Dichorisandra – long-term modesty

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Plant type: perennial.

Description: Belongs to the Commeline family. The genus name is derived from the Greek words: dis, choris, andros (two, separate, male). The plant got its name because the stamens in the flower form two groups: three upper and three lower. In total, there are about thirty-five species. A distinctive feature of dichorisandra is that, in comparison with other genera of Commeline, the anthers are opened by pores that are located on the tops, while in other Commeline, pollen is shed through longitudinal slits. Moreover, the seeds of this unusual flower have a bright red fleshy seed. Dichorisandra has a tuberous rhizome. The stems are swollen at the nodes, high (from 80 centimeters to 1 meter, sometimes up to 2 meters), rarely branched. The foliage is located at the top of the stem in the form of a spiral. Length 20-25 cm, width 5-8 cm. The leaves of dichorisandra are sessile, with ciliated or tubular sheaths that are bare along the edge, with a long pointed apex, broadly lanceolate or elliptical, on each side have a slightly reddish tint, shiny.

  • Birthplace of dichorisandra: Brazil.
  • Growing environment: greenhouse or home conditions.
  • Leaf ornament: absent.

Flowering: present. The flowers are arranged in whorls, which are collected in short dense pyramidal panicles. The petals and sepals are three, purple or dark blue, the petals have a white spot at the base. Only six stamens, anthers and threads of a golden yellow hue.

Care: Dichorisandra needs careful care. Considered a rare flower. Improper care will cause the lower leaves to dry out in dichorisandra. This is especially true in hot summer weather. If the flower lacks light, then the silver stripes will disappear on the foliage, and the purple color will become dull.

Temperature range: 16-29°C. In winter, the temperature should be maintained in the range of 15-18°C, and in summer from 18°C and above.

Humidity level: high. A pot of dichorisandra can be placed in a wide container, and wet moss can be planted in the free space between the walls.

Lighting: The best lighting will be indirect bright sunlight coming from the South/East/West. In general, the plant is shade-tolerant and shading is necessary on hot, sunny days.

Soil type: For the best growth of dichorisandra, use potting soil that absorbs water well while retaining it. The purchased soil should be checked for a good level of aeration, and if it seems too dense to you, add peat or perlite. The plant needs to be given a little time in order for it to take root, and only then apply fertilizer. If you want to choose the composition of the soil yourself, then it is recommended to follow the following ratio: 1 part garden soil, 1 part coarse sand or perlite, 1 part humus or wet peat and you can also add lime powder. There should always be a hole in the pot.

Watering: Keep the soil evenly moist and if you use rainwater be careful as it may contain harmful acids. Use warm water.

Pests: Dichorisandra has a tendency to mealy worms. When infected with a mealybug, dichorisandra may develop waxy discharge that looks like cotton balls. You can remove them manually. If the lesion is too strong, then the flower must be sprayed with actellik. When purchasing a plant, always check it for parasites before planting it in a greenhouse or at home.

Dichorisandra in the photo

Reproduction: dichorizandra propagates by cuttings and dividing the bush. During cuttings, it is important how the cuttings will be placed. The top of the shoot with leaves should be planted vertically, and the lower part – horizontally, while the cutting must be completely covered with the substrate to a depth of 1-1.5 centimeters. You can also bend the shoot at a right angle without cutting it into pieces. Thus, the horizontal part will become a rhizome, where new buds will subsequently awaken. If necessary, this plant should be propagated, since it is very rare.

Transplantation: the soil mixture should consist in equal proportions of sod, leafy, humus soil, as well as sand and peat. In the process of transplanting, the rhizome is recommended to be deepened into the ground by two to three centimeters. Due to this, tall and strong shoots are formed in dichorizandra. Under natural conditions, these flowers rely on neighboring plants and can reach a height of five meters. In room conditions, this, unfortunately, is an unattainable ideal. In order to bring indoor conditions as close as possible to natural ones, dichorizandra should be planted in a large pot, fed regularly, and as soon as shoots break through the ground, the stems should be cut after flowering to the very surface of the soil.

Additionally: dichorisandra has rhythmic growth. After an intense active phase, a period of relative rest begins. The growth of shoots in height depends on how far from the surface of the earth the bud was on the rhizome. The presence of nutrient reserves in the soil also has a certain influence. Thus, when cuttings, the first shoots will be short, and the next ones will be more attractive and tall.

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Wednesday, November 8, 2023