Exzakum - capricious persian violet
Despite its modest size, exakum today is considered one of the most spectacular indoor crops with abundant flowering. Compact, dense, he conquers with the beauty of form, the delightful aroma of numerous pretty flowers that dot the bush like a luxurious scattering of precious jewelry. A dense pillow of leaves only emphasizes the beauty of the flowering of this indoor “living bouquet”. We also known as Persian violet, exakum is not so easy to care for. But even the status of an indoor annual, a plant that will have to be thrown away after several months of prolonged flowering, does not reduce its popularity and does not diminish the status of a spectacular plant for decorating the interior, for which it is difficult to find competitors in beauty. Exotic and beautiful, exakum is the plant for experienced gardeners that can compete in beauty with any exotic.
Impeccable beauty of Persian violets
Despite the fact that charming Persian violets are sold here as annuals, in fact, these crops are full-fledged grassy biennials. They can also be grown as perennial crops, but, as a rule, after flowering, which lasts all summer and most of the fall, the plant simply dies, and if it blooms next year, it is only very scarce that it cannot be saved further. Usually exakum blooms lushly only in the second year, but the expectation is fully paid off.
The unique flowers of this culture are simple, pretty, with a bright yellow eye. In addition to luxurious, very densely arranged foliage, they give the impression of an artificial miracle. Of all the living bouquets, exakum is one of the most spectacular cultures. He is able to overshadow the floral arrangements of any complexity. This plant is not afraid of absolutely no surroundings, loves the additional decor of pots and cultivation in containers with the most catchy design. In any setting and in any room, the Persian violet looks literally like a blooming miracle. And all the long months until the exakum pleases with its flowers, it is literally impossible to look away from it. It’s easy enough to understand what this atmospheric-forming influence on the interior is. Exzakum is the very example of an impeccable combination of simplicity and elegance, nobleness and harmony, the beauty of details without elaborate or catchy, too colorful elements that create an image of absolute impeccability. To exakum really looked perfect, he will need appropriate care.
Exzakum (Exacum) represents the gentian family (Gentianaceae), which is delightfully diverse, primarily in the beauty of the flowers and the richness of the blue palette. This plant can be found in Malaysia, in South and East Asia; by the origin of exakuma it is quite possible to call oriental exotics. In the West, they are considered one of the most ancient cultures, known under the name German Violet. Despite the fact that among exakums there are both annuals and perennial herbaceous plants, it was short-lived species that became widespread in indoor culture. These are compact cultures, with sufficiently strong and thin erect shoots and a beautiful mass of lanceolate-heart-shaped leaves with a smooth edge. The flowers are collected in inflorescence brushes of inflorescences, flaunting a simple five-leafed shape with an unusual convex center and captivating with a smell and a rich selection of purple, blue and purple colors.
In room culture, the genus of exakums is presented in a single singular. The most popular plant of the genus and the visiting card of all exakums is Ekzakum related (Exacum affine) This is a magnificent herbaceous plant, naturally possessing the ability to densely bush and form amazingly dense bushes. Despite the fact that this handsome man reaches a height of only 30 cm, and the stems are erect, he resembles a dense pillow of greenery. Juicy, with shortened internodes, shoots are densely dotted with oppositely arranged, heart-shaped, smooth leaves up to 4 cm long, sitting on short petioles. On their surface with a muffled, but beautiful grassy-green color, three lighter veins - the central and two lateral veins - are slightly visible. The edges of the sheet also appear lighter.
Flowers at an exakum related always bloom at the tops of the shoots. To understand that they are located in sparse inflorescences is quite difficult: they seem to be solitary due to the green, completely merging with the leaves color of buds. The flowers are small, in diameter reach only 1.5 cm, but the beauty of each individual flower is enhanced by the number: the flowers densely cover the entire plant, as if they are evenly scattered throughout the bush, adding to this exotism charm. The main advantage of exakum bloom is its impeccable regular shape with 5 round petals, which seem to overlap in a spiral, forming a flat corolla. Massive, voluminous anthers of the plant create a very bright center, which even from afar is difficult to mistake for just a spot-eye on the petals. Thick, short and beautiful, they are always sunny yellow and perfectly contrast with the color of the petals. A delicate pleasant aroma is more or less pronounced in varietal plants (the names of varieties usually correspond to the color).
