Pachistachis (lat. Pachystachys) is a genus of evergreen flowering plants of the Acanthus family, which includes about 12 species growing in the subtropical and tropical regions of America and East India. In indoor floriculture, the appearance of pachistachis yellow has been known since the 19th century, but it is still not a very frequent guest on our windowsills. Translated, the word "pachistachis" means "thick spike" or "thick spike": the inflorescence of these plants is a dense spike. We have pachistachis called the "golden candle" or "golden shrimp."
Planting and caring for pachistachis
- Flowering: from February to October.
- Lighting: bright diffused light.
- Temperature: during the period of active vegetation - the usual temperature for a residential building, during the dormant period - within 18-16 ºC. The lower temperature threshold is 10 ºC.
- Watering: during the period of active growth - regular and plentiful, during the dormant period - moderate to sparse.
- Humidity: increased. It is recommended to keep the plant on a pallet with wet pebbles.
- Top dressing: from spring to autumn - 2 times a month with complex mineral fertilizer for flowering plants in liquid form. In winter, it is enough to feed once a month and a half.
- Rest period: from mid-autumn to the end of winter.
- Transplant: at the end of winter: young plants - annually, adults - once every 3 years.
- Pruning: regular, at the end of the growing season.
- Reproduction: cuttings, less often - seeds.
- Diseases: root rot, as well as refusal to bloom and loss of attractiveness as a result of improper care or violation of conditions.
- Pests: spider mites, mealybugs, scale insects, thrips and whiteflies.
Read more about growing pachistachis below
Pachistachis Flower Description
Pachistachis yellow - an evergreen shrub with a height of 90 to 20 cm with dark green oval, slightly wrinkled and pointed leaves at the ends up to 10 cm long. White tubular bilobate pachistachis flowers up to 5 cm long with yellow bracts are collected in spike inflorescences up to 10 cm long All the while flowering continues, bracts retain a fresh look and attractiveness.
Home Care for Pachistachis
How to care for pachistachis
The indoor flower pachistachis is a warm and photophilous plant, it needs bright diffused light for normal growth and development, therefore the northeastern windows are the best place for the flower in the apartment. On the southern windowsills, the pachistachis should be obscured by direct rays at least in the afternoon, when the sun is especially hot.
Under natural growing conditions, the lower temperature threshold for pachistachis is 10 ° C, but a long stay at this temperature leads to leaf loss, so at home, the dormancy period should take place at a temperature of at least 16 ° C. In summer, the pachistachis plant normally tolerates the temperature natural for our latitudes. Holidays in the fresh air - on the terrace, in the garden or on the balcony - will benefit the plant, but only if you arrange for it protection from rain, wind and drafts.
Watering and feeding pachistachis
Watering the pachistachis during the growing season will need regular and plentiful (depending on the air temperature once every 3-7 days), and during the dormant period - moderate to scanty, if the pachistachis spend the winter in low air temperatures. If you do not have the opportunity to put the plant in the winter in a cool room, then water it as usual.
The fact that it is time to water the plant will tell you the leaves of the pachistachis, which from thirst fall and hang. However, it is better not to wait for such hints, but to water the soil in the pot as soon as its top layer dries.
Water is used to moisten the substrate with melt, passed through a filter or left to stand for 24 hours. The temperature of water for irrigation should be 1-2 degrees warmer than in the room.
Caring for pachistachis at home involves fertilizing. Pachistachis is fed during active growth 2 times a month with complex mineral fertilizer, which is applied as a solution to a pre-moistened substrate. You can fertilize pachistachis with organic matter, for example, a solution of mullein or chicken droppings, which is sold in specialized stores ready-to-eat. If the pachistachis does not rest in winter, feed it with a mineral complex once every 1-1.5 months.
In the photo: Growing pachistachis at home
Young pachistachis are transplanted annually in the spring until flowering begins. Adult plants change the pot no more than once every three years. For pachistachis, an earthen mixture of equal parts of peat, leaf land, humus, sod land and coarse river sand is needed. The soil must be decontaminated two weeks prior to transplantation by heating in the oven or spilling it with a strong solution of potassium permanganate. At the bottom of the new pot, you must first lay a layer of drainage material, and the flower should be cut off before transplanting. Pachistachis prepared for transplantation is transferred from the old pot to a new one, after which the voids are filled with the soil mixture, the substrate is compacted and watered. A few days after transplantation, the plant needs to be protected from the sun.
Cut the flower regularly, otherwise it will become unattractive because of the bare shoots at the bottom of the shoots. When and how to trim pachistachis? The shoots of the plant are cut off at the end of the dormant period, leaving only 10-15 cm from them. Cuttings can be used as cuttings for propagation.
Pachistachis blooms from February to October. You can, of course, make it bloom in the winter, but this will require additional lighting. Funny ears of pachistachis resemble the inflorescences of afelandra, which is not surprising, only in pachistachis they are more elongated. Yellow bracts are attracted in inflorescences that do not fade for several weeks. And the flowers themselves - spongy, light, almost white - fall off very quickly, after 3-4 days.
Flowering problems can only occur if the plant lacks light. The old, elongated and bald pachistachis at the bottom of the shoots form a small number of inflorescences, and flowers form only on young shoots, so if you want to get more inflorescences, make the plant branch.
Blossoming of pachistachis begins at an early age: in some cases, the cuttings bloomed already a couple of months after rooting.
