Walking iris, or Neomarika – a magnificent exotic on the windowsill-Care

Among the plants that came to us from the Latin American rain forests, the magnificent walking iris is far from the most modest representative of them. Due to its thermophilicity and capriciousness, it remains an indoor culture for countries with severe winters. Without losing at all its rather large size, the indoor neomarika looks elegant, graceful and very exotic. Flowers that can compete with orchids are a worthy reward for the special conditions that will have to be created for this plant.

The walking iris, or Neomarika, is a magnificent exotic on the windowsill. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Jaap Cost Budde
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Neomarika, or Walking iris – description of the plant

The elusive flowering, typical iris foliage, the status of a rare and almost exclusively valuable plant – everything in neomariki is attractive. These are some of those exotics that do not lose their unbridled character even when they are moved to a potted form.

In nature, neomariki are plants typical of the Brazilian flora. Their unique beauty is associated with the Amazonian jungle, although they are found in other Latin American countries and on other continents.

Neomarika is better known by her nickname “walking iris”, although many growers call her “walking iris”. The beginning of this nickname gave rise to the “behavior” of the plant. Neomariki boast very unusual natural reproduction.

When grown in soil, after flowering, shoots gradually develop in place of flowers, and the heavier they become, the more the peduncle tilts. After contact with the soil, the new plant takes root – one step away from the mother bush.

That is why this amazing type of irises is called walking. Another beautiful nickname for the plant is the apostolic iris. According to legend, 12 leaves must be released to produce flower stalks, and many see this as a small miracle.

Walking iris, or Neomarika Is an evergreen, herbaceous perennial. A shallow, vigorous root system with thickened creeping roots and rosette basal leaves are typical of this family.

Even in room form, walking iris can produce leaves up to 60 cm in length. Dense sods look elegant and luxuriant, and the ideal belt-like-xiphoid shape of the leaves is rarely spoiled by bends or slopes.

Leathery, rather tough, with a slightly pronounced gloss, neomariki leaves are limited in width to a maximum of 3–4 cm with a length of 50 cm and more. Their color is muted-medium, the surface is semi-gloss.

Most indoor neomarik blooms only at a respectable age.
Most indoor neomarik blooms only at a respectable age. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Festima

Blooming neomariki

Traditionally, neomarica blooms in early summer, with sufficient lighting in regions with severe winters, it can bloom in May. The natural cycle of neomariki involves flowering in early spring, but indoor plants change their character, adapting to the capabilities of the owners.

Most neomarik flowers only at a respectable age. Full flowering is observed if about 10-12 leaves grow in the outlet. But sometimes walking irises bloom much earlier.

Watching the neomariki bloom is a great success. And the point is not at all that it blooms poorly in room culture. It’s just that the whole process is happening so quickly that you can only catch a flower at the peak of decorativeness by dedicating a day to it in anticipation of a miracle.

Graceful, with beautiful lines and details, unique patterns, neomariki bloom is mesmerizing. The development of carnal peduncles with almost flattened buds can be skipped, because the peduncles literally merge with the leaves, only a bright yellow color and motley ripples of patterns on the buds are visible near.

The height of the peduncles, even in pots, may not be limited to values ​​of 80-100 cm. The buds are transformed before our eyes, developing from flat to spherical, turning pale in one day. As the sun rises, the flowers gently and slowly open their petals, allowing you to admire their beauty for several hours at the peak of the day, so that at dusk there will be no trace of it.

But on the same peduncle, the next flower opens the next day. In general, flowers on this unique plant last no more than 15 hours, most often they wither within one day. Each peduncle blooms from 3 to 15 buds. In the indoor format, the number of flowers is most often limited to 4–5.

Neomariki flowers are very similar in shape to iris flowers. The three outer and three inner perianth lobes differ in size and shape. Large, oval, with a slightly wavy edge and a variegated throat, the lower petals in the “triangle” emphasize the grace of 2 or 3 smaller ones, with a thin “stem” and heart-shaped, variegated over the entire surface of the upper ones. Classic, overlapping triangles create austere elegance.

