Tsikas (Cycas) - belongs to the relict plants of the Cycad family. Originally, this amazingly beautiful plant is similar in appearance to the house palm or pineapple tree, from the African continent and Asian countries. This beauty has existed since the time when dinosaurs lived on earth and nevertheless has not changed its appearance in any way. It is covered with dark green complex, feathery leaves, the length of which is from half a meter to one and a half meters. They gather in the crown, making it incredibly voluminous. They are made up of linear, rigid segments in large numbers, the length of which does not exceed 20 centimeters. Leaves stick to 10 cm stalks that are covered with sparse thorns. In the dignitary, for several years, a powerful low trunk is formed, the diameter of which is about 20 centimeters, and parts of the leaves that previously fell off remain on it. The emergence of young leaves occurs in the leaf rosette, right in its center. They curl up there like a snail and resemble a fern. After the lapse of time, the leaves become straight. At a young age, they are covered with silvery pubescence. Each leaf of this plant lives for 10 years, but not less than 3.
Features of the plant:
Tsikas is a dioecious species and is divided into male and female. Mature male and female plants show a cone-like bump when flowering begins. This bud can be juicy orange or brown in color. The species of this plant can be called a succulent due to the fact that a reserve of moisture is stored in the thickness of its powerful trunk, as well as nutrients that it uses during periods of drought.
The growth of cicas is very slow and you should not be surprised if only one leaf appears during the season, this is the norm for the plant. Perhaps this was the reason for the high price of the plant on the shelves of flower shops. When cultivated, the plant does not exceed 2 meters, but in natural conditions, the cycad grows up to 18 meters in height.
You can propagate this plant with the help of seeds or lateral processes, but we must remember that both methods will require patience, so this will take a lot of time.
The shape of the seeds is round, the color is brown. They are large enough, about 5 centimeters long, and in order for them to release sprouts, they must be carefully looked after, while this should be done by people with good knowledge of this. It is also worth noting that the seeds do not germinate well. All these points made the seed method of reproduction not popular, so it is extremely difficult to find them on sale in specialized stores, in fact, how to achieve flowering and fruiting by growing cicas in the house.
In order for the seeds to germinate successfully, they must be soaked in a warm solution of zircon or epinoma for 24 hours. After that, you need to take perlite or vermiculite and put the seeds on their surface and gently pressing them to deepen a couple of centimeters. Containers with crops should be located in a room where the temperature will not fall below +25 degrees, but without direct sunlight.The container is covered on top with glass or transparent plastic in order to create a greenhouse effect, as well as to achieve the desired level of humidity.
The appearance of the first shoots should not be expected earlier than in a couple of months.
After the first 2 leaves appear, you need to make a pick in separate pots, without disturbing the earthen lump.
The first feeding is carried out a month after the pick was carried out. For this, little concentrated organic matter is used.
Upon reaching adulthood, the formation of bulb-shaped babies may begin at the base of the stems. As soon as their diameter is 3 centimeters, they can be separated from the mother plant, while cleaning them from all leaves. This procedure is carried out in the spring, so that the duration of daylight hours helps young plants to develop.
It is necessary to cut off the children with a sterile and sharp knife, and after the cuts, treat them with charcoal or a fungicide intended for these purposes. After the processes are separated, it should not be allowed that water gets into the place of the cut for a couple of months.
Next, the sprouts must be dried, leaving them on an open window or in the garden for several hours and immersed in a solution of growth hormone for faster rooting.
Prepare the soil before planting. Loose, nutrient-rich and well-hydrated will do. You can make it yourself using peat, river sand, vermiculite, mixing them in equal proportions. It is possible to use one vermiculite. After the children are planted, they must be covered with film or glass to ensure a greenhouse effect. The content of containers should be at a temperature not falling below +28 degrees.
Bottom heating can be used to help the plant take root
When new young leaves appear, we can say that rooting was successful, but you should not wait for this earlier than six months later. It should be remembered that the plant should not be exposed to sunlight.
How and when to transplant:
It is only necessary to transplant a cycad if there is a need for it, while using only the transshipment method. This method will help protect the plant from injury by keeping an earthen coma on the roots.
Plants of mature age require a transplant no more than once every 2 years, and growing ones may ask to change the pot to larger ones, a little more often.
Regular specimens need an annual change of the upper 7 cm layer to a new one.
