Eucharis - snow-white indoor lily
The graceful perfection of shining white flowers on high pedicels and huge shiny dark leaves of eucharis give it the appearance of a classic star. In room culture, this is one of the most famous and beloved onions. Few plants cause so much controversy. In some eucharis bloom and delight, seemingly completely effortlessly, in others for many years they have not let out more than two leaves and seem stunted. Amazon lily is very difficult to classify as unpretentious plants. But attention and care are all that he needs. This plant has no unusual requirements.
Botanical description of eucharis
The eucharis received its botanical name for its incomparable elegance (from the Greek “super graceful”, according to other sources - “super pleasant”). The popular nicknames of eucharis are very diverse. Most of these plants are known under their English name "Amazonian Lily," but other names are very popular - indoor daffodils, water lily, Amazonian onions, etc.
Ovoid, medium-sized, with a maximum diameter of 5 cm, the eucharis bulbs seem too small for such a giant. One bulb is capable of releasing up to 5 leaves, but the arrangement by families creates the effect of extraordinary lush greenery.
Eucharis slowly grows leaves, and "appreciates" them so much that the loss of each leaf due to emergency circumstances (and especially all leaves) is perceived by the plant extremely painfully. The stunning beauty of the shiny dark green leaves of eucharis is valued no less than its flowering.
On thick short petioles, large, lanceolate-oval, with a pointed tip leaves in length are able to grow up to 50 cm with half the width. They are beautifully bent by an arc, offering to admire the wavy bend of their integral edges. The leaves unfold very beautifully - from dense tubules. The growth of new leaves usually causes yellowing of the oldest leaf.
The dormancy period of this plant is quite short, and it begins immediately after flowering. To prepare for the next period, eucharis will need only 4-6 weeks of rest. Unlike many plants, the only thing that a new period in development should be manifested in is a reduction in watering and the cessation of top dressing, so growth stops.
The dormant period ends as soon as eucharis again begins to produce new leaves. If eucharis does not bloom, the dormant period is determined by the growth arrest - the termination of growth of young leaves. If the plant blooms twice a year, it is arranged for two periods of dormancy - in mid spring and mid autumn, after each flowering.
Bulbs produce straight, dark green, resistant peduncles about half a meter high. Tall and strong peduncles of eucharis are crowned with a graceful, sparse umbrella of inflorescence, in which from three to eight fairly large flowers bloom. They are not accidentally compared with daffodils: in structure, the presence of a crown from the stamens of eucharis, and the truth is somewhat remotely similar to these garden stars.
Three external and three internal, located in a triangle and symmetrically overlapping snow-white petals and a surprisingly elegant white-green crown of stamens with brownish anthers create an elegantly exemplary symmetry.
The aroma of eucharis is valued no less than the grace of their flowers. Fruit-rich notes of a sweet, intense, but not aggressive smell combine an overtone of citrus, lily of the valley, jasmine and daffodils, each causing their own special associations.
The flowering of eucharis, its duration and timing directly depends on what kind of care the plant receives. With an ideal content regime and strict temperature control, eucharis can bloom twice or thrice a year with almost the same intensity. Each flower after blooming can last up to 10 days.
Types and varieties of indoor eucharis
Indoor and greenhouse eucharis is hardly found today in its “pure” form. Typically, hybrid specimens with a complex origin go on sale, originating from two very similar species - large-flowered eucharis (Eucharis grandiflora), spectacular appearance with peduncles up to 60 cm and leaves up to 25 cm and Amazonian eucharis (Eucharis amazonica), with peduncles up to 80 cm high and leaves up to half a meter long.
The large-flowered eucharis is more elegant, limited to half a meter in size, but the Amazonian eucharis is larger and more massive, sometimes up to a meter in size. Similar to daffodil flowers with a diameter of up to 12 cm in Amazonian eucharis and up to 7 cm in large-flowered flowers seem luxurious and have become the hallmark of the entire genus Eucharis.
Two other types of eucharis are much less common.
Eucharis is snow-white (Eucharis candida) Is a small-flowered species that can form in one brush more than 8 elegant flowers with petals turned away upward. The leaves are smaller and neater.
Eucharis Sandera (Eucharis sanderi) - an original look with flowers resembling a lily. Heart-shaped leaves with a bright central vein and inflorescences inflorescence the shape of a funnel flower no worse than an elongated tube.
Growing conditions for indoor eucharis
Heat-loving, preferring stability and comfort, eucharis pleasantly surprise fans of bulb plants. This is a full-fledged pottery culture, the cultivation of which does not resemble a distillation process with a dry dark and cold, leafless rest period. There is no need for Eukharis to change the conditions much, adjusting the care in the phase of preparation for flowering. Diffuse lighting and protection against temperature extremes - that’s all that Amazonian lilies need.
