Gelksina is a creeping herb that belongs to the category of perennials. Today saltwort is part of the nettle family, but at the same time it looks great and decorative, so not every grower can distinguish it and indicate that the plant is a nettle culture. The stems are filamentous, they are covered with foliage - small and oval in shape. The foliage has a bright green color and looks very fresh. The inflorescences that appear on the shrub look like small flowers that are colored either white or cream. Of course, Gelksina is an “amateur” culture, but one way or another it enjoys sufficient popularity, since, in principle, it looks very attractive and, at the same time, does not require any special care or attention.
In this article, we will give a more detailed description of gelksine, we will talk about its features as an ornamental plant. We will also dwell on the specifics of planting and caring for gelksin, since it, of course, is available, and it is worth paying attention to it, since it is really important, especially for novice gardeners who have never grown this plant before, but would like to try our hand at getting a pretty interesting fit on the site.
In natural conditions, Helxina can be found mainly in more tropical regions, in particular in the Mediterranean, Corsica and Sardinia. Therefore, based on this fact, one can understand what conditions are most suitable for growth and development, the cultivation of Gelksina. One way or another, the plant today grows in different regions, especially in the areas of river and lake shores. In indoor conditions, the plant can also be cultivated, but it is mainly used as a ground cover plant, so in this case, not all growers are ready to take this plant and grow it. Gelksina is popular as a culture used to create greenhouse compositions.
In the wild, today there is only one type of helxina, but if we talk about home, indoor conditions, then here flower growers have more choice - about four varieties are cultivated. Two of them can be met not so often, therefore, in general, helksina, despite its demand, is rare. There are absolutely no visible difficulties in growing the plant itself, but still there are some features, tricks and secrets, using which you can make the plant even stronger, more interesting, make its purpose wider. So in general, knowing some of the subtleties, the florist will understand that they were far from superfluous, and it is better to listen to them, because for this reason you can create unforgettable compositions that will amaze the imagination of any florist. Of course, in this article we will not ignore the rules for caring for helksina, and the next part of the article will be devoted to this important aspect.
Gelksina (solyrolia) home care
In nature, Helksin can only grow in tropical climates, and for this reason, the grower should bear in mind that for cultivation at home, all the necessary conditions should be created so that the plant feels as comfortable as possible and demonstrates the optimal pace of development. for this, it is worth adhering to certain temperature standards, as well as paying great attention to watering and the quality of plant moisture, air humidity in general.Top dressing also plays an important role, since thanks to them it is possible to maintain the plant, strengthen its systems, make it more decorative, even if initially the growth conditions were not the most favorable and suitable.
Gelksina is a rather warm and light-loving culture. For this reason, it is worth choosing a place in the room that will be well lit. If you suddenly do not observe this rule, then over time the bush will become completely non-decorative and will not attract absolutely any attention to itself. The whole point is precisely that if the stems and the deciduous part do not have enough lighting, then they become elongated, and most of the leaves fall off. The bush becomes scarce, does not provide an opportunity to reveal its decorative features. So it is definitely worth listening to the advice given by more experienced gardeners and florists. For example, it is worth putting gelksin on a window that faces north, but at the same time the plant should be given additional lighting. But the florist will always be able to regulate its level, focusing on the reactions of the plant and on its own characteristics. If the plant receives the optimal amount of sunlight (daytime) light, then this will have an excellent effect on the state of its upper, green part. The foliage will become denser, its color will be rich and very deep. When choosing a place, one should also not forget that the foliage should not be exposed to direct sunlight, since due to direct sunlight, burns will certainly form on the deciduous part. it is they who become the reason that the appearance of the plant acquires painful features, the foliage begins to turn brown, the leaf plates die off over time, especially if the florist has not taken absolutely any measures to improve this situation. If the lighting is very bright, but the light is scattered, then the flower will feel more comfortable. Accordingly, its growth and development will vary within normal limits. Therefore, you should not save time to organize such conditions, because the plant will then certainly respond with gratitude, and every grower will notice this.
