous method, 2-3 years pass before flowering.
You can plant these flowers in the garden both in open ground and in a container, and the method of planting in a container is preferable, as the plant grows faster.
If you choose the container method, then in March you need to place the bulbs in a container with loose soil and good drainage and put them in a warm, well-lit place until May.
To prolong flowering, you need to plant flowers grown in containers at time intervals (even if they were grown in the same container). So flowering will delight all spring and summer.
In order to grow this plant outdoors, you need to dig small holes and cover their bottom with humus. The bulb should not be completely buried. The use of organic or mineral fertilizers is recommended.
When planting in a pot, you must use a mixture of soil, turf, peat, humus and sand. Drainage holes should be provided in the pot.
When planting in open ground, the bulb should be lowered into the soil by about 2/3. The transplant is done at the end of May, and the first flowers should appear in June. At night, it is better to cover the bulbs with corrugated cardboard boxes until they germinate.
It is necessary to dig out these flowers carefully, since the roots penetrate deeply into the soil, it is undesirable to damage them.
If planted and changed in a container, then the early appearance of flowers is possible - already in the spring. And in the fall (in September-October, depending on the weather), the flower should be transplanted into a pot and moved to the house to prevent freezing.
You can also leave the bulbs for the winter after drying them. It is better to store these bulbs in a dry place at room temperature. The storage method is a bit like storing onions. You can even use plastic mesh boxes for this. There is no need to remove the roots, they tolerate the winter well.
The bulbs must be checked periodically and, if sprouted, then transplanted into a pot, making it a room at least until spring, when it can be transplanted into open ground.
It is not recommended to transplant more than once every 3-4 years.
It is imperative to remember that change is a plant that requires careful watering. With a lack of water, its leaves turn yellow, with an excess, they quickly droop. Watering should be stopped as soon as the temperature drops below + 15 ° C.
Depending on the variety, the "flower of family happiness" is propagated by cuttings, seeds, or by dividing the bush.
This method of plant propagation is carried out at the very beginning of spring. The tiny size of campanula seeds allows them to be planted in miniature cups, at the bottom of which a small amount of moist earth and a layer of dry soil are placed. Seeds should be sprayed periodically, but not overflowed with water. It is possible to transplant sprouts into a flowerpot only after the appearance of three leaves.
Unlike the previous method, flower propagation by cuttings is carried out in the fall:
It is more expedient to carry out when transplanting a plant. In this case, the rhizome of the campanula is divided by a knife blade into several parts. Each part is planted in a separate flowerpot. Next, you need to water the plants, and after a few days feed them.
If the Peruvian daffodil does not bloom and forms small bulbs, then most likely it suffers from drought. Waterlogging is also destructive for him - the leaves turn yellow, near the root collar they become watery and lie down, the bulb dies. That is why it cannot be watered at the root.
For watering, I cut grooves at a distance from the plants. If there are a lot of plants, then it is convenient to plant them in rows with an interval between large bulbs. Children in a row are placed across from each other.
Due to the rapid growth of a large amount of green mass, plants need additional feeding. I feed my Peruvian daffodils four times during the growing season. Moreover, the first feeding coincides with the planting, and the last feeding I perform at the beginning of August. I use the same compound fertilizer.
If it is not there, you can use ordinary fertilizers. Then, for the first dressings, a mixture with a predominance of nitrogen and phosphorus is chosen. The last feeding is carried out with fertilizers with a predominance of phosphorus and potassium. I apply fertilizers into the irrigation grooves, shallowly loosen and water abundantly.
Hymenokallis reproduces by children growing on the bottom around an adult bulb. Babies are formed when the bulb reaches 3-4 years of age. Babies do not form young bulbs. In this regard, the uterine bulbs must be stored especially carefully.