Clerodendrum – a fragrant and graceful miracle

The graceful shape of the unusual flowers of Clerodendrum turns into a generally modest large-leaved tree or shrub into a real exotic miracle. In gracefulness, this plant can only compete with a completely different growth pattern, but somewhat similar in flower shape, fuchsia. But nevertheless, the clerodendrum has its own unique features. A wide variety of species allows everyone to choose a plant to their liking, and varieties with the most variable and often multi-colored color can be selected even for a specific interior. Not so difficult to grow, this plant, in addition to its fabulous height, can also boast of endurance and unpretentiousness. The exquisite scent complements the graceful appearance and further enhances the popularity of Clerodendrum.

Clerodendrum. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com RUPAK DE
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Dainty Clerodendrum Blossoms Caps

Delightful Clerodendrum (Clerodendrum) it is not by chance that we are more often called clerodendrons. By the beauty of flowering, these shrubs should be compared with the legendary evergreen and deciduous garden azaleas. And although they belong to a completely different family, and are grown in a different form, clerodendrum is rightfully ranked among the most spectacular, beautifully flowering crops. These representatives of the Verbenov family are plants that came to us from Asia, South America and Africa. The official name of the plant, translated as “tree of fate”, is much less popular than the popular nickname – “innocent love.” As a houseplant in our country, clerodendrum is only gaining universal sympathy, but their popularity in the West served as the basis for the reputation of the legendary plant.

The shoots of the clerodendrum are quite flexible, they quickly grow woody in the lower part, which allows the bushes to form rather powerful crowns and massive silhouettes. The flexibility of the shoots opens up a very pleasant opportunity: the clerodendrum can be given any shape and change the nature of its growth at will. These plants are equally beautiful as bushy crops, and in standard, and even in ampelous form. If desired, the shape of the clerodendrum’s growth can be easily changed using both formative pruning and simple pinching of the branch tips. It is one of the largest flowering plants you can add to your indoor collection.

Simple heart-shaped leaves are distinguished not only by a rough surface, brightly visible relief veins and rich green, much closer to light green than to the classic color, but also by large sizes from 20 to 30 cm.Huge clerodendrum leaves with a solid edge sit on shoots in whorls or on the contrary, quite densely, forming a surprisingly graphic crown.

But no matter how attractive the greenery of the plant is, clerodendrum is still grown precisely for the beauty of the flowers. Otherwise, you cannot call them beautiful. Collected at the ends of the shoots in brushes or shields, delightfully graceful and unusually graceful flowers with long stamens and an unusual structure are a unique and unrepeatable sight in every detail. In the vast majority of Clerodendrum species, the flower shape resembles a butterfly, and only in the Philippine Clerodendrum it is simpler.

The flowers seem to consist of two parts – a swollen, rounded bract and an elegant corolla contrasting with it. The delightful beauty of flowering at the clerodendrum is complemented by an unexpected feature – the aroma of the plant. The leaves and flowers of the majority of these plants exude an amazingly original and rather strong aroma. But the main highlight is not the smell itself, but the fact that it is absolutely individual. It is impossible to find two identical smelling clerodendrum of different types.

Клеродендрум (Clerodendrum)еродендрум (Clerodendrum). Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com plant-buying

Types of clerodendrum

In nature, there are about 400 species of clerodendrum. In room culture, they are represented mainly by the six most popular species, which are distinguished by their abundant flowering and less whimsicality.

The most popular indoor clerodendrum – varieties and shapes Thompson’s Clerodendrum (Clerodendrum thomsoniae). Deciduous ligneous vines conquer with their tropical appearance: thin smooth shoots and very dense large dark green leaves, on the surface of which a clear pattern of veins appears, emphasized by the solid edge and pointed shape of the tips of the leaf plates. The leaves in indoor plants reach 12 cm in length, and irregular spots of lighter shades appear on the upper side of the leaf plates, creating the feeling of watercolor stains.

The flowers are snow-white, swollen, with a bright red corolla. Long stamens give them even more originality. The cluster inflorescences are rather loose, growing from the leaf axils. This species blooms from March to June. In Clerodendrum Thompson, flowers do not bloom quite usually. The bare shoots of the plant in early spring, at the beginning of active development, are decorated with white bracts. From them, the original raspberry corolla-butterflies with a diameter of up to 2,5 cm gradually grow and the plant literally transforms before our eyes.