It is worth talking about the temperature regime. So, in a warmer period, the temperature should be about twenty degrees for the plant to feel as comfortable as possible. It is also necessary to remember that the room in which the plant is located should not be too hot, and the temperature should not be higher than 25 degrees. If suddenly such conditions develop, then the florist should take care of some aspects. For example, he must regularly moisten the plant, spray it with a spray bottle. It is also worth taking care to maintain optimal air humidity. If you do not do this, then there is a high probability that the plant will simply dry out, and this, of course, will negatively affect its external and general characteristics. Drying out leads to death, so be sure to remember this and avoid such phenomena.
During the period of frost, in winter, it is worthwhile to carefully monitor that the air temperature in the room is not below 15 degrees. If suddenly a cold snap nevertheless came, and the temperature inexorably drops, then the flower will certainly die, since it does not tolerate such a drop in temperatures at all. In winter, the bush should be moistened, for this it is sprayed from a spray bottle about once a week, but again the frequency may vary depending on the temperature and situation in the room where the flower is located. Do not put gelksin near heating devices, since due to the abundant flow of hot air, the flower may gradually fade, and as a result it will simply die.In this case, it is worth choosing the optimal position, transferring the flower from place to place, not allowing it to be outdoors, in a stream of wind or in a draft. In general, if you listen to these tips, the plant will perfectly survive too severe frosts, and will feel great during periods of heat and drought.
The earthen lump in the container where gelxin grows must be moist, it must not be excessively dried. If suddenly this happened, then the plant will grow much slower, stop developing, and even more so, one should not expect any outstanding results from it if we are talking about decorative features and features. The grower should be very careful to ensure that the potting soil mixture is always slightly moistened. In this case, the liquid should not stagnate, especially in the area of the root system, since the roots are very susceptible to moisture, and rot may begin to develop in them. To prevent this from happening, even before planting the plant, you should make sure that a drainage layer is installed at the bottom of the container (pot). Elementary, you can use expanded clay and pebbles - these materials are completely cheap, and at the same time they perfectly remove excess moisture from the area of the root system. While the flower is still very young, it is worth watering it systematically. Watering is usually necessary once every two days. When the plant matures and grows, it should no longer be watered too often. Watering can be carried out about twice a week, sometimes even less often - here you should focus on the season and weather conditions. In general, it is worth monitoring the state of the top layer of the soil mixture. As it dries, a certain amount of liquid is introduced. In winter, the plant may not be watered at all, or the watering is reduced to once a week. It is also carried out in not such abundant quantities as in summer, because in winter the plant is dormant, and it is recommended to avoid unnecessary interference with its growth and development.
If we talk about what kind of soil mixture the culture prefers most of all, then it should be emphasized that gelksina perfectly takes root in loose soils that can perfectly pass oxygen. For example, you can take a substrate that contains components such as sand, leaf turf, and peat. You can also just use ready-made mixtures that are sold in gardening stores. Usually these are soil mixtures that are intended for growing palm trees - they are ideal for the hero of our today's article, as they are perfectly breathable, light enough and nutritious. If the transplant is carried out with the participation of very young plants, then it is worth remembering that good drainage is established at the very bottom of the container, since, perhaps, absolutely no culture can do without it. Drainage removes excess fluid, allows you to secure the root system, which, due to an excess of moisture, can begin to rot or hurt with various fungal infections. As a result, the plant dies very quickly, and few people want to get such a sad result, given how much time and effort is sometimes spent on planting and leaving Gelksin.
A transplant should be planned for the spring. To do this, you can use the soil substrate, which we have already described a little higher in this article. You can also take other soil compositions, but it is very important that they are as light and loose, and that they pass moisture well through themselves. If we talk about acidity, then it can be either very low, or generally neutral. Soleirolia is a very delicate and fragile plant, so you need to be especially careful with it. When transplanting, it is better not to separate the root system from the existing earthy coma.The flower is transferred from the old container directly to the new one, the stems adhere neatly, as they are very thin and easily damaged. In general, the transplantation of gelksina is more like jewelry work, but it's worth it, because as a result, the plant turns out to be very delicate, pleasant, incredibly decorative.