The color scheme of walking irises is very effective. It includes only two color variations for the three lower “petals” – creamy white and light blue, but for the “crown” it is much more varied. Spots, specks, strokes and patterns on a bright blue-purple background, as if flowing into the throat of a flower, can be white, blue, dark purple, brown, yellow. They mix in almost “animal” color options and offer a varied luxury to admire.

All neomariki pleasantly surprise with a light but delicate aroma. In neomariks with brighter colors, it is usually more pronounced than in plants with creamy petals.

Neomarica graceful, or slender (Neomarica gracilis)
Neomarica graceful, or slender (Neomarica gracilis). Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com highandwaistedvin

Types of room neomariki

Despite the presence of more than two dozen species, indoor neomariki are most often represented by one single plant – neomarica graceful, or slender (Neomarica gracilis).

It is a charming herbaceous perennial with xiphoid leaves in dense clumps and large flowers up to 12 cm in diameter. Up to 15 flowers bloom on one peduncle of the plant. One day old, very pretty, with a creamy base color and purple streaks on the top three sepals, they open very slowly.

Blue neomarika north (Neomarica northiana) is less common. Its meter-long leaves in pots look more bulky, but periwinkle shades of color of beautiful petals with almost round lower lobes emphasize the golden-brown patterns even more vividly.

Inimitable lush neomarika motley (Variegated neomaric) Is a plant that grows wide, very dense clumps. The leaves are quite flexible, curl in an arc, they became famous for the combination of a grayish-olive basic color with cream and yellow longitudinal, very wide stripes.

But it is also worth taking a closer look at the variegated neomarika because of the relentless, longer flowering, the saturated sky-lavender shade of color and the grace of the flowers.

Occasionally on sale you can find hybrid varieties with more intense or unusual colors, including bright lemon-yellow blooms. When choosing neomariki, you should first of all pay attention to two factors – the length of the leaves and the colors of the inflorescences.

Neomarica northiana
Neomarica northiana. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Earth100

Growing conditions for indoor neomarik

Despite its status as a rare and exotic plant, neomarika can pleasantly surprise you with its unpretentiousness. She needs certain conditions and more than a cool wintering. But it does not require anything impossible for living rooms. It is enough to choose a comfortable place – and neomarika will become one of the most expressive exotics in the collection.

Blooming neomariki depends on too many factors and may never take place, even if the plant is laying buds. Changing conditions and lighting, moving to a new place, too free a pot, not enough cool or light winter, too high temperatures at the budding stage – these are just a few factors that prevent walking irises from blooming fully.

When growing neomariki, it is worth remembering that it is included in the lists of the most dangerous indoor crops. All parts of it are poisonous – both aboveground and underground. Therefore, if there are pets in the house, and even more so for families with children, it is worthwhile to sensibly assess the risks before purchasing this rare plant.

Lighting and placement

Diffused bright lighting is ideal for neomariks during a period of active growth. It is not necessary to place it on the windowsill, but you should not move much away from it even near the southern window.

In the spring, during flowering, insufficient lighting can cause shedding of the buds. Neomarika will not give up the morning or evening sun, but in the summer the apostolic iris can suffer from it. Shading is a mandatory measure to preserve the decorative effect of the leaves.

During the resting period, neomariks are very sensitive to insufficient light. Even at the right cool temperature, they won’t flower without maximum light. They are displayed on the lightest windowsill in the house or additionally illuminated.

When choosing a place for neomariki, it is worth remembering that she does not tolerate crowding. This plant is placed so that the sods can spread freely, the leaves develop without obstacles, without resting on walls or glass. Even on the windowsill, the neomarika is displayed somewhat isolated from the rest of the plants.

Neomariki feel better on the western and northern windows, on the eastern and southern windows they are necessarily shaded or pushed back.

The plant needs to be regularly turned in relation to the light source for more even development of new shoots.

