This plant I first saw in the greenhouse of my friend. Its extraordinary flowers struck me on the spot, because I had never seen such a miracle before. We are talking about Clerodendrum ugandense.
Clerodendrum: portrait of a plant
This plant belongs to the family Lamiaceae, its second name is Rotheca myricoides. In natural conditions, it grows in the mountains of East Africa. It is considered one of the most prominent representatives of the genus Clerodendrum. And this is not surprising, because its flowers are incredibly similar to butterflies. In the people, Clerodendrum is often called “blue butterflies”. When the plant blooms, and this happens in the spring, the beauty is simply breathtaking. Flowering can continue until the fall.
Clerodendrum ugandense is an evergreen semi-vine with thin lignified shoots extending up to 2.5 m. But it can also be formed in the form of a tree, if you constantly pinch the shoots. You need to pinch every second internode. Its leaves are dark green, short-stemmed, up to 10 cm long.
And now, having seen all this beauty, I could not deny myself the pleasure of acquiring such a miracle. I asked a friend to cut off a stalk for me. When I arrived home, I treated it with a root-forming stimulant and placed it in vermiculite for rooting, covering the container with the stalk with a plastic bag.
How to root Clerodendrum ugandense cuttings
Just want to note that the stalk for rooting should be semi-woody, about 15-20 cm long. If you root unripe green cuttings, which contain a large amount of water, then they will simply rot, without having time to acquire roots.
The best time for rooting is from April to September. Many flower growers write that all Clerodendrum root well in water, but I have not tried this method.
My stalk was rooted in a month. After that, I planted it in the ground, consisting of turf, leaf and peat land with the addition of coarse-grained sand in equal parts (I used a 200 ml glass for this). It is impossible to plant cuttings immediately in a large container, since the roots, without mastering the entire earthen lump, can rot from the acidification of the soil. The next transplant I made in six months already in a pot.
In general, Clerodendrum ugandense turned out to be an unpretentious plant and, if you follow simple rules, everyone can grow this miracle.
Rules for the care of Clerodendrum ugandense
These tips will help you ensure that the conditions are suitable for Clerodendrum ugandense and finally see its beautiful flowering:
- Clerodendrum ugandense is very fond of light, and is not afraid even of direct sunlight, so the best place to place it will be the southern, south-eastern and eastern window sills. But if this is not possible, then you can grow Clerodendrum ugandense on the northern windowsills, only with lighting. I have it growing on the east window.
- No less important condition for this plant is the organization of proper wintering. In winter, it is necessary to lower the growing temperature to +12…+16°C. In an apartment, it is not difficult to do this at all, you just need to put a pot with a plant close to the window. This is necessary in order for our handsome man to rest and reward us with a lush flowering in the spring.
- Also, for abundant flowering, pruning or pinching is necessary, since Clerodendrum ugandense blooms only on young shoots. Pruning is also necessary to ensure that the plant does not stretch, but grows in a lush bush.
- Watering in the summer is plentiful, but only after the top layer of soil has completely dried out. In winter, I rarely water, but still make sure that the soil does not dry out completely.
- Like any plant, Clerodendrum ugandense needs fertilizing. I feed it from spring to autumn 2 times a month with a complex fertilizer for beautifully flowering plants. When the flowering ends, I stop feeding.
As for the pests, I did not see them on my plant. Most likely, this is due to the unpleasant smell that its leaves exude (this is especially noticeable when rubbing the leaves).
Follow these simple rules, and Clerodendrum ugandense will definitely thank you with a beautiful and abundant flowering.