Episation is a classic that never goes out of style

Episation is a plant that can easily be classified as an old-fashioned indoor crop. Velvet leaves with prominent veins, somewhat sloppy bushes of creeping shoots may indeed seem uninteresting. But only if you do not consider this beauty up close. After all, the unique textures of the leaves, and the beautiful crenellated edge, and the amazing patterns of veins can be viewed endlessly. And during flowering, the episode seems to be transformed at all, hiding with a scattering of bright flowers. Unfortunately, this plant is not so widely represented in flower catalogs and shops. But the episode can boast of enviable undemanding care.

The copper-colored episode, or the copper-red Episcia (Episcia cupreata). Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com ashitaka

The velvety beauty of the non-standard cousin of Columba and Ahimenes

The episode, which belongs to the most beautiful representatives of the Gesneriev family, is considered to be ampelous cultures. True, the plant is found on sale both in hanging pots and in ordinary pots: its shoots are long, but not so much that it would be impossible to grow an episode on windowsills. In high containers, the episode forms amazing cascading bushes, as if scattering plants to the side and looks charming on the dining, kitchen table or windowsill, slightly capturing the area around the pot. In nature, this beauty is a creeping herbaceous perennial, and echoes of the “wild” past are felt in indoor culture as well.

Despite the fact that episodes are grown not only in ampels or hanging baskets, this plant does not develop in the form of a bush at all. Young plants keep straight, but then the bushes lie down, scattering developed shoots with daughter rosettes in all directions. The shoots of the episode are creeping or drooping, rather thick and strong, reaching from 30 to 50 cm in length. The rhizome is tuberous, creeping, thick, with a modified underground shoot, and sometimes with underground tendrils.

Leaves are either single or opposite, oval, wide enough, with a very dense edge. The luxurious foliage of the episodes seems to be fabric, velvety, and the colors are more than varied. The greens of the plant can be dark with a grayish or silvery shade, and pearlescent green, and brown, purple, copper, bronze, classically green, reddish. Shiny or dull, with prominent lighter veins, in which the color of the leaf plates seems to intensify, the leaves of this culture look invariably luxurious, but often old-fashioned.

From June to the end of September, the boring velvety description is transformed. On the plant, small, but very catchy scarlet tubular flowers with an almost imperceptible lighter pharynx flare up with bright stars. Peduncles are short, the shape of the flowers is swollen-tubular. Classic episodes are colored red, but today you can find on sale both episodes with orange flowers, and original copies with white, blue and even pink colors.

Episation carnationEpisation is carnation. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Lora Black

Types and varieties of episode

In room culture, one type of episode is most often found – “fiery violet” copper episode, or copper-red (the spice) Her creeping shoots easily root in the soil, the leaves are almost heart-shaped, oval, large, up to 15 cm in length. The dense edging and the colored reverse side give the plant no less elegant appearance than the unusual color tones of the upper side of the plates. Scarlet-scarlet flowers with a yellow throat, even though they reach only 2 cm in length, are very decorative.

Copper EpisodeCopper epistle. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com ้˜ฟ ๆฉ‹ HQ

The more graceful one is just beginning to attract the attention of flower growers Episode carnation (episcia dianthiflora). She has two types of shoots – long, mustache-like, bearing daughter rosettes and shortened leafy twigs that form bushes. The leaves of this episode reach only 3 cm in length, with a beautiful crenate edge, dark color, a purple line in the center and a dense edge. The flowers are snow-white, with a fringed-carved limb and beautiful purple specks along the throat. Thanks to the bright, dazzling color of small leaves, it seems much more graceful and exotic.

Episcia dianthifloraEpiscia dianthiflora. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Michael Huft

It is even less common to find on sale grown only in ampels creeping episode (episcia reptans) with long oval leaves up to 10 cm, with a variegated silver, olive-green or brown color, decorated with stripes and spots. This species has red flowers. The creeping episode is perceived as a more variegated form of the classical episode.

