The African Linden is a small bush from southern Africa, cultivated for its decorative leaves and striking flowering. It has large bright green leaves, heart-shaped, covered with a tender down, the stems are fleshy and tend to lignify with the growth of the plant, usually reaches two meters high, but can grow further if grown in particularly favorable conditions.
In spring, it produces long stems at the top of which many small white flowers bloom, with very showy yellow stamens; to prolong the flowering, it is advisable to prune the stems carrying withered flowers, in this way the African sparmannia will continue to bloom until the beginning of the summer.
The African sparmannia particularly likes very bright places, although it is good to keep it away from direct sunlight, especially on the hottest days of summer, to avoid sunburn on the leaves. In summer, it can be kept outside, in the garden or on a terrace, in a semi-shady place; in winter, it is good to keep it in a house or in a temperate greenhouse, avoiding placing it too close to sources of heat.
The ideal temperature for this type of plant is between 7 and 18 °C.
During the whole vegetative period, from March to November, supply plenty of water to the African sparmannia, avoiding letting the soil dry up; during the winter it is best to reduce watering, waiting for the soil to dry up a little before supplying more water; during the warmer days, but also in cases where the plant is kept in a strongly heated place, it is advisable to increase the ambient humidity, vaporizing distilled water over the entire canopy.
Check that there are no water stagnations that could be harmful to this type of plant.
In spring and summer, provide the African linden tree with flowering plant manure every 15-20 days, adding it to the water of the watering.
This type of plant likes a very soft soil, rich in humus and well drained, able to avoid stagnation of water that is harmful to the health of these plants, as the growth is vigorous we recommend repotting the African sparmannia every year, especially in the first years of life of the plant, this operation can be done in early spring or autumn, taking care to prune the roots slightly.
The multiplication of the African linden tree takes place by cutting and by seed; in spring it is also possible to intervene by dividing the tufts of African sparmannia, taking care to take some portions provided with some roots. The cuttings are made in spring and are to be placed in a compound of peat and sand, in a place with a good degree of humidity and constant temperatures.
The plants, seen their rapidity of growth, are then to be repotted in a container with a good soil, in order to allow their correct development.
African Lime Tree – African Sparkonia: Parasites and diseases
The African linden is particularly afraid of cochineal, especially if it is kept in a poorly ventilated environment. To counteract the phenomenon, it is possible to eliminate parasites with a cotton and alcohol ball, or by washing the leaves with water and neutral soap, to be rinsed out carefully. If the plant is rather large, it is possible to intervene with specific insecticide products.