In order for the plant to develop well in the future, as well as the root system to remain normal, it is best to take a wide and not very high pot or any other container for transplanting. A drainage layer is made at its bottom, for this you can use pebbles, broken brick, small expanded clay or vermiculite - any of the above substances, which will only be most accessible to the grower himself. When the bush is transplanted into another container, it is worth slightly compacting the very surface of the soil, and then the bush is watered very abundantly. For watering, it is recommended to take warm settled water, filtered water. Rain or melt water is also suitable, but here, again, the florist should focus on the materials that are in his immediate reach. The main thing is not to take too cold running water, since the plant may not like low moisture temperatures, and in general, tap water contains some bacteria and trace elements that do not have the best effect on the state of the plant.
Top dressing is best done in the spring, summer, and at the very beginning of autumn. In winter, fertilizers are not applied, since the plant is dormant, and it does not need such interventions. In order to feed the plant, it is best to use complex mineral mixtures, which are originally intended for decorative deciduous plantings. The frequency of dressings is about twice a month, sometimes you can do them a little more often if the plant suddenly needs them. If the florist wants to understand that the plant needs more nutrients and trace elements, then he should pay closer attention directly to the external characteristics of the plant. The leaves will become lethargic and pale, the stems will begin to stretch too much - all this will just indicate that the plant needs more serious feeding. So it is worth regularly examining the gelksin and identifying any deviations. If you do this on time, then the likelihood of saving the plant becomes even higher.
Gelksina begins to bloom in the spring. If it grows in more wild, natural conditions, then flowering can last up to two months, while it is distinguished by its splendor, decorative effect. At this time, elegant inflorescences are formed on each shoot, which consist of small flowers painted in cream or snow-white shades. Even though the flowers do not have such great decorative value, they still look very attractive and unusual. When the flowers fall, wither and die off, in their place, contrary to any logic, absolutely no fruit is formed. This also becomes one of the features of helxin, which should be paid special attention to.
As for pruning, this procedure is rarely carried out. At the same time, Gelksina quite calmly tolerates this manipulation, so that the florist can safely cut the bush, give it the desired decorative shape. In order for the plant to become even more lush, decorative and bright, its stems can be thinned out in early spring. In place of the thinned parts, new shoots will appear, which will just make the bush more lush and thick. But in general, if there is no time or desire to carry out pruning, then this can not be done - the bush will feel great. Sometimes you can notice dried and damaged branches, so that they do not spoil the appearance of the plant, you can carefully remove them.This is called sanitary pruning and is sometimes necessary. But, again, the issue of pruning is the sole business of each grower, and experienced breeders and gardeners in this case are completely calm and loyal.
Like any other plants that are grown at home, gelksina also goes into hibernation - a state of dormancy that occurs in winter. It is for this reason that it is worth taking care of the plant in winter, but this should be done a little differently, very carefully. The soil is moistened much less often - if necessary, only once a week, and fertilizers are not applied at all, since gelksin does not need them, and it will no longer perceive them in a state of rest. It is also worth paying attention to the fact that the humidity of the air must be constantly maintained at the same level, because this plant is quite loyal to high humidity. So you should spray the bush, and also to maintain the required level of humidity near the bush, it is worth leaving open vessels, pots or any other containers that are filled with liquid. A humidifier becomes a salvation for many, but not every florist can afford to purchase it, so you have to use some homemade improvised means. With the arrival of spring, the plant comes out of dormancy, and the caring manipulations become the same as they were before.
After a young bush of gelksina has been planted in open ground or a container, it is necessary to prepare for the fact that after about four years the bush will become less decorative. For this reason, it is worth being prepared for its renewal, to propagate the flower, and so that its followers retain their characteristic parental features. Propagated by gelksin by dividing, as well as by seeds, cuttings or rooting of stems. The choice of method depends entirely on the preferences of the grower himself, on how he wants to propagate this plant, and what kind of experience he has. In general, we would like to consider the features of each method, because they are all very different, unique. Such characteristics will help the florist himself decide which method to use in order to save his time and energy, and so that the result will turn out exactly as he expects to see it. So, let's start with a description of seed reproduction.