Neomariki feel better on the western and northern windows, on the eastern and southern windows they are necessarily shaded or pushed back
Neomariki feel better on the western and northern windows, on the eastern and southern windows they are necessarily shaded or pushed back. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Htm

Temperature control and ventilation

Neomarica is one of the plants that requires a not quite standard approach to the selection of temperature conditions. In principle, she prefers coolness rather than heat. But for flowering, the plant will need a moderate temperature at the very beginning of the active growing season.

A fairly cold regime is considered optimal for wintering neomariki – from 5 to 10 degrees. When growth resumes, the plants are moved only to a slightly warmer place, raising the temperature to 10-15 degrees. After a few weeks, the neomarica is moved to warmth (temperatures above 20 degrees Celsius).

During the period of active growth, neomarica grows well in normal room conditions. Walking irises are not afraid of the heat, but it is still better to keep the temperature readings stable and average – from 20 to 23 degrees.

For plants, you can use a simplified scheme – with wintering at temperatures from 5 to at least 12 degrees and the usual indoor indicators during the period of active growth. True, in this case, transferring plants to heat immediately after the start of leaf growth is not worth it, waiting for their more active development.

For neomariki, you need to lower the temperature in the fall smoothly and as slowly as possible. A sharp jump in temperatures does not allow to preserve the decorativeness of the curtains, and with the beginning of growth and flowering, it is better to smoothly transfer plants to the temperatures of this new phase.

For the summer, neomarica can be planted in open soil both by dropping it in and completely transferring it to the ground for more abundant flowering. She feels great outdoors and in the garden or on the balcony.

During his stay in the rooms, the neomarika does not tolerate drafts very well. But the most dangerous thing for her is the hypothermia of the substrate. Contact with cold surfaces and temperature drops below 5 degrees are unacceptable for indoor neomariks.

It is quite easy to stabilize soil temperatures by using double containers, dipping the pots in outer containers of inert materials between the walls, and using decorative wrappers.

Neomarica variegata
Neomarica variegata. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com root

Caring for neomarika at home

Neomarica cannot be called a difficult plant to care for. It develops well with careful watering, does not require any complex feeding and is quite predictable.

Watering and air humidity

Neomarica is extremely sensitive to excess moisture. It is better not to water the plant, drying the substrate completely, than to water it too abundantly. Usually, walking iris is watered like this – allowing the substrate to dry out almost completely.

But during the period of active growth, the rate of moisture consumption by an actively growing bush is so high that it is better to maintain a stable light humidity, eliminating the risk of dampness. The approximate frequency of watering is about 1 time in 3-4 days in summer and 1 time per week in winter and autumn.

During the dormant period, neomariki are watered 1-2 days after the soil has completely dried out. Usually, one watering per month is sufficient with a cool content.

For neomariki, only soft water is suitable. This plant will prefer watering with boiled, melt or rain water.

Air humidity for a plant is not as critical as for other exotics. But still, the plant does not tolerate dry air, the leaves quickly begin to dry out at the tips, and their colors deteriorate.

Moisturizing measures for neomariks become mandatory when the air importance falls below 50% and at temperatures above 23 degrees. The best option is to sprinkle the foliage, which is carried out carefully during the release of peduncles and blooming, only on the leaves. But installing any humidifier options is fine.

Neomariks are not afraid of getting wet. To keep the leaves clean, you can shower them by gently protecting the base of the leaves. But weekly dusting of foliage is a must.

Top dressing and composition of fertilizers

Preferring rather poor than super-fertile soils, neomarika does not like excess fertilizers. For neomariki, standard feeding is quite suitable. More often than once every 1 weeks, you should not apply fertilizers in liquid form, while it is better to reduce the dosage recommended by the manufacturer by 2 times.

Begin feeding for iris in early spring, one week after the start of growth or one week after planting, diluting the standard concentration for the first procedures. Usually, feeding continues until the end of flowering.

For neomariki, complex mineral fertilizers with a high potassium content are better suited. Nitrogen is as important for the plant as other trace elements. To enhance flowering, it is permissible to exclude nitrogen at the budding stage and at the very beginning of flowering, but it is better that it is present in the composition, albeit in a smaller amount than potassium. Fertilizers for orchids have an ideal composition.

