The Sanchezia shrub is a member of the Acanthus family. Indoors, it is grown as an ornamental deciduous plant. In this perennial, the most attention is attracted to themselves by juicy emerald-colored leaf plates, which are decorated with spectacular lemon stripes. If you do not trim the top, then even in indoor conditions, the height of the bush can reach more than 100 centimeters.
Sanchezia is fast growing. About seven young leaf plates are formed annually on tetrahedral stems. Flowering is observed in the summer, subject to high humidity and high air temperatures. Elongated tubular flowers are part of spike-shaped inflorescences. In nature, this shrub can be found in the tropical part of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru. Moreover, this plant comes from Brazil. It was from there that the Sanchezia was brought to Europe in the 18th century.
Brief Description Of Cultivation
Table of Contents
- Temperature. In the warm season – about 23 degrees, and in winter – at least 14 degrees.
- Air humidity. Should be increased (more than 55%). It is necessary to regularly wipe the foliage with a damp cloth or moisten it with a spray bottle.
- Illumination. The light should be bright and diffused. Southeast-facing windowsill is best suited.
- Watering. In the spring-summer period – 2-3 times in 7 days, and in the winter – 1 time in 15 days. Moisten the substrate only after its top layer dries out.
- Substrate. A purchased universal soil mixture is suitable. To prepare the substrate with your own hands, combine peat, sand, turf, and garden soil (1: 1: 1: 1).
- Fertilizer. Topdressing is carried out in the spring-summer period 1 time in 2 weeks. For this, a mineral complex is used for decorative leafy plants, from which a nutrient solution is prepared.
- Transplant. While the plant is young, it is transplanted annually in the spring. Adult bushes are subjected to this procedure once every 2 years.
- Reproduction. By cuttings and seed method.
- Pruning. It is a fast-growing plant and is therefore pruned every spring. For this, all stems are shortened by ¾.
- Features of care. The plant needs a regular supply of fresh air. Therefore, the room should be systematically ventilated, and in the summer the bush is, if possible, transferred to the balcony, where a place protected from drafts is chosen for it. Don’t forget to shade the bush at noon from the scorching sun.
Sanchezia care at home
Sanchezia is one of the thermophilic crops. In order for its foliage to be always spectacular, you should adhere to the correct temperature regime. In the warm season, the optimum air temperature for the bush is from 20 to 22 degrees. If the room is warmer, this will negatively affect the state of the bush: its foliage will lose turgor and go down.
In winter, the shrub can be at room temperature, typical for residential premises. Remember that the room where the sanchezia is located should not be colder than 13 degrees. In addition to the cold, the plant can be harmed by sudden changes in temperature and drafts.
In indoor conditions, it is sometimes quite difficult to provide the sanchezia with optimal conditions for growth. The fact is that it needs high humidity all year round. To provide the plant with the necessary conditions, it is systematically moistened from a spray bottle, and a warm shower is also regularly arranged.
The flowering bush is moistened with great care. Droplets of moisture should not get on the bracts, as this can lead to rot on them. During flowering, a spray bottle is not used to increase the air humidity; instead, the pot is placed on a deep tray filled with wet pebbles or expanded clay. You can also place an open container filled with water next to the bush, or you can use a household humidifier.
For hygiene reasons, remember to regularly wipe the dust off the foliage surface with a damp soft cloth.
Often, plants native to the tropics do not grow well in indoor conditions due to inappropriate lighting. Sanchezia can grow and develop normally in shade, but lack of sunlight can cause foliage to lose its bright color. A window sill with an eastern or southeast orientation is best suited for a shrub. The fact is that it needs a lot of scattered bright light.
If the plant stands on the southern windowsill, then at noon it should be protected from direct sunlight, as they may cause burns on the foliage surface. In no case should the Sanchezia be placed on the north window? This will lead to stretching of the stems, shrinking of flowers, and also to the loss of decorative foliage (it will become faded, and bright stripes may completely disappear).
Particular attention should be paid to the watering regime. Despite the fact that this plant is moisture-loving, you need to be careful with watering. If you moisten the potting soil too often, it can lead to stagnation of moisture in the root system, which will cause the plant to wilt. Experts advise watering the Sanchezia only after the top layer of the soil mixture dries up by about 1 cm. As a rule, in the warm season, the soil mixture is moistened about 2 times every 7 days. In the cold season, the bush needs more rare watering, which is carried out on average 1 time in 1.5-2 weeks.
You can understand that the bush needs urgent watering by the appearance of its leaves: they become lethargic and sink down. In order to revive the plant as soon as possible, it is watered abundantly, and a plastic bag is put on the bush. The shelter is removed after a few hours.
For irrigation, use settled water, the temperature of which is slightly higher than room temperature. After a while, be sure to remove excess water from the pan. In order to protect the soil mixture from rapid drying, its surface is covered with crushed bark, coconut substrate, or sphagnum.
If you choose a pot of the optimal size, this will ensure the normal placement of the root system, as well as the correct development of the bush. Since the plant has a large rhizome, the container for planting it should be roomy, and holes for drainage should be located at its bottom. Also, when choosing the height of the container, it should be remembered that there must be a rather thick drainage layer at its bottom. A container correctly selected and prepared for planting sanchezia will allow the plant to breathe normally while reducing the threat of liquid stagnation in the substrate.
If the soil mixture is of high quality and compositionally suitable for growing such a shrub, then this will ensure its harmonious development. First of all, it should be loose and fertile. For planting, you can use a universal soil mixture, which can be purchased at a specialized store. It must be slightly acidic or neutral.
