Dizygotheca

Like the dieffenbachias, the dizygothecas – formerly called aralias – need warm greenhouse treatment, or, if grown in the home, warm, equable, non-stuffy conditions. Perhaps it should be pointed out, too, that this is a shrub (or dwarf tree if you like) which cannot be kept in good condition for more than a few years. Adult forms are unknown of two much-grown species: Dizygotheca elegantissima with green and white leaf stalks, and D. kerchoveana with wavy-edged leaflets. Another species grown is D. veitchii which has glossy leaflets with red undersides. All come from islands in the South Pacific.

These foliage plants have a very attractive appearance. Their leaves, which radiate from a central stem, consist of narrow leaflets with toothed edges. They are excellent for combining with flowering plants in a composite display, but draughts will cause the leaves to drop.

Cultivation

All dizygothecas like rich, acid soil with plenty of peat or leaf-mould added. Potting is best carried out in March using pots which are just large enough to accommodate the roots comfortably. Good drainage is essential.

The plants should be watered freely in summer, sparingly at other times. A temperature of 18°C. (65°F.) or more is needed from April to September and one of 13 to 16°C. (55 to 60°F.) from October to March.

Propagation

Increase is by cuttings rooted in sand in a propagating frame at a temperature of 18°C. (65°F.).

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

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