Clepson's Clerodendrum (Clerodendrum thomsoniae)Clerodendrum thomsoniae. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Mark Hsu

Clerodendrum brilliant (Clerodendrum splendens) Is an evergreen curly shrub with almost rounded, strikingly bright leaves up to 8 cm long and almost the same in width. The heart-shaped base, pointed top and wavy edge of the leaves give the plant originality. The flowers of this clerodendrum are scarlet red. They gather in small but dense clusters of inflorescences and bloom almost throughout the year with the exception of a few winter months.

Clerodendrum splendensClerodendrum brilliant (Clerodendrum splendens). Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com kaiyanwong223

Clerodendrum beautiful (Choisya fair) – hybrid, with shoots capable of growing up to 3 m in length, species. Heart-shaped, large leaves with a glossy surface are beautifully accentuated by red petioles. The shoots and pedicels of the plant are colored reddish-brown. The original, irregularly purple flowers with red corollas are collected in apical panicles and seem to be a real watercolor vision. This clerodendrum blooms from June to September.

Clerodendrum speciosumBeautiful clerodendrum (Clerodendrum speciosum). Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Luis Sarasola

Chinese Clerodendrum (Clerodendrum chinense), or Fragrant clerodendrum (Clerodendrum х fragrans) Is an evergreen shrub with large leaves and a graceful appearance. The height of the plants can reach 2 m. The shoots are pubescent, the leaves are broad-ovate, decorated with deep denticles along the edge and reaching 20 cm. The surface is not glossy, but pubescent, matte. The flowers are simple or double, snow-white with pink stains on the outer edge, they conquer with their aroma of violets and citrus fruits. And their beauty is only enhanced by large apical scutes up to 8 cm in diameter, the densest of the entire genus. Fragrant Clerodendrum is considered the only species of this plant that can bloom with good care almost throughout the year without stopping.

Chinese clerodendrum (Clerodendrum chinense), or fragrant Clerodendrum (Clerodendrum x fragrans)Chinese Clerodendrum (Clerodendrum chinense), or Fragrant Clerodendrum (Clerodendrum x fragrans). Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Dokmai Dogma

Clerodendrum Filipino (Clerodendrum philippinense) – one of the most fragrant and delicate types of clerodendrum. It exudes a strong jasmine-vanilla aroma, especially at dusk and at night. This clerodendrum is grown quite rarely, despite the fact that it stands out for its unpretentiousness and is able to bloom from the second year. Bright green and large leaves are rarely located on the shoots, give the plant originality, but all attention is drawn to the strikingly dense inflorescences-shields against their background, reaching 3 cm in diameter and resembling miniature roses with long stamens of white-pink flowers, the tenderness of which is emphasized watercolor color transitions from cherry stalks to white petals.

Clerodendrum smooth-leaved (Clerodendrum laevifolium), which we sometimes sell under the name Clerodendrum Prospero and outdated name Cleroendrum Wollicha (Clerodendrum wallichii), for his quivering beauty he received many popular nicknames – “bride’s veil”, “Cleopatra’s tears”, “bride’s veil”. It is one of the most abundantly flowering species. Small graceful bushes with tetrahedral shoots and lanceolate, wavy leaves up to 8 cm long, easily fit on any windowsill. When the plant begins to release inflorescence shields in the leaf axils, it is almost impossible to look away from it. Its pink-red buds open gradually, snow-white corollas bloom from the watercolor-painted bracts. This is one of the most capricious types of clerodendrum, which blooms only if a stable daylight hours are maintained and requires its maintenance in high humidity.

Clerodendrum laevifoliumClerodendrum laevifolium Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Daderot

Caring for clerodendrum at home

The unearthly beauty of the flowering of Clerodendrum, the ability to form this plant in any size and growth pattern of a shrub and even large plant leaves does not mean that Clerodendrum belongs to the most difficult crops to grow. Fabulously beautiful shrubs, the leaves and flowers of which emit a pleasant aroma, in a bizarre way combine an unusual appearance with sufficient endurance and unpretentiousness. Clerodendrums do well in normal indoor conditions and do not require any complex care.

The only problems that may arise is to ensure a cool wintering and increase air humidity. But the clerodendrum does not need special conditions at all. Caring for this magnificent plant remains largely standard and is within the power of not only the most experienced growers. And although it is difficult to believe the unpretentiousness of such a plant, it is still worth purchasing this miracle for your home collection; and you yourself will see that clerodendrum is not whims at all. If you manage to provide this tropical star with conditions close to its natural environment, then it will not give you any special problems.

