Otherwise, as a multi-level, saxifrage in room culture cannot be called. This plant simultaneously forms beautiful, lush rosettes of basal leaves and produces thin and long lashes of drooping shoots, which create a “second tier” under the containers. No other culture can boast of a similar originality of form. And the unusual foliage, unique muted colors and blooming like spring drops – all this only emphasizes the uniqueness of saxifrage. In addition, like garden cousins, indoor saxifrage are very easy to grow.
Wicker saxifraga (Saxifraga stolonifera). Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com zimmerpflanzen
Modest in representation, but not in beauty, saxifrage
The inimitable saxifrage, named for its ability to settle in rock crevices and the ability to penetrate cracks with roots, is primarily associated with rocky gardens and alpine hills. These are hardy plants, content with minimal conditions, which also retain their unpretentiousness in room culture. Saxifrags belong to the family of the same name Stonecracked (Saxifragaceae).
In room culture, saxifrage is represented by one single species – saxifrage wicker (Saxifraga stolonifera). To decorate rock gardens, rockeries, support walls, flower beds, garden compositions and even garden potted gardens, saxifrage can offer a very diverse choice: about a hundred different types of saxifrage have been introduced into garden culture (but not into indoor culture).
You should not be upset about the meager variety of indoor species: although there is only one plant, but how beautiful it is! And he has varieties that provide the desired choice.
Wicker saxifrage is an ampelous plant that can be grown in hanging baskets and in pots on stands or high legs, and in ordinary containers installed so that the whips can hang down freely. The height of the saxifrage is limited to 10 cm of the rosette, but the lashes in length can grow up to 40 cm.
Kidney-shaped, rounded, with a heart-shaped base, crenate edge, leathery-fleshy, small basal leaves of the saxifrage are collected in a very beautiful and lush rosette, from which the plant produces thin, threadlike, long, unbranched shoots. The reddish color of the “threads” only emphasizes the beauty of the foliage color, makes the plant even more unusual.
Velvet leaves with bristly edges and wrinkled texture, light streaks are not painted in classic shades of green, but in muted tones of olive, gray-green, bluish-green, which seem mysterious and unique. Young leaves of the saxifrage flaunt a purple bloom along the edge, repeating exactly the tone of the shoots, but as they grow, they lose their reddish tint. The underside of the leaves is purple.
At the ends of each lash, saxifrage form daughter plants – layers, which are miniature rosettes with small leaves and aerial roots. The thinnest shoots, due to their length, seem to form another “layer” of greenery under the plant; the plant is visually perceived as a tiered plant. And although the type of growth of saxifrage reminds of chlorophytums, this plant is completely different – graceful, graceful and touching, not powerful, but elegant.
The flowering of a room saxifrage is a very touching sight. Loose clusters of inflorescences with small white flowers seem to be a scattering of sparkling drops. Asymmetrical, with three shortened and almost imperceptible upper and two lower long and large lanceolate lobes, large radially diverging stamens, flowers make you look closely at the details and amaze with grace, resemble little fairies or dragonflies.
Of the varieties of saxifrage wicker, the most popular and favorite is Tricolor – a variety in which the base grayish-metallic color of the leaf plates is combined with pink spots and a white border around the edge. They are in perfect harmony with the blue-gray leaves and only emphasize the amazing play of textures. Less popular, but also beautiful are the golden-leaved saxifrage varieties “Harvest Moon” and “Golden Leaves” (in the former, cuttings and shoots are light, in the latter they are purple, and the edge of the leaf plates is more carved).
Saxifrage at home
Saxifrage – hardy, completely retaining all their unpretentiousness, even in indoor plant culture. They put up well with shading, do not have complex temperature requirements and require standard care. These delightful ampelous crops can be grown by both experienced florists and beginners.
Lighting for indoor saxifrage
This hardy plant will reveal all its beauty both in good light and in more secluded places. But the brighter the lighting, the paler the leaves of the plant and the less the unique texture and gray shades of color appear. The plant must be protected from direct sunlight.
It is not necessary to display saxifrage on the windowsill: within the framework of semi-shady locations, it will feel great in the interior, especially since it visually expands and structures the space, is one of the most attractive cascading plants.
The saxifrage does not like strong shading. The plant itself signals a lack of lighting, but not by a violation of growth and elongation of shoots, but by paler leaves. Thanks to this natural “signaling”, you can experiment with the selection of the place and it is easy to understand if the plant needs a little more intense lighting.