From wilted inflorescences of pachistachis, new branches branch out, so flowering can last quite a long time. Nevertheless, it is desirable to remove faded spikelets for preventive and hygienic purposes.
Indoor Pachistachis - Reproduction
Most often, for the propagation of pachistachis, a vegetative method is used - cuttings. As we already wrote, you can use shoots cut during a spring haircut as cuttings. How to propagate pachistachis?
You will need apical cuttings with two internodes and two pairs of leaves. For rooting, which most successfully takes place at a temperature of 22 ˚C, cuttings are placed by cut in a container of water. In the process of regrowth of the roots from the cuttings, leaves may fall, and so that this does not happen, the leaf plates should be halved. But even if in this case the leaves fall off, do not despair: after planting in the soil, new leaves will appear at the top of the handle.
In the photo: Flowering pachistachis
Cuttings are also rooted in a loose substrate of equal parts of leafy soil, humus, peat, turfy land and perlite. A plastic bottle cut from above is filled with the soil mixture, and a section of the cuttings being planted is treated with Kornevin before planting in the bottle with the substrate. To create a greenhouse effect, the top of the bottle with the handle is covered with a film, which is removed from time to time so that the handle can breathe. And you can put it on the bottom of the bottle into which the stalk has been planted, its upper part and fix it with tape, and for ventilation just unscrew and remove the cap. Keep cuttings under bright diffused light.
Problems with the rooting of pachistachis usually do not arise: the roots grow even in cuttings that have lost leaves. When the cuttings get the root system, plant them in the amount of 3-4 pieces in a low and wide pot: in the form of a bush, the pachistachis looks much more attractive. And do not forget to pinch the tops of the stems from time to time.
Pests and diseases of pachistachis
Diseases of the pachistachis and their treatment
When growing pachistachis in heavy soil, abundant and frequent watering can lead to stagnation of water in the roots and damage to the plant by root rot . Examine the root system of the pachistachis, and if it does not completely rot, remove the affected areas, hold the roots in a fungicide solution and plant the plant in a fresh, more suitable substrate composition. However, it is not always possible to save a plant from this fungal disease, even if you reduce watering and at first use a fungicidal solution to moisten the substrate.
So that root rot does not develop, monitor the state of the substrate in the pot: it must be loose and light. And be sure to drain the water leaking into the pan after watering.
If you are holding a pot of pachistachis on a pan with wet pebbles, install it so that the drain holes of the pot are not immersed in water. Water should saturate the substrate with moisture, and not stagnate in it.
In the photo: How to grow pachistachis
All other troubles arise in the pachistachis from improper care or as a result of non-compliance with the conditions of its cultivation.
- For example, if the flower has fallen leaves, this is evidence that you did not water it enough or kept it in a draft.
- Twisted leaves and dry tips are a sign of too low humidity in the room.
- Strongly elongated stems, lack of flowering and small leaves suggest that the pachistachis suffers from a lack of light.
- Slow development and growth retardation means that it is time to change the substrate in the pot, and the shoots that are bare in the lower part hint that pachistachis needs rejuvenation - a short cut.
Pachistachis pests and control
Most commonly, indoor pachistachis is affected by mealybugs , scale insects , and spider mites . All of them feed on the plant sap. If you notice white cotton-like lumps or small yellow dots on leaf blades in the axils of the leaves, take immediate action. Scabbards and worms should be removed from the plant with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol. Ticks are not so easy to detect due to their small size, but a sign of their presence, in addition to pinpointing on the leaves, is a thin web. Wash the pachistachis in the shower, protecting the substrate from soapy water, then let the plant dry and treat the leaves with Actellik or Fitoverm . It is better to spray pachistachis outdoors.
Occasionally pachistachis is occupied by whiteflies and thrips , which also feed on cell sap. Measures to control these pests are the same as with ticks, scale insects and worms.
Types and varieties of pachistachis
The description of the yellow pachistachis (Pachystachys lutea) most often grown at home was given at the beginning of the article, but sometimes two more species can be found in room and greenhouse culture:
Pachistachis red (Pachystachys coccinea)
Mostly a greenhouse plant, since this species reaches a height of 2 m. Its bright green leaves, sometimes covered with burgundy stains, are up to 40 cm long, located on short petioles. Bracts are also green, and elongated tubular red flowers look like feathers that once adorned hats. Because of the flowers, this species is called the “Cardinal Guardsman”.
In the photo: Pachystachys red (Pachystachys coccinea)
Pachistachis spikelet (Pachystachys spicata)
A species that is grown mainly in botanical gardens and is a rare representative of the genus in home collections. It has dark green leaves up to 25 cm long and bright red flowers collected on a cone-shaped bract. Some experts consider spike pachistachis not an independent species, but a variety of red pachistachis, but there is still no clarity on this issue.
In the photo: Pachistachis spikelet (Pachystachys spicata)
Pachistachis - Signs and Superstitions
Pachistachis is credited with magical properties: it fills the house with vitality, has a beneficial effect on the human nervous system, that is, it has a calming effect on hyperactive people and at the same time activates passive households. The yellow color of the pachistachis bract leaves positively affects the relationship between the spouses, helping to smooth out conflicts and develop compromise solutions.
Some signs are also associated with pachistachis. For example, if, during normal care, the plants suddenly began to fall off the inflorescences and dry the leaves, this portends trouble with relatives or relatives. But the unexpectedly bright color of the bracts is a sign of an approaching pleasant event. Pachistachis presented as a gift is a wish of happiness in personal life, which, as they say, always comes true.