There are big differences between the individual shamrocks, be it in growth form, leaf and flower shape and color. Most are hanging plants, but there are even succulent species. Often the pubic flower is confused with the pharynx (columnea). But there are clear differences, starting with the leaves and a few more. I am concentrating here on the species of pubic flower available from us. Most of them bloom between June and August. The long tubular flowers are really something very special. I always imagine a hummingbird dipping its long beak into this tube.
Table of Contents
Warning: there are contradicting information about the toxicity. I think you are on the right side if you handle the plant with care. It is only slightly poisonous, but what does light mean? I would take care of children and pets.
- A. speciosus – bright yellow-orange flowers, quite well adapted to house keeping (variety ‘Hook’)
- A. radicans – red to dark red flowers – the most common plant on offer
- A. lobbianus – bright red flowers with a yellow flower neck
- A. pulcher ‘Bella Donna’ – deep red flowers – also very common, well adapted to indoor culture
- A. marmoratus – variegated foliage, green-orange-brown flowers (very similar to porcelain flowers)
- A. boschianus – scarlet flowers
- A. hildebrandii – Fire epiphytes with red flowers, there are many hybrids, can also be used as an ampelous plant
- A. tricolor – red flowers with dark side stripes, very light foliage
- A. twister – bright scarlet flowers in dark purple pods, double-curled dark green leaves – very interesting new breed
- A. rasta – similar to twister, but more curled leaves, red flowers
Shame flower – care
When it comes to care, opinions differ. Some think the plant is quite demanding and difficult to grow, while others think it is very easy. Let me put it this way, the specialist pages present the shame flower as demanding. The forum pages, on which one’s own experiences are reported, are of the opposite opinion. So the plant doesn’t mind if it dries out, the humidity is low and it is forgotten for a few weeks. I think it depends on the time of year you forget that. It’s rather good in winter, but not in summer.
I don’t have any experiences of my own with the shame flower, but I once gave one to my parents and they had them for many years. It hung in the living room all year round, only got sun in the afternoons and evenings, was regularly watered and hardly sprayed. However, thanks to their large aquarium, my parents have good humidity. The shame flower has bloomed every year, perhaps not as abundantly as I have seen in some advertising pictures, but still abundant. So it doesn’t seem that complicated. Only trying makes you smart, so try it out.
The location is important. It has to be bright, but not sunny. It is important not to change the location as soon as buds appear, otherwise they can be thrown off and that would be a shame. Otherwise, a bathroom with a window seems like a good place. The air humidity is right here and that seems to be quite important.
- Partially shaded, but not too dark
- No direct sunlight
- Morning and evening sun are ideal
- Warm (between 18 and 22 ° C)
- High humidity
- Same location requirements in summer as in winter
- But you can also overwinter differently
The plant substrate is also important. It has to be particularly permeable and loose. You shouldn’t stuff too much substrate into the planter either. The soil must not be compacted, to put it a bit swollen.
Definitely slightly acidic soil
- A mixture of peat moss and perlite (1: 1) is beneficial
- Perlite ensures that the roots are well ventilated. It’s important.
- Leave the substrate loose, do not press too hard into the container.
- Place planters in water containers filled with pebbles – increases the humidity
Planting is not difficult. It can actually be repotted almost all year round. I definitely wouldn’t do it when buds are forming or during flowering. It’s better afterwards. It goes without saying that one must be careful with the instincts so that they do not break or even break off. If the plant becomes too big, the roots can be cut back by a third. That slows the plant down for now.
- Repot in early spring
- Also possible after flowering
- Do not repot until the plant has completely rooted in the container.
- It is important to have a thick layer of drainage on the bottom of the vessel
Watering and fertilizing
Pouring is a matter of feeling. The earth shouldn’t dry out and should always be evenly moist, unless the winter is cool. So it doesn’t hurt to water regularly. However, the substrate must not be too wet either. The Schamblume doesn’t get that at all. Half the dose is fertilized.
- Earth must be slightly moist all year round
- Room warm, lime-free water
- Water moderately – do not drown the plant!
- Water a little more during flowering.
- Spray daily
- Fertilizing with low-nitrogen fertilizer for flowering plants
- Fertilize every 14 days, but diluted
Cutting is not necessary. If there are really too many shoots, you can of course cut out one or two, but only after flowering. Otherwise, only sick or damaged shoots are removed. The plant can grow old with age. Then it should be properly pruned or you should consider growing a new plant from cuttings, which will then flower much better and grow more densely.
There are two ways to overwinter the pubic flower. Either you cultivate them warm all year round, for example in the bathroom. Then one does not divide into growth and resting phases. But there is another way. Then you calculate a growth phase from March to August and then a rest phase, in which other conditions are required.
- Temperatures between 20 and 25 ° C
- Keep evenly moist and spray regularly.
Rest period – intended to stimulate flowering
- Temperatures for two months between 12 and 15 ° C
- Keep it dry, but don’t let it dry out
- Spray only occasionally
The easiest way to propagate it is to use cuttings. However, many reports have disagreed on when the best time to do this is. Some said it was all year round, others February would be best and still others were convinced of early summer. Highly recommend giving it a try.
- Cut cuttings
- Use 10 cm long shoot tips
- Put in a mixture of peat and sharp sand.
- High soil warmth is required for rooting, around 25 to 30 ° C
- Place the vessel directly on the radiator
- Air humidity must be consistently high
- Put a plastic bag over it
- Two to three cuttings in a pot so that the plant is nice and bushy.
- Sowing also possible (at 22 to 24 ° C)
Diseases and pests
The pubic flower is actually quite robust. However, she responds to some things by dropping flowers, sometimes leaf dropping. Pests can also appear, often in a warm winter. The humidity is usually a problem there. Our houses and apartments are simply too dry in winter.
- Sensitive to sudden changes in temperature
- Change in humidity
- To a dark location
- Leaf spots if the water is too cold or too hard
- Too calcareous earth – few buds
- Aphids and spider mites
If there are no flowers, then you have to put the pubic flower cooler in the coming winter. Then she just needs a break in order to be able to form flowers.
The shame flower is again such a plant where there is no agreement among the experts. Is it easy to care for or difficult to cultivate? Only with the knowledge of my parents from keeping a pubic flower for at least five years can I say that it is not that difficult. They had the A. radicans and it flowered reliably and was not spoiled. So it depends on the attempt. I won’t dare to do it myself, because it’s far too sunny here. I can’t offer a place where the sun doesn’t shine for hours every day, except in the utility room and the shame flower is too good for that.