Miscellaneous

Columnea: we grow a "flying goldfish" at home

 Columnea: we grow a


Columnea is a bright plant with very original flowers that outwardly resemble a goldfish or an exotic butterfly. It blooms for a long time and profusely, and the shoots grow up to one meter, thanks to which the columnea looks very decorative and can decorate the most unsightly corners of the room. How to achieve lush flowering, grow a spectacular bush and propagate a flower at home, read the publication.

Columnea - a room guest from South America

For a long time, Columbians were considered collector's plants, as amateur growers believed they were very difficult to grow at home. The spread of Columnea began in the 1950s, when two botanists, Robert Lee and Harold Moore, Jr., created a series of hybrids that were easy enough to grow in captivity. The pot sellers were very impressed and the columnea gained its well-deserved fame.

Columbians naturally inhabit the tropical regions of Mexico, Bolivia and northern Brazil. Exotic plants were introduced to Europe in the middle of the 18th century and named by Carl Linnaeus after the Italian botanist Fabio Colonna.

Without a doubt, the kolumnea has many qualities to recommend it as an interior decoration. The genus Columney of the Gesneriaceae family, to which the flower belongs, includes about 200 species of epiphytic grasses and shrubs. Tubular flowers, painted in different shades of orange, yellow or red, outwardly resemble a bright fish, thanks to which the columbine is popularly nicknamed "the flying goldfish" and "dancing dolphin".

In the tropics, columneans grow like epiphytes on rotten tree trunks or settle in crevices of boulders. Frequent rainfall provides the roots with a constant supply of moisture, and the stones serve as excellent drainage, which ensures that there is no stagnant water. The plant lays flower buds in the fall. During this period, columneans undergo a significant decrease in temperatures (the difference between day and night is about 10 degrees). If you provide a flower with suitable conditions that resemble natural, then it will become an excellent decoration for your home.

Blooming columnea is a spectacular plant that can decorate any interior.

Very small, leathery and shiny leaves of the "flying goldfish" are located on short petioles. And also there are specimens with soft and slightly pubescent leaf blades. Their shape is slightly elongated, and their color varies from dark green to purple.

Exotic flowers are very interesting. They are tubular and colored in different shades of fiery red, yellow, salmon or orange. The buds are collected in small inflorescences or are located singly in the axils of tiny leaf blades. In indoor conditions, the columnea blooms both in summer and in winter. As already mentioned, the flowering of the "flying goldfish" is quite long and abundant. At the end of this period, fruits are formed on the plant - white berries.

Columnea fruits are white berries

Columnea species and varieties suitable for growing in the room

The genus Columbus includes plants of about 200 species. Only a few of them are grown as indoor:

