Iresine: [Cultivation, Irrigation, Care, Pests and Diseases]

The iresine is a very striking tropical plant because its leaves are red , which offers a great contrast with the characteristic green of other species.

Its function is mainly ornamental, so it can be decorated in the garden or indoors. One point that must be considered when working outdoors is that it does not resist temperatures below 15ºC.

This leads to be very careful with the arrival of winter in areas where temperatures drop a lot during this season. 

If you want to enjoy it and you are interested in knowing all the information about it, then we give you this complete guide.

Important points when sowing an iresine
  • When? In late winter or early spring.
  • Where? Indoors or outdoors in hot climates and no direct sunlight.
  • How do we prepare the land? With common garden soil, sand and organic matter.
  • How should we water? Abundant in summer days and little in winter .
  • How often do you have to water? Almost every day in summer and only when the land is dry in winter .
  • What care do you need? Fertilizations every 15 days in spring- summer , transplanted.
  • What pests and diseases does it have? It is mainly attacked by aphids .

When to sow an iresine?

Sowing is normally carried out by cuttings during the late winter or early spring days , always with shelter indoors. When it takes hold in the pot and temperatures drop, it can be moved to a warmer environment outside.

Where to plant an iresine?

The sowing of the iresine can be indoors or outdoors . Outdoors it manages to flourish although its specimens are very inconspicuous. It is necessary to place it in a space where it receives a lot of light but not directly to avoid damaging its leaves.

Outdoors it can be placed near a wall that offers shade or a tree , while indoors being next to a window is ideal. In addition to that, you also need protection from strong air currents, a determining aspect of planting outside the home.

How to prepare the land?

The iresine is not very demanding around the farmland. However, we should pay enough attention to this point to make it perfect.

Using garden soil mixed with sand is ideal. It will also be possible to add a little universal substrate if available.

For it to be well nourished, the use of natural organic matter will be the most recommended. A good plan is to bet on homemade organic matter such as compost or humus.

How do we water the iresine?

The iresine works well in very humid environments, so the irrigation system must be abundant, preferably during the summer . If kept indoors, it is worth even spraying water into the room if it is perceived to be too dry to raise the humidity level.

How often do we water the iresine?

In summer, watering should be quite frequent, almost daily if the soil is more or less dry, since it needs good humidity. 

When winter arrives , this frequency will decrease, executing only the necessary waterings to keep the soil slightly moist.

How to sow an iresine step by step?

The sowing of the iresine is carried out by using cuttings that are taken from an existing plant . The procedure will be like this:

  1. Select an adult plant that is in good health and cut a stem about 6 inches long above a node.
  2. In a glass of water, submerge the cutting so that the base is immersed in the liquid. If the cutting has leaves, it is necessary to remove most, leaving only 2 or 3 in the highest part, not submerged in the water.
  3. Wait about 20 days until the first roots begin to show .
  4. Prepare a pot with the appropriate dimensions and open a hole large enough to place the cutting with its new roots smoothly, without trapping them.
  5. Place the cutting and cover with soil pressing lightly with your fingers to ensure stability.
  6. Water with a little water so that the soil settles and the roots establish themselves in the new environment.

What care does iresine need?

Fertilizations can be carried out during the spring – summer period approximately every 15 days It is best to use a product that can be added to irrigation water to facilitate the absorption of nutrients.

When the plant is in full growth it is necessary to transplant into larger pots every two years. In this way the roots can be aerated and the iresine will grow properly.

In the case of pruning, it is not a species that requires it particularly because of its orderly growth. If a light pruning is applied on the vegetative tips, it will be possible to make the plant more bushy.

What pests and diseases affect iresine?

The iresine can be a victim of the attack of aphids , which will cause significant damage if they are not controlled.

The good news is that there are organic products specially designed to deal with them, but you need to act quickly.

Other damage that iresine can suffer is due to the lack of constant watering, which will cause the leaves of the plant to wilt and fall.

On the other hand, when the plant is not kept in a space where it receives enough light each day, the leaves tend to look pale and lose their color. Taking into consideration that the main attraction is precisely that vibrant red of the leaves, you have to be very aware of this.

The exceptional characteristics of iresine have made it an outstanding species when it comes to selecting plants for interior decoration. The fact that it does not bloom when kept in these conditions does not actually cause any major negative effects on its beauty.

Therefore, it tends to be an ideal option to place on flats or in houses where you want to refresh the spaces by adding a touch of color. Of course, we must not forget that it has few but very particular demands, especially with regard to irrigation and light.

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