What is stephanotis and how to water the plant

Only one species of the genus Stephanotis, Stephanotis floribunda, is commonly grown indoors as a houseplant. It is a climbing shrub, loved mainly for its flowers, very fragrant and white in color. The leaves are dark green, leathery, shiny and up to 10 cm long. They sprout in opposite pairs on centimeter-long petioles and each has a prominent midrib of a lighter green. As for irrigation, during the vegetative period, the Stephanotis must be watered abundantly and often: in this period it is necessary to always keep the soil completely moist. In the rest period, however, it only gets wet when the top half of the soil has dried, but you have to be careful not to let it dry out completely.

The flowers of Stephanotis, 3 cm wide, usually bloom in spring and can continue all summer; they are narrow and tubular, they widen into five pointed lobes and sprout at the axil of the leaves gathered at ten or more in sparse inflorescences. Stephanotis plants develop vigorously and, if grown on an espalier, can reach 4 meters in height. Where space is limited, they can be guided around a circle of wire or reed that runs along the edge of the pot. The specimens live well in an ambient temperature that remains around 20 ° C, but they also do well in warmer environments, as long as the humidity is high. It is important to keep the temperature as constant as possible, because Stephanotis plants react badly to sudden changes. Indeed,

The ideal soil and how to fertilize plants

As for the fertilization of Stephanotis, the administration takes place during the vegetative period, in order to favor the development of the green parts and the production of flowers. It is recommended to add liquid fertilizer to the soil once every two weeks. If you grow Stephanotis in pots, use common universal soil. The plants must be repotted in larger pots in early spring: for example, specimens ready for flowering can generally be grown in 12 cm pots, but then they must be repotted in 20 cm pots. As for the development of the cuttings, rooting is favored by immersing the cut ends in a hormone-based preparation. Then each cutting is planted in an 8 cm pot, filled with peat loam and coarse sand or perlite in equal parts. It is advisable to enclose the potted plant in a plastic bag or to place it in a warm box and keep it at a temperature of about 18 ° C, in bright light, but not in the sun, wetting just enough to keep the soil moist.

Stephanotis: Diseases and exposure

Stephanotis plants need exposure to bright light, but without being in direct sun, which could damage the foliage. This species can be attacked by parasites and diseases, which affect its health and beauty: for example, coccidia infestations occur easily. The parasites are found on the lower pages of the leaves, usually against the midrib, and appear as small, dark, round bodies that exude a goo. Larger insects have to be removed with your hands and sprayed with a suitable insecticide. If, on the other hand, the flowers fall and the leaves turn yellow, the plant has been watered too much or too little, it has been subjected to sudden changes in temperature or calcareous water has been used. If, in addition to yellowing, the leaves begin to fall, the

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