HOW TO GROW AND CARE FOR OUR PLANTS
The Allamanda they are beautiful evergreen plants very similar to Plumeria (they belong to the same family) very used to adorn walls or trellises. They are very decorative plants both for the beauty of the leaves and for the abundant blooms.
Species: see the paragraph on "Main species"
The kind Allamanda includes evergreen climbing plants native to Brazil belonging to the family of Apocynaceae which includes species characterized by spectacular flowers such as the Plumeria and the Periwinkle.
They are very particular plants and bred for the beauty not only of their leaf apparatus but also for their beautiful flowers.
The leaves are arranged in whorls and the flowers vary in color from yellow to red more or less intense and more or less variegated, in the shape of a trumpet, formed by five petals welded together and normally bloom in clusters in the extreme part of the branches.
The fruits are more or less rounded thorny capsules.
They are climbers (even if they do not have aerial roots or other structures to anchor them to the surfaces) but they can be bred, with appropriate pruning, in order to grow like shrubs.
There are about 14 species among which we remember:
There A. cathartica, native to the Amazon, is characterized by 10-15 cm long leaves, of a beautiful bright green color, shiny and rigid with woody branches.During the summer period, in temperate climates, it produces numerous funnel-shaped flowers of bright yellow color while in its places of origin it blooms and bears fruit all year round.
It is the most widespread and cultivated species
Of this species there are numerous varieties among which we remember: theA. cathartica var. grandiflora with 12 cm long light yellow flowers; thereA. catharticavar. nobilis with pale yellow and fragrant flowers; there A. cathartica var. williamsiiwith flowers 7 cm wide, yellow tinged with brown.
There A. neriifolia it is a shrubby species and is characterized by lanceolate, rough leaves and bright yellow flowers with a red streaked throat.
Where the climatic conditions allow it, it blooms irregularly throughout the year.
There A. blanchetii or A. violacea (photo below) is a species widely used as an ornamental plant because it is not particularly demanding in terms of cultivation and because it is very decorative.
There A. schottii (photo below) is very similar to A. cathartica and can be recognized because its flowers and fruits are much smaller.
They are plants that can be grown both outdoors, for example along a wall or a trellis, and in pots.
They require a lot of light. It can also stay in the sun but not during the hottest hours of the day.
The ideal cultivation temperatures are between 20-27 ° C and in winter they must not fall below 15 ° C. Therefore, if you want to breed it in areas where during the winter the temperatures drop below these values, it is best to raise them in pots in order to move them to sheltered places during the cold period until the temperatures become milder.
If you grow it as a climbing plant take care to fix it to the trellis or to the wall as the plant does not have aerial roots or other suitable structures to anchor itself to the support. It is also advisable not to change the direction that the branches take naturally but to go along with them.
It is watered regularly throughout the year making sure that the soil remains moist.
The plant loves humid environments therefore provide both to make regular nebulizations to the fronds, especially in the hottest periods, and to arrange the plant on a saucer with pebbles (or other inert material) where you will leave a trickle of water, making sure that the bottom of the pot does not is in contact with water. This arrangement is highly recommended especially during the summer as it does not bloom otherwise.
TYPE OF SOIL - REPOT
It is repotted in early spring being very careful and not disturbing or damaging the roots.
A good soil consists of a mixture consisting of 3 parts of garden soil, 2 parts of leaf or peat soil and a part of fine sand so that it remains porous and therefore well draining.
It is advisable to use terracotta pots and to place earthenware pieces on the bottom of the pot in order to ensure good drainage of the irrigation water.
As for the size of the pots, it is advisable not to exceed 40-50cm in diameter. Once this dimension is reached, every year the surface layer of the soil is removed and replaced with a fresh one.
A liquid fertilizer is administered with irrigation water for the whole summer period once a week, slightly decreasing the doses compared to what is reported in the fertilizer package. Do not fertilize during autumn and winter.
For a balanced growth of the plant use a fertilizer that in addition to having nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) also contains microelements such as iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), boron (B), polybdenum (Mo). So don't trust the beautiful packaging or the famous name but always read the label.
Generally they bloom during the summer period even if, if the climatic conditions allow it, it can bloom all year round (see the paragraphs dedicated to the single species).
For these plants, pruning is an important operation that must be carried out towards the end of winter (February) by shortening the branches and stems leaving only a couple of nodes. This operation favors the birth of new shoots.
If you want to grow it as a shrub then you need to trim the shoots in early summer when they are 20-30 cm long.
A recommendation: always use clean and disinfected tools (flame or alcohol or bleach) to avoid infecting the tissues.
They multiply mainly by cuttings.
MULTIPLICATION FOR TALEA
The cuttings, about 7-8 cm long, are taken in early spring (April) from the ends of the branches, choosing them from robust and healthy plants, cutting them immediately under the node with an oblique cut which, in addition to preventing water accumulating on the surface , will allow to have a greater surface for the emission of roots.
For cutting it is recommended to use a sharp blade (to avoid fraying fabrics), clean and disinfected (by flame or with bleach or with alcohol) to prevent them from becoming a vehicle for parasitic diseases.
Sprinkle the cut part of the rhizogenic powder to promote the emission of the roots mixed with a good broad spectrum fungicide to prevent any infections.
With a pencil, make one or more holes in the ground that you have previously prepared consisting of 50% peat and 50% coarse sand. Moisten the soil and cover the pot with a clear plastic sheet or bag by supporting it with sticks to prevent the plastic from touching the leaves of the cutting.
Remove the plastic every day to check for both soil moisture and to eliminate any condensation that has formed in the plastic. brighter but not in direct sun. When the cuttings have strengthened they can be planted in the final pot using a soil as indicated for the adult plants and treated as such.
PARASITES AND DISEASES
Spots on the underside of the leaves
this symptom, in itself very generic, can be associated with cochineal and in particular with floury cochineal. Recognizing it is very simple: it manifests itself as cotton flakes which, if scratched off, are very easily removed.
Remedies: if the plant is not too big it can be eliminated mechanically using a piece of cotton soaked in denatured alcohol or washed with water and neutral soap, rubbing gently with a sponge to remove the parasites (remember to rinse the plant well). If it is large and planted outdoors, use a specific insecticide.
The leaves appear full of yellow dots
and after this symptom, they take on a gray - bronzed color and the lower page has a dusty appearance. If you look closely with a magnifying glass you can find thin cobwebs. With this symptomatology you are in the presence of an attack of mites or as they are more often called of red spider. The red spider is easily recognized also because it has four pairs of legs and the size of the tip of a pin.
Remedies: keep a humid environment around the plant because it is the dry climate that favors its proliferation. In case of severe infestations, use a specific acaricide.
The genus name was dedicated to Frederich Allamand, a Swiss botanist of the 18th century.Almost all species of the genus are toxic in all their parts and the lymph can irritate the skin.