The Syngonanthus chrysanthus is a small aquatic perennial, native to South America; it forms small thick rosettes, which gather many filiform leaves, slightly fleshy, rough to the touch, rigid, similar to small tufts of roundish grass, 10-15 cm tall; from spring to autumn, from the centre of the rosette, thin erect, rigid, 15-25 cm tall stems develop, carrying small flowers with a golden appearance, with white petals.
These plants are mainly cultivated as apartment plants, in small containers, thanks to their enchantment, the simplicity of cultivation and the capacity to decorate the rooms with simplicity. The appearance is, in fact, very ornamental; to the genus syngonanthus belong some tens of aquatic plants, spread in America and Asia; only this species is cultivated as ornamental plant.
Exposure is very important for the proper growth of our plants. Placing our pot in an inappropriate place can cause a limited development or difficulty of growth of our crops. For this reason it is always advisable to pay close attention to the position, the areas of light and shade.
The Syngonanthus chrysanthus prefers very bright locations, even when exposed to direct sunlight; the plants on the market are usually grown in poorly lit nurseries, therefore it is advisable to expose them to direct sunlight gradually, to avoid sunburn on the foliage. Despite its appearance, which recalls aquatic plants typical of our climates, it is a tropical plant, which needs minimum temperatures above 12°C.
Being an aquatic plant, the syngonanthus chrysanthus needs regular and abundant watering, which keeps the soil mainly humid, but not soaked in water; every 2-3 days wet the substratum deeply, avoiding, however, to leave stagnant water in the saucer. If this happens, radical rottenness might develop. Periodically let’s vaporize the plant, using demineralized water. Usually it does not need fertilization.
For a good cultivation, the choice of the soil for our plants is fundamental. It is in fact their main source of sustenance and it is therefore advisable to choose a soil that is able to provide the necessary nourishment for our crops. This plant is grown in small containers, as usually the plants do not exceed 20-25 cm in diameter and height, using an acidic soil, fairly drained, not too rich in organic matter. Every 2-3 years, it is best to repot the plants, providing new soil.
The multiplication takes place by seed, in spring or autumn. It is sown on a mixture of peat and sand in equal parts, the seedbeds are to be kept in a luminous place, but not exposed to the direct rays of the sun, and constantly humid.
Syngonanthus chrysanthus: Pests and diseases
Regarding the attack of parasites and the development of diseases, the chrysanthus fears the attack of radical rottenness and botrytis. The latter is a disease due to the development of a parasite that attacks many varieties of plants and is known as grey rot or grey rot. To prevent the problem it is necessary to avoid placing the plant in places with high humidity and prefer dry and dry areas.
This will create ideal conditions for the growth of the plant and those less ideal for the proliferation of the fungus. A remedy to eliminate botrytis is the use of special anti-fungal products.