Whatever problems arise with the escinanthus, almost all of them manifest themselves in the same way – the plant withers before our eyes. Flabby leaves, massive leaf fall and the death of shoots are a sad sight. Aeschinanthus looks so perfect that any signs of loss of decorativeness are immediately striking and seem catastrophic. If the eschinanthus withers before our eyes, you should not despair: correcting care or moving to a more comfortable place will help save this unique houseplant. The main thing is not to hesitate with these measures. In this article, we will consider in more detail the reasons why the escinanthus fades.
Why does Aeschinanthus fade? Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com City Garden
1. The ubiquitous aphid
If the escinanthus suddenly began to wither, but there are no obvious mistakes in care and the plant has not been moved, you should immediately check the leaves for traces of pests. Most often, the plant is sick due to aphids, which spreads surprisingly quickly on escinanthus. The sooner measures are taken, the less the plant will wither.
To combat aphids, first try a simple rinse and gentle wiping with a soapy water solution. If it is not possible to “eliminate” the pests, spraying with a decoction or infusion of hot pepper diluted in a standard proportion (10 g per 1 l of water) or other herbal remedies will be an effective remedy. But if traditional methods are ineffective, proceed with the treatment with classic insecticides (for example, “Aktellik”).
2. Lack of nutrients
The rapid growth and beautiful greenery of Aeschinanthus require considerable soil fertility. And without top dressing, the plant depletes its resources in a couple of weeks. For Eschinanthus, it is very important during the active growth phase to receive fertilizers regularly, every 2 weeks, with the standard dose provided by the manufacturer in the instructions. Underfeeding of Aeschinanthus will lead to growth problems, discoloration and sluggish appearance. As a result of overfeeding, first a rapid growth will begin, and then the same rapid wilting and aging.
Aeschinanthus are extremely sensitive to the balance of macro- and micronutrients. For them, it is worth using a high-quality complex mineral fertilizer, with an equal ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and a full set of trace elements. Simple preparations, humus extracts, fertilizers only for decorative deciduous or flowering plants – not for them.
Read more about this plant in the article Aeschinanthus – stunning foliage and flowering.
3. Warm wintering
It would be naive to hope that Aeschinanthus will not notice the heat in winter. This plant prefers from the beginning of the reduction of daylight hours to spring to be in a mild coolness, at a temperature of about 16-18 degrees. Excessive temperatures, even with an increase in air humidity, will still lead to the loss of form by the escinanthus.
But it is worth paying attention to the temperature jumps in summer. Too abrupt changes, hypothermia at night or overheating (above 25 degrees), like any drafts, can also cause a partial wilting of the eschinanthus.
4. Improper care during the rest period
In winter, when the plant already suffers from a reduction in daylight hours, it is not worth experimenting with leaving. Of course, one should strictly adhere to all recommendations, but it is better to rely on intuition and how exactly the plant “behaves”, how the soil and substrate dries out. If you are guided by the standard frequency, you can miss signs of waterlogging or dry out the plant too much. Slightly sluggish leaves at the tips with half the soil moisture are the norm for a plant.
Air humidity also becomes extremely important during this period. Eschinanthus reacts poorly to dry air in summer, but during the seasons of operation of heating systems, maintaining a comfortable environment is vital. Spraying is indispensable, especially if temperatures drop below 18 degrees.
Of course, in winter, feeding and any experiments with leaving are inappropriate for the eschinantus. But the cleanliness needs to be monitored even more carefully.
5. Wrong “awakening”
With an increase in the duration of daylight hours, Aeschinanthus quickly start to grow. And this moment must not be missed by adapting plants to changes in time. It is in the spring that the eschinanthus need to be cut off (up to ⅔ branches), otherwise you should not expect decorativeness from them. It is necessary to check whether the plant needs a transplant (when filling the substrate with roots). You cannot delay it too long – you need to have time to change containers by transshipment before the escinanthus starts to grow rapidly.
By monitoring how the soil dries up, you can promptly adjust the frequency of watering and gradually make them more frequent and abundant. But with top dressing, it is better not to rush, letting the plant first adapt, and then use the soil reserves. They start 3-5 weeks after the transplant.
6. Little or a lot of sun
Aeschinanthuses are light-loving, but not sun-loving. On a hot southern windowsill, they will fade from overheating and direct rays, and in a too shaded place, with a lack of light, they will stretch and wither. Diffused but brightest light is an ideal that can be found by trial and error.
7. Problems with watering
If the leaves of aeschinanthus wither, but not the whips, then the reason is most likely in improper watering and the problems have not developed so much that there is a risk of losing the entire plant. But if the approach is not changed in a timely manner, root rot and plant death cannot be avoided.
It is simple to figure out whether you are doing everything right: Aeschinanthus needs constantly moist soil, with drying 2 – 3 cm from the top of the substrate between waterings and without residual water in the pan, which is drained immediately. In winter, watering is halved.
You can achieve the correct moisture content with classic watering – abundant, soaking the substrate until water is released into the sump, but not often. It is not worth the risk of overdrying on eschinanthus: if the substrate dries out even to half the pot, the plant will begin to shed leaves and flower buds. And it’s better not to think about the consequences of a complete drought.
Aeschinanthuses can wither and when watered with too cold or warm water (for them, the temperature is monitored by the temperature in the room), and with an excessive content of salts in the water. Soft, rain or melt, settled water is the only acceptable option for them.
Read also our article 8 capricious houseplants that beginners should grow.
8. Insufficiently loose soil
Aeschinanthus will not develop normally in the “wrong” substrate. Even healthy shrubs, if planted in too heavy, dense soil, or forgotten about drainage, will fade in a matter of weeks. If there is a suspicion that the soil lacks air permeability, it is compacted and poorly permeable to water, an emergency transplant is worthwhile.
Aeschinanthuses are quite simple in their requirements for the substrate. They need a very high drainage layer – at least 5 cm, preferably up to 1/3 of the capacity. And a light, breathable, neutral soil, to which it is better to add additional perlite, vermiculite, coconut particles or other loosening additives that will eliminate all problems.
9. It’s time to rejuvenate
Aeschinanthuses grow quickly, look magnificent, but for the time being. This plant in indoor conditions, especially if wintering differs from the usual temperatures, ages surprisingly quickly. The shoots of the plant remain highly decorative for only three to four years. And it is with such an interval that it is better to replace the eschinanthus with young plants.
It is not difficult to get a new generation of Aeschinanthus to replace the old one. This charming bush is easy to cut with green cuttings, cutting young twigs in early spring. You can root the shoots of the eschinanthus as you like, but most quickly they will sprout in a light, damp substrate under a hood and in a warm place.
Of course, you can also grow Aeschinanthus from seeds. But it will take much longer for the plant to “fluff up”.