Dyschidia and its bizarre bubbles
Among indoor vines there are many plants original and even exotic. But hardly anyone is able to compete in their "features" with dischidia. This is a unique, very graceful epiphytic plant, in which, in addition to charming small main leaves, water-containing “bubbles” are also formed. Delicate shades of greenery and the brightest scarlet or pink color of miniature flowers, the flexibility of shoots and elegance make dischidia a true legend. And although it is not easy to grow it, how much joy and pleasure it brings afterwards!
Dyschidia is an elegant newcomer to the list of original plants
Magnificent dyschidias are considered rare in room culture, but the return of fashion to paludariums and florariums has attracted increased attention to them. Today, dyschidia can often be found in decorative glass flasks and vessels, in shells and shells, even in souvenir shops, they are presented as a gift to true lovers of floriculture. But the dyschidia itself remains a mystery plant for many.
Dyschidias are compact vines that can be grown in several forms:
- as an ampelous plant in hanging baskets (because of the specific structure of the foliage, it is not possible to place it on stands or tall pots with hanging, cascading lays on the windowsill, but it is beautiful in ampels);
- like a liana on a support - trellises, decorative, steel or wooden foundations - creating amazingly elegant silhouettes.
Dischidia (Dischidia) - epiphytic plants belonging to the group of compact vines. They develop quite slowly; they remain attractive all year round. The maximum height of the plant is traditionally limited to half a meter, although, of course, the specific dimensions depend on the method of garter and the form of cultivation. Curly, very flexible, thin shoots of dyshidia seem unusually gentle. The maximum length of the shoots is 1 m. They cling to the support with additional roots.
On the shoots of dyschidia, couples of touching elliptical leaves rarely sit, which, due to not too thick, are perceived as decoration. The leaves of the dyschidia are quite thin, leathery, oval-rounded, slightly pointed at both ends. Due to the symmetrical arrangement of the pairs of crowns, it seems surprisingly ornamental and strictly patterned. The color of greenery - muffled bright, light green - seems surprisingly fresh and "succulent."
But the greens of dischidia are unique for a completely different reason. In addition to ordinary leaves, the plant develops unique vesicle-like leaves - a kind of "bags" that can play the role of a reservoir of water. Fleshy water-retaining leaves are able to spliced edges, as a result of which a false bubble or capacity is created. "Sacks" are able to grow up to 5 cm in length, the outer color repeats the color of the main foliage, but the inside is reddish-brown.
Thanks to such modified leaves, the dyshidia itself regulates the level of moisture, stabilizes the conditions and is able to provide itself with water in extreme conditions. She “draws” water with air roots immersed in this natural water reservoir.
Flowering dyshidia is very attractive. Medium-sized, red, white, or pink flowers with five petals, gathered in whorls in the axils of the leaves, appear to be shining decorations. Flowering usually lasts from mid spring to late summer. The plant traditionally releases its first flowers in April, and until the fall, bright red small “rubies” sparkle against the background of the leaves. In room culture, dyshidia often bloom several times a year.
In nature, dyschidia is found only in tropical forests and came to us from Australia, India and Polynesia. These are typical epiphytes clinging with their aerial roots to the bark of large woody ones. These unique exotic creepers of the Kutrovy family (Apocynaceae) represent.
Types of Dischidia
About 7 species of dischidia are considered to be ornamental plants, although the number of their varieties in nature is measured by several tens. In room culture, only two subspecies of dyshidia spread:
- Vidal Dyschidia (Dischidia vidalii), we have better known under the old name scallop dyschidia - Dischidia pectenoides) - an elegant liana with the main leaves of a uniform light green color and additional water-retaining vesicular leaves;
- Ovoid dyschidia (Dischidia ovata) - with dense, perfectly oval, with an elongated tip leaves, on the surface of which longitudinal bright veins appear.
It is considered very rare Russo-leaf dyschidia (Dischidia ruscifolia) - Dischidia with pointed leaves, as well as flaunting large dense inflorescences large dischidia (Dischidia major).
Home Care for Dyshidia
Dyshidia is an exotic in every sense of the word. It is often called easy to grow, but still the plant is more suitable for experienced growers who can maintain a vitally stable, high humidity. But on the other hand, rare watering and top dressing greatly simplify life. So, dyshidia can be called not so much easy to grow as a specific plant, which is better to get acquainted with before buying it.
Stability is the main guarantee of success, and it concerns both conditions and care. The slightest disturbance immediately leads to wilting and dropping of leaves. Dyschidia itself signals an uncomfortable environment and this somewhat simplifies the cultivation, but it must be monitored constantly and carefully.
In room culture, dyshidia is a photophilous plant. If in nature she hides in the twilight of rainforests, then at home she needs to be given as bright a place as possible. But it must be borne in mind that the plant is very sensitive to direct sunlight and lighting for dyshidia can only be scattered.
One of the benefits of dyshidia is that it grows well in artificial light. This allows you to grow the plant in paludariums or wet florariums, flower showcases, expands the possibilities of the original use of this exot.
Dyschidia feels good in the bathrooms, on the eastern and western windowsills.
