Chlorantus – shade-tolerant exotic – Beautiful indoor plants

Unique indoor chloranthus, which came to us from Japan, are bright decorative leafy stars that have recently begun to gain popularity with us. Opposite, elegant dark colored leaves and greenish mimosa-like complex inflorescences give this plant a classic look. It is capable of simultaneously surprising both with undemanding and capriciousness. It is easy to find conditions for chlorantus, as if it was created by nature to decorate not window sills, but the interior, but at the same time it is very strict in its preferences for watering. Chloranthus will shed its leaves even with the slightest drought, and another feature is that it loves shading.

Indoor chloranthus. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Toproadrunner5

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What does chlorantus look like?

Among the ornamental deciduous plants, there are many unusual lianas or shrubs that can offer different forms of cultivation. But the original and elegant chloranthus is truly an exceptional exotic. As a shrub, it releases first straight, and then lodging shoots, allowing the plant to be considered as an ampelous culture.

Chloranthus in their natural habitat

Chloranthus are one of the most spectacular shrubs with an oriental charm. Chloranthus are naturally found in subtropical climates. These are endemics of the flora of China and Japan, the appearance of which is associated with Asian styles of floristry and landscape design. But chloranthus are also found in nature on the territory of Russia. It is a rare and very valuable plant of mixed and deciduous forests, hardy, unusual, disappearing and protected by law.

True, indoor chlorants still differ from those that can be found in our Far East: shrubs are cultivated as a plant grown in a potted form, and not herbaceous perennials, with smaller leaves and drooping shoots.

Chloranthus are a “visiting card” of a small but very bright family of Chloranthaceae, which got its name from the genus Chloranthus. Plants can be called both by the full botanical name chloranthus, and by the simplified name – chlorant. Our plants are also known as green flowers, and this folk-translated name perfectly reveals the appearance of the culture.

Among the representatives of the genus Chlorantus, there are both herbaceous perennials and shrubs. In a room culture, exclusively shrub species are grown, however, it would be most logical to classify the plants as semi-shrubs.

Densely leafy, with straight and thin shoots, chloranthus develop specifically, creating a kind of cascade bush. Young shoots grow straight, and then begin to droop and bend in arcs, creating a kind of cascade or waterfall. On one bush, the central straight part and drooping lashes on the sides look amazingly harmonious, creating lush, spectacular and bright both in silhouette and in color of the crown.

Chloranthus are herbaceous perennials in their natural habitat
Chloranthus are herbaceous perennials in their natural habitat. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Hideo

Features of the appearance of indoor chloranthus

The height of chloranthus in rooms is limited to a maximum of half a meter. Most of the plants are rather neat, spreading squat bushes with a height of 30 to 40 cm.

Leaves are the main decoration of chloranthus and, perhaps, their most attractive feature. It is thanks to the simple, classic form of medium-sized leaves located opposite, creating a beautiful ornament on the shoots, that these plants seem so elegantly classic.

With a length of up to 7-8 cm in indoor varieties, the leaves of chloranthus seem to be rather large, elongated-oval, slightly ovoid, with a pointed tip and wedge-shaped base. The width of the leaves is half their length. Light petioles perfectly emphasize the beauty of the plant, and the serrated-toothed edge, visible only up close, gives the plant even more charm.

Green is the only color in the chloranthus color range. The dark green leaves are semi-glossy, they do not have that special sheen of ficuses or other competitors, but they have a special texture, hard paper, dense, noble and unusual. In plants, the color shade may be uneven, young leaves are brighter, over time they gradually darken and acquire a dark gray tone.

Blooming chloranthus

Despite the status of an ornamental deciduous culture, chloranthus bloom beautifully. Perhaps this is the only plant that has a “greenish” color – this is a compliment. Small flowers with a pointed bracts are collected in spikelets, which, in turn, gather in panicles and complex brushes, forming openwork and soaring inflorescences. Outwardly, the panicles are somewhat reminiscent of mimosas.

The green color of flowers and bracts gradually fades and becomes more and more beige, and the golden hue of the pedicels seems to highlight the panicles from the inside. But at any stage of flowering, chloranthus is still perceived as a green-flowered plant. An amazing harmony is created between the color of the leaves and inflorescences, and during flowering chloranthus look royally elegant.

Types of indoor chloranthus

It is not easy to figure out which types of chloranthus are grown as indoor plants: the plants that reach our shelves are usually not labeled or are designated as hybrid chloranthus (Chloranthus hybrid, Chloranthus hybridus and even Chloranthus x hybrida). But in the officially accepted classifications of plants, hybrid chloranthus are not considered.