Exakum care at home
It is difficult to call the exzakum the most demanding care for a plentifully flowering plant for indoor collections. Unlike its competitors, it does not require a cool dormant period with strict temperature control and special conditions in order to please the beauty of flowers. But caring for the plant must still be thorough. For exakums, it is necessary to strictly control the degree of soil moisture, provide regular procedures for humidifying the air, monitoring the temperature of the contents and careful examinations. Problems with care always lead to infection by pests or the appearance of diseases, impaired flowering and a reduction in its duration. But at the same time, care for the Persian violet still remains largely standard and does not require any tricks and unusual measures. All that is required of you is to provide the plant with the attention it needs and do not forget to carry out standard procedures in a timely manner. And, of course, choose the necessary cultivation strategy. When planning to grow exakum as a perennial, keep in mind that repeated flowering will not be able to compete with the first (with any care, wintering regime), it will not repeat the very miracle of a dense bush strewn with flowers. Or exacum may not bloom at all. The optimal cultivation strategy for this biennial remains cultivation in fact as an abundantly flowering summer, with the plant discarded immediately after flowering. But at the same time, exakum is so easy to propagate that replacing the culture for the next year will not leave work. Anyway, the maximum period during which you can enjoy the exakum is only 2 years, after which even the greens will lose their attractiveness.
Persian violet lighting
Exzakum, like all richly flowering crops that can replace any bouquet alone, belongs to photophilous plants. But he has one big advantage over other indoor flowers - sun-tolerance. Due to the sufficient density of foliage and good adaptability to even the brightest locations, ezacum tolerates direct sunlight, except for the too hot midday rays during the summer months, from which plants still need to be protected. Accordingly, the best windows for this culture have always been considered the southern window sills, or at least the western and eastern windows. In partial shade and locations corresponding to the northern windows, this plant will not bloom at all. For exakum during the flowering period, it is desirable to provide stable conditions, not to change the intensity of lighting, since any reduction in light will directly affect how much your plant will bloom.
This plant needs an average air temperature. Exakum has no requirements for coolness or other special conditions. It develops best in the temperature range from 17 to 20 degrees Celsius, but it also adapts well to higher room rates. Exakum heat can endure only in the open air. It is believed that this beautifully flowering plant does not tolerate either too high or low indicators. For exakum, even if you keep the plant during the winter, you should not allow the temperature to drop below 10 degrees. Moreover, if you want to try to leave exakum for the next year, then provide it with a wintering regime at a temperature of about 15 degrees with strict control over the lower humidity of the substrate.
At any time of the year, protect the plant from sudden changes in temperature. It is worth protecting these plants from the flow of hot air from heating devices, especially if the exakum continues to bloom in the fall, when the heating period has already begun. Summer Persian violet prefers to spend in the fresh air, on an open balcony, terrace or even in the garden. In such locations, this plant not only receives the most comfortable temperatures and lighting, which are difficult to achieve in living rooms, but also one of the main exakum needs will be satisfied - access to fresh air. Without it, this charming biennial quickly loses its appeal. Exzakum is very fond of airing, especially during the summer. But in the rest of the year it is necessary to ensure good air exchange in the room. True, the pilot himself is better protected from active drafts. The movement of cold air can cause it to drop foliage and even flowers.
Watering and humidity
The irrigation schedule for this plant directly depends on the flowering activity, growth rate and stage of vegetation. In spring and summer, especially when kept outside optimal temperatures, the main task of the grower should be to maintain a constant, light soil moisture. You cannot call the exzakum the most hygrophilous plant, but you should not allow the earthen to completely dry out. As well as to allow stagnation of water in the pan, excessive watering without controlling the degree of drying of the substrate. The following procedure is carried out for this handsome man when several upper centimeters of soil are completely dry, but the earth mixture will still remain wet in the middle layer. In winter, watering is reduced in accordance with whether you leave the plant for the winter and at what temperatures it is contained, in accordance with the changed rate of drying of the substrate. But it is better to always focus on the degree of soil moisture in the pot. The standard frequency of procedures for exakums is 2-3 times a week in the summer. Exacums can be grown in containers with automatic irrigation.
Like almost all beautifully flowering plants, the Persian violet will bloom and look more beautifully, the higher the air humidity it provides. Exakum does not tolerate dry room air, but at the same time it is not necessary to create greenhouse conditions similar to flower showcases. Due to the fact that the Persian violet is content with daily spraying of leaves, exakum can be grown even in complex arrangements and displayed in the interior, used in a serving or as surprisingly beautiful accents without additional measures. Of course, next to the plant, you can install a humidifier device or put the pot on a pallet with constantly wet moss, pebbles or expanded clay, decorative glasses (so that the bottom of the container does not touch the surface of the water), but such measures for exakum are not necessary at all.
