10 mistakes when growing columna
The fiery beauty of column is becoming more popular. This plant has good greenery, but a flowering fire that encompasses flexible shoots is the true goal of growing an exotics familiar to everyone. Kolumneya is one of the most difficult plants. Its signals are not always obvious, and disturbances in growth or development are not immediately apparent. But if you try to follow the plant and go from the opposite - to avoid mistakes, and not strive for an unlikely attainable ideal, a vivid sight of plentiful flowering is quite achievable.
Despite a rather great variety (there are more than two hundred plants in the genus of colums), these bright evergreen epiphytes with drooping or straight shoots are easily recognizable at first sight.
Ampelic and pottery columens from the Gesneriev family with the same right appear in the lists of the best and decorative-deciduous, and beautifully flowering plants.
Small, oval with an elongated tip, very hard, dark, densely sessile on shoots, opposite leaves look noble and elegant. And fiery red, yellow, orange, occasionally white tubular flowers in the axils of the leaves are the true decoration of this unique exotica, as if engulfed by the flames of the tongues. Kolumneya is easily formed and is restrained by cutting to half the length of the branches after flowering.
You have to pay for such beauty of the peasants - by careful leaving. The plant loves aphids. But not pests are the main problem, but the sensitivity of the plant to the smallest deviations from optimal conditions. Kolumney is not at all as hostile and moody as her reputation says. You just need to always be attentive to the signals of the plant.
Consider 10 common mistakes that make when growing columnae. Avoiding their repetition, you will provide bushes with everything necessary for uniform growth and colorful flowering.
1. Ignoring high light requirements
Columnae are photophilous and exhibiting them even in partial shade is the main mistake. To bloom and grow normally, a plant needs bright light and a long daylight hours. Even a slight lack of light during flowering will inevitably affect the condition of the plant. And in winter she needs a reshuffle.
At the same time, do not forget that the Kolumna does not like the direct sun so much that even one day under direct sunlight can have a deplorable effect on foliage.
2. Growing not on the windowsill
Columnae are plants that prefer natural light. Of course, in the winter time the backlighting is also saving for them, but they should receive the main amount of light from the sun.
Therefore, choosing a place for a column, it is worth immediately abandoning its introduction into the interior. Kolumney grows well on bright windows, in secluded places without drafts. The eastern, western or southern windowsill (with a scattering screen) will help to avoid mistakes.
3. Lack of control over minimum summer temperatures
Minimum temperature indicators are indicated more often for winter, but columna have their own requirements for a period of active growth. This plant will develop normally and bloom for a long time only if during May-September the temperature does not drop below 20 degrees.
But you can not keep track of changes in the direction of too much heat, because it is nicer at optimal humidity even at 30 degrees. Unacceptable cold snap in summer deplorably affects flowering.
4. Rest period too long
Kolumneya is a special plant and is “fast” in everything. If many indoor crops require several months of preparation for flowering, then the columnia should “rest” for only a month. The dormant period in coolness, or even at temperatures lowered by several degrees for 4 weeks at 16 degrees, is an achievable goal even in apartments, because the plant can always be put on the coolest window closer to the glass.
If there is simply no cool alternative to the place of detention, it is enough to increase the air humidity to compensate.
5. Temperature jumps
Columnists love stability. Constant temperature changes in both winter and summer often lead to the fact that the lower leaves fall more actively, and the tips of the upper ones lose their decorative effect. Accelerated degeneration is a direct result of drafts, which the column cannot tolerate. The columnier grows under more identical conditions, the better.
The reference point is + 25 ... + 27 degrees in the summer and + 18 ... + 20 the rest of the time (except for the rest period at +16 degrees).
6. Unstable air humidity
Periodic sprayings for the column, located in a room with dry air, will not be limited. Yes, and they can only be carried out in a "foggy" way.
For the Kolumna when using heating appliances or air conditioners, humidifiers must be installed in rooms with naturally low humidity. Even the simplest pallets with expanded clay or pebbles will make moisture readings more stable.
7. Too frequent watering
Kolumney loves moderately “fresh” soil. It does not tolerate complete drying of the substrate, but average humidity, comfortable for other plants, with a slight drying of only the upper layer of the substrate is not the best option.
You can achieve a light constant humidity with frequent, but not abundant watering. Instead of more rare procedures, it is better to pour a small portion of water with a kolumna, but every 3-4 days. It is better to check the substrate humidity regularly; it is convenient to use special indicators for this.
8. Water quality
Column is often watered with normal indoor plants with settled water. But it is worthwhile to approach this issue more carefully. Hard water from the tap will not become soft even after prolonged settling, although the risk will decrease.
It is better to pour a kolumna with filtered, rain, thawed, distilled or boiled water. And always check its temperature: it should not even be equal, but slightly higher than the temperature in the room. So the risk of watering with cold water, which the column cannot tolerate, will be eliminated.
9. Universal soil
To create an ideal light humidity for the Kolumna, you can only pick up the correct substrate. And plant roots can develop normally only in high-quality, loose, humus, non-compacting and nutritious soil. Universal soil is not the best option.
For columnas, a soil mixture for the Gesnerievs and soils for ampelous plants with slightly acidic reactions, in which sheet earth dominates, are more suitable. Loosening additives made independently - perlite, vermiculite, coarse sand - will also not be superfluous. Like a very high - 1/3 of the height of the pot - drainage layer.
Important! Do not transplant columnae unnecessarily.
10. Too concentrated top dressing
Columnae may bloom profusely, but they react painfully to an excessive amount of trace elements. Standard feeding with a frequency of 1 time in 2 weeks they will perceive as overfeeding.
Columnis should be fertilized only from mid-spring to the end of summer, reducing the dosage of fertilizers or their frequency. Feeding is allowed only in a liquid way and only with full mineral fertilizers - the leaves of this crop are no less important than flowering.
Dear readers! If you nevertheless made mistakes, and the kolumnea is exposed, stretched or sick, it is sometimes easier to grow a new plant than to save an old bush. After all, the columna reproduces easily and grows rapidly.
Read more about the propagation of columnaea, its main indoor species and features of care, read in the article Kolumneya - scarlet flowers and a difficult character.