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This family contains 15-20 herbaceous plants originating from tropical America; in nature they reach dimensions close to 4-5 meters. They have herbaceous stems and large lance-shaped leaves, dark green, serrated, with deep veins and bright yellow color. In spring it produces long spikes covered with yellow, red or orange bracts, with tubular flowers at the apex. The plants of Sanchezia speciosa grown in the apartment hardly produce a flowering. Being plants of tropical origin they love the areas with a warm climate and do not bear the cold temperatures, for this reason, they are grown as indoor plants.
Sanchezia speciosa prefers very bright locations, even in direct sunlight in the less hot hours of the day; it fears the cold and the ideal temperature of cultivation is around 18-20 degrees, both in summer and in winter. Shade the plant during the hottest periods of the year. The leaves of Sanchezia are very affected by the amount of light provided, in fact if they are kept in the dark they tend to fade dramatically. The temperature should always be constant, avoiding that the plant suffers both from excessive heat and cold, a factor that can quickly bring it to death.
In spring and summer, the Sanchezia speciosa needs abundant amounts of water, with the foresight to always keep the substratum moist, but avoid soaking it too much, because stagnant water can quickly lead to harmful root rot. In the cold months, reduce the amount of water supplied, keeping regular watering.
The sanchezie fear very much the drought, but they also fear the water stagnations. Add fertilizer for green plants to the irrigation water at least once a month during the vegetative period. Vaporize the leaves often, especially in summer, but also in winter if the plant is kept in heated rooms. To increase the humidity of the environment, especially when temperatures are high, it is advisable to vaporize water on the leaves.
For the best growth, it is best to grow these specimens in a soft and rich, very well drained soil; add perlite or expanded clay to the substrate to ensure sufficient drainage.
The reproduction of Sanchezia speciosa plants takes place by cutting, to be practiced in spring; the sanchezie root with great ease. It is advisable to place the cuttings in special containers in which a mixture of earth, sand and peat has been placed to be kept in a place with a mild and constant temperature until germination.
Sanchezia speciosa: Pests and diseases
Pay close attention to the cochineal that ruins both the roots and the stems. If the presence of this parasite is noticed, if the problem is limited, it is possible to intervene manually eliminating the parasites with an alcohol-impregnated wad or washing the plant with soap and water, to then rinse with great care. If the attack of scale insects is quite extensive, it is good to rely on a special insecticide product that will counteract the problem. Also check the soil to verify that it is well draining, on the contrary, radical rot could form.