- In order to grow this crop using seeds, first they should be purchased at a specialized shop for flower growers. It is recommended not to buy seeds from ordinary sellers, as there is a high risk of stumbling upon a fake. Seeds are sown in a special, pre-prepared container, which is filled with soil mixture, which is necessary for growing palm crops. After the seeds have been planted in the container, the surface of the earth layer should be very carefully moistened, after which the container is covered with glass, plastic or polyethylene and transferred to a warm place. At the same time, light is important for crops, which will be very bright and diffused. Do not forget that you should regularly remove polyethylene, plastic or glass in order to ventilate the plantings, and the substrate should be moistened in a timely manner. To do this, use only settled and clean water, and humidification is carried out using a spray bottle. When the seedlings finally emerge, you need to give them time to grow. After picking is done, the seeds are distributed in separate pots. Then time is waited for them to strengthen and grow, after which Helksina is sent to large and low pots, where it will continue to grow throughout almost its entire life, if there is no need to transplant this culture.
- Dividing a bush is the second method of reproduction of helksina, which we will consider in this article. Thanks to this method, the bush can be propagated very quickly and without much difficulty.At the same time, during the transplantation of a bush that has grown noticeably, some part should be separated from it, while a clod of earth is preserved. Delenki are sent to separate pots, where they will grow further. This method is perhaps the simplest, and it is for this reason that flower growers use it most often. In general, even that florist who does not have much experience in the reproduction of gelksin can cope with this procedure.
- Cutting - if the grower has such a desire, then he can also use this method, without fear of being too complicated or problematic. In order to propagate gelksin using cuttings, it is enough to cut off several branches from the parent bush, using a well-sharpened and disinfected tool. For rooting, the resulting cuttings are planted in a pre-prepared mixture - it is worth carefully and evenly mixing sand and peat in equal proportions. You can simply put the twigs in the water, where they will begin to root, and you can use them to determine when the plant is ready to be transplanted into the soil mixture. On average, it takes about three weeks to root the cuttings, after which they are transplanted into permanent containers. As for the caring activities, they are completely identical to those that are usually organized in relation to mature plantings. So, in general, beginners in floriculture can cope with this.
- In order to get a young, but strong bush of gelksina, you can use such a method as rooting the stems (shoots). To do this, you can not cut off the branch, but gently bend it to the surface of the earth, and sprinkle it on top with a layer of soil mixture. After about a few months, a process will form, which will have its own, albeit small, root system. After that, it is carefully cut off with a sharpened tool, and planted in a previously prepared container, where gelksina will grow further upon reaching adulthood. In general, a florist can choose any method for himself, in this case there are no specific recommendations or restrictions.
Diseases and pests
The plant differs in that it has a very high immunity and resistance to stress, and it is practically not susceptible to attacks from pests or diseases. But if the grower is inattentive and neglects the caring rules, then this can lead to the fact that the plant will have very big problems. we will also list them, because the florist must know about all aspects, difficulties, as well as how to overcome them, so that the planting turns out to be really strong and decorative:
- Gray rot - in order to identify in time that a plant is susceptible to gray rot, you should carefully examine it. So, a gray bloom may appear on the surface of the foliage, which just indicates that something is wrong with the plant, and in general, gray bloom is one of the signs of gray rot. As soon as the plaque has been identified, it is necessary to immediately get rid of the affected leaves, and it is best to cut them off along with the stem on which they are located. After that, the irrigation schedule should be revised - there should be fewer of them, and the humidity should be reduced. If the florist took all these measures on time, then the flower will live and will continue to delight with its decorative appearance, but only after restoration
- Brown rot is another scourge that infects helxin if not properly cared for. Usually, the stems are exposed to the disease, which become even thinner, and as a result, they generally die. As soon as the florist noticed for himself the very first signs of this disease, then it is worth treating the bush with the help of a special professional tool called "Rovral". If you do everything in accordance with the instructions, then the effect will not be long in coming. It is also worth carrying out some preventive measures.For example, it is worth removing all the foliage from the bush and all the shoots that have died out, wilted for one reason or another. It will not take too long, and if you do everything on time, then these simple procedures can save the plant from inevitable death or from the loss of decorative qualities.