  • Columnea is small-leaved. It is an epiphyte, a semi-shrub with thin and fragile shoots and single flowers. Several varieties have been bred by breeders, one of the brightest representatives of which is the Carnival Columbus (C. Carnival) with small leaves and bright yellow flowers with a red border.
  • Columbus gloriosa. Long shoots (up to 70 cm long) with soft foliage are colored in different shades from light green to dark burgundy. Large flowers of gloriosa are colored orange-red with a yellow throat and are covered with fine hairs of a red hue.
  • Columney pubescent. It is an impressive plant, usually producing its unusual flowers during the winter. The species is endemic to Panama and Costa Rica. The maximum shoot length is 90 cm. The leaves are velvety, dark green in color and ovoid. The tubular flowers are colored in different shades from salmon to red-orange.
  • Columbus of Cus. It is an ampelous hybrid. The flowers are quite large (12 cm in size), orange-red hue. The leaf blades are shiny, leathery.
  • Columnea is sharp. A distinctive feature of the species is that the shoots of the plant are colored brown, and the calyx of purple flowers is brownish-purple.
  • Columbus Banks. One of the most popular plant species. It has weakly pubescent leaves and thick, sparsely branching shoots. Orange-red buds resemble flames.
  • Columbus Allen. A distinctive feature of the species are purple flowers 7 cm in size, located in the axils of the leaf blades of a dark green color. Shoots are thin and long.
  • Columnea Vedrarskaya. Unlike other species, Vedrarskaya shoots are thick. Large (compared to other columneas) leaves are colored dark green on one side and burgundy on the other. The flowers have a deep red hue with yellow blotches.
  • Columbus Krakatoa. Ampel plant. The stems are drooping, the small leaves are colored dark green. The flowers are medium-sized (5-7 cm in length), red in color.
  • Columnea is blood-red. A semi-shrub whose shoots are creeping. Leaves, rough to the touch, have an oblong shape, slightly pointed towards the top. A distinctive feature of the species is that on the back side of the leaf blades have red spots. Intense dark red buds are arranged in several pieces in the axils.
  • Columbus Shida. The plant is the largest of all species diversity. Smooth and thick shoots grow up to 1.5 meters in length. Large leaves are colored red on the back. The flowers are pale yellow with red dots and brownish touches.
  • Columbus Argut. The red flowers are decorated with yellow strokes along the edge of the petals. Small leaves (1.5–2 cm long) have a pointed shape. The plant is ampelous, its stems hang down, forming a charming "waterfall".
  • Columbus Hirsut. The flowers of this variety have an unusual star-shaped shape with five petals. The buds are colored bright orange with a yellow center. The stem is covered with red villi.
  • Columbus Saturn. Large flowers have a long orange-red tube and a wide hood, along the edges of the petals are decorated with contrasting yellow spots. Leaf blades are dark green with reddish edges.

Columnea small-leaved, gloriosa and other species in the photo

Conditions required for indoor columbia - table

SeasonTemperatureHumidityLighting
Spring Summer+ 20-27 ° СHigh humidity required. This requires regular spraying with water at room temperature or slightly warmer (up to 30 ° C). An excellent option would be to locate the flower next to an indoor fountain or aquarium.Light is needed bright, but diffused. It is better to place it on a window of western or eastern orientation. In this case, the flower must be positioned so that the light falls on it from all sides.
Autumn winterIn October and November, the columnea lays flower buds, while the process should take place at a lower temperature. During the day it should be + 15-18 ° C, and at night - + 8-12 ° C. In winter, the temperature of keeping the "flying goldfish" should be + 15-17 ° C.Spraying once a week. If the plant is in bloom, water droplets should be avoided.Additional illumination with a phytolamp is required, daylight hours should be about 12 hours.

Features of planting "goldfish"

The composition of the potting mix

Column requires nutritious soil. You can compose it from:

  • leaf humus (1 part);
  • turf land (2 parts);
  • compost (0.5 parts);
  • small sawdust and pieces of sphagnum moss (0.5 parts).

Other variations in the composition of the soil are also possible, for example, compost can be replaced with high-moor peat, and vermiculite can be added for greater looseness.

Columnea substrate requires nutritious

Ready-made mixtures are also suitable for a flower, for example, soil for Saintpaulias, it develops well even in a universal substrate for flowering flowers.

Choosing a flower pot

The stems of the plant are creeping or drooping, therefore, it is recommended to grow the columnea as an ampelous plant in a hanging planter or in a flowerpot with a leg. The pot is required wide, but shallow. A small bowl is perfect. For subsequent transplants, select a capacity 2-3 cm larger than the previous one.

To plant a columnea, a wide dish is required.

Flower transplant

The shoots of the columnea stretch out very quickly, the leaves after flowering begin to fall off and the stems become bare. Therefore, after the plant has bloomed, it is recommended to transplant it, combining this procedure with the rejuvenation of the bush. They do it like this:

  • Drainage is laid at the bottom; it can be made from expanded clay or other small stones.
  • The soil is poured into the pot, not reaching 1-2 cm to the edge.
  • All shoots are shortened, leaving stumps 10-15 cm long (the resulting cuttings can be used for propagation).
  • The plant is taken out of the old pot, shaken off the soil from the roots and washed under a stream of warm water.
  • The roots are examined and damaged or rotten ones removed. All slices are treated with brilliant green.
  • Holes are made along the edge of the bowl, shoots are placed in them and covered with soil. It is recommended to plant several plants in one bowl. So the kolumnea will grow into a lush bush.
  • The soil is moistened.

