Indoor piggy is not a plant for everyone
Among the abundantly flowering houseplants, the pig, or Plumbago, has always occupied a special place. Beautiful flowers collected in loose inflorescences and covering dense bushes from a distance seem like lace foam. Piggy looks sloppy and festive at the same time, this plant that creates a special mood is not for everyone. Feminine and touching, piglet is a culture with a difficult character, adoring high humidity and requiring careful care.
- What does a room pig look like?
- Optimal conditions for growing indoor pigs
- Home Care
- Diseases, pests and growing problems
- Breeding pig
What does a room pig look like?
Piglets are better known as garden plants, which are grown as tub crops in regions with harsh winters. Wintering in a cool room does not prevent this unique and rather large plant from revealing all its beauty and surprising with amazingly long flowering. As a room culture, they decide not to grow pigs often, but in vain. More compact sizes, but no less bright flowering allow this culture to become one of the most romantic stars of the interior.
Gilt is one of the exotics that came to us from South Africa. Despite her love of high humidity in a room environment, the pig is much more drought-resistant than its competitors. In nature, it is found not in the tropics, but in the subtropics.
The genus Piggy (Plumbago) belongs to the family of the Pig (Plumbaginaceae) of the same name. The popular name “pig” is much more popular than the official “plumbago”.
Gilts in nature are represented by a little more than a dozen different species, but in a room culture they grow one single type of gilts.
Ear or Cape (Plumbago auriculata) - a decorative-flowering shrub that can be considered as a vine, and as a bushy plant, depending on the desired attached shape. It is most often grown as a bush, but if desired, you can let the plants grow freely and show the true nature of the twigs. Piglet is good in raised containers, on supports, as an ampel culture. The shoots of the piglet are long, but not very flexible, in length without control, they are able to stretch up to 1-2 m.
Piglets have very beautiful leaves. Medium-sized, with two stipules, lanceolate-oval, up to 7 cm in length, they are very pleasant to the touch and flaunt in a light, saturated color. Medium-sized foliage forms a thick, beautiful crown, which looks somewhat careless and messy, and during flowering only emphasizes the romance of piglets. The leaves on the shoots are arranged alternately.
The flowers in piglets are very beautiful. The symmetrical five-petal nimbus on a long base tube reminds of phlox flowers and fragrant tobacco. In diameter, the flowers of the piglet are limited to 3 cm, visually they are not perceived as too large, they conquer simplicity, tenderness and texture. Flowers are collected in the heads and brushes of inflorescences at the tops of shoots.
The color scheme of pigs is very limited, but no other culture has such shades of color as this plant. Sky blue saturated watercolor shade, white or carmine pink muted tone - these are all the variations.
Optimal conditions for growing indoor pigs
It’s easy enough to find suitable conditions in the rooms for pigs. This plant needs the lightest window sill. Much more difficult to meet the plant's temperature requirements.
Adapting to room conditions, the pig, however, almost does not change its gardening habits. This plant is very fond of fresh air and prefers a cool winter. These two most difficult requirements for growing conditions should be considered when buying.
Lighting and placement of pigs in the interior
Moving into rooms, the pig does not change its character and remains a plant that needs the most bright light. Therefore, it is better to place pigs in the house only on window sills, and preferably southern or partially southern.
Direct sunlight for the plant is not dangerous, with the exception of the midday sun when kept without regular ventilation. Partial direct illumination in the morning or in the evening, and diffused bright light make it possible to achieve colorful flowering. The piglet must be accustomed to any changes in lighting gradually, avoiding a sharp drop when moving to a new place or with an increase in the intensity of lighting in the spring.
These photophilous stars do not like artificial illumination during the period of active development, but in winter, with the help of phytolamps, it is possible to compensate for the lack of light and prevent stretching of the shoots and dropping part of the leaves. If there is no opportunity to provide illumination and it was not carried out, then the plant will recover only after pruning in the spring.
Piggy is a great soloist, but this plant will not be lost in groups. She is not afraid of the neighborhood with other vines, looks good with smaller flowering crops. When placing a pig, it is worth considering the rate of its growth and the length of the shoots. Since this is an extremely photophilous plant, you can only place a pig on window sills.
Temperature and ventilation
The pig does not tolerate heat very well. Indicators of air temperature in excess of 22-23 degrees can only be compensated for by the abundance of fresh air and an increase in humidity to the maximum.
Despite the status of a garden tubing plant, piggy is not a cold-resistant crop at all. It should winter in conditions when the minimum temperature is limited to + 7 ... + 8 ° C. The plant is not afraid of short-term cooling, but it is better if the air temperature remains stable and is limited to the range + 10 ... + 15 ° С.
The transition to winter content in the cool is better to make a smooth, with a gradual adaptation to new conditions. Wintering at low temperatures is desirable, but not required. Piggy can overwinter in heat. But it will lose decorativeness, require more cardinal pruning and discard foliage. In the spring, with proper care, the plant will recover quickly.
Piglet will prefer to spend summer outdoors, by a constantly open window or on a balcony. Indoor pigs can also be taken to the garden, but they must be removed long before the primordially tubular plumbago. Frequent airing is an important measure when growing pigs in a room, regardless of the season. The plant should be protected from drafts, but without access to fresh air it is too vulnerable to diseases and pests.
