Indoor gilding is not a plant for everyone

Among the abundantly flowering indoor plants, the lead, or Plumbago, has always occupied a special place. It is one of the most romantic large plants imaginable. Beautiful flowers, collected in loose inflorescences and covering dense bushes, from a distance seem like lacy foam. Pig looks sloppy and festive at the same time, this plant that creates a special mood is not for everyone. Feminine and touching, piggy is a complex culture that loves high humidity and requires careful maintenance.

Auricular or cape mumps (Plumbago auriculata). Farmer Evaldo HS Nascimento

What does a house pig look like?

Pigs are better known as garden plants, which are grown as tub crops in regions with harsh winters. Wintering in a cool room does not prevent this unique and rather large plant from revealing all its beauty and surprising with amazingly long flowering. As a room culture, they decide to grow lead not often, but completely in vain. More compact sizes, but no less bright blooms allow this culture to become one of the most romantic stars of the interior.

Pig is one of the exotic species that came to us from South Africa. Despite its love for high humidity in the room environment, the lead is much more drought-resistant than its competitors. In nature, it is found not in the tropics, but in the subtropics.

The genus Pig (Plumbago) belongs to the family of the same name Pig (Plumbaginaceae). The popular name “pig” is much more popular than the official “plumbago”.

In nature, pigs are represented by a little more than a dozen different species, but in room culture, one single species of pigs is grown.

 Auricular or cape mumps (Plumbago auriculata) Is an ornamental flowering shrub that can be considered both a liana and a bushy plant, depending on the desired shape. It is most often grown as a bush, but if desired, you can allow the plants to grow freely and show the true character of the twigs. Pig is good in raised containers, on stands, as an ampel culture. Legs’ shoots are long, but not very flexible; in length, without control, they can stretch up to 1-2 m.

The pigs have very beautiful leaves. Small, with two stipules, lanceolate-oval, up to 7 cm in length, they are very pleasant to the touch and flaunt with a light, rich color. Small foliage forms a dense, beautiful crown, which looks somewhat careless and sloppy, and during flowering only emphasizes the romance of the pigs. The leaves are located on the shoots alternately.

The flowers of the pigs are very beautiful. The symmetrical five-petal corolla on a long tube-base is reminiscent of phlox and scented tobacco flowers. In diameter, the flowers of the lead are limited to 3 cm, visually they are not perceived too large, conquer with simplicity, tenderness and texture. Flowers are collected in heads and clusters of inflorescences at the tops of the shoots.

The color range of pigs is very limited, but no other culture has such shades of color as that of this plant. Sky blue saturated watercolor shade, white or carmine pink muted tone – that’s all the variations.

Indoor pigIndoor pig. Farmer tanynadacha

Optimal conditions for growing indoor gilts

It is quite easy to find suitable conditions in the rooms for pigs. This plant needs the lightest windowsill. It is much more difficult to meet the temperature requirements of the plant.

While adapting to room conditions, the pig, however, hardly changes its gardening habits. This plant is very fond of fresh air and prefers a cool winter. These two of the most challenging growing conditions are worth considering when purchasing.

Lighting and placement of lead in the interior

Moving into rooms, the pig does not change its character and remains a plant that needs the brightest possible lighting. Therefore, it is better to place pigs in the house only on window sills, and preferably southern or partially southern.

Direct sunlight is not harmful to the plant, with the exception of the midday sun when kept without regular ventilation. Both partial direct lighting in the morning or evening and diffused bright light produce colorful blooms. The lead should be accustomed to any changes in lighting gradually, avoiding a sharp drop when rearranging to a new place or with an increase in the intensity of lighting in the spring.

These light-loving stars are not too fond of artificial lighting during the period of active development, but in winter, using phyto lamps, you can compensate for the lack of light and prevent the stretching of shoots and the shedding of part of the leaves. If there is no opportunity to provide additional lighting and it was not carried out, then the plant will recover only after pruning in the spring.

Pig is a great soloist, but this plant will not get lost in groups. She is not afraid of being close to other vines, looks good with smaller, flowering crops. When placing a lead, it is worth considering the rate of its growth and the length of the shoots. Since this is an extremely light-loving plant, it can only be placed on windowsills.

Pig can grow in the bathroom, but only on the windowsill.The pig can grow in the bathroom, but only on the windowsill. Farmer laurriesgardendiary

Temperature control and ventilation

The pig does not tolerate heat very well. Air temperature indicators exceeding 22-23 degrees can only be compensated for by an abundance of fresh air and an increase in humidity to maximum.

Despite the status of a garden tub plant, the lead is not a cold-tolerant crop at all. She should overwinter in conditions when the minimum temperature is limited to + 7 … + 8 ° С. The plant is not afraid of short-term cold snaps, but it is better if the air temperature remains stable and is limited to the range of + 10 … + 15 ° С.

It is better to make the transition to winter keeping in coolness smooth, with gradual adaptation to new conditions. Wintering at low temperatures is desirable but not required. The pig can hibernate in a warm place. But it will lose its decorative effect, require more radical pruning and shed foliage. In spring, with proper care, the plant will recover quickly.

Pig will prefer to spend summer in the fresh air, at a constantly open window or on the balcony. Indoor pigs can be taken out into the garden, but they must be removed long before the original tub plumbago. Frequent ventilation is an important measure when growing lead in a room, regardless of the season. The plant must be protected from drafts, but without access to fresh air, it is too vulnerable to diseases and pests.