    It is recommended to plant several seedlings in one container, so the bush will be more magnificent

After purchase, it is advisable to transplant the flower into a nutritious soil. This can be done at any time of the year, 2-3 weeks after you brought the flower home, as it takes some time to acclimatize.

Do we need more support

When the stems begin to grow, they can be tied to pegs so that roots do not form on the shoots lying on the ground. A special bamboo support is best suited for this purpose. When the shoots grow up to 20-30 cm, the need for a garter disappears and the shoots can be allowed to hang over the walls of the pots.

Columnea care

If the plant is provided with all the necessary conditions, then caring for it is reduced to watering and periodic feeding.

Watering nuances

Water for irrigation needs settled water. To do this, it is taken from the tap into a vessel and allowed to stand for a day, while the lid is not covered so that all harmful substances evaporate. The optimum moisture temperature for irrigation should correspond to room temperature, but it is possible to use a warmer one (2-3 degrees higher). Please note that the maximum water temperature for irrigation of the columnea is + 30 ° C.

The soil in the bowl with the columnea should always be moist, but not wet.

Watering should be carried out only after the soil in the pot dries up. Columnea does not tolerate stagnant moisture, as a result of this, the roots of the plant quickly rot and you can lose it. Also, overdrying of the soil should not be allowed, as this can lead to death. In winter, the number of waterings is reduced to once a week.

How to apply top dressing

During the period of active growth, feeding should be done every 10-14 days. Liquid form preparations for flowering plants are best suited for this. "Kemira Lux" or "Fertika" will perfectly cope with this task. However, there is a peculiarity. The solution for feeding kolumnea should be diluted in a concentration 2 times less than indicated in the instructions, since a large amount of fertilizer in the soil can lead to excessive growth of the vegetative mass to the detriment of flowering.

In the winter period, additional feeding is also necessary, but their frequency should be 1 time per month.

Liquid fertilizer is suitable for feeding columnea

Why kolumnea does not bloom and how to make a plant release buds

Columnea ceases to bloom with a lack of moisture. As soon as you start spraying the plant and put any humidifier next to the pot (a tray with wet sphagnum moss, pebbles or expanded clay), the columbus will release buds. When flowers appear, the plant should not be turned or transferred to another place, since the capricious can throw off the buds or stop releasing new ones.

Columnea blooms for a long time and profusely, if you create the necessary conditions for this

So, to make a plant bloom, you need to:

  • Provide adequate lighting. The flower needs bright, but diffused light, while it must be illuminated from all sides.
  • Arrange high humidity.
  • Avoid drafts and do not move the flower to another place.

Is there a need for a colder period of rest

As such, the plant does not have a dormant period, but the flower needs special conditions with the onset of autumn. In order for the columnea to lay flower buds, it is required to provide it with a difference between day and night temperatures. This can be achieved by placing the pot close to the glass.

Plant formation

To make the kolumneya decorative, 3-5 cuttings are planted in one flower pot. Immediately after planting, they are pinched, which stimulates the formation of side shoots.

In winter, the stems are usually stretched and bare, as a result of which the flower does not look very presentable, therefore it is recommended to cut off the shoots of such a plant in spring, leaving hemp about 5 cm in size.This procedure will allow the plant to grow a lush bush.

