HOW TO GROW AND CARE FOR OUR PLANTS
TheVeltheimia unfortunately they are not very widespread plants as they are not easily available on the market, characterized by splendid typically winter blooms.
Species: see the paragraph on "Main species"
The genre Veltheimia belongs to family of Asparagaceaeand includes plants native to South Africa.
These are bulbous plants characterized by leathery leaves, 40-50 cm long, of a beautiful more or less intense green color, with generally wavy margins that are arranged in a rosette at the base of the plant.
Their peculiarity are the beautiful tubular, pendulous flowers, which grow numerous in the terminal part of the stems, even 60 cm long, gathered in racemes. The flowers are variously colored from yellow to pink to orange depending on the species and variety. They are typically winter flowering plants and their pollination is done by birds.
The genre Veltheimia includes very few species among which we remember:
There Veltheimia capensis, native to the western part of South Africa, is characterized by ribbon-like leaves, of a beautiful green color tending to gray, glossy, with wavy edges, even 40 cm long which dry up and fall off during the summer.
The flowers are carried by long stems 30-50 cm high of a reddish-brown color variously clustered with yellow-brown, tubular in shape and pink-red. It blooms from autumn and until spring.
There are varieties with yellow flowers, although they are very rare.
There Veltheimia bracteata, is native to the eastern part of South Africa. The leaves are light green, shiny, slightly narrower than the previous species.
It is a plant that also grows in direct sun but prefers shady places. The flowers are light pink, tubular, carried by stems that develop from the center of the rosette of leaves, 40cm long. There are hybrids with flowers ranging in color from yellow to purple, which are not easily available on the market.
This species is more easily found on the market as it is more robust and resistant than the previous one.
The Veltheimia they are not difficult to cultivate species. The only thing we must keep in mind is that they are bulbous and winter flowering plants, so we must behave with them in the opposite way to how we are normally used to raising our plants, in fact during the spring - summer period the plant goes into vegetative rest.
When the plant has withered and the flower stems dry out (and this happens in spring, late February - early March), they must be cut off and watering completely suspended. During this period the plant should be kept in an environment where temperatures are around 13 ° C for about a month to allow the bulbs to dry out completely.
For the rest of spring and all summer we keep the vase where we prefer, without temperature problems and without giving it anything.
Early autumn you just start to moisten the soil. When you notice the first leaves start to grow, increase the watering so that the soil remains wet (not soggy). Wait for the soil to dry between irrigations.
When the plant begins to form flower stems, then you can also start fertilizing by diluting a liquid fertilizer in the irrigation water every two weeks by slightly decreasing the doses compared to what is reported in the package and this until spring (March).
During the vegetative and flowering phase the optimal temperatures are around 15 ° C and it does not like much higher temperatures. Conversely, the minimum temperatures must not drop below 5-10 ° C. In consideration of the temperatures that absolutely must not fall below these levels, Veltheimia are plants that mostly, even in regions with temperate climates, are grown in protected environments.In any case, if in our areas the temperatures do not fall below these values, they can also be raised outdoors.
They are plants that love light and direct sun which is essential during flowering.
During the spring-summer period the Veltheimia do not water. During the autumn-winter period, it is necessary to irrigate abundantly so that the soil is well wet but waiting for it to dry on the surface before proceeding with the next one.
TYPE OF SOIL - REPOT
They are plants that do not require large pots and since they do not like to be disturbed, repotting is carried out only when the lateral bulbs that will gradually grow, will have occupied almost all the space available in the pot and therefore there is excessive crowding. The bulbs should be planted about 2/3 of their length in depth (leaving 1/3 out of the ground) and spaced at least 30 cm between them.
There Veltheimia repot in early autumn, using a slightly larger pot than the previous one. A good fertile soil based on peat mixed with a little coarse sand is used to favor the drainage of irrigation water.
Since an excellent drainage is essential for this plant, place pieces of earthenware on the bottom of the pot in order to avoid any water stagnation.
The fertilizations are carried out starting from the appearance of the flower stem, then starting from autumn and throughout the winter using a liquid fertilizer diluted in the irrigation water, decreasing the doses compared to what is reported in the package and every two weeks. During the spring-summer period, the fertilizations will be suspended.
Use a good liquid fertilizer equally balanced in nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K) BUT THAT also contain microelements, i.e. those compounds that the plant needs in minimal quantities (but still needs them) such as magnesium (Mg), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), boron (B), molybdenum (Mo), all important for a correct and balanced growth of plant.
The flowering of the Veltheimia starts in the fall. The flowers last about a month and both the flowers and the flower stems wither by hand, it is necessary to cut them at the base.