Lighting and placement
Eucharises are tender, large-leaved bulbous, vulnerable to the direct sun. They prefer diffused lighting or soft, light partial shade, but are moody enough for the duration of daylight hours. This bulbous will prefer the same lighting throughout the year, so in the second half of autumn it is better to move it to the windowsills or a little closer to the window.
Lack of light does not allow plants to bloom normally and is the main reason that eukharis only change leaves and slowly grow green, without releasing peduncles. Compensating for the reduction in daylight hours with an increase in the intensity of illumination, they stimulate flowering of the plant after a period of rest. If it is not possible to lower temperatures, it is better to move the eucharis to a slightly shaded place for a period of rest, and then increase the illumination with the beginning of watering and feeding.
Eukharis will not feel good on the bright southern windowsills, but they should not be placed inside the interior either. Window sills are not considered the best choice for eucharis. Plants are placed close to the windows, but not on them due to their large size. The best place for eucharis is considered to be eastern or western windows (or a place a little further in the south, similar in illumination to them).
Temperature and ventilation
Eucharis is grown with a pronounced, but not too cool dormant period. The temperature of the contents during the period of active growth and dormancy should differ by only a few degrees. For active vegetation of eucharis, the temperature above 23 degrees is considered optimal. Maximum values should be limited to 28 degrees.
Even under unexpected circumstances, you should not allow temperatures to fall below 18 degrees. Any temperature changes, especially sharp, are undesirable for the plant. The jumps in the indicators affect flowering and are the main cause of fading eucharis flowers.
During winter, the minimum values are just below 16 degrees. But if it is possible to protect plants from lowering even to this value, then it’s worth it. The optimal temperature range for the resting period is only slightly lower than the values for the period of active growth. Best eucharis rest at 18-20 degrees Celsius.
To stimulate flowering, it is enough to sharply increase the temperature to more than +23 degrees. When the dormant period passes in spring or summer, plants are placed in a place with the most moderate, low temperatures, only protecting from heat.
In summer, when the air temperature at night does not drop below 16 degrees, eucharis feel great in the fresh air. They are rarely taken out to the garden, preferring to stay closer to home - on terraces or balconies. The critical temperatures that eucharis can tolerate are 12 degrees, but any night when the indicators fall below 16 degrees, it is better to take them to the room.
Care for eucharis at home
The main guarantee for the success of the dormancy period in eucharis is to reduce watering and stop feeding, and not change the conditions. Light, stable humidity and very accurate irrigation, hygienic procedures and the right frequency of fertilizer application - that’s all that eucharis needs. This is not the most capricious and very grateful plant that needs to be allowed to grow and develop without extreme events.
Watering and humidity
Uniform, stable and light soil moisture is the main goal of caring for eucharis. The plant does not tolerate water stagnation or drought. It is not worth overdoing with watering during the period of active vegetation, watering eucharis often, but less abundantly. More abundant watering is usually carried out during flowering, when the plant is more sensitive to low humidity. But still, between these procedures, the upper third of the soil is allowed to dry.
With the completion of flowering, eucharis is transferred to a dormant period and reduced watering, limiting the amount of water. The substrate in the container should not completely dry out (they dry the soil at ½ of the substrate height), but the soil moisture should be very light and the amount of water used should be minimal.
For watering eucharis, you can use only the settled water, often it is watered onion with boiled water. The water temperature should be 5-6 degrees higher than the air temperature. This plant can be watered both by the classical method, making sure that water does not fall on the bulbs, and use the lower strait method.
Elevated air humidity does not need eucharis. All that this large-leaved plant needs for comfort is periodically spraying or moistening the leaves with a sponge. During the flowering period, the foliage is wiped, replacing the usual spraying. And during the growing season boldly use the standard method of fine spraying with warm water.
An important procedure for eucharis is to keep the leaves clean. Wiping with a damp sponge is a simple but effective method. The soul on this culture is not carried out. Leaf polishes are not recommended.
Fertilizing and fertilizer composition
The optimal frequency of top dressing for eucharis is 1 time in 2-3 weeks. Feeding is carried out from the moment when young leaves begin to grow after a dormant period and before flowering ends. For the rest period, top dressing is stopped completely. When planting leafless bulbs or loss of leaves, top dressing begins two weeks after the appearance of the first young leaf.
For eucharis, you need to carefully choose the composition of the fertilizer. For this culture, only special complex preparations for flowering crops are suitable. Fertilizer dosage is halved compared to that recommended by the manufacturer.
Trimming and shaping eucharis
On this plant, pruning is reduced to the accurate removal of faded peduncles and damaged leaves.
