Columnea

The columneas are plants of a trailing nature which are ideal for growing in hanging baskets or in 5- or 6-in. pots which are then suspended by wire from the greenhouse roof. Of the species available, the best known and most attractive is the red-and-yellow flowered Columned gloriosa. These tubular flowers are borne in profusion on the growths during winter, a cheery sight which is especially welcome at that time of year.

Cultivation

When making up a basket of these plants, line the wire frame with moss and then add a compost mixture. This should be reasonably rich, and the John Innes No. 2 Potting Compost would be a suitable choice. The young plants should be positioned fairly close together around the rim of the basket.

Columneas need a minimum winter temperature of 13°C. (55°F.). but in summer it may rise to 24°C. (75°F.), provided the atmosphere is kept moist and there is shade from strong sunshine.

The plants need plentiful supplies of water in summer but more moderate amounts must be given during the rest of the year, especially winter. Just give them enough at that time to keep the compost from becoming dry.

Propagation

This is quite an easy plant to increase from cuttings. These should be made from half-ripened wood in spring, the shoots being cut into pieces 2 to 3 in. long and rooted in sand and peat in a warm propagating frame. When the cuttings have rooted they should be moved into 3-½-in. pots.

01. March 2012 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Featured Articles, Greenhouse Gardening, Plants & Trees | Tags: , | Comments Off on Columnea

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