HOW TO GROW AND CARE FOR OUR PLANTS
There Setcreasea it is a splendid plant with purple leaves, much appreciated for its ease of cultivation.
Species: see the paragraph on "Main species"
The genre Setcreasea includes species belonging to the family of Commelinaceae where we find perhaps the most famous plants such as the Callisia and the RhoeoAlthough finding different species within the genus, only one is used in cultivation as an ornamental plant and it is the species Setcreasea purpurea.
MAIN SPECIESSETCREASEA PURPUREA
There Setcreasea purpurea is a perennial herbaceous plant native to Mexico, characterized by succulent stems that take on a creeping posture with growth.
The peculiarity that makes this plant so graceful and appreciated is the purple color of the stem and leaves. The leaves are fleshy, even 17 cm long and 2.5 cm wide, sheathing, lanceolate and arranged in a spiral along the stem. Both the leaves and the stems are covered with a light bankish down which gives the plant very particular reflections.
The flowers grow at the apex of the branches between two bracts and are formed by three sepals and three petals of pink-lilac color. Its peculiarity is that at the end of flowering, under the bracts, new shoots grow.
The Setcreasea they are easy to cultivate plants and do not require particular cultural precautions.
They do not tolerate too intense cold so if grown outdoors, they should be protected for the winter period where temperatures tend to drop considerably. In the case of sudden frosts and possible death of the aerial part of the plant, the plant must be drastically pruned; in the spring it will release new shoots.
They need very intense light, even direct sun except in the hottest hours of summer days.
They are plants that lend themselves very well to being raised in hanging baskets.
During the summer, watering must be regular, allowing the soil to dry on the surface between one irrigation and another. During the winter reduce considerably and always pay attention to water stagnations which are not tolerated in any way.
With the Setcreasea you must always keep in mind that being a partially succulent plant, one less watering is better than one more and that they are plants quite resistant to drought.
TYPE OF SOIL - REPOT
The Setcreasea they do not require particular soils: a good fertile soil to which peat and coarse sand or perlite (in the proportion of 2: 2: 1) will be added to favor the drainage of the watering water will be perfect.
Repotting is done in early spring and only when the pot has become too small to hold the plant.
There Setcreasea fertilize once a month using a good liquid fertilizer diluted in the irrigation water, halving the doses compared to what is reported in the fertilizer package. The fertilizations are to be done from spring and for the whole summer period. In the autumn-winter period they must be suspended.It is advisable to use a fertilizer that in addition to having macroelements such as nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K) also contains the so-called microelements, that is to say those compounds that the plant needs in minimal quantities (but hapur always needed) such as magnesium (Mg), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), boron (B), molybdenum (Mo), all important for a correct and balanced plant growth.
At the end of flowering, the plant can be drastically pruned if grown too messily. In the spring it will emit new shoots.
The flowering period is summer and until autumn in areas with a mild climate.
There Setcreasea multiplies by cutting.
10-15 cm long cuttings are taken at different times of the year and rooted in the same soil used for adult plants.
The cuttings must be cut immediately under the node so that some leaves remain and eliminating those placed lower by cutting in oblique direction as this allows to have a greater surface for rooting and avoids the accumulation of water on this surface.
Use a razor blade or a sharp knife to avoid fraying of the fabrics. Make sure that the tool you use for cutting is clean and disinfected (preferably over a flame) to avoid infecting the fabrics.
The lower leaves are removed and placed in the same soil used for the adult plants by making holes with a pencil, as many as there are cuttings to be placed, taking care subsequently to gently compact the soil.
The only care that must be taken is not to overwater the soil as both the stem and the leaves are succulent, if we create an environment that is too humid, they could rot.
When the first shoots start to appear, it means that the cutting has taken root, at which point the cuttings are expected to harden. Once they are large enough, they are transplanted into the final pot and treated like adult plants.
PARASITES AND DISEASES
They are plants particularly resistant to parasitic attacks.
The leaves turn from purple to green
If the leaves lose their characteristic purple color and turn green, the light is too low.
Remedies: move the plant to a brighter area, even in direct sun except in the hottest hours of summer days.
The plant becomes slender and green
If the plant presents this symptom also in this case it could be a poor lighting or an excessive temperature, especially in the winter period.
Remedies: Move the plant to a cooler and brighter place.
It is not known why this genus of plants has this name so convoluted in fact its discoverer, the nineteenth-century botanist Schumann never explained the reason for his choice.