- Whitefly - if whiteflies appear on the gelksin, it is very easy to notice. So, the leaves will begin to curl very actively, turn yellow and, as a result, they die off and crumble. In order to get rid of the whitefly, it is necessary to carry out timely processing of the plant, it is better to do this with the help of a fungicidal preparation called Aktara, which can be purchased at any gardening store
- Spider mite - A sign that a spider mite has appeared on the plant is that the leaves begin to die off and curl. As soon as the florist noticed the very first signs of this, then it is worth immediately treating the bush with a specialized preparation - Fitoverm in this case becomes the most faithful assistant.
Some growers ask the question of whether it is possible to save a bush if suddenly it has already dried up. Despite the fact that the plant is still whimsical in some matters, one way or another it is able to survive very difficult periods due to its undoubted vitality. If suddenly the bush is completely dry, even in this case, in principle, it can be saved. To do this, all the shoots that have dried out should be removed, and the root system must be placed in a new container with an updated soil mixture. The substrate must be fresh and moist. After about a month, the florist will notice that the bush has become very lush and attractive again. But it is possible to maintain this state only if the grower is nevertheless more attentive and careful to treat the plant. So do not neglect caring activities.
We will also consider several types of gelksina, which today are mainly cultivated by gardeners at home.
- The first species that we will consider is the Argentine salt. This species is a fairly compact and low-growing herbaceous plant that covers the soil with its attractive shoots. The root system of the plant is threadlike, on each branch is thin and brittle, there is a rather large number of small leaves, which have an elongated oval shape. The leaves have a silvery hue, which makes them appear very attractive and decorative. In indoor conditions, flower growers very rarely plant this type of gelksina, but the plant still looks interesting. Cream or snow-white flowers are formed on it, which at the same time have absolutely no value in terms of decorativeness, but, one way or another, such a bush looks very cute, and it can also fit into a variety of flower or flower bed compositions.
- Soleirolia variegata is also a soil plant that belongs to a herbaceous and stunted species. Its stems are very thin and fragile, so you should handle the bush very carefully, especially when caring for it. A large amount of oval-shaped foliage grows on the stem, it has a fresh green color, you can notice a whitish design along the edge. In general, the cover looks very fresh and bright, it will decorate any area. But, again, this species very rarely grows at home, small white flowers are formed on the bush, which, unlike the general composition, are completely unattractive.
- Soleirolia aura - the plant is distinguished by its very short stature, its stems are thin and creeping. But at the same time, the foliage is distinguished by its splendor, due to which the plant is just so attractive and decorative. The leaves are oval, they are painted in a golden light green hue, very atypical and elegant.Indoors, this species is cultivated, but it is unlikely that it will bloom. In general, statistics show that the flowering of this species occurs at home. But it is extremely rare - one bush out of a hundred blooms. But nevertheless, it is interesting to take care of the plant, it is no less interesting to observe its growth and development, and it looks just wonderful - unusual and fresh.
- Soleirolia green - this bush is very compact and miniature, it looks decorative and dwarf. The crown diameter reaches only twenty centimeters, so it looks better either in a pot in a single planting, or as part of a flower garden arrangement. The stems of the plant are long, but very thin; a large number of small leaves are formed on them, painted in a dark green tint. If you take care of this type of plant, then it will turn into a bright and spectacular small bush, which is often used to complement interiors or design compositions. In general, you can choose absolutely any kind - the plant looks quite interesting. The main thing is to take care of it, give timely watering, top dressing, carefully monitor the general condition, and then the plant will definitely reveal its decorative features and characteristics to the maximum.