Episcia reptansCreeping episode (Episcia reptans). Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Karl Gercens

But today, it is not the specific episodes that attract more attention, but various varieties and hybrids. The best fashionable novelties include:

  • bronze-green variegated epic of the variety ‘Ember Lace’;
  • the unique variety ‘Pink Brocade’, in which the base olive shade has almost completely replaced the “torn” white border with bright pink dots;
  • the spotted variety ‘Cleopatra’ with a dark green base color and light pink spots, often covering most of the leaf blades;
  • the variety ‘Pink Smoke’ decorated with pink spots along the edge of the leaves and pink flowers of a rich tone;
  • variety ‘Cantons De L’est’ with scarlet leaves with a bronze sheen;
  • decorated with white-silver marble veins brown-green variety ‘Chocolate Cream’;
  • pink-colored, with beautiful leaves lightening towards the center and white veins, an episode of the ‘Flame Violet’ variety;
  • a more modest and classic episode of ‘Pink Panther’ with light pink flowers with a ruffled edge;
  • combining white and green patterns with a red border, the ‘Moonlight Valley’ epistle;
  • a seemingly fluffy bright green description of the ‘Country Kitten’ variety with light lilac flowers.

Episcia grade 'Ember Lace'Episcia variety ‘Ember Lace’. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Toni
Episode cultivar 'Pink Brocade'Episcia variety ‘Pink Brocade’. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Lali
Episation cultivar 'Pink Panther'Episode cultivar ‘Pink Panther’. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Toni

Episode care at home

Episodes are one of the rare indoor crops that practically do not require correction of conditions in winter. For them, only slightly adjust watering and feeding. Difficulties in growing a plant are associated only with its love for high humidity.

Lighting for episode

Choosing a location suitable for an episode is not so simple. This plant produces no less beautiful, albeit sometimes losing their variegation, leaves both in partial shade and in good lighting. But even in light shading, the plant will bloom much more sparsely. At the same time, the episode cannot stand direct sunlight, it does not feel well on too bright southern window sills. Therefore, diffused, soft lighting is chosen for the plant.

For this culture, the most comfortable eastern and western windowsills with diffused lighting.

Comfortable temperature

Episode can be counted among thermophilic indoor plants. This beauty does not tolerate a drop in air temperature below 18 degrees, but at the same time does not like heat either. The most comfortable episodes are within the range from 20 to 24 degrees Celsius, in stable conditions throughout the year. If the temperature rises, exceeds 25 degrees, then for the plant it is necessary to increase the watering rate and increase the air humidity.

Episode loves fresh air, but only in the form of airing rooms. This unique beauty will not be afraid of drafts in the warm season, but in autumn and winter it can suffer from them no less than from direct sunlight and waterlogging of the substrate.

Episode cultivar 'La Soledad Bronze'Episode variety ‘La Soledad Bronze’. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Andrew Schram

Watering and air humidity

The main thing in growing an episode is to maintain an even moisture content of the substrate. The plant does not tolerate stagnant water in the pan and complete drying of the substrate. But the frequency of watering is very easy to regulate, allowing the upper 1-2 cm of soil in the container to dry out before the next watering. In the spring and summer, the episode is watered up to 2 times a week. The water from the pallets must be drained immediately after watering.

Winter watering is reduced depending on the temperature and the rate of drying of the substrate: the soil in the pot should also dry out by 1-2 cm.When watering, you need to carefully soak the earthen ball, not pouring water directly at the roots or shoots, and even more so without soaking the leaves of the episode. The bottom irrigation method is also perfect for this crop.

Pay attention to the quality of the water: it should be soft, settled, the same temperature as air.

The description is also demanding for air humidity. This beauty is recommended to be grown in flower showcases or greenhouses, but you can provide comfortable conditions in an ordinary apartment. It is enough to install special humidifiers for the plant – both industrial and domestic, in the form of pallets with wet pebbles, moss, decorative soil, expanded clay. It is impossible to spray episodes, like other densely pubescent plants.

