The genus Columnea belongs to the Gesneriaceae family. In nature, these semi-shrubs and shrubs with creeping thick shoots are found in the tropics of South and Central America. There are many garden forms of the columna plant, which bloom profusely in spring and summer with yellow, orange or red tubular flowers every year.
Types of columns
At home, more than ten types of indoor column flower are cultivated, photos of which you can see in the photo gallery on our page.
Blood-red column (Columnea sanguinea) – the most common species in culture, has creeping thick long shoots. The leaves are lanceolate, various in size: large (10-30 cm long and 3.5-10 cm wide), oblique at the base, with large red spots below; small (2-5 cm long and up to 5 cm wide).
The flowers of this type of columna, collected in several pieces, are located in the axils of the leaves. Pubescent bright red corolla 2 cm long. Abundant flowering.
Columnea banksii (Columnea banksii) shoots reach a length of 1 m. The leaves are smooth, waxy, with a red underside. The flowers are tubular, orange-red, with a yellow throat, up to 6 cm long.
Glorious column (Columnea gloriosa) differs from the previous species in larger pubescent leaves. Blooms in spring and summer.
Small-leaved columnar (Columnea microphylla) is characterized by denser bronze-red pubescence of stems and leaves, small (up to 1.2 cm long) almost rounded leaves. The flowers of this species of columna are scarlet-red. Blooms in late spring – summer.
Columnea Shida (Columnea schiedeana) has straight and climbing thick bare (young – pubescent) shoots up to 1.5 m long. The leaves are lanceolate, up to 10 cm long and 3 cm wide, pointed, rounded at the base, green on top with white pubescence.
From below, they have dense pubescence and a red-brown color. Numerous large axillary flowers. Corolla pubescent, yellow inside, brown-red streaked outside. Blooms profusely in autumn and winter.
Caring for indoor flower columna at home
The plant is kept in a warm, moist, bright place, protected from direct sunlight. Indoor column flower does not have a pronounced dormant period. In winter, with a lack of lighting, top dressing is stopped, watering is reduced, and the temperature is maintained at 1b-18 ° C during the day. In December-January, it is gradually reduced to 14-15°C. It is also recommended to lower the night temperature to 10-12°C for a month – this stimulates the laying of flower buds. When the size of the flower buds exceeds 5 mm, the temperature is raised to 18-20°C. In the future, the columns are kept in a bright place at 20-24°C.
Water the plant moderately throughout the year, as the top layer of the substrate dries up, without overdrying or overmoistening it. When caring for a column at home, it is necessary to provide high humidity, for this the plant is periodically sprayed with water at room temperature (or 1-2 ° C higher).
During the period of active growth (from late March to early October), the column is fed every 7-10 days. When the plant blooms, use special fertilizers for flowering plants. If the column is additionally illuminated in winter, it continues to grow. In this case, the plants continue to feed (once every three weeks).
Transplanted once every one or two years in the spring into a soil mixture consisting of sod and leaf soil, peat and sand (1: 2: 1: 1).
Columna is propagated by apical cuttings in April. Cuttings 5 cm long with two pairs of leaves are rooted in a light mixture of peat and sand, taken in equal amounts. They are planted four or five pieces in small pots and covered with a transparent cap. At a soil temperature of 20-22 ° C, they take root in three to four weeks. The cuttings are watered, but not sprayed, otherwise the leaves may rot.
Columnae are rarely affected by pests. Waterlogging the soil can lead to gray mold disease. Under unfavorable conditions, the plant sheds leaves and does not bloom.