They are plants that cannot be pruned. Only the parts that dry out should be eliminated to prevent them from becoming a vehicle for parasitic diseases.
Always remember to use clean and well disinfected tools (preferably flame-retarded), to avoid infecting the tissues.
The multiplication takes place by division of the bulbs, every 3-4 years. They can also be propagated by seed but several years pass before the plant is in conditions of flowering.
MULTIPLICATION BY DIVISION OF BULBS
When we realize that numerous lateral bulbs have grown that have occupied the whole pot, it is time to divide them. This operation is carried out at the end of summer - beginning of autumn by separating the different bulbs with some leaves and planting them in single pots no larger than 8 cm in diameter using a soil as indicated for adult plants.
New plants will take about 2-3 years to flower.
PARASITES AND DISEASES
The Veltheimia they are plants that are very unlikely to undergo parasitic attacks; they are only sensitive to the degree of humidity in the soil, temperatures and direct insolation. Therefore if we can find the right balance for its growth, we will have no problems.
The genus name was given in honor of August Ferdinand Graf von Veltheim (1741-1801) a German botanist.
Description The plant of Daphne laureola subsp. philippi belongs to the Thymelaeaceae family and is shrubby type. The height of the plant does not exceed 50cm, generally it is on average 40 cm or smaller. It takes more or less 5-10 years to grow and reach its maximum development. The leaves of this species [...]
Description Fittonia albivenis (Argyroneura Group) is a herbaceous type, it is part of the Acanthaceae family. The height of the plant does not exceed 50cm, generally it is on average 40 cm or smaller. Before the plant reaches its maximum development, it takes about 2-5 years. The plant is also indicated with [...]
Care of Peruvian Cereus Cacti or Computer Cactus
The genre Cereus belongs to the family Cactaceae and is made up of about 50 species of cactus of the South American continent. Some species of this genus are: Cereus peruvianus, Cereus haageanus, Cereus albicaulis, Cereus jamacaru, Cereus lanosus, Cereus jamacaru.
It receives the vulgar names of Cardón, Computer Cactus, Uruguayan Cardón, Candelabra Cactus or Quisco. According to the latest classification, this species is now called Cereus uruguayanus . It does not come from Peru, despite its name, but from Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina. It also receives the scientific synonym Cereus hildmannianus.
It is cactus columnar and fast-growing branched cacti which can be more than 10 meters high. The stem has 5 to 9 well-marked ribs, is bluish green when young (then turns light green) and has areoles with brown thorns. The flowers they are very visible , measure up to 16 cm in diameter, are white and open at night and early in the morning. They bloom during the summer as soon as the plant is more than 4 years old. Finally, they produce fruits from which seeds can be obtained.
They are used in patio and patio pots, as houseplants, in cacti and succulent gardens or to form informal hedges or barriers. It is thought to absorb electromagnetic radiation and is believed to be very effective when placed next to a computer screen.
The best exposure for the computer cactus it is in full sun, although it can live in the shade or indoors, near a window. It should not be exposed to temperatures below 7 ºC, although it can withstand light frost if the soil is very dry. It is best to rest in winter at 10-12 ° C.
It is important that the soil it is well drained (it tends to rot) for which we can prepare a mixture, in equal parts, of soil, coarse sand and white peat. They prefer the ground to be a little calcareous. The potting it will be carried out in early spring.
water moderately in spring and summer, waiting for the soil to dry. From autumn onwards, irrigation is reduced until in winter it remains at one per month.
Fertilize with a cactus and coarse fertilizer once a month in spring and summer and with a little organic matter in early spring.
They do not require pruning but they can be pruned in early spring to control their growth.
His main enemies they are excess moisture, flat worms and root scale insects.
They multiply in a simple way from seeds sown in spring in a seedbed with a sandy substrate rich in organic matter. It can also be done with cuttings made in spring or summer.
Plant care Lophomyrtus x ralphii or Little Star
Two species of shrubs or young trees originating in New Zealand form the genus Lophomyrtus of the family of the Myrtaceae . These species are: Lophomyrtus bullata (Ramarama) and Lophomyrtus obcordata (Rohutu).
It is known by its common name of Little Star or Black Pearl. It is a hybrid between the two species mentioned above.
It is about rounded evergreen shrubs that, over time, can grow up to a height of 3 meters. The most interesting is their foliage consisting of small leaves green, bronze, purple, brown and dark red, depending on the variety. They produce small white flowers that bloom in the summer. The fruits are black berries.
They are usually used in pots due to their slow growth or to form clusters of shrubs, especially alongside rhododendrons and azaleas, as well as individual specimens.