In the pot where the cicassus is grown, there must be a drainage hole, and it must also be a little cramped for the plant. The trunk in its diameter should only be a couple of centimeters less than the diameter of the pots.
Using a container that is too large in volume can lead to the development of rot on the roots, due to the accumulation of excess water in excess soil.
Before planting a plant, you need to put expanded clay, broken brick or clay shards at the bottom, which can provide good drainage.
When moving a plant from one pot to another, it must be planted at the same depth, if it is too deep, this will negatively affect growth and can provoke the development of rot on the roots.
After planting is complete, you need to lightly tamp the soil so that there are no air layers left.
When using the transshipment method, be careful not to break off the leaves.
If rot is found, the plant should be transplanted by replacing the soil with a new one completely. To do this, you need to get the plant from its original place, remove all the soil from the roots and conduct an inspection. All areas damaged by rot should be removed with a sharp knife to a healthy area and planted in another pot with a new earthen mixture.
It is possible to water the plants after transplanting only after a few days.
It is also impossible to expose them in direct sunlight. You can apply the first fertilizers after a month after the transplant was carried out, so that the horses have enough time to heal their wounds received during the transplant.
The older the plant becomes, the worse it reacts to the transplanting procedure, and due to its large size it becomes much more difficult to do.
The tub plants are not transplanted, they only change the top layer of the earth, but this is done every year.
It is impossible to transplant a plant in which a new leaf begins to form, as this can suspend the development of the plant for a long time.
What is included in the care of indoor cicas:
Cycas care includes timely removal of old yellowed and withered leaves. Pruning should be done with sterile and sharp instruments only. When caring for a plant, it should be remembered that the leaves of this plant can easily break, therefore, the place in the corridors is not for him.
With the onset of summer, the plant will do much better in the garden, terrace or balcony. But at the same time, it is necessary to provide him with protection from direct sunlight, strong winds and rain.
It is impossible to put the plant outside at once for a whole day, it must be done slowly, starting from one hour and then increasing this interval every day.
The root system of the plant is not tolerant of hypothermia, therefore, during the winter cold period, bottom heating may be needed.
Each new leaf, when forming, takes away a lot of strength from the cicas, and therefore it is recommended to rearrange it in different places. At the same time, it is important to remember that it is impossible to drastically change the temperature regime or the level of illumination.
Prefers light, loose and well-drained soil. You can make an earthen mixture yourself, which will include peat, turf, pine bark, leaf humus, garden soil and river sand. The acidity level should be low or neutral. In order to prevent moisture from stagnating in the soil, river coarse sand, perlite or vermiculite helps well. The earthen mixture should be well moisture and air permeable.
During the period of active wakefulness of the plant, it is necessary to water so that the soil is completely wet, but take a break between watering until the top layer of the earth dries up. During the autumn-winter period, the frequency of watering should be reduced, watering the plant only when the soil dries out by 50%.
In addition, it is necessary to focus on the temperature in the environment.
Watering should only be done with warm water that has had time to settle, since cicas is not tolerant of the salt content in the liquid. For this reason, the use of tap water is not recommended.
The moisture that accumulates after watering is not drained immediately, but only after 15 minutes. For watering, it is best to use a long-nosed watering can and water around the trunk without getting on it.
Does Tsikas bloom:
Growing a plant in the house, it is almost impossible to wait for flowering.
If the leaves begin to turn yellow, it means that too much water is used during irrigation and moisture stagnation in the soil forms. This happens especially often during the autumn-winter period. Sunburns can appear when the plant is in direct sunlight for a long time in the middle of the day during the spring-summer period. If you do not provide the cycad with enough light, then the leaves will turn yellow and stretch. Leaves can also turn yellow due to a lack of nutrition in the soil, especially an element such as nitrogen, and also due to poor water used for irrigation. If you resume feeding in the correct mode, then this will lead to healing and the appearance of a healthy leaf.
If you do not provide the necessary temperature conditions, as well as provide additional lighting in winter, the leaves of the plant may begin to fall off.Lack of good drainage leads to the fact that moisture begins to stagnate in the soil, and if you water and humidify the air too much, then all this will lead to rot on the roots. The shedding of foliage can occur after transplantation, which means that the plant is overburned. Rotting may appear on the trunk if water constantly gets on it. In this case, it is necessary to immediately remove the damaged areas and treat with a fungicide, or use charcoal.
A plant can get chlorosis if there is not enough iron in the soil.
