A plant like butia (Butia) is directly related to the palm family (Arecaceae). In this genus, there are about 20 species of feathery palms. In natural conditions, they can be found in Brazil, Uruguay, South America, Paraguay, as well as in Argentina. These species have one similar feature, namely, their leaves have a feathery structure. However, these types can have very different heights. So, you can meet giants, which reach a height of 10 meters, and dwarfs of forty centimeters in height.
The most common type of palm tree among flower growers is Butia capitata. The homeland of this plant is South America. In nature, the height of its trunk can reach 6 meters, and its diameter is half a meter. This species is distinguished from the rest by a capitate thickening at its base, which served as the name of the plant - capitate butia.
This species has long-stemmed, arched, rather tough leaves, which can reach 2 to 4 meters in length. Moreover, each leaflet contains from 70 to 100 pairs of narrow xiphoid lobes, about 75 centimeters long. And these lobes are spaced from each other at a distance that exceeds their own width. The front part of the leaves is painted in a gray-green color, and the back part is in exactly the same color shade, but it is somewhat paler. The petioles of young leaves are covered with thick felt, and in adults - small thorns.
As they grow, the lower leaves die off and fall off, and in their place are short stumps from the petioles. Thus, an unusual appearance of the barrel is formed. After some time, the stumps also fall off, and where they were attached, traces similar to scars remain. So, gradually the lower part of the trunk is cleared.
The palm tree begins to bloom in late spring and early summer. A panicle of a spicate, loose inflorescence grows from the axil of the upper leaf. In length, this inflorescence can reach 1.4 meters, and there are a large number of light red flowers on it. Ripening of oval-shaped fragrant fruits occurs in the last weeks of September, the first in October. These fruits are edible. They are eaten both raw and used for making liqueurs and jams. Due to the fact that a magnificent jelly is obtained from these fruits, such a plant is also called "jelly palm".
Caring for a boutique palm tree at home
This plant is quite impressive in size, so it will require a lot of space. She should be placed in a spacious, well-lit room in which she will be free. In order for a palm tree to grow and develop normally, you need to know a few rules for caring for it.
This plant is not demanding on light. So, it grows well in partial shade and in a sunny place. In a well-lit place, a rather dense crown is formed near the butie, resembling a large ball in its shape, while the leaves will have a bluish color. When grown in partial shade, the leaves will be longer and arched, and in this case they are colored green. If there is too little light, growth may slow down.
In summer, the plant thrives at moderate temperatures. However, if for this period it is not possible to take the boutique out onto the street, you need to arrange regular ventilation of the room so that the air does not stagnate.
The resting time of the palm tree is observed from the end of the autumn to the end of the winter period. For this period, it is recommended to rearrange the plant in a fairly cool place from 10 to 15 degrees.
How to water
During the warm season, watering should be regular and abundant, especially if the palm tree is in a sunny place. Make sure that no liquid stagnates in the pot. Overdrying the soil can also harm the plant, because the tips of the leaves that have dried up as a result do not recover over time.
In winter, when a dormant period is observed, it is necessary to water the butia much less often, only after the substrate dries out by 1/3 part.
Despite the fact that a palm tree needs moderate moisture, when grown indoors, the tips of the leaves may begin to dry out. In order to avoid this, it is necessary to regularly moisten the plant from a sprayer with lukewarm soft water. It is recommended to spray it in the morning and in the evening, when the direct rays of the sun will definitely not fall on the foliage.
A suitable soil must be water and air permeable, slightly acidic (pH 5.0–6.0), and rich in nutrients. Purchased soil for palm trees is suitable for planting. An earthen mixture can be made independently by combining leaf and turf soil, as well as coarse sand in a ratio of 3: 3: 1. Do not forget to make a good drainage layer at the bottom, which will help to avoid stagnation of liquid in the substrate.
Top dressing is carried out during the period of intensive growth once every 2 weeks. To do this, use a special fertilizer for palm trees or a complex fertilizer for decorative deciduous plants.
The plant is rarely transplanted, if absolutely necessary, about once every 4 years, since the palm tree reacts negatively to this procedure. The transplant is carried out in the spring. The topsoil must be replaced once a year. The old soil layer should be removed to a depth of 5 centimeters.
The plant should not be pruned.
It can be propagated by seeds that have little germination. From the moment of sowing to the appearance of the first seedlings, it can take from 6 to 12 months.
Diseases and pests
Scales, spider mites or thrips can settle on the plant. If pests are found, it is necessary to carry out treatment with chemicals for the appropriate purpose.
This is a rather capricious plant and it can get sick as a result of improper care. So, butia reacts extremely negatively to low air humidity, to improper watering, to insufficient light and to the absence of a rest period with moving to a cool place. In this regard, before you start growing a palm tree, you need to think carefully about whether you can handle caring for it.
Pilea: home care
Pilea - a plant that does not require much attention from you, and the care of which is within the power of novice growers. There are many varieties of it. Interestingly, each of the types of saws is strikingly different from each other. And if you were not specifically interested in other species, besides what you have, then having seen a saw of a different species, you may not even guess that it is, in fact, the same plant as yours. They are especially beautiful - pilea Cadier (cadieri), pilea wrapped "Norfolk"... But the most popular species were peperomial and small-leaved, although in my subjective opinion, outwardly they are inferior to the above varieties.
The brachea palm is a hardy plant, so even a beginner in floriculture can grow it. To do this, you need to know the simple rules of caring for an exotic culture.
Potting soil for indoor brachea can be purchased at a specialty store, or you can prepare it yourself. The plant prefers to grow in neutral soil. In addition, it should be nutritious and light, good for air and water permeability.