Presumably, indoor chloranthus are varieties obtained by long-term selection and crossing to improve tillering, foliage and flowering from the brightest species of plants – tall chlorant and its main competitor – spike chlorant.

Chloranth high (Chloranthus elatior, formerly known as erect chlorant – Chloranthus erectus) is a shrub, the shoots of which can reach two meters in length. The bare, thin branches are densely decorated with broadly oval, with a pointed tip, opposite leaves up to 20 cm long in nature and up to 10 cm in indoor plants. Hard, almost papery to the touch, the leaves adorn with an interesting semi-glossy surface texture. The green inflorescences of chloranth high are easy to recognize: the spikelets, collected in brushes and panicles, seem delicate and surprise with their rich green color.

Chloranthus spicatus, a popular synonym for chloranthus inconspicuous, Chloranthus inconspicuus is also a shrub, but much more compact in size. The maximum length of shoots is limited to 30-60 cm.The bare shoots are also decorated with opposite leaves, but they are smaller in size (even in nature – only up to 10 cm), look more elegant and neat, obovate, with a serrated edge, pointed base and apex , uneven color. Spikelets of yellowish-green flowers are collected in complex panicles of inflorescences. This species boasts a delicate, graceful scent.

Chlorant spike (Chloranthus spicatus)
Chlorant colossus (Chloranthus spicatus). Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Goo ブ ロ グ

Conditions for growing indoor chloranthus

Chloranthus not accidentally won the definition of one of the most stable decorative leafy exotic plants. This plant is not demanding on temperature conditions and is amazingly shade-tolerant, which practically does not correlate with its low popularity. Chloranthus adore coolness and do not react too well to hot temperatures, but these negative factors are easily compensated for by appropriate care.

This plant thrives in winter gardens and greenhouses, allowing you to create a unique textured background for exotic soloists and interesting group compositions. But comfortable conditions for chloranthus can be recreated when grown in ordinary living rooms. It is also a great candidate for office decoration, especially when placed in a cool lobby or reception area, where its austere elegance would be more than appropriate.

Lighting and placement for chloranthus

The main “trump card” of chloranthus is their shade tolerance. Of the exotic cultures, it is chloranthus that best of all copes with the task of decorating interiors. The plant can be safely displayed away from the window. Chloranthus are content with really minimal lighting; this plant can be placed on window sills only with the north or west orientation of the windows.

Direct sunlight is contraindicated, leading to serious damage to the leaves. Chloranthus reach the greatest decorativeness in partial shade, the degree of shading can vary depending on the “behavior” of the plant. With gradual adaptation or initial cultivation from cuttings in poor lighting, chloranthus can be content with minimal lighting.

One of the virtues of culture is the same attitude towards natural and artificial lighting. Chloranthus is content not only with weak natural light, but also with weak artificial supplementary lighting.

Chloranthus are plants that do an excellent job both with solo parts and with the task of decorating complex compositions. They fit into the collection of exotic plants and help create interesting winter garden ensembles. In indoor culture, if chloranthus are planted alone, it is better to set them apart from other plants. It’s not just that sprawling shoots require ample space. Chloranthus conquer with their impeccable appearance, so other decorative leafy crops, when displayed together with them, may look unattractive.

Chloranthus, most often, are grown in ampelous form. They are good in hanging baskets, but they reveal their special beauty in tall containers or on stands, when one could look at the plant not from the bottom up, but from above, appreciating the beauty of the spreading shoots and the change of straight branches to drooping ones.

Temperature control and ventilation

Despite its subtropical origin, chloranthus is a thermophilic plant and does not tolerate a strong drop in air temperature. They do not tolerate cold snaps below + 12 ° С; in room conditions, it is better to limit the minimum permissible temperature to + 16 ° С.

But a much bigger problem for those who want to grow this plant is its dislike for the heat. Normal room temperatures are too uncomfortable for chloranthus. The plant develops best of all and retains its decorative effect for many years at temperatures from +16 to + 18 ° C. Even in summer, 18-20-degree readings are optimal for chloranthus.

When temperatures rise to + 22 ° C and above, the plant becomes very sensitive to air humidity and needs frequent spraying.

Chlorantus in the interior
Chloranthus in the interior. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com impora

Home care for chloranthus

If it is easy enough to choose comfortable conditions for chloranthus, then in care he fully demonstrates his uncompromising attitude. This plant should only be recommended to experienced growers and those who can provide regular grooming treatments.