Top dressing for episode

Despite the rather large leaves and bright inflorescences, the episode does not need intensive feeding. But since she loves stable growing conditions, it is better for the plant to carry out uniform feeding even during the dormant period, minimizing the dose of fertilizer as much as possible. During the active growing season, from March to October, the episodes are fed every 2 weeks with a half dose of fertilizers. In winter, the plant is fed with a threefold reduced dose once a month.

Complex fertilizers for indoor plants are suitable for episation. The plant responds well to foliar feeding, but not during the flowering period.

Trimming an episode

For a fast-growing episode, which tends to “disperse” in different directions, it is necessary to carry out formation. Without it, the plant easily loses its neatness, looks neglected. Pruning is carried out after flowering is complete, shortening all shoots to form more lush bushes. Cut daughter rosettes for the same purpose are rooted in the same pot where the maternal episode grows.

The plant must be closely monitored: the creeping shoots of the episode easily take root in the containers of neighboring plants.

Episcia variety 'Jim's Patches'Episcia variety ‘Jim’s Patches’. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Andrew Schram

Transplant Episodes, Capacities and Substrate

It is better to replant even young episodes as needed, only if the plant completely masters the previous pot and it becomes cramped. It is possible to carry out a transplant not only in the classical terms, in February-March, but also throughout the spring and June. Because episodes grow rapidly, they are usually replanted annually. During the procedure, a high drainage layer must be laid on the bottom. After transplanting, the episodes adapt to new conditions in partial shade, increase the air humidity and only after full adaptation return the plants to their permanent place.

With each transplant, the diameter of the container must be increased by several centimeters for young plants, stopping at the maximum pots with a diameter of 18 to 20 cm. Wide, but low containers are more suitable for the episode.

For an episode, it is better to choose a substrate based on leafy soil with half the content of sand and peat. For this plant, the soil mixture must necessarily contain chopped moss and charcoal. Suitable for episode substrates for violets (preferably pH 5,5 to 6,5)

Episcia variety 'Jim's Hall's Choice'Episcia variety ‘Jim’s Hall’s Choice’. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Andrew Schram

Diseases and pests of the episode

Episode very rarely attracts indoor pests. Only in a very neglected state and extremely dry air, or under the condition of using a poor-quality, infected substrate, can it suffer from mealybugs, aphids and root nematodes. You need to fight them with insecticides. But rot on the episode occurs both with improper watering, and with waterlogging of an earthen coma. It is difficult to deal with them, you need to carry out an emergency transplant and pruning of the affected shoots. But it is better to immediately cut the cuttings and grow new plants, discarding the old ones.

Common problems in growing an episode:

  • yellowing of leaves in direct sun, with an excess of fertilizers or in dry air;
  • the appearance of brown spots on the leaves when watered with cold water;
  • drying tips of leaves in dry air;
  • loss of characteristic color with improper lighting;
  • twisting of leaves in case of irrigation disturbances, drought;
  • lack of flowering with improper lighting, humidity, violation of the feeding regime or the use of non-complex fertilizers.

Episcia copper-red (Episcia cupreata)The copper-colored episode, or the copper-red Episcia (Episcia cupreata). Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Richard Parker

Episode reproduction

Despite some capriciousness, the episode belongs to the indoor plants that are easy to propagate. You can get new copies by simply separating the processes from the mother bush, like chlorophytum. Daughter rosettes quickly take root in the soil in a separate pot, and then they can be separated from the mother plant.

The method of propagation by apical cuttings is also effective. To do this, use lateral, well-developed shoots with 3-4 pairs of leaves without branches. By immersing the cuttings in water 3-4 cm, you can get a rooted plant within a month.

Growing episodes from seeds is considered a difficult process and often results in a loss of varietal characteristics. Seeds germinate in a slightly damp substrate in conditions of high humidity and high temperatures. As the seedlings grow, it is better to transfer them to individual containers as soon as possible, and to provide the plants with high air humidity and very attentive care.

Also, the episode can be propagated by individual leaves and stem cuttings.

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Anna Evans

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