Pakhira water - simple nobility
Among the plants that can accumulate water in the trunk of the pachyra aquatic has always occupied a special, honorable place. And the point is not only that the plant is called a bottle tree (deserved). This beauty, unlike competitors, can boast rather of her classic appearance. Large leaves of pakhira with a strict silhouette and unusual, but revealing its true beauty only near the trunk and a woody silhouette made this plant a legend. But the main advantage of this non-standard caudex is its rather large size. Able to compete with tree and shrubs, aquatic pachira tolerates room conditions well and requires a specific, but very simple care.
Pakhira water - tree-like kaudeksnoe with elegant simplicity of leaves
Pakhira aquatic does not at all look like an exotic plant and, unlike its caudex colleagues, at first glance it does not give the impression of an unprecedented exot. In spirit and character, it is rather akin to a classic indoor woody tree, it gives the impression of a traditional and even relic plant. Strict, neat, with simple but elegant shapes, pahira is easily misleading. Despite such a restrained appearance, it requires the same care as any other caudex plant.
Pachira came to us from the tropical forests of South America, where she can be found in marshy areas. In the homeland, it is also known as the Guian or Malabar chestnut, and in the West as the Chinese and money tree. In our country, water pakhira is most often called a bottle tree, although it shares this name with several other caudex cultures.
Pahira water (Pachira aquatica) conquers with its tree-like silhouette and structure. From afar it is difficult to guess about the unusualness of pakhira: it seems to be just a classic, strict and even somewhat prim tree. And only at close range can you appreciate all the advantages of this beauty. Most often, on sale pahirs are represented by instances with artificially interlocked trunks that seem like a bizarre work of art.
But pahirs with a simple trunk are very beautiful (especially since with age they will begin to scrub and produce lateral shoots). The interlacing of the trunks of several different young plants into a kind of pigtail is very effective, but also has its drawbacks: eventually, sooner or later, some of the plants intertwined with each other die off and die, and only the strongest survive. But this happens slowly and for many years you can admire the complex ligature of the trunks.
The height of the trunks increases with time: in young plants they are almost invisible, but the “leg” gradually lengthens and rises up. The height of aquatic pachyra in indoor culture is limited to 1-1.5 m. The trunk is thickened downward, it stores water between the bark and wood. Branches with luxurious leaves only adorn the original trunks of the plant.
Even the foliage of pakhira aquatic is deceiving. From afar, it seems that the plant produces classic large oval-lanceolate leaves with an impeccable silhouette, but it's not so simple. In fact, perfect dark leaves are just fractions of a palm-like five-fingered compound sheet. Dark, saturated color emphasizes the classical beauty of the greenery of this plant. The leaf-shaped sheets of aquatic pachyra appear both massive and elegant at the same time. And though there are not so many of them, but they create a full crown.
Conditions Required by Pahira Aquatic
One of the main advantages of pakhira water is its unpretentiousness. She does not need a cool wintering, but she can put up with it, does not present special requirements for other growing conditions, and with sufficient lighting practically does not cause problems. This plant is suitable even for beginner gardeners and those who do not have enough time for scrupulous care: watering for pakhira is rarely carried out, which allows to significantly relieve the schedule of caring for her collections.
Of course, she does not replenish the list of the best indoor Spartans, but still this is a very friendly plant. The high price of pahira is associated with the difficulties of its cultivation and formation, many years of growing to achieve an attractive form.
Lighting for pahira water
In fact, the only strict requirements of pahir water are precisely for lighting. This plant requires either a sunny location or diffused bright light. Direct midday rays leave burns on the leaves, but the morning and evening ones are not afraid of the pahirs. Even in light partial shade, pachyrus is not grown.
The photophilous beauty is able to put up with a slight reduction in light intensity in winter, but if there is an opportunity to compensate for it, this will only positively affect the attractiveness of the crown. It is necessary to change the lighting in winter gradually, stretching its movement to a new place in several stages.
Choosing a place for pahira is not quite easy. Only young plants fit on the windowsill without problems, while adults need to be moved to the interior, and there it is difficult to recreate bright lighting. The eastern and western window sills are considered the ideal place for the intensity of lighting.
The bottle tree feels good in any living room. Normal room temperatures from 18 to 23 degrees are suitable for him, but the plant will be able to adapt to a hotter environment, provided that the air humidity rises, and to colder temperatures, if the indicators do not fall below 12 degrees of heat. Changing conditions in winter for this plant is not necessary, but if there is a natural decrease in air temperature, pachira will not suffer. In the heat in winter, provided that there is no measure to compensate for the reduction in light, the pachira may begin to stretch.