Chloranthus shed their leaves even with a slightly dry earthen coma. The plant does not die, grows intensively, releasing young shoots on old bare branches and new lashes along the periphery of the bush, but it takes a lot of time to recover, it will not be possible to admire such a valuable bush for many months.

 Watering and air humidity

Chloranthus are moisture-loving, but do not tolerate waterlogging of the soil. The plants are watered abundantly and often, allowing the top layer of the potting medium to dry out. It is always necessary to focus on the rate of drying out of the soil, because the frequency of watering directly depends on the temperature of the plant’s content.

Strong drying, and even more complete drying of the substrate for chloranthus is contraindicated. Any, even short-term drought turns into a complete shedding of leaves. In winter, soil moisture is lowered, allowing the substrate to dry out to a depth of 5 cm.

Chloranthus love spraying.

For them, you can limit yourself only to this method of increasing air humidity, arranging regular water procedures. In summer, when the air temperature is very high, spraying is carried out several times a day. When kept in winter gardens, plants can be content with the work of humidifiers or the installation of their analogues.

Chloranthus love soulfulness.

Among the mandatory procedures for this plant, it is also necessary to clean the leaves from dust, which can be carried out with a damp sponge.

Top dressing and composition of fertilizers

Fertilizers for chlorantus are applied only during the period of active growth. An excess of nutrients harms the plant much more than a lack of them. A standard frequency of fertilizing is suitable for a plant – once every 1 weeks with a half-dose of fertilizer, or once a month with a full dose recommended by the manufacturer.

For chloranthus, complete mineral fertilizers or complex mixtures for universal use are used. Special fertilizers for ornamental deciduous crops are not suitable for the plant, the increased nitrogen content negatively affects the compactness of the plant and the density of its leaves.

Chlorantus in a hanging planter
Chlorantus in a hanging planter. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com livedoor

 Pruning and shaping chloranthus

Chloranthus are naturally prone to forming a dense, lush bush. Plants branch, release a large number of young twigs. If they want to give the bushes a more compact shape, pruning is used. Simple shortening of long lashes or pinching of the tops allows chloranthus to direct growth and maintain compactness.

The shoots of the plant are cut off no more than half their length. With a loss of decorativeness or signs of aging, rejuvenation is also stimulated by pruning.

Transplant and substrate for chloranthus

The plant is transplanted only as needed. Chloranthus do not like contact with roots, they react poorly to exposure of roots. Even young plants are transplanted only when the rhizomes have mastered the entire substrate, with a frequency of once every 1-2 years.

For chloranthus, a standard substrate is fine. This culture can be grown in containers with automatic irrigation, hydroponics, ion exchange and artificial substrate. The soil should be nutritious, loose, rough in texture. If you are preparing the mixture yourself, then use turf, leafy soil and peat in equal parts and half the sand. For the chlorant, it is better to use coarse sand or perlite as a loosening agent.

At the bottom of the containers with the plant, a high, up to 1/3 of the height, drainage layer is laid. The plant is carefully rolled over, removing only free soil.

Diseases, pests and growing problems

Despite its exotic status, chloranthus is one of the most resistant indoor plants. In order for this culture to have problems with diseases or pests, it is necessary to really start the situation and systematically violate the rules of care. In the absence of hygiene measures, the plant can still suffer from spider mites.

Common problems in growing chloranthus:

  • drying of leaves, the appearance of spots on the leaves with an excess of fertilizers;
  • yellowing and shedding of leaves in a damp substrate or with stagnant water in trays.

Reproduction of chlorantus

This plant is considered rare and the flower shops do not hesitate to enjoy its exclusive status. It must be borne in mind that despite the considerable price for adult bushes, chloranthus reproduces quite simply. At home, for this culture, the grafting method is used. The plant is grown from seeds only under industrial conditions.

For propagation of chloranthus, it is better to use green cuttings. They are cut from young twigs, avoiding shoots that begin to gracefully droop down. Usually, cuttings are carried out in the spring in the phase of active growth, but cuttings can also be cut in summer. Short, about 7-8 cm long, cuttings are rooted in a sandy-peat substrate, maintaining a high air temperature, light soil moisture and high air humidity under the hood. Treatment with growth stimulants increases the chances of a large number of shoots rooting.

For large bushes of chloranthus, you can also use the separation method. This procedure must be carried out very carefully, without destroying the earthen lump, but cutting it in half with a sharp knife or into 2-3 parts. After separation, the plants recover for a long time, the risk of losing bushes with such reproduction is quite high.

If chlorantus lives in your house, share your experience of growing it in the comments to the article. We will be very grateful to you!

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Anna Evans

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