Kostus — care at home
Kostus is a herbaceous plant is quite a large form from the tropical forests of Africa, Asia and Australia.
He has large shiny leaves up to 13 cm in length, in some species they form a spiral around the stem. It blooms in late spring.
Flower «ragged» on the edges of the petals up to 5 cm in diameter.
Bracts similar to the cone green, yellowish or red in color.
This plant is happiest in the conditions of the greenhouse or Conservatory. Home farming is difficult, the most suitable type of kostus for indoor growing – «Kostus fire red«.
Location and lighting
The plant needs a lot of light, especially in morning and evening hours. From direct afternoon sun and should be protected. In the summer, need to put on the glazed balcony or loggia.
The optimum temperature for the cultivation is from 20°C to + 25°C, in winter should not be below + 14°C.
Watering and humidity
Very moisture-loving flower, the surrounding air must be saturated with moisture, and the soil should never dry out. The pot should be put on a tray filled with a wet expanded clay or gravel.
Require daily spraying with warm water pooled. Needs abundant Watering, but the top layer of soil needs to dry a little between waterings. Avoid water stagnation at the roots.
In spring and summer, during active growth, feed fertilizer for decorative-deciduous and flowering period for decorative-blossoming plants. It should be alternating organic and mineral fertilizer.
Transplantation and propagation
Kostus prefers transshipment when there is destruction of earth coma. The plants are then placed in the larger pot, changing the top layer of soil.
Propagated by seeds, cuttings and division. The most fast method – the division of the rhizome. Seeds are sown on the soil surface, sprinkle lightly, cover with polythene and put in a warm place.
When a sprout comes up, the film in the daytime open, and with the appearance of its leaves removed at all.
The air around the young plants should always moisturize. Cuttings root easily in moist sand or peat at a temperature below +20°C.
Pests and fight off
The biggest problem in the cultivation of kostus, create mealybug and spider mites. When a minor defeat leaves should be wiped with a wet swab soaked in vodka or diluted alcohol. With a strong is to spray the plant insecticidal drug.