The Codonanthe are a group of about ten species of evergreen plants, epiphytes, originating in Central and South America. They have thin stems, scarcely ramified, long up to 40-50 cm, climbing or prostrate, which tend to lignify with the passing of the years; the small oval leaves are alternate, dark green, slightly fleshy, waxy, sometimes covered by a thin down (depending on the species).
Throughout the year they produce a profusion of small flowers with elongated trumpets, white or cream, which are followed by berries similar to small green olives, which turn red or orange when ripe. These plants are very suitable for hanging baskets, from which the stems fall elegantly.
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These plants are rather easy to cultivate, in fact they do not require special care. To best grow the codonanthe, place them in a quite luminous place, but sheltered from the direct rays of the sun and from the too bright light; they fear the cold, even if they could be cultivated at temperatures close to the 5-6°C, therefore in the places with very mild winters they could find room in a shady garden.
Water regularly, avoiding waterlogging and allowing the soil to dry up slightly between one watering and the other; to obtain a continuous flowering we suggest to mix a small dose of fertilizer for flowering plants with the water of the watering in order to facilitate the growth of the plant.
These plants originate in the rain forests of Central and South America, where the climate is very humid; to increase the humidity during the warm months and during the periods of the year in which the domestic heating system is active, it is good to vaporize the plant often, using demineralized water.
Like many other epiphytic plants, the codonanthe does not produce a conspicuous rooting apparatus, therefore they do not need very big containers; they are cultivated in a mixture of soil, crushed bark, perlite and pumice stone of medium granulometry. It is very important that the soil, while slightly retaining moisture, allows excess water to pass quickly. For repotting, use pots that are only slightly larger than the previous ones.
This is because they are plants that do not have an extensive root system and therefore do not need large spaces.
Fertilise the soil with liquid fertilizers diluted in the irrigation water during the spring period. Repeat the operation every two weeks and prefer fertilizers containing nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.
These plants multiply by seed in the spring; in the spring and summer it is possible to take semi-woody cuttings. Cuttings are a very popular method of reproduction thanks to the possibility of creating new plants at practically no cost. The technique is based on the use of a fragment of the mother plant that will be planted in a pot containing sand and peat in equal parts.
It is important to use clean and well-sharpened work tools to cut the branches that will be used as cuttings to avoid fraying the tissues. The soil should be kept constantly moist until it is rooted.
Codonanthe usually can’t be done. At most, the branches can be shortened if the plant tends to grow too much, this time in the spring.
Codonanthe: Parassiti e malattie
The codonanthe temono il marciume radicale; occasionalmente possono venire colpite dagli acari.