This family groups together 15-20 herbaceous plants originating from tropical America; in nature they reach dimensions close to 4-5 metres. They have herbaceous stems and large lance-shaped leaves, dark green in colour, notched, with deep veins and bright yellow in colour. In spring it produces long spikes covered with yellow, red or orange bracts, with small tubular flowers at the apex.
Sanchezia speciosa plants grown in apartments are unlikely to produce a bloom, as they are plants of tropical origin, they love hot climates and do not tolerate cold temperatures, so they are grown as indoor plants.
Sanchezia speciosa prefers very bright positions, even in direct sunlight during the less warm hours of the day; it fears the cold and the ideal temperature for cultivation is around 18-20 degrees, both in summer and winter. Shade the plant in the hottest periods of the year. The leaves of sanchezia suffer greatly from the amount of light provided, in fact, if kept in the dark tend to discolor conspicuously.
The temperature should always be constant, avoiding that the plant suffers both from excessive heat and cold, a factor that can quickly lead to death.
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In spring and summer the Sanchezia speciosa needs abundant quantities of water, with the care to always keep the substrate moist, but avoiding to soak it too much, because the stagnation of water can quickly lead to harmful root rot. In the cold months decrease a little the amount of water supplied, keeping watering regular.
Sanchezas are very afraid of drought, but they are also afraid of waterlogging. Add green plant fertiliser to the water of the watering at least once a month during the growing season. Spray the leaves often, especially in summer, but also in winter if the plant is kept in heated rooms. To increase the humidity of the environment, especially when temperatures are high, it is advisable to provide water vaporization on the leaves.
For best growth, it is best to grow the specimens of this genus in a soft and rich, very well drained soil; add perlite or expanded clay to the substratum to ensure sufficient drainage.
The reproduction of the plants of Sanchezia speciosa takes place by cutting, to be practiced in spring; the sanchezie root with great ease. It is a good idea to place the cuttings in special containers in which a mixture of earth, sand and peat will have been placed, to be kept in a place with a mild and constant temperature until germination.
Spontaneous health: Parasites and diseases
Be very careful with the cochineal that ruins both the roots and the stems. If you notice the presence of this parasite, if the problem is limited, you can intervene manually by removing the parasites with a pad soaked in alcohol or washing the plant with water and soap, to be rinsed out then with great care. If the attack of the cochineals is quite extensive, it is good to rely on a special insecticide product that will combat the problem.
Also check the soil to make sure that it is well draining, on the contrary, radical rottenness may form.