Pig can be grown as a tub garden plantThe pig can be grown as a tub garden plant. Farmer lowes

Lead care at home

Among the beautifully flowering and abundantly flowering indoor plants, the lead is rightfully considered one of the “medium” – undemanding. This plant is more suitable for experienced growers. But on it you can practice the skills of forming and growing plants that require more stringent conditions. The hardest part of caring for a lead is to keep the substrate from drying out. But trimming and keeping the air humid also doesn’t make caring for the plant any easier.

Watering and air humidity 

It is important for the lead to maintain a stable soil moisture throughout the entire stage of active vegetation and flowering. Water the plant in moderation, with small portions of water, but quite often. In summer, the lead is watered up to 3 times a week, as soon as the top layer of the substrate dries up. For a dormant period, watering is reduced, reducing the moisture content of the soil, but not allowing it to dry out completely. Drought results in partial or complete loss of leaves. Any waterlogging is very dangerous. The approximate frequency of winter watering is once a week.

For lead, they use not only settled, but also warm, the same temperature as air or slightly warmer, water. Watering with cold water is just as dangerous as using regular tap water.

The higher the humidity for this plant, the better. Ideally, the indicators should be 80-85%. Leaguy tolerates dry air well only in moderate temperatures. It will not be possible to maintain a comfortable air humidity for the lead only by spraying.

For the plant, you need to install humidifiers or their analogues – from indoor fountains or additional sources of moisture to bowls and pallets with wet pebbles, expanded clay, moss. Before flowering, a shower can be periodically carried out for the plant.

Top dressing and composition of fertilizers

For gilts, the standard fertilization scheme is perfect – together with water for irrigation, only during the period of active growth and with a frequency of 1 every 2 weeks.

The pig is not demanding on the composition of fertilizers. For her, universal complex fertilizers for indoor plants are suitable, but if you want to achieve the most spectacular flowering, it is better to use fertilizers for beautifully flowering plants.

Pig after pruningPiggy after pruning. Farmer tanynadacha

Lead pruning and shaping

It is impossible to achieve high decorativeness from this plant without formation. Lead shoots are prone to elongation, constantly growing in length, not branching, not too flexible. If the plant is grown in ampelous culture, then the shoots are shortened only so as to maintain beautiful outlines and prevent them from stretching too much.

When growing on a support, pruning can be omitted, with the exception of pinching the tops. But to get beautiful spreading bushes, they carry out mandatory pruning.

For lead, pruning is best done in early spring or February. As with all plants that only flower on young twigs, the main purpose of pruning is to stimulate the growth of strong shoots and abundant flowering.

In all gilts, a skeletal base of three or four strong shoots is formed, and all lateral shoots are cut to 2/3 of the height, leaving 2-3 pairs of leaves. Pinching the tops stimulates the growth of lateral branches.

As with most shrubs, it is better to remove weak or thickening branches in lead. If desired, the bushes can be given a strict shape and even form an indoor pig into a stem.

If the lead is stretched, the leaves become smaller, the distance between them increases and the plant loses its decorative effect, you need to resort to urgent pruning before the conditions are adjusted. Shortening the shoots to a few pairs of leaves will allow the lead to recover faster. Renewal or restorative pruning is carried out more radically, cutting off all shoots to a height of 30 cm.

A mandatory measure for growing lead is plucking flowers as they bloom. Peduncles can be removed during general pruning in early spring.

Pigs, when grown in conventional pots, without pruning, controlling the contours of the plant and preventing the shoots from decaying, need support. It is better to install them in advance when transplanting a plant and gradually, as they grow, tie plants to them.

This culture can be grown not only on trellises, but also on original figured modules. When tying shoots, you need to act carefully, take into account the rather poor flexibility of the branches and use soft materials. Shoots do not cling to supports on their own.

Indoor pigs can be taken out into the garden in summerIndoor pigs can be taken out into the garden in summer. Farmer laurriesgardendiary

Transplant and substrate

This large plant is only transplanted in early spring. Leads are usually handled annually, after pruning at a young age and only as needed for mature plants. One transplant in 2-3 years is quite enough. Plants are developing quite actively.

For pigs, it is better to select a universal permeable substrate with high nutritional values. They prefer slightly acidic soil with a high peat content. This plant thrives in regular commercial flowering substrate. If you mix the substrate yourself, then it is better to create it on the basis of sod soil, adding half the amount of sand and peat to it.

The pig must be carefully handled, avoiding contact with the roots. Only the upper contaminated layer of the substrate is removed from the old earthen coma.

Diseases, pests and growing problems

Pigs very often suffer from indoor pests, especially from insects active in dry air. Spider mites and scale insects are the most dangerous enemies of this houseplant.

When growing lead, the following problems often arise:

  • stretching shoots in shade;
  • shrinking leaves in shade;
  • stop flowering when the substrate dries out;
  • browning of leaves with irregular watering.

Piggy in the interiorPiggy in the interior. Farmer laurriesgardendiary

Reproduction of lead

New lead bushes can be obtained from both cuttings and seeds. Both methods are not too difficult, but the bushes will have to wait several years to achieve maximum decorative effect.

Plumbago seeds are sown with a light cover in a moist substrate consisting of equal parts of sand and standard soil. They need not only greenhouse conditions, but also a stable temperature of about + 20 ° C. The dive is carried out after the appearance of true leaves in small individual containers. In the future, the plants are reloaded as needed.

For grafting, the easiest way is to use the branches left after spring pruning. After treatment with growth stimulants, the shoots are buried in wet sand. When covered with a hood, maintaining a stable humidity and temperature of about + 16 ° C, they take root after 2 weeks.

Plants are transplanted into small containers and grown with standard care, transferring as they grow. Plants obtained from cuttings will bloom already this year, but you can fully enjoy the beauty of flowering only when the bushes will build up a large vegetative mass.

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Anna Evans

Author ✓ Farmer

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