Lophomyrtus x ralphii prefers semi-shade exposure in climates with very hot (Mediterranean) summers and direct exposure to the sun in cooler climates. They are able to withstand frosts down to -9 ° C.
They need well-drained, fresh, humus-rich soil . Sowing occurs in spring or autumn (in non-frozen areas).
Irrigation it will be smooth so that the soil does not dry out completely. It is advisable to water frequently during the first year until the plants are established.
are fertilized at the end of winter with organic substances and mineral fertilizers every 30 days during spring and the first half of summer.
These plants easy to grow they can be pruned slightly in the fall to keep their compact size.
They are plants resistant to the most common parasites and diseases.
Propagation is usually carried out in autumn with the use of cuttings.
Plant care Coryphantha elephantidens or split elephant tooth from Biznaga
To the family Cactaceae the genus belongs Coryphantha and is supplemented by about 40 species of cactus originating in Mexico and the southwestern United States. Some species of this genus are: Coryphantha elephantides, Coryphantha octacantha, Coryphantha werdermannii, Coryphantha andreae, Coryphantha recurvata, Coryphantha radians, Coryphantha pallida, Coryphantha maiz-tablasensis.
It receives the common name from Biznaga's split elephant tooth. This species comes from the Mexican state of Morelos.
They are dark green cacti with a solitary globose body (even if it can produce offspring) which can reach the 20 cm of diameter and the 15 cm of height. They have large tubers with woolly armpits at the top and areolas elliptical in shape where from 5 to 6 radial spines emerge curved above the plant. The flowers are pink and large, which makes them very decorative.
Due to their rather small size, they are generally used for growing in pots for patios, terraces, balconies, greenhouses and also in well-ventilated and illuminated interiors.
These biznagas can thrive in full sun or in the shade . They do not tolerate frost well, so the winter temperature should be above 5 ° C.
It is recommended to use well-drained soil based on 25% coarse silica sand and 75% well decomposed heather or leaf litter. Transplanting is usually done in spring if the pot has become too small.
These cacti need a little more watering than most others, so it is advisable to water them by immersion when the soil is completely dry. In winter, irrigation should be stopped.
They appreciate a light fertilizer in spring with a cactus-based mineral fertilizer.
It is not necessary cut them .
If there is no excess moisture, they are safe from attacks by pests and diseases .
Can multiply easily from seeds sown in spring, but it is faster to do so by separating the offspring if the mother plant produces them.
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By definition, succulent plants are drought resistant plants in which the leaves, stem, or roots have become more than usually fleshy by the development of water-storing tissue.  Other sources exclude roots as in the definition "a plant with thick, fleshy and swollen stems and / or leaves, adapted to dry environments".  This difference affects the relationship between succulents and "geophytes" - plants that survive unfavorable seasons as a resting bud on an underground organ.  These underground organs, such as bulbs, corms, and tubers, are often fleshy with water-storing tissues. Thus if roots are included in the definition, many geophytes would be classed as succulents. Plants adapted to living in dry environments such as succulents, are termed xerophytes. However, not all xerophytes are succulents, since there are other ways of adapting to a shortage of water, e.g., by developing small leaves which may roll up or having leathery rather than succulent leaves.  Nor are all succulents xerophytes, since plants such as Crassula helmsii are both succulent and aquatic. 
Some who grow succulents as a hobby may use the term in a different way from botanists. In horticultural use, the term succulent regularly excludes cacti. For example, Jacobsen's three volume Handbook of Succulent Plants does not include cacti.  Many books covering the cultivation of these plants include "cacti and succulents" as the title or part of the title.    However, in botanical terminology, cacti are succulents,  but not the reverse as many succulent plants are not cacti. Cacti bear true spines and appear only in the New World (the Western Hemisphere), and through parallel evolution similar looking plants evolved in completely different plant families in the Old World without spines, a distinct organ structure.
A further difficulty for general identification is that plant families (the genus) are neither succulent nor non-succulent and contain both. In many genera and families there is a continuous gradation from plants with thin leaves and normal stems to those with very clearly thickened and fleshy leaves or stems, so the succulent characteristic becomes meaningless for dividing plants into generate and families. Different sources may classify the same species differently. 
Horticulturists often follow commercial conventions and may exclude other groups of plants such as bromeliads, that scientifically, are considered succulents.  A practical horticultural definition has become "a succulent plant is any desert plant that a succulent plant collector wishes to grow", without any consideration of scientific classifications.  Commercial presentations of "succulent" plants will present those that customers commonly identify as such. Plants offered commercially then as "succulents", will less often include geophytes (in which the swollen storage organ is wholly underground), but will include plants with a caudex,  that is a swollen above-ground organ at soil level, formed from a stem, a root, or both. 
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