Indoor plants

Smoke eater plant

Smoke-eating plant, general information

Beaucarnea, commonly called smoke-eating plant, is an evergreen succulent plant native to Subtropical America, belonging to the Asparagaceae family. Elegant and ornamental plant with a very particular stem (in nature it can reach heights equal to or greater than 10m), which over time assumes an oval shape at the base. The leaves, dark green, thin and very long (in nature they reach lengths of about 2.5 m), start from the apex of the stem and have a curved shape (hence the name of Beaucarnea Recurvata). In nature, the plant produces a particular flowering, which unfortunately it is difficult to reproduce in a domestic environment. It also produces fruits that contain seeds inside them. The smoke-eating plant it grows very slowly, and is therefore considered very valuable.

Smoke-eating plant, care

Beaucarnea does not require great care and is a perfect plant for those who have little time to dedicate to it. In fact, being a succulent plant, it can adapt well to «almost» all environments. In any case, it likes fairly bright locations, being careful not to let it come into direct contact with the sun’s rays during the hottest hours of the day, under penalty of possible leaf «burn». It also adapts easily to temperatures that can very well reach 30 ° C. Conversely, it does not tolerate temperatures below 10 ° C. Watering must be regular during the spring and summer periods, allowing the substratum to dry up between one watering and the other and trying to avoid water stagnation, which is absolutely not pleasing to the plant. In winter, watering must be stopped almost completely, just wetting the substrate once a month. Very useful are the foliar nebulizations, to be carried out abundantly especially in the summer period.

Smoke-eating plant, propagation and repotting

The smoke-eating plantit propagates by sowing or cutting. Sowing is done in spring, using fertile soil combined with sand. It must be said that, unlike the cuttings, sowing does not guarantee a plant equal to the mother one (there are male and female Beaucarnee whose substantial difference lies in the flower). As for the propagation by cuttings, almost annually the plant produces shoots, at the base, which can be detached and repotted independently, in not too large pots and using soil consisting mainly of peat and sand. The Beaucarnea is repotted only when the plant requires a larger pot, in spring. For soil use a mixture of peat and sand, being careful to leave the egg (the base of the plant) outside.

Smoke Eater Plant: Smoke Eater Plant, Flowering, Fertilization, Diseases and Pests

The plant rarely blooms, especially when grown indoors. Flowering varies according to the sex of the plant (male or female). Furthermore, under favorable conditions, the plant produces fruits inside which there are small seeds. The smoke-eating plantit must be fertilized in spring, using liquid fertilizer to be mixed with normal irrigation water. In the other periods it does not need fertilization. The plant is hardly subject to diseases, which at most can be caused by water stagnation (rot) or by excessive sun exposure (burns on the leaves). As for parasites, the most common are scale insects, which cause dark spots or the presence of cotton-like wads. To eliminate them, use anti-mite products or cotton balls soaked in alcohol to pass on the affected area.

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