With a lack of moisture in the room, the leaves dry out and break. If the cycad is placed in too cold conditions, it will shed its leaves.
Among the insects on the plant, you can find mealybugs, thrips, scale insects and spider mites.
Top dressing should be used dissolved in water, using only half of the concentration indicated on the fertilizer packaging. They are held during spring-mid-autumn with breaks of 14 days. You can use liquid fertilizers, which are used for growing palms, in which potassium and magnesium are contained in small amounts or not at all. Tsikas reacts very well to organic matter, feeding it with various fertilizers, changing mineral and organic fertilizers every time, you can achieve great success. The use of mullein, vermicompost as organic fertilizing will be an excellent option.
Top dressing must be carried out correctly, without applying too much and often, because this can be detrimental to the plant. With the arrival of autumn, you need to feed less often, and in winter, stop altogether. With the onset of spring and new growth, it is necessary to start applying fertilizers again. All fertilizers are applied after irrigation, so that chemical components do not cause burns on the roots.
There is no need to feed newly transplanted plants or sick ones. First, you need to wait for complete recovery and acclimatization in the new conditions.
When grown at home, cicas will feel comfortable throughout the year at a temperature of +20 degrees, at higher temperatures, it is necessary to increase the level of humidity in the air and watering.
With the onset of winter, the plant begins vegetative rest and the temperature can be reduced to +15 degrees, but the room temperature will also be suitable. The thermometer must not be allowed to drop below +10 degrees.
The average humidity level in the room should be around 50%. The room in which the plant grows must be well ventilated and the air must be constantly circulated. To increase the moisture level, you can put a dish filled with wet small stones next to the plant or use special devices that humidify the air. You can use sphagnum. To do this, you need to spread it around the plant. Or spray with warm water in the morning, so that by the evening there is no moisture left on the leaves.
Cicas are not tolerant of drafts, therefore, when ventilating the room in winter, you need to take it to another place. Carrying out water procedures in the form of a shower is possible only in warm periods. Water for the shower is used at 35 degrees and during it it is necessary to close the earth and the stem, protecting it from moisture.
Tsikas loves bright lighting. In direct sunlight, it can be in the morning and evening hours. For symmetrical development, it must be rotated a quarter of a turn weekly. The most suitable place for growing will be on the southeast or southwest side. If cultivation is possible only in the north, then it will be necessary to provide the plant with additional artificial lighting. Such lighting will also benefit the plant during the autumn-winter period, because it is at this time that daylight hours are greatly reduced, and the plant needs at least 13 hours of light.
It should be noted that if the cicassus is exposed to sunlight for too long, then its leaves will become somewhat smaller.
With a lack of light, this handsome man will lag behind in development.
The cycad will be able to decorate any room thanks to its spectacular appearance and do it throughout the year.
It should be remembered that this plant is toxic. All care should be done with gloves, and hands should be washed well after handling.
If there are children and pets in the house, then the plant should be placed so that they do not have contact. Cycad is a long-liver, the redness of which can be enjoyed for many generations, but as it matures, it begins to require more and more space for its growth.
In natural conditions, you can find Tsikas whose age will be about 5 thousand years.
It is a gymnosperm and is considered a transitional plant between fern and conifers.
It is interesting to know that sex determination of this plant is possible before flowering occurs. This is due to the fact that females have leaves with pubescence, regardless of age, and male leaves are naked.
Variety of species:
Revolution (Cycas revoluta)
Is a spectacular, decorative, deciduous and leisurely growing plant covers the crown of a rounded shape, which is made up of dark green, complex leaves with a glossy surface and forming arcs with their bends. From year to year, its trunk becomes more powerful and thicker and reaches 20 centimeters in diameter. Feathery leaves can grow from half a meter to one and a half meters in length. They are made up of narrow, linear 18 cm leaves.
This species is male and female. In the former, the formation of scaly cones of an orange hue, similar to the shape of a spindle, occurs. In the second case, round or flattened cones are formed.
Curled (Cycas circinalis)
- evergreen, decorative, deciduous perennial growing up to 3.5 meters in natural conditions.
Long, complex, tough, feathery oblong leaves form a leafy rosette. The leaves are fastened with narrow petioles. One leaf can grow up to 2 meters, it is composed of linear, narrow green segments in large numbers. Over the course of several years, a powerful, but short trunk is being formed.
The formation of male cones occurs in a leaf rosette, in its center, they are orange and conical in shape. The female cones are flattened and brown in color.