Trimming and shaping neomariki

On this plant, pruning is reduced to sanitary cleaning – the removal of wilting flowers, dry and damaged leaves. If reproduction is not the goal, then it is better to cut off the daughter sockets, because the process of their maturation affects the decorative foliage.

The walking iris will be happy to spend the summer outdoors
The walking iris will be happy to spend the summer outdoors. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com keywordbasket

Transplant, containers and substrate

Walking iris is not transplanted annually, but only when the plant has fully mastered the previous pot. Frequency once every 1 years is considered the norm. But it is better to focus on the appearance of roots in the drainage hole and filling the entire width of the container with sod.

To transplant neomariki, the time must be chosen carefully. Walking iris prefers transplanting at the very beginning of the active growth phase, always before the start of flower stalks.

Neomariks do not like containers that are too spacious. Pots for this plant are matched to the size of the root ball, adding a few centimeters for root development around the perimeter.

But the shape and characteristics of containers should be given increased attention: neomarica will develop well only in wide, but shallow containers with large drainage holes. Her shallow and creeping root system is worth considering when looking for pots, as is her love of natural materials.

Simple earth mixes are perfect for walking iris – universal, loose, light enough and not prone to compaction over time. The simplest substrate can be made from equal parts of sand, leafy soil and peat (sand can be replaced with pine bark), and universal substrates for tuberous plants can be used.

Neomarica, unlike garden irises, prefers only slightly acidic or neutral pH values. The plant reacts poorly to slightly alkaline soils. The addition of loosening materials to create a special air permeability of the soil is not only desirable, but necessary. At least a third of the substrate should be coarse sand, perlite, vermiculite or fine pine bark.

When transplanting a plant, a very high drainage layer is laid on the bottom of the containers. It must be at least 1/3 of the height of the container. The standard depth for thickened neomariki roots is 4-5 cm.

Diseases, pests and problems in growing neomariki

This plant is more likely to suffer from too much watering than from pests. Neomarica, when the soil is waterlogged, rapidly loses its decorative effect, and this phenomenon manifests itself both at the beginning of the drying of the tips of the leaves, and in the loss of the initially yellowing lower leaves in the rosettes.

In a neglected state, especially with contaminated leaves and during warm wintering, neomariki can be affected by aphids, whiteflies, thrips, weevils. But nevertheless, most often they are bothered by the spider mite, which spreads amazingly quickly on the beautiful large leaves of the plant in dry air.

Like all bulbous-tuberous indoor plants, neomariki suffer from nematodes and other soil pests. With the latter, it is worth fighting an emergency transplant with complete washing and disinfection of the roots. The rest of the pests are fought by a combination of correction of conditions and the use of insecticides.

Separation of new sprouts of neomariki is carried out only when the plant releases roots and begins to actively grow
Separation of new sprouts of neomariki is carried out only when the plant releases roots and begins to grow actively. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Wyer & Co.

Reproduction of neomariki

The unique natural mechanism of neomariki can be used at home as well. The plant will not be able to independently find a new soil for rooting, but it is not at all difficult to fix the sprout ripening at the end of the peduncle in a separate small pot on the principle of rooting.

The separation is carried out only when the plant releases roots and begins to grow actively. If there is no space or time for the rooting of the cuttings, a small daughter plant can be cut and rooted in the same way as ordinary cuttings – in a peat-sandy substrate, with a stable light soil moisture and without a hood.

With age, neomariki grow well, forming daughter plants. Side rosettes can be planted as independent plants, separating them from the mother bush after transplanting. But it is better to divide the bushes into larger parts.

There should be at least 3–4 growth points in each division. Any division of neomariki is carried out with a sharp, disinfected blade. Sections are processed with crushed charcoal. It is undesirable to dry them, immediately planting parts of old bushes in separate containers.

Seeds of neomariki on sale are extremely rare. They can germinate for more than 1 year, and then only if they are sown freshly harvested. The patience required by the owners of moisture-sensitive crops cannot be compared to even the most capricious crops.

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Walking iris, or Neomarika - a magnificent exotic on the windowsill-Care
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Anna Evans

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