Lighting for clerodendrum

The tropical origin of clerodendrum requires careful choice of lighting mode. Despite the fact that this is a forest plant, it needs the most light location. Large leaves and butterfly flowers are afraid of direct sunlight, which leaves ugly burns on the plant, and this feature must be taken into account when looking for a place. While providing protection from direct sun, the plant must nevertheless be provided with the brightest possible location. In indoor conditions, clerodendrum is grown almost exclusively on window sills. At the same time, for this culture, you can choose both western or eastern, and southern windows with a diffusing screen.

Comfortable temperature

In the development of abundantly flowering clerodendrum, the stages of rest and active vegetation are pronounced. In accordance with them, it is necessary for the plant to provide 2 periods with different temperature ranges. In the summer, during the entire phase of active development, the plant must be kept in standard room temperatures with a minimum of 18 degrees and a maximum of 25 degrees of heat. Hotter conditions have a detrimental effect on the decorative effect of the leaves, slightly changing their color and practically leveling the ability to release new buds. The heat also leads to the fact that the clerodendrum requires extremely high levels of air humidity. Plants feel best at temperatures from 22 to 24 degrees Celsius.

During the rest period, all clerodendrum, without exception, need coolness. Traditionally, the preparation phase for future flowering in Clerodendrum falls on the winter months. At this time, the air temperature should not rise above 15 degrees.

Клеродендрум (Clerodendrum)Клеродендрум (Clerodendrum). Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Ian Percy

Watering and air humidity

Clerodendrum also exhibits its tropical character in terms of humidity requirements. Plants must be watered often and with a sufficiently large amount of water; between procedures, only the topmost layer of soil in the container is allowed to dry. This irrigation regime is maintained throughout the entire stage of active development. But during the rest period, they should depend on the air temperature. The lower the indicators, the less often it is worth watering the plants. It should not be allowed to completely dry the substrate in containers, but it is not worth keeping it in the same wet state as in summer. Between procedures, not only the upper, but also partially the middle layer of the substrate should be completely dry.

For watering clerodendrum, you need to use extremely soft, settled water. Watch its temperature: the water should not be cooler than the air temperature in the room.

Clerodendrum’s love for high air humidity is undeniable, but the need to create the most humid environment for it is still questionable. The thing is that this beautifully flowering tropical plant can be content with modest procedures to compensate for too dry air in an apartment, and there is absolutely no need to install humidifier devices for the clerodendrum or maintain certain air humidity levels.

It is best to include daily sprays in your clerodendrum care program. It is better to carry out the procedure for moisturizing the crown in the evening or at night, be sure to make sure that settled, soft water has been selected for the plant. Moreover, even such spraying will be needed by clerodendrum exclusively during the stage of active development. In winter, plants do not need spraying or other measures to increase air humidity.

Top dressing for clerodendrum

It will be necessary to apply fertilizers to the soil for this plant only during the stage of active development. From mid-spring to early autumn, for clerodendrum, it is necessary to feed the plant every 2 weeks, providing the plant with all the necessary nutrients. During the fall and winter, no fertilizer is applied in any form. For this plant, complex fertilizer mixtures designed specifically for flowering indoor plants are better suited. It is not worth feeding this crop with a universal fertilizer: the balance of nutrients in them does not correspond to the needs of the plant.

Pruning clerodendrum

Like all powerful and large shrubs of a flowering type, which are initially not quite indoor plants, clerodendrum need mandatory pruning. Without it, the plant will not bloom, and it is simply impossible to form beautiful bushes without additional efforts. Pruning of plants is carried out at the very beginning of the stage of active growth, as soon as signals of the beginning of the growing season appear.

For a clerodendrum, pruning is largely independent of the species and characteristics of specific plants. The most popular Thompson’s clerodendrum requires the removal of weak, damaged and dry shoots and the obligatory shortening of all other branches by 1 / 4-1 / 3 of the length. For other species, pruning is carried out either at the tips of the branches or to half of them, but often a strategy similar to pruning for Clerodendrum Thompson’s rhododendron is adopted.