A Practical Guide to Caring for Columnae - Video

Consequences of mistakes made when caring for a columnea, and what to do to correct the situation - table

What does the plant look like?What is the reason?How to fix the situation?
The leaves turn yellow, their tips are bent inward, then the leaf blades fall off.
  • dry air;
  • lack of moisture
  • Adjust the watering mode. Moisten immediately after the pot dries. The ground must be moist all the time.
  • Humidify with warm water only.
  • Provide better lighting by placing it on a bright windowsill. In winter, supplement with fluorescent lamps or phytolamps.
The foliage turns yellow and falls off.excessive or, conversely, insufficient watering
Spots form on the leaves.watering with cold water
The leaf blades wilt and fall off.insufficient lighting
Withering of the tops of the shoots.dry soil during hot periods

Pests and diseases that threaten colum - table

Disease / pestSigns How to get rid of
Gray rotA grayish downy mildew covers parts of the plant.
  1. Remove parts of the plant affected by gray mold.
  2. Spray the patient with columnea with Topsin, Fundazol or Zuparen.
  3. To avoid re-infestation with gray mold, reduce watering and periodically ventilate the area.
WhiteflySmall whitish flying insects appear, outwardly resembling tiny white moths. They usually stick to the back of the leaf blade.
  1. Treat the pest with an insecticide (Fitoverm, Akarin, Aktellik). Carry out 2-3 treatments (according to the instructions).
  2. Hang fly sticks near the plant pots.
Spider mite
  • The upper side of the leaf blade is covered with yellowish specks, the leaves begin to fall off prematurely.
  • Sometimes a white, barely noticeable cobweb forms between the stems and leaves.
  1. Rinse the pests off the plant with a strong stream of water.
  2. Treat columnea with Actellik.
  3. After a week, be sure to repeat the treatment.

Diseases and pests typical for columnea - photo gallery

How to propagate a columnea

Reproduction of columnea is recommended in the spring. This is done in two ways: by sowing seeds or by rooting cuttings.

Rooting cuttings

This method is the most affordable for amateur flower growers. Columnea cuttings root very well and grow green mass very quickly. Cuttings are carried out in early spring. They do it as follows:

  1. Cut apical cuttings about 5 cm long each.
  2. All leaves are removed from the bottom side, leaving 2 pairs on the crown.

    Columnea take apical cuttings for reproduction.

  3. The cut is powdered with Kornevin and the cuttings are placed in a glass with settled water.
  4. The planting material grows roots very quickly, therefore, after 2-3 weeks, the rooted parts can be planted in a permanent place.
  5. They take a wide dish, put drainage on the bottom, pour prepared soil and moisten it.
  6. Cuttings are planted in several pieces, placing them along the edge of the pot.
  7. The container is placed in a bright place, but in the first week after planting, young plants are shaded from bright sunlight.

    In the first week after planting, shade young plants from bright sunlight

Growing from seeds

This method is very time consuming and requires certain skills from the grower. Usually breeders use this method to multiply especially valuable varieties and obtain new hybrids. Although the columbia at home can set fruits, she needs to be helped in this by carrying out artificial pollination of flowers. To do this, a clean brush with a soft bristle is carried over the stamens and the pollen is transferred to the flower of another plant. Columbians will not be able to pollinate on their own (hummingbirds and moths help the pollination process in nature).

Inside the berry are seeds that can be used for propagation.

After the end of flowering, the pollinated flowers set fruit. These are white berries. When they are ripe (turn white and become a little soft), you can use the seeds for planting. To do this, the fruits are cut in half and the pulp is carefully removed, placing it on a sheet of paper. Then it is smeared over the surface and left to dry for several days. After that, the planting material can be used for sowing.

Seeds are spread over the surface of loose soil, based on peat. Moisten and cover with a plastic bag. As soon as shoots appear, the shelter can be removed. When the seedlings grow up to 1–2 cm, they must be cut into separate containers and kept in conditions of high humidity, placing a pallet with wet expanded clay next to the plants.

Care of tiny seedlings is required especially careful, since they quickly die from a lack of moisture and from its stagnation in the ground. It is necessary to monitor the condition of the soil, avoiding overdrying of the earth and excessive moisture.

Reviews of flower growers about columnee

Video: recommendations for growing and caring for a columnea

Columnea is an excellent hanging basket plant. Its dark green shoots can grow up to 1 m in length, which makes the flower incredibly attractive and effective. Columnea can be grown in any part of the room with bright, but not direct light. If you create suitable conditions and good care for the plant, then it will certainly delight you with bright and original tubular flowers that resemble goldfish.

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