Among beautifully flowering and abundantly flowering houseplants, piggy is rightfully considered one of the "medium" -demanding. This plant is more suitable for experienced gardeners. But on it you can practice the skills of forming and growing plants that require more stringent conditions. The hardest part about caring for a pig is to prevent the substrate from drying out. But pruning and maintaining air humidity also does not make plant care easier.
Watering and humidity
It is important for the sow to maintain a stable soil moisture throughout the entire stage of active vegetation and flowering. Water the plant moderately, in small portions of water, but quite often. In summer, the sow is watered up to 3 times a week, as soon as the top layer of the substrate dries. At rest, watering is reduced, reducing soil moisture, but preventing it from drying out completely. Drought results in partial or complete loss of leaves. Any overmoistening is very dangerous. Estimated frequency of winter watering - 1 time per week.
For sows, they use not only defended, but also warm water of the same temperature as air or a little warmer. Watering with cold water is just as dangerous as using ordinary tap water.
The higher the air humidity for this plant, the better. Ideally, the figures should be 80-85%. Piglet tolerates dry air only at moderate temperatures. It is not possible to maintain air humidity that is comfortable for a pig only by spraying.
For the plant, you need to install humidifiers or their analogues - from indoor fountains or additional moisture sources to plates and pallets with wet pebbles, expanded clay, moss. Before flowering, the plant can periodically be carried out.
Fertilizing and fertilizer composition
For pigs, the standard fertilizer application is perfect - along with water for irrigation, only during the period of active growth and with a frequency of 1 time in 2 weeks.
Pig is not demanding on the composition of fertilizers. Universal complex fertilizers for indoor plants are suitable for her, but if you want to achieve the most spectacular flowering, it is better to use fertilizers for beautifully flowering plants.
Pruning and trimming
It is impossible to achieve high decorativeness from this plant without formation. Shoots of a piglet tend to stretch, constantly grow in length, do not branch, not too flexible. If the plant is grown in ampelous culture, then the shoots are shortened only so as to maintain beautiful outlines and not allow them to stretch too much.
When growing on a support, pruning can be omitted, with the exception of pinching the tops. But to obtain beautiful sprawling bushes, they are required to prune them.
For sowing, pruning is best done in early spring or February. As with all plants blooming only on young branches, the main purpose of pruning is to stimulate the growth of strong shoots and abundant flowering.
All sows form a skeletal base of three or four strong shoots, and all lateral shoots are cut to 2/3 of the height, leaving 2-3 pairs of leaves. Pinching the tops stimulates the growth of lateral branches.
As with most shrubs, it is better to remove weak or thickening branches in a pig. If desired, the bushes can be given a strict shape and even form a room pig in a standard.
If the pig is pulled out, the leaves become smaller, the distance between them increases and the plant loses its decorativeness, you need to resort to urgent pruning before the conditions are adjusted. Shortening the shoots to a few pairs of leaves will allow the pig to recover faster. Renewal or restoring pruning is carried out more radically, cutting off all shoots to a height of 30 cm.
A mandatory measure for growing pigs is plucking flowers as they bloom. Peduncles can be removed during general pruning in early spring.
Piglets, when grown in ordinary pots without pruning, controlling the contours of the plant and preventing the shoots from decaying, need support. It is better to install them in advance when transplanting the plants and gradually, as they grow, tie plants to them.
This culture can be grown not only on trellises, but also on original figured modules. When gartering shoots, you need to act carefully, take into account the rather poor flexibility of the branches and use soft materials. Independently shoots to piers do not cling.
Transplant and substrate
This large plant is transplanted only in early spring. Usually, piglets are transshipped annually, after pruning at a young age, and only as necessary for adult plants. One transplant in 2-3 years is enough. Plants develop quite actively.
For pigs it is better to choose a universal water-permeable substrate with high nutritional values. They prefer slightly acidic soil with a high peat content. This plant feels great in the usual purchased substrate for flowering plants. If you mix the substrate yourself, then it is better to create it on the basis of soddy soil, adding half the amount of sand and peat to it.
The pig should be carefully handled, avoiding contact with the roots. Only the upper contaminated substrate layer is removed from the old earthen coma.
Diseases, pests and growing problems
Piglets often suffer from indoor pests, especially insects that are active in dry air. Spider mites and scale insects are the most dangerous enemies of this houseplant.
When growing pigs, the following problems often arise:
- stretching shoots in shading;
- shading of leaves in shading;
- flowering stop when the substrate dries;
- browning of leaves with irregular watering.
New sowing bushes can be obtained from cuttings and seeds. Both methods are not too complicated, but the bushes will have to wait several years to achieve maximum decorativeness.
Plumbago seeds are sown with a light cover in a moist substrate consisting of equal parts of sand and standard soil. They need not only greenhouse conditions, but also a stable temperature of about + 20 ° C. Dive is carried out after the appearance of true leaves in small individual containers. In the future, plants transship as necessary.
For cuttings, it is easiest to use the branches remaining after spring pruning. After treatment with growth stimulants, the shoots are buried in wet sand. When covered with a cap, maintaining a stable humidity and temperature of about + 16 ° C, they take root in 2 weeks.
Plants are transplanted into small containers and grown with standard care, handling as they grow. The plants obtained from the cuttings will bloom this year, but it will be possible to fully enjoy the beauty of flowering only when the bushes grow a large vegetative mass.