Setcreasea

Setcreasea

The genus Setcreasea has recently been redefined, and some plants previously included are now assigned to Callisia. S. purpurea (purple heart), the only species grown indoors, is a trailer with lance-shaped leaves 4-6 inches long and 1 inch wide. Leaves and stems are all a rich violet-purple. Small, three-petaled, bright magenta-pink flowers are produced in leaf axils in summer. Blind flowering stems (those that do not grow beyond the leaf axil that produced the flowers) should be cut off every year when flowering ceases. Setcreaseas are at­tractive growing either singly in a 3-or 4-inch pot or grouped together in a larger pot or hanging basket.

PROPER CARE

Light For best leaf color, plants should have three or four hours of direct sunlight every day.

Temperature Setcreaseas grow es­pecially well in warm rooms (above 65T), but they can tolerate tempera­tures down to about 450.

Watering Throughout the year, water plants moderately, giving en­ough to moisten the potting mixture thoroughly but allowing the top half-inch of the potting mixture to dry out between waterings.

Feeding Apply standard liquid ferti­lizer monthly to all well-established plants (those that have been potted for over two months) while they are actively growing.

Potting and repotting Use a soil-based potting mixture. Setcreaseas are fast-growing and may need to be moved into larger pots every six months or so. But because these plants lose their beauty with age, it is best to discard them after 18-24 months.

Propagation Propagate from 3-inch-long tip cuttings taken in spring or summer. Remove the lower leaves to prevent burial in the mixture. Insert the cuttings in the standard mixture, place them in bright filtered light for two to three weeks and water them just enough to make the entire mix­ture barely moist. Treat rooted cut­tings as mature plants.

Special points Handle setcreaseas as little as possible, because the leaves become slightly glossy and much less attractive if the thin, delicate bloom is rubbed off.

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