Evergreen perennial herbaceous plant native to Central and South America. Thick stolons give way to thin stems, sometimes covered with a slight down, which bear numerous dark green leaves, thick and smooth, with undulating margin; for most of the year, many large flowers bloom, tubular in shape, with fringed margin, of white white colour; in A. punctata, you can see many brown-purple dots in the inner part of the flower.
These plants have quite simple cultivation, and in general they grow without problems even when they are neglected, the vegetation tends to be sloping or climbing, as the stolons tend to continuously widen, for this reason the alsobie are very suitable for cultivation in hanging containers.
Place the alsobia in a bright place, avoiding direct sunlight which could damage the plant; they can bear temperatures close to 4-5°C, but only if the plant is allowed to go into a vegetative rest during the cold months, watering less often from October. In summer, place in the shade, in a well ventilated place. Being apartment plants, they prefer, however, mild temperatures and can suffer if exposed to air currents.
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Water the alsobia regularly, but without exceeding it, leaving the soil to dry slightly between one watering and the other. From March to October, add flowering plant manure to the water at least every 15-20 days. Beware of waterlogging that the plant does not tolerate.
Alsobias prefer light, loose soils, rich in organic matter and very well drained. Usually they tend to occupy all the space they have available, so opt for rather large pots that allow the plant to develop the root system with ease. It is important to provide the alsobia with fertiliser from the spring season and throughout the summer. The fertilizer should be dissolved in the irrigation water and administered.
Throughout the year it is possible to remove parts of stolons with their respective rootlets, which are immediately repotted in a single container. In spring it is also possible to make leaf or stem cuttings. In this case, it is a simple operation based on the cutting of fragments or twigs of the mother plant with at least 2-3 leaves.
This technique is a method of reproduction at no cost, as it is enough to have at hand clean working tools to make a clean cut of the chosen branch and you can proceed safely to planting.
Alsobia: Pests and diseases
Cultivation in excessively humid or poorly ventilated places can favour the attack of the cochineal. It is a tiny insect that feeds on the sap contained in the plant and that can be eliminated with specific pesticide products. Other problems could be related to the fact that the plant does not receive enough light. In this case you will have rather long internodes. Simply place the plant in a brighter environment. Another consequence of the lack of light is that the plant does not flower.