Donkey belly

A plant that has a fairly short life cycle but is able to actively flower during its period is the donkey’s belly. This common name has been given after years of use as an ornamental plant in public places. Its scientific name is Salpiglossis sinuata and it belongs to the Solanaceae family. This family is made up of species well known throughout the world that are used for ornamentation.

In this article we are going to tell you all the characteristics, care and uses of the donkey belly

Main features

This plant has a very short life cycle. Plants usually have a longer duration in which they can have several periods of flowering and development. Some relate this plant for its appearance and care with the petunia. Both plants share the Solanaceae family and bear a great similarity in the flowering season. Both plants have somewhat sticky foliage so it is advisable to touch it.

Although they have a fairly short life span, they can reach a moderate size with erect growth. On some occasions we see individuals that reach a meter in height and more or less bower. It is a plant that has delicate and somewhat ungainly stems depending on its development. There are some occasions in which the plant can develop more if the environmental conditions and its care are adequate. If it is used as ornamentation, it is recommended that children approach us since it has this sticky pact and they can put their hands to their mouths.

It tends to do well in areas that have ornamental gardens with typical mild and dry summer climates. It is a plant that tolerates drought quite well and does not need too much care. Its peak flowering stage occurs during the summer stage. This flowering is quite common and makes the ability to decorate much greater. As long as temperatures remain relatively high, you will be able to maintain flowering for as long as possible and extend this flowering well into autumn. Normally, flowering ends when temperatures begin to drop and the plant is not able to maintain the energy necessary to keep its flowers in good condition.

The flowers have a trumpet-like appearance and have a long had to open five bilobed divisions. What stands out most about the flowering of the donkey’s belly is that it has bright colors full of rich shades and characteristic of this plant. You can differentiate some lines that emerge from the throat in striking tones.

Donkey belly uses

One of the most widespread uses of this plant is in small sectors of the garden to gather a handful of these specimens and show off the multiple colors they have. There are some plants that have flowers that range from white, creamy yellow, orange, red, deep yellow, purple, mauve, pink, violet, purple, etc. It should be mentioned that we collect a few specimens of this plant and mix all the colors we can have a corner in the garden or an urban park with enough color.

There are some varieties of donkey belly that are much smaller in size. These plants are just as hardy and are best suited for growing in containers. Unlike other ornamental plants, it does not need hardly any care, so it is not a problem so much in its cultivation, in its maintenance. You may have a problem when using it in public places and it is during your planting.

So that the plant can develop in good conditions and grow at a good rate, it will need humid conditions. This involves some initial care tasks somewhat more extended than when it is already developed.

Its leaves are evergreen so they will be somewhat more showy all year long, although flowering only takes place between summer and mid-autumn. It has a fruit that is a capsule that has small, black seeds.

Donkey belly care

This plant requires some care although it is not very complicated to maintain. As we have mentioned before, only at the beginning they require some more detailed care such as having a high humidity for the good growth of the stems and leaves. Once it has enough nutrients and has grown about a meter in height, it will be able to develop the flowers during the warmer season.

The first thing to take into account when caring for a donkey’s belly is the location. You need a location with sunny exposure and sheltered from strong winds. You have to keep the soil slightly damp all the time, although more at the beginning. We must avoid excessive watering at all costs as it can cause rotting of the roots. To do this, we must also ensure good drainage in the soil. Drainage is what allows the soil not to store irrigation and rainwater and does not cause the roots to drown.

Therefore, it will need moderate watering, since it is able to go some time without water. It is quite resistant to drought. Since it is an annual plant, it cannot be kept from one year to the next. This makes us have to collect their seeds and obtain new plants. However, this is a surprisingly easy task. We must sow the seeds during winter or early spring and, once sown, we will keep them with some heat and humidity and they will germinate after about 3 weeks.

To be properly cared for when they are smaller and in full development, the seedlings should not be planted outdoors to be sure that the winter frosts have already ended. When they are young they cannot bear frost. Rather, the donkey belly is a plant adapted to the high temperatures and drought of summer. We just have to keep the humidity more constant at the beginning.

I hope that with this information you can learn more about the donkey belly and its care.

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