To shape the crown and contain the size, the pruning strategy is changed. To form a bush, the shoots are shortened more strongly, for the formation of a stem, all lateral shoots are gradually cut off annually, except for one powerful one, leaving the future trunk 50-70 cm high, and then pinching the tops of the shoots developing in the apex area and thereby creating a tree-like crown. In the formed boles, the pinching is carried out as necessary, be sure to continue to remove the lateral shoots appearing on the trunk. Liana is formed by pruning, depending on the desired plant size.

Клеродендрум (Clerodendrum)Клеродендрум (Clerodendrum). Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com floradania

Clerodendrum transplant and substrate

Clerodendrum needs replanting depending on the growth rate and development of the potted substrate. Young plants are transplanted annually, and adults – once every 1-2 years. The optimal time for transplanting plants is the beginning of an active growing season. The procedure is usually carried out after the obligatory annual pruning.

When choosing substrates for this plant, it is better to stop at nutritious and slightly acidic soil mixtures with a pH of 5 to 6. A universal substrate is suitable for the plant, which can be bought ready-made and improved with additional sand to reduce the risk of dampness. When self-compiling the soil, in equal parts, mix the leaf and clay soil with peat and coarse sand. For clerodendrum, the soil must be disinfected before planting. This can be done with a fungicide, in the oven, or scalded with boiling water, similar to disinfecting the seedling substrate.

Containers for plants are increased by no more than 2-3 cm in diameter and height. For this culture, a middle layer of drainage with a height of about 3 cm is laid on the bottom.Clerodendrum is transferred into a new container without damaging the root system and removing the contaminated soil only at the top of the earthen coma. After installing the plants in a new container, a high-quality new substrate is carefully filled in the voids in the pot. After transplanting, clerodendrum need very abundant watering.

Diseases and pests of clerodendrum

For clerodendrum, whiteflies and spider mites pose the greatest danger. Moreover, the fight against insect pests on the plant must be started immediately with the use of insecticides, since mechanical and biological methods of control will not only not allow to cope with the problem as quickly as possible, but can also cause considerable harm to the clerodendrum itself.

The duration of insecticide treatment for this plant is at least 4 procedures with an interval of 3 days or until the problem disappears. After you do not find a trace of pests on the plant, it is necessary to carry out several more preventive treatments with a weaker solution of insecticides.

Common growing problems:

  • lack of flowering in case of violation of the rules for the selection of conditions of detention, most often due to warm wintering;
  • yellowing of leaves during a period of active growth due to insufficient watering or the use of improper water and the development of chlorosis;
  • leaf fall after flowering as a result of a natural process for deciduous species or leaf fall in spring and summer due to errors in care, in particular, due to irrigation or feeding problems.

Клеродендрум (Clerodendrum)Клеродендрум (Clerodendrum). Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Nature Assassin

Reproduction of clerodendrum

You can get new copies of this plant both through seeds and using the cuttings method.

Clerodendrum seeds can be sown for germination at the times that are typical for the start of sowing on seedlings of most garden plants – in late February or early March. For seedlings, a special soil mixture is prepared from turf soil, peat and sand in equal parts. Additions of sheet soil are undesirable. For germination, it is necessary to provide greenhouse conditions, regular ventilation, light but stable soil moisture and bright lighting. The first shoots of clerodendrum appear no earlier than after 6-8 weeks.

Young plants can only dive when they release 4 real leaves. Plants must be planted one at a time in small containers with a diameter of about 6 cm, or 2-3 seedlings in containers with a diameter of about 10 and 11 cm, if you want to grow clerodendrum initially in a bush form. It is very important for young plants to continue to maintain the same conditions in which the seeds germinated. In the conditions familiar to adult clerodendrum, the seedlings are moved only when they begin to actively develop.

By pruning each year, you get an additional opportunity to get new plants from the remaining branches. You can cut the cuttings on purpose, but rooting is necessary only during the spring and summer. Cuttings for rooting are selected from among strong and healthy shoots about 10 cm long. Branches take root even in plain water or in soil. As soon as the first roots appear on the cuttings, they are planted in the smallest pots with a diameter of about 6 cm and a hood or film greenhouse is installed. Plants are grown in high humidity and light humidity of the substrate until the first shoots and leaves appear. In the future, young bushes obtained by cuttings are transferred into pots with a diameter of 9-10 cm and grown over the next year without greenhouse conditions. On young clerodendrum, it is very important to constantly pinch the tops of the shoots to stimulate thickening of the bushes and start forming the crown early.

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Anna Evans

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