Transplant, containers and substrate
Eukharis need to be transplanted only when there really is no other way out. The plant blooms the better, the denser the group in which it grows and the larger the eucharis themselves become.
Only very young plants are transferred to new containers by the whole family, adults are transplanted no more than 1 time in 2-3 years, but not allowing the substrate to be depleted by regular feeding and replacing the contaminated topsoil with fresh one every year. These plants grow well in hydroponics and in containers with automatic irrigation.
The eucharis transplant can only be carried out during the dormant period, when the plant growth completely stops.
Eucharises develop well in not too spacious, but fairly free containers, in which families can grow over several years. Typically, the pots are increased by 2 cm, choosing the size of the group and leaving about 1 cm of loose soil on the sides.
If large and dense families are transplanted, the capacity can be increased by 3-4 cm, when planting individual bulbs, pots with a diameter of 20 cm are chosen for every 6 bulbs. The shape of the pot is of key importance: eucharises do not develop well in containers whose depth exceeds their width and lack large drainage holes. For the stability of these plants, it is necessary to choose heavy containers made of natural materials. The drainage holes should be large.
When choosing substrates, it is worth giving preference to very loose and nutritious soils. For eucharis, ready-made purchased substrates for bulbous plants are best suited. If the soil is mixed on its own, it is prepared on the basis of sheet soil with turf soil, compost and coarse sand (proportion 4: 1: 2: 2).
When transplanting eucharis, the earthen lump around the plants is not destroyed, trying to keep it as whole as possible. Only when absolutely necessary it is worthwhile to separate large plants or separate children for rooting, because the more the group grows, the better. Eucharises are family plants that do not bloom individually for years, but in dense families they please twice a year. When separated, the roots are handled carefully.
A very high drainage layer must be laid at the bottom of the tanks. Eucharis develops better when using broken brick or natural stone as a drainage layer.
There is nothing complicated in planting: the drainage is covered with a thin layer of soil and the bulbs are set at the same depth at which they grew earlier. If individual bulbs are planted, they are placed in groups of 5-6 bulbs for an average capacity of about 2 liters and a diameter of about 20 cm.
For eucharis with leaves, the planting depth is about 5 cm (1-2 cm of soil above the bulb), the bulbs without leaves are placed so that the apex is located above the soil line, and you can freely observe its development. And add soil to completely overlap - only after the start of growth of young leaves. After installing the bulbs and spreading the roots, the free space is filled with the substrate, tamping it slightly around the plants.
After transplanting, eukharis need to provide special care and not quite normal conditions. It is better to protect plants from heat by placing them in temperatures from 18 to 21 degrees. If bulbs without leaves or separated children are planted, it is better to keep the plants warm, at a temperature above 25 degrees to accelerate the onset of rooting.
It is necessary to choose a place with diffused dim lighting (or a stronger shade than usual) and limit watering by performing these procedures only to prevent the substrate from completely drying out. Usually, 1-2 weeks are enough for eucharis to adapt, after which they are placed in the usual conditions for a dormant period. Leafless bulbs will not refuse lower heating.
Diseases, pests and problems in the cultivation of eucharis
Bulbs of eucharis are extremely prone to decay with waterlogging and hypothermia of the soil. It is very difficult to notice signs of damage, because usually rot begins to spread along the bottom. In neglected collections and improper conditions, eucharis can suffer from any indoor pests, which are better controlled with the use of insecticides.
The main problem in growing eucharis is the lack of flowering. The non-release of peduncles in this crop can be associated not only with two main factors - too low temperatures and their sharp jumps or the absence of a drier dormant period.
Eucharises may not bloom when planting too rarely or in very spacious containers (until the earth coma is filled with roots and seeds are planted), water stagnates in the lower part of the substrate and rotted roots, soil depletion and scarce top dressing, in very dry air.
At unstable temperatures and even small temperature jumps during active growth, flowers grow smaller in eucharis. And when temperatures drop below 16 degrees, and even less than 10 degrees, the process of dropping leaves and decaying of the roots begins.
Reproduction of eucharis
Eucharis is extremely rarely propagated from seeds, because the plant forms children in large numbers. But sowing seeds is not only possible, but also very productive. Only freshly picked seeds can be used for sowing, which are scattered on the surface of a moistened sand-peat substrate.
Under glass, in diffused lighting and temperatures above 25 degrees, seedlings appear quickly enough. The glass is removed gradually, for small seedlings maintain light but stable humidity. Seedlings can be planted only after the release of the fourth leaf, young plants are extremely sensitive to injuries.
It is better to divide eucharis into fairly large groups. Separation of independent children is permissible, but will require several years of waiting until flowering when planting in groups. When separating from parent plants, medium-sized bulbs and roots must be handled very carefully.