Shadow tube, Episcia, Alsobia - care instructions

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The shade tube is not one of the most easy-care plants - but its contrasting beauty makes the effort worthwhile. Bright red flowers and patterned leaves set the summer on the balcony and during the winter in the living room great accents. This requires a little effort.
The shadow tube brings tropical exoticism into the room.
But the unusual beauty of the plants has their price. Thus, the Episcia or Alsobia, as the shadow tube is also called, requires a well-coordinated care - mistakes or oversight in this does not forgive them in any case. If you do not want to just admire the plant for a short time, you need the right knowledge about your needs. And interested find, besides some helpful tips, here.
The name of the Schattenröhre suggests that it can do well without the sun - but in fact it tolerates at best light shadow. It should not be the darkest corner of the room. Better for the Episcia is a location on the windowsill to the east or west. Even the south window can be a suitable place if the shade tube is protected from the blazing midday sun. In addition to sufficient light, the Alsobia also requires a high level of heat. Below 16° C the thermometer must never sink. Temperatures between 20 and 25° C are better. Cold drafts are also not tolerated.
The third and often most difficult factor is the humidity. This must be very high as well as the temperature, but the leaves must not be sprayed. A nebulizer next to the plant eliminates it. Ideal are electric or ultrasonic humidifiers. Easier solutions are damp cloths, a water dish or a location in the bathroom and kitchen.
Outdoor culture
Since the shadow tube needs so much heat and moisture, an outdoor culture is only possible in summer and then difficult. During rainy periods of high temperature, the Alsobia may be put outside. In cool or dry weather conditions you will not get the stay.
As time-consuming as the search for the suitable location for the shade tube is, the tropical plant simply shows its demands on the substrate. Commercially but high quality potting soil with a high humus content is ideal. To this should be added some peat or coconut fiber to loosen them up.
to water
The shadow tube needs humid air as well as constantly moist substrate to thrive. Especially in times of growth and flowering regular watering is therefore mandatory. Between these, the substrate should not dry out. When autumn starts, casting may be slightly reduced at first. However, the requirement of the plant decreases anyway, which automatically reduces the necessary frequency. A superficial, easy drying is then also problem-free. At best, rainwater is used at room temperature for casting. Stale, soft tap water is also suitable.
The feeding of the shadow tube takes place from spring to late summer, ie from the beginning of March to the end of September. Optimal are the additional nutrient supplies in short intervals, every two to three weeks. Fertilizers for flowering house plants are suitable as a means.
A shape cut of the shadow tube is not one of the necessary care measures. Disrupts a shoot or wilts, but it can be removed. As long as the interventions are limited to individual areas and overall rather gentle, they tolerate the Alsobia well.
Wilted flowers should still be pulled out with a quick jerk rather than being cut off.
If the care of the shadow tube is not easy, the reproduction succeeds easily. And even possible in different ways. Leaf cuttings, head cuttings and shoots lend themselves to. Quick and easy is the targeted formation of offspring in the Episcia. Simply put shoots flat on the ground and press down. Within a few weeks, roots form at the contact points of the shoot and the substrate. After five to six weeks, the resulting rooted sections can be cut from the mother plant and planted in a separate pot.
The demands on light and heat do not change during the winter. Therefore, no change of location is necessary. The care is out of the growth phase but a little less expensive. The fertilizer can be completely adjusted, the watering can be reduced gradually.
Planting and repotting
Before the growth phase of the shadow tube begins, a substrate change - preferably annually - makes sense. The ideal time is early March. It should be noted in this measure, as well as in plants, the quite wide but superficial propagation of the roots.A flat planter with a large diameter is therefore much better suited for the Episcia, as a deep but narrow pot.
Typical diseases and pests
Illnesses hardly occur in the Alsobia. If there are noticeable signs, such as discoloration or wilting leaves, this is usually due to mistakes in care. A too dark location leads to the absence of flowering. Stains on the leaves are mostly caused by water on the green. If it comes down on the leaves when pouring, or drops drip on them when the humidity is too high, they quickly become damaged.
Decay can also occur if there is waterlogging in the substrate. An immediate repot, increased ventilation and better drainage can provide relief and can save the Episcia with little infestation yet. Pests occasionally contain thrips, lice and spider mites. Home remedies that are applied to the leaves are not advisable in the Alsobia. Better are plant protection products in the form of tablets or sticks, which are put into the soil and their effect unfold in the substrate, the roots and all other plant parts.
Frequently asked questions

  • Is the shadow tube poisonous? - Whether the Alsobia is toxic or not, is not clear. For safety reasons, children and pets should be kept away.
  • Is an increase in the shadow tube useful? - The Episcia grows quite fast and forms - assuming the right planter - mostly by the way streamers. If the Alsobia has been cultivated in the room for several years, they should be removed and planted separately. Because in the long run, older plants are unsightly, the growth subsides and looks shapeless. There should be taken care of in time for offspring.
Worth knowing about Schattenröhe soon
  • With its bright red and small, soft-looking flowers, the shade of roses is very popular with everyone.
  • It is a groundcover, so it is best to cultivate it in large, long tubs so that it can crawl enough over the ground.
  • The plant forms fast foothills. When they come into contact with the plant substrate, they take root there as well as their main plant.
  • The heyday of the shadow tube is from spring to late autumn.
Subspecies of the Episcia
  • Episcia "Acajou",
  • Episcia "Cleopatra",
  • Episcia cupreata,
  • Episcia "Cygnet",
  • Episcia dianthiflora,
  • Episcia reptans
The Episcia needs a bright, but not sun-drenched location. Too much sun leaves its leaf color fade. The shadow tube should be regularly poured in the warm season until late autumn. The flower bales should always be soaked and the plant substrate should not dry until the next watering. Nevertheless, you should not give the plant too much water, the root ball should be moist, but not wet, so you pour off excess water.
  • The shadow tube prefers temperatures between 20 and 25° C.
  • At night, if possible, you can lower the temperature by a few degrees.
  • So that the plant has enough humidity, it is best to place the Episcia on coasters, which are filled with water and stones.
  • For propagation you can simply cut off a fresh, already rooted tail with scissors and put it separately in a warm and humid place.

Video Board: Plants' Growing Needs : Growing Episcia Plants.

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