Saxifrage are very unpretentious to the temperatures of the plant. They feel great in any room temperature, adapt well to almost any regime of detention. In summer, they will be satisfied with both moderate and hot temperatures. But in winter, if it is impossible to keep the plant warm, then the saxifrage is able to withstand a cold snap up to 5 degrees Celsius.
If you want to admire the snow-white drops of inflorescences above the saxifrage, then during the dormant period for the plant you need to maintain cool conditions – a temperature of 8 to 12 degrees. A warm wintering will affect the abundance of flowering, but it will not harm the saxifrage. An exception to the standard rules for wintering saxifrage are its varietal plants, including “Tricolor”, which will not withstand a temperature drop even to 15 degrees (the permissible minimum is 16-18 degrees Celsius).
In summer, the saxifrage can be safely exposed to fresh air. She is not afraid of drafts, but she will need to be protected from direct sunlight as carefully as possible.
Watering and air humidity
Saxifrags, as in nature, in indoor culture are more accustomed to dryness than to high humidity. Water the plant carefully and discreetly, allowing the water to drain completely and immediately pouring it out of the trays, drying the substrate in the upper layer between procedures. Especially carefully watering saxifrage is carried out in winter, making the procedures as rare as possible, only maintaining a minimum light moisture content of the substrate (but still avoiding complete drought). When watering, you need to make sure that no water gets on the leaf outlet.
Saxifrage does not have any special requirements for air humidity, but the higher it is, the more beautiful the foliage. The plant needs mandatory measures to moisturize during the operation of heating devices and on hot days when the air temperature rises above 25 degrees. Spraying regularly is also good for saxifrage, as is a pallet of damp moss.
Feeding for saxifrage
Fertilizers for indoor saxifrage are applied only from March to September. In late autumn and winter, the plant is not fed. The optimal frequency of procedures is once every 1 weeks. If there are signs of a lack of nutrients in winter, you can apply a half dose of fertilizer once every 2 months. For saxifrage, it is better to choose universal fertilizers.
Transplant and substrate
The saxifrage is so unpretentious that you can start transplanting a plant literally at any time in spring and summer, while the bushes are in the active growing season. It is still better to carry out a transplant only when it is necessary for the plant itself: when the roots climb out of the drainage holes, the plant will fully master the capacity provided to it in breadth.
The plant is not demanding on the soil. Any loose substrate is suitable for the saxifrage, for example, a universal soil mixture for indoor plants.
For saxifrage, it is worth picking up wide, but not tall pots.
It is necessary to transplant the saxifrage carefully, trying not to damage the leaves and thin shoots, enlisting help to hold the lower “tier” during this procedure. When transplanting a plant, a high drainage layer must be laid at the bottom of the containers, and loosening additives of expanded clay or vermiculite are added to the substrate itself, if possible.
This plant is prone to loss of attractiveness only at a considerable age, old plants are unattractive after flowering. If your saxifrage is deformed, its leaves lose their attractiveness, the plant looks neglected or has suffered from pests and other problems, you can simply replace the old outlets with new ones from the young outlets on the lashes. Since the plant itself offers planting material for replacement, there will be no difficulties with rejuvenation.
Diseases and pests of saxifrage
The greatest danger to indoor saxifrage is aphid. These pests love saxifrage, and if at least one plant in the collection becomes infected, most likely insects quickly invade the saxifrage. You need to deal with the problem quickly by applying insecticides. They love saxifrage and spider mites, especially if measures are not taken to compensate for the extreme dryness of the air.
Of the diseases, saxifrage most often suffer from fungal infections, rust. It is better to deal with them with copper-containing preparations.
Common growing problems:
- lack of flowering in low light;
- lack of flowering during warm wintering;
- blanching of leaves in dense shade.
Reproduction of saxifrage
This is, without exaggeration, one of the easiest indoor crops to breed. To get new saxifrage, it is enough to separate and root those same baby plants at the ends of its shoots. Reproduction by layering is such a simple method that the other two options (separation of bushes and seeds) are practically not used, although if you wish, you can experiment with them according to standard methods.
Before separation, the cuttings can be rooted in a small attached pot, slightly dropping the shoot in the soil for rooting, and then separating the resulting baby from the mother plant, or simply cut and put on rooting in water or a substrate under a hood.