Resistant to temperature extremes, Pahira feels great outdoors in the summer. But it can be displayed not in the garden, but on a terrace or balcony protected from wind and rain.
Humidity for Pahira
Humidity for pahira should be as high as possible. It does not require constant measures and a tropical environment, but if you can increase the indicators to 60% or more, the plant will respond to such care with more active growth.
Water care at home
Due to the ability to accumulate water in the trunk, Pachira can significantly simplify the regime of care. This plant is drought tolerant, not tolerating waterlogging and heavy irrigation. Subsequent procedures are carried out carefully, with a small amount of water, after drying of the upper layer of the substrate. If the pahira needs more intensive watering, it signals this with its sluggish leaves.
In winter, watering for pahira needs to be reduced, allowing both the upper and middle layers of the substrate to dry, maintaining only light soil moisture. Any overmoistening at this time of the year can cause stem decay. For pakhira, unlike many kaudeksny, lower watering is unacceptable. Particular attention should be paid to water quality: it should be not only soft, but also warm (several degrees warmer than air temperature).
Pakhira is also content with spraying and feels good when installing pallets and plates with wet materials.
Only the crown can be sprayed at the pahira, but not the trunk. Mandatory spraying procedures become only when the air temperature rises above 23 degrees Celsius. Too dry air during heating systems and in summer can cause leaf loss.
Feed for pachira water
An excess of nutrients in the soil of the Pachira does not like, as well as excessively intensive irrigation. Fertilizers for plants are rarely applied, with a frequency of 1 time per month, even in the phase of active growth, but from November to February, feeding is not carried out at all.
For pahira it is better to choose special fertilizers for succulents, but universal mixtures are also suitable if their dosage is halved.
The formation of pachira is not a mandatory, but a desirable procedure. The plant develops quite rapidly, and if it loses its compactness, attractiveness, looks messy, then it can be cut off at will, removing extra shoots or shortening upward branches in order to thicken the crown and give it a spherical shape.
The trunk of the pachirs must not be touched. Moreover, only with the help of trimming it is possible to adjust the height of the barrel and its thickness. Pruning can only be done in the first half of the warm season, from late February to mid-summer.
Transplant and substrate
Even at a very young age, it is better to transplant pahira only as necessary. The transplant is carried out at the usual time - in the second half of February or March.
Capacities for pakhira water increase by 4-5 cm in diameter. Particular attention should be paid to the ratio of height and width: for a sacher, the diameter of the pot should be greater than its depth, since the rhizome develops mainly in breadth.
The substrate is selected from among loose weakly acidic mixtures. High soil nutrition for pakhira is undesirable. You can select ready-made earth mixtures, like for palm trees or dracaena, or independently compose the soil from equal parts of sod, sheet soil and sand without humus with the addition of half a dose of brick chips.
To prevent problems with dampness and substrate compaction, a high drainage layer must be laid on the bottom of the container during transplantation. At the same time, the landing depth for the pachira must be left the same.
Diseases and pests of pahira aquatic
Pahira cannot be called a persistent plant. It is often affected by a spider mite and thrips. Effectively controlling pests is possible only by correction of care in combination with spraying with insecticides.
Common problems in growing pachyra aquatic:
- leaf fall with extreme dry air;
- rotting of the stem during damp soil or its soaking during irrigation;
- stretching branches and trunk in poor light;
- the appearance of spots on the leaves in direct sunlight;
- leaf twisting at low temperatures;
- the appearance of the brown edge of the leaves or the drying of the tips in the drafts and in very dry air.
Bottle tree propagation
Pahira water can be obtained from seeds and cuttings.
Plant seeds are sown in any universal substrate, leveled and watered several hours before sowing. Seeds of aqueous pachyra must be decomposed in the soil, without covering them with soil or covering them with a thin layer of substrate. After sowing, the seeds are additionally sprayed with warm water. Germination is carried out under a film or glass, with daily ventilation and maintaining a temperature of 25 to 30 degrees. Pakhira sprouts for 3 weeks, but the freshness of the seeds is crucial (the percentage of germination rapidly decreases over time).
To obtain new plants from the pakhira, apical cuttings are cut using young twigs with a “heel”. Cuttings are carried out in the spring or in June. Rooted cuttings only in the sand-peat mixture under the hood. Temperatures are similar to growing from seeds. Humidity should be constantly high.