Small-medium sized shrub, the Pachystachys is native to central-southern America; in nature it easily reaches the 2-3 meters of height, while the specimens cultivated in pots remain of much smaller dimensions, not exceeding 30-60 cm of height, there are also dwarf or particularly compact varieties, which do not exceed 25- 30 cm. It has large evergreen leaves, dark green, wrinkled, lanceolate in shape; towards the end of winter at the apex of the stems it produces particular panicles of yellow bracts, between which tubular flowers bloom, of white or cream color. Very decorative flowering plant, it is generally used as a houseplant, although it is possible to plant it in the garden, cultivating it as an annual plant.
When deciding to grow a plant, it is important to find out about the cultivation needs of the plant. One of the first elements to consider is the exhibition. Some plants prefer the shaded position while others like the sun's rays and mild temperatures.
The pachystachys prefers very bright, even sunny, positions if it is placed in direct sunlight gradually, to avoid conspicuous sunburn of the foliage. These plants have tropical origins, which is why they need temperatures above 15 ° C to survive.
Watering and soil
From March to October water regularly enough, always waiting for the soil to be dry before watering again; during the cold months we thin out the waterings, trying to keep the soil mainly dry. During the vegetative period we supply fertilizer for flowering plants, dissolved in the water of the watering every 20-25 days. Every 2-3 days we vaporize water on the foliage, to increase the environmental humidity. A fundamental element to consider when deciding to cultivate a plant is the type of land to be preferred. The soil is in fact the main source of sustenance of the plant and for this it must have specific characteristics based on the plant that you want to grow. The Pachystachys prefers soft and very humus-rich soils, with good drainage; remember to repot these plants every year, in autumn.
Multiplying our plants can be a real satisfaction for gardening enthusiasts! The multiplication of this plant takes place by seed, in spring, or by cuttings in summer, using the tips of the stems. When the first sprouts start to appear, it is necessary to start irrigating regularly. After a few weeks, change the container and opt for single pots of about 10 cm. To avoid an unbalanced growth of the plant, perform pruning during the spring to give the pachystachys a definite shape.
Pachystachys: Pests and diseases
Mites and aphids can ruin the leaves and flowers of the plant. Also, pay attention to watering. Excessive amounts of water during the winter season could cause water stagnation and the death of the plant itself. On the contrary, if the waterings are too scarce, the leaves could change color and turn yellow.