To prepare the substrate at home, you will need turf and leafy soil (2 parts each), one part of river sand. Mix all components well. It is advisable to neutralize the finished mixture: place it in a preheated oven (+70 degrees) for two or three hours. Can be poured with a weak solution of potassium permanganate.
Location and lighting
Brachea belongs to light-loving plants. Indoors, it is advisable to choose a well-lit place for it. A slight partial shade will not harm the palm tree. But it is better to protect the flower from exposure to direct sunlight.
A suitable location for the landing container is opposite the east-facing window.
It is recommended to rotate the houseplant regularly so that the brachea grows evenly. It is necessary to ensure that the top of the young leaf looks inside the room, this will save the young leaf from being burned. When performing this procedure, the crown of the palm tree will be of the correct shape.
In summer, the plant can be taken out into fresh air.
Temperature, humidity, watering
When the brachea is actively growing, and this happens in summer, the temperature in the room should be in the range of + 20 ... + 25 degrees. In winter, the plant feels more comfortable at temperatures from +10 to +15 degrees above zero.
The foliage of the palm tree must be regularly sprayed, at least once a month, wipe the leaf plates with a soft sponge, removing the settled dust.
An exotic crop needs moderate watering all year round.
Fertilizers and feeding
Top dressing begins in April, ends in October. This procedure must be carried out at intervals of two weeks. For feeding, a liquid fertilizer designed for palms is suitable. You can use a complex fertilizer that is fed to decorative deciduous plants.
Correct transplant is the key to good brachea growth at home. After 2-3 years, the palm tree must be transplanted into a larger container. For transplanting, the transshipment method is used, since it is important to preserve all the roots of the plant, otherwise the flower will stop growing and begin to restore damaged roots. And this will take a long time.
The stages of transplant are as follows:
- Wash the new planting container thoroughly with water and detergent.
- Fill a drainage layer on the bottom - expanded clay or gravel. Its thickness should depend on the size of the pot - from 2 to 10 cm.
- Sprinkle the drainage with soil in such an amount that the root system of the plant with an earthen clod is completely located on it. To the top of the pot, you must leave a space of about 3-4 cm free for soil.
- Use a spoon or other tool to carefully separate the soil from the sides of the pot. It is better not to water the brachea for several days before transplanting, so it will be easier to remove it from the pot.
- Gently remove the palm tree from the container, holding it by the lower trunk.
- Place the root system of the plant on a layer of soil in a new container, sprinkle and compact with fresh soil.
- Tamp down the top layer of the substrate, adding soil as needed.
- Drizzle abundantly. It is not recommended to feed the transplanted culture for the first month.
The brachea does not need a haircut. In order for the tree to remain decorative, it is enough just to remove the lateral leaves of the palm tree, which have dried up.
In winter, with a decrease in daylight hours, an exotic culture feels comfortable at a temperature of + 10 ... + 15 degrees. The resting stage for the brachea need not be organized. But if possible, then it is advisable to move the flower pot from the room to a cooler room - a closed balcony or loggia. Under natural conditions, the culture tolerates low temperatures up to -4 degrees.
Caring for a boutique at home
This rather large palm tree can be grown in an apartment, provided that there is a spacious, bright room for it, in which nothing will interfere with its growth. The rest of the requirements for the content of the boutique are as follows.
Lighting... Butea can grow both in direct sunlight and in partial shade. In the first case, it will acquire a compact, dense crown of a spherical shape, and the color of the leaves will have a bluish tint. In the second case, the leaves will become longer, arched, pure green in color. With a lack of illumination, plant growth is inhibited.
Temperature... Moderate summer temperatures of central Russia are quite suitable for this palm tree. But when kept at home, she needs to provide an influx of fresh air, regularly ventilating the room.
To ensure a dormant period that lasts from late autumn to late winter, the palm needs a cool content, at 10-15 ° C.
Watering... In summer, watering should be abundant, especially when keeping the plant in the sun. Water the palm tree as the top layer of the soil dries up, while avoiding stagnation of water in the pot. But overdrying an earthen coma is also unacceptable. Dried leaves are not restored.
During the dormant period, watering is significantly reduced and only watered when the soil is about a third dry.
Humidity... Although butia needs moderate humidity, the tips of the leaves often dry out indoors. To avoid this phenomenon, it is recommended to regularly spray the plant with soft warm water in the morning and evening hours, when there is no risk of direct sunlight on the crown.
The soil... This palm tree grows well in air- and moisture-permeable nutrient weakly acidic soils, with a pH of 5.0 - 6.0. You can grow it in ready-made soils for palm trees or, if desired, prepare a soil mixture yourself, taking sod, leafy soil and coarse sand in a ratio of 3: 3: 1. At the bottom of the pot or tub, a good drainage layer must be created to prevent stagnant water.
Top dressing... During the growing season, the butia is fed twice a month with a ready-made fertilizer for palm trees or a complex fertilizer for decorative foliage plants.
Transfer... Butea does not tolerate a transplant, so it is done only as needed, about once every 4 years, in the spring. But the topsoil should be renewed annually, removing the old depleted soil about 5 cm deep.
Pruning... Like all palms, it does not need pruning.
Reproduction... Butea reproduces by seeds. However, their germination is low, and the first shoots appear only six months later - a year after sowing.
Pests and diseases... The most likely pests of the butie are spider mites, scale insects and thrips. At the first sign of infection, the palm leaves should be sprayed with special chemicals.
In care, butia is quite whimsical, therefore, the most common causes of plant disease are violations of the rules of maintenance. A palm tree is negatively affected by a violation of the irrigation regime, too dry air in the room, a lack of light, and also the absence of a rest period with a decrease in temperature. Therefore, before purchasing it, you should carefully evaluate your own capabilities, so as not to torment this beautiful palm tree later.