Fertilizers for exakum
The fertilizer application schedule for exakum also fully corresponds to the stage of its development. Top dressing for this plant is carried out only from March to September, about 2 to 3 times a month, using special fertilizer mixtures for flowering indoor plants or plentiful-colored summers. Since the plant blooms very intensely, rarer dressings may not be comfortable for him, so try to fertilize with a frequency of 10-14 days. Exzakum does not like foliar top dressing and long-acting fertilizers and prefers fertilizing in a liquid way.
An important condition for maintaining the beauty of the leaves and achieving the longest period during which the exakum will delight with an equally plentiful scattering is the removal of wilted flowers. This plant should not be allowed to begin seed formation if you want to admire the beauty of flowers until late autumn.
Pruning as such, due to the strong branching of exakums, is generally not needed. The only exception is plants that are stored the following year and left for wintering. In this case, immediately after flowering, at the beginning of the exakum wilting stage, it is necessary to prune them to short stumps and transfer them to winter conditions. Repeated forming pruning in the spring is no longer needed.
Transplant and substrate
The strategy for growing the plant directly determines whether you need to transplant exakum at all. If you plan to throw it away immediately after flowering, then you should not worry at all about any difficulties with changing the substrate and capacity. But if you plan to try to save the plant and make it bloom again, then the cultivation strategy is similar to most indoor plants.
Exacum should be transplanted with the appearance of the first signs of growth in early spring, replacing the substrate for the plant with a new one and providing it with wide, low containers with a powerful layer of drainage at the bottom. For exakum, the substrate should be carefully selected. He will feel good only in earth mixtures with slightly acidic or neutral characteristics, pH values from 5.0 to 7.0. An optimal substrate is considered to be a mixture based on sheet soil with the addition of three times less sand and soddy soil. But it can be used for exakums and a universal substrate designed for decorative flowering plants. The main characteristic of the soil was and remains air permeability, therefore it is better to improve too dense substrates by adding perlite or peat. During transplantation, it is necessary to handle the roots of the plant as carefully as possible, removing only free soil and installing the plant while maintaining the same level of penetration.
After transplanting, the Persian violet will need intensive air humidification and more frequent spraying to accelerate adaptation. This plant should be protected from direct sunlight in the first few weeks.
Diseases and pests
Exakums adore indoor pests that settle on this beautifully flowering plant literally with the slightest violation of care and the wrong selection of growing conditions. The reason that plants are affected by spider mites, aphids or mealybugs is always errors in care, in particular, insufficiently high air temperature and constant waterlogging of the substrate.
Common problems in growing exakum:
- yellowing of leaves during waterlogging of the soil;
- the opened flowers fade, the buds dry up and fall off at low humidity;
- withering of shoots with a strong temperature difference;
- withering of flowers and their rapid decay when the substrate completely dries in the pot;
- leaf falling at low humidity.
Exzakum, like most summer and biennials suitable for cultivation in room culture, is quite easily propagated by vegetative methods. But if you wish, you can get abundantly flowering plants from seeds.
Exakum seeds must be sown at the end of autumn, in June or February, in a substrate suitable for this crop, not buried in the soil, but carefully scattered on the surface of a moistened and evened substrate and covered with a film or glass on top. Germination requires stable soil moisture, daily ventilation and very good lighting. On average, the process of emergence of seedlings takes about two weeks.
Immediately after you notice young sprouts, you need to remove the glass or film. Plants are grown until the second pair of true leaves and a height of 5 cm appear, and then transplanted several in small pots. When propagated at the right time, exakum blooms by next summer.
But a much more popular method of propagating exakum is cuttings. To obtain a new plant, it is enough to cut off the apical shoot, leaving at least 3 internodes on it. By removing the bottom pair of leaves, the cuttings can be rooted both in soil and in water without treatment with growth stimulants. The rooting process itself takes no more than 2 weeks, and even shoots with buds and flowers can form roots.
This is a very convenient way for those who do not plan to preserve the mother bush and, after flowering, simply cut enough cuttings from it to obtain new specimens that will replace the old plant. Thus, every year you will admire the same abundant flowering without much effort. The timing of cutting exakum cuttings is of great importance: it is best to cut the cuttings in early spring, leaving the mother plant for the winter, but you can cut them at other times.