In order to prepare the substrate at home, you need to mix peat, turf, and garden soil, and also sand (1: 1: 1: 1). To make the substrate looser, it is combined with a small amount of agrovermiculite, chopped sphagnum, vermiculite, or brick chips. Coconut substrate is also used as an additive, due to which the soil mixture becomes very loose and well-drained.
In order for the plant to hurt less often, and its foliage to be spectacular, during the growing season (from March to September) it must be regularly fed. The procedure is carried out twice a month, using for this a mineral complex fertilizer for decorative leafy plants, while for the preparation of the nutrient solution, take ½ part of the dosage recommended by the manufacturer.
The composition of the fertilizer used must include a complex of trace elements. Be sure to check the fertilizer composition and make sure nitrogen is not in the first row of the list. If you add too much nitrogen to the substrate, then this can cause excessively faded foliage, as well as the loss of bright stripes. The nutrient solution is added to the substrate after watering in the evening. After that, the plant should be shaded. In winter, fertilizers are not applied to the soil mixture.
While the bush is young, it is transplanted annually at the beginning of the spring. Adult plants are transplanted less often – once every 2 years. In an overgrown bush, roots are often injured during transplantation. In this regard, the plant is carefully transferred into a new container while maintaining the integrity of the earthen coma. In a very large bush, the transshipment is replaced by the annual replacement of the top layer of the soil mixture in the container with a fresh substrate.
For transplantation, use a container of a larger size, at the bottom of which there are drainage holes. Examine the transplanted bush; its root collar should not be buried. Often, after transplantation, the foliage loses its turgor and hangs. To quickly restore turgor, moisten the potting substrate with plenty of water, and put a transparent cellophane bag on top of the plant. The transplanted perennial will be placed in a shaded place for several days, which helps it recover faster. They begin to feed the Sanchezia again only 3 weeks after the transplant.
Sanchezia is a fast-growing shrub. If you do not carry out pruning, then after a while, instead of a neat bush, you will have a very large plant. Pruning is combined with the formation of the crown and carried out in the spring. You can cut anything that seems superfluous to you, while you should not be afraid, since the sanchezia will grow young stems in a short time.
Also, the bush needs a systematic pinching of the tops of the stems. Remember that young leaf plates will not grow as large as the previous ones. If you want all the leaves to be large, then it is recommended to form the shrub into one trunk, while all the side branches must be regularly cut out. After pruning, you should resort to reducing the frequency of wetting the substrate in the pot, since there is a high risk of liquid stagnation in the roots.
Home sanchezia blooms in the summer. Beautiful lemon-colored flowers have a tubular shape and orange bracts. They have collected in vertically spaced spikelets, which are placed directly at the very base of the leaves. The upper edge of the petals is slightly bent back, while long graceful stamens open.
The Sanchezia bloom looks pretty impressive. However, in a faded bush, thinning and weakening of the shoots are observed, while its foliage becomes less attractive. In order to prevent the plant from losing its decorative effect, it is recommended to prune the stems in the spring. At the same time, 2 stems should be left in the middle of the bush, this will allow you to see the bright and unusual flowering of this exotic.
In nature, pollination of shrub flowers occurs with the help of hummingbirds. When the plant has bloomed, a fruit is formed in place of its flowers, which look like a box, inside which there are very small seeds.
The dormant period begins in mid-November and ends in early February. At this time, the bush rests and accumulates the strength necessary to ensure that its foliage is always spectacular.
During the dormant period, the Sanchezia is watered less frequently and with less water, it is not fed and is removed to a cooler place. Fertilizing at this time leads to the fact that the plant is rapidly weakening.
Propagation of Sanchezia by cuttings
It is unrealistic to get sanchezia seeds indoors, and they are extremely rare on sale. Therefore, flower growers propagate this plant only by cuttings. After pruning in the spring, the most powerful cuttings are selected from the segments. Do not forget to treat the cut sites with a root growth stimulator. Tear off all the bottom sheet plates. For rooting, plant the cuttings in a moistened soil mixture, and cover them with a transparent bag on top.
The sections are placed in a warm (about 24 degrees) and provide regular ventilation and watering. After about 3 weeks, they will have roots, which will be prompted by the young leaves that appear on the handle. Remove the cover and drop the pieces into individual containers.
With the wrong care with Sanchezia, problems such as:
- Drying of the tips of the foliage. Very dry air in the room.
- Fly around the foliage. The room is very cold or hot; overdrying an earthen coma; draft; the substrate is moistened with cold water.
- Brownish specks on leaf blades. These are sunburns.
- Rot on the base of the shoots. Due to stagnation of liquid in the substrate and moistening it with cold water.
- The slowdown in growth. Needs urgent feeding.
- Pests. Mealybugs, spider mites, scale insects, or aphids can settle.
Types of sanchezia
In the wild, about 60 species of Sanchezia were found, while only 2 are grown in indoor conditions.
The bush reaches a height of about 200 cm. Elliptical large glossy leaf plates of bright green color are decorated with lemon veins. Foliage is placed on tetrahedral thick stems in parallel. The spike-shaped elongated inflorescence consists of yellow flowers.
The height of the bush, as a rule, is no more than 90 cm. The color of the thickened stems is a rich brown. Emerald-colored leaf plates have an elongated elliptical shape, they are decorated with thin veins of a golden hue. The central vein on the wrong side of the sheet is colored red.