Demanding plants, fortunately, does not coincide with the need to strictly control the temperature of cultivation or to create cool conditions atypical for residential premises. Dyschidia is a thermophilic and heat-tolerant plant. The main thing is to control the lower temperature indicators, to prevent them from dropping to 18 degrees and below. But any other temperatures (both ordinary room temperatures and hot summers) are suitable for dyshidia. Dyshidia blooms best at temperatures between 25 and 30 degrees Celsius.
Watering dyshidia and humidity
This plant is hygrophilous, but this only applies to humidity. When watering a dyshidia, you need to be very restrained. It is necessary for the plant to provide a stable, very light substrate moisture, but carry out the procedures only when the topsoil dries by 2-3 cm. Droughts, prolonged complete drying of the substrate are not desirable, but not critical, but excessive watering and waterlogging for dyschidia fatal. The usual frequency of watering is about 2-3 times a month. In winter, watering is corrected by halving the soil moisture, but still maintaining a stable environment (tentatively carry out procedures only 1 time in 3 weeks).
When grown in rutaria (English root - root, driftwood, root), as an epiphyte on the cortex, dyshidia is moistened 1-2 times a week.
Water for irrigation dischidia must be selected very carefully. Dyschidia does not tolerate watering with cold water, but in the case of warm water, it is better to prefer water at room temperature. The main thing is that the water is soft in its characteristics. For this, plants often recommend filtered or boiled water.
The most difficult moment in growing dischidia, of course, is the need to provide the plant with very high levels of humidity. That is why dischidia is considered a plant that is best grown in flower showcases and plant terrariums. But you can achieve the same success in an “open” culture. Dyschidia tolerates spraying well, is not afraid of getting wet. Daily, and in the heat more frequent water procedures, are able to create a comfortable, moist environment for her.
Also suitable for plants is the installation of humidifiers - pallets with wet pebbles or moss, special humidifiers. The main thing is to make sure that the humidity is stable and does not fall below 40-50%.
Feeding for dyshidia
This plant needs a fairly restrained feeding. For dyschidia, it is often recommended to carry out only two top dressings per year with half-diluted fertilizer (in April and July). But you can apply another strategy, introducing fertilizers for dyschidia 1 time per month in reduced doses during spring and summer. Dyschidia prefer special fertilizers for succulents or at least decorative foliage plants.
For a plant, it is better to alternate conventional and foliar dressings.
Trimming for dischidia
Dyschidia does not need regular pruning, but if desired, it can be formed by shortening too elongated shoots. Light periodic pinching of all shoots can stimulate the renewal of old, poorly flowering plants.
Transplantation of a dyshidia and substrate
Like most indoor epiphytes, dyshidia requires a very strict selection of soils. This indoor plant is best grown only in a special substrate for orchids or bromeliads, soil with a sufficient degree of friability and fibrousness. If you want to prepare the soil yourself, mix leafy soil or peat with sphagnum and sand in a ratio of 2: 3: 1. When growing dyschidia in florariums and paludariums, the soil is prepared from a mixture of crushed pine bark or fern roots with half less sphagnum. It is desirable to further add a portion of charcoal to the substrate.
A plant transplant can be carried out only in the spring, with the appearance of signs of active growth. Only young plants are transplanted annually, but in this case, transplantation should be carried out only as necessary, when filling the container with roots. At the bottom of any container for dischidia lay a high layer of drainage. The plant must be handled very carefully, to avoid any root injury.
Dyschidia can be grown as an epiphyte on snags and blocks.
Diseases and pests of dyshidia
Dyschidia can hardly be called resistant plants. Roots and shoots easily rot during overflow, and mealybugs, aphids and spider mites simply adore this plant. Problems must be dealt with quickly by correcting conditions and using insecticides.
Common problems in growing dyshidia:
- lack of water-storing leaf-bubbles at low humidity;
- redness of the leaves of dyschidia in direct sunlight;
- darkening of antennae and deformation of leaves, shredding of leaves at low air humidity.
Reproduction of dyshidia
This houseplant can be propagated both vegetatively and by seed. The easiest way is to get dischidia from cuttings, but the second method is not too complicated.
The seeds of dyshidia, despite the massiveness of the pod-shaped fruits, are volatile, very reminiscent of dandelion seeds. When working with them, you need to be careful, because they are amazingly easy to lose. Crops are carried out in the spring, in a mixture of sand and substrate or sand and peat in equal parts. Seeds are not densely distributed on the surface of moistened soil, and then lightly sprinkled with sifted soil (layer thickness - not more than 3 mm). Under glass or film, with daily airing, seeds of dyshidia germinate at temperatures from 20 degrees Celsius in bright light. Shoots must be protected from direct sunlight. After the appearance of a pair of true leaves, plants dive into individual containers.
The tops of young shoots are usually used to cut the dyschidia, cutting them obliquely and immediately dusting the cuts with charcoal. The length of the cuttings is standard, about 8-10 cm. Rooting is carried out in a sand-peat mixture, planting them at an angle. The containers must be covered with a cap and maintained at a temperature of at least 20 degrees. Dyschidias need daily airing and light but constant soil moisture. Rooting usually takes about 3 weeks.
Inside the leaf pouches of the dyschidia, a daughter plant almost always develops - a ready-made stalk rooted in water. When cutting such a leaf, the daughter plant can be separated and planted as an independent culture.