Akalifa And Her Fox Tails. Home Care. Kinds. Photo

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Akalifa And Her Fox Tails. Home Care. Kinds. Photo
Akalifa And Her Fox Tails. Home Care. Kinds. Photo
Video: Akalifa And Her Fox Tails. Home Care. Kinds. Photo
Video: Foxtail in a Dogs Ear: Removing a Plant Seed 2023, February

Akaliphs are relatively new indoor plants for us. They are ranked among indoor exotics, but today they are represented by a huge assortment of different types and varieties. In some akalif leaves attract more attention, while in others inflorescences cause general admiration. It was the "fox tails" of the akalifa of the same name that became the symbol of the whole family. But other akalifs also deserve active use in the interior. After all, these are not demanding beauties who are content with modest care, who will become a bright accent in the design of rooms.

Akalifa hanging
Akalifa hanging


  • The best types of indoor akalif
  • Caring for akalifa at home
  • Pruning akalifa
  • Breeding methods Akalifa
  • Pests and diseases akalifa
  • Possible problems in the development of akalifa caused by improper care

The best types of indoor akalif

Akalifs, who received their name due to the shape of leaves, similar to nettles, are lovingly called by flower growers among themselves cat, or fox tails. But not all of the Akalifs can boast of "fur" inflorescences: along with flowering plants, this family also has a whole group of species in which the leaves are the most attractive. Of course, "fox tails" are more popular, but today you can find a huge assortment of decorative leafy akalifs on the shelves. The plants are united by the shape of pointed-oval, different in size, but always decorated with cloves along the edge of the leaves and unusual inflorescences, reaching half a meter in some species.

Akalifa oak-leaved
Akalifa oak-leaved

The fluffiest and really tails-like inflorescences are characteristic of the oak-leaved akalifa, often on sale as Haitian or Spanish. In nature, this creeping ground cover, in indoor culture, is an elegant ampelous culture, whose flexible, drooping shoots form a lace crown. Lacy, translucent and surprisingly elegant bushes up to 35 cm in height are surprisingly lush thanks to the dense branching of the shoots. The leaves of this akalifa are small, only up to 4 cm, with a typical jagged edge and very bright, giving the whole plant an elegant appearance. But everyone's admiration is caused by fluffy spikelets with a thick "fur" edge, drooping, up to 10 cm in length and up to 3 cm in thickness.

Akalifa Hispida, bristly-haired or "fox's tail" attracts primarily with its inflorescences. In room culture, only female plants are used, in which velvety drooping inflorescences resemble fur lashes of a bright red-purple color. They reach half a meter in length and elegantly hang between large leaves.

Akalifa Hispida, bristly haired
Akalifa Hispida, bristly haired

A distinctive feature of "fox tails", two flowering species of akalifa, is the ability to bloom literally all year round. The plant does not pause with the right choice of growing conditions and is always decorated with luxurious inflorescences, which makes it an almost irreplaceable accent in the interior. Today, you can find snow-white Alba forms on sale.

Akalifa Vilkeza is one of the most fashionable decorative deciduous plants. She has many forms with a wide variety of leaf colors, while the richness of silhouettes, sizes, and structural features is also amazing.

The flowering of the Akalifa Vilkez is non-standard, and even if not as beautiful as that of the "fox's tail", but also attractive: the inflorescences seem to be long threads or lashes, gracefully hanging between the leaves. Akalifa Vilkez has original varieties with curled or twisted leaves, irregular spots and variegated patterns. It is an evergreen plant, the leaves of which reach 20 cm in length (and only slightly less in width).

Akalifa Vilkeza 'Hoffmannii'
Akalifa Vilkeza 'Hoffmannii'

The akalifs of Godsef that have passed hybridization flaunt no less variegated, but narrower, lanceolate leaves. They are often decorated not with asymmetric spots, but with a border, copper, bronze, golden stripes, emphasizing the jagged edge of the leaves. Particularly fashionable is the variegated form, in which the green color of the leaves changes to red in bright light, while such "dressing" does not cover the entire crown at once, but only some leaves. As a result, it seems that the plant is very variegated and colorful.

When purchasing any akalifa, be prepared for the plant to change its appearance and be more sprawling, large and sloppy. The thing is that in nurseries akalifs, especially fox tails, are most often treated with growth inhibitors, and at home they gradually restore their natural forms and do not at all look like ideal bushes. But active (and sometimes rapid) growth is not a minus at all: akalifs are so non-standard that they can surprise with the beauty of crowns.

Akalifa Godsef
Akalifa Godsef

Caring for akalifa at home

Akaliphs are not at all difficult to grow plants. They are thermophilic and do not like low temperatures; they do not need to organize a cooler winter for them. And caring for a plant, albeit attentive, will not take much time and effort. On the other hand, the minimum care for maintaining air humidity will allow you to get a houseplant that is really attractive - with its inflorescences or leaves - throughout the year without interruption.

Lighting for akalifa

Without exception, all representatives of the Akalif are light-loving plants. The more lighted places they grow, the more lush and abundant flowers they will become. But good lighting does not at all mean that the Akalifa should be displayed near the glass on the southern windowsill. She does not like direct rays of the sun, especially at midday. However, no less she does not tolerate a lack of light, partial shade and shade: the plant not only blooms worse, but also stretches, loses the beauty of the crown, and variegated decorative deciduous akalifs lose all the features of their color and bright spots.

Temperature for akalifa

Akalifs fully compensate for some capriciousness in choosing lighting with tolerance to room temperatures. In the typical conditions of city apartments, they are quite comfortable. Akalifa should be at the same temperatures throughout the year. She cannot stand a decrease in indicators even in winter below 18 degrees Celsius. Akalifa blooms best at temperatures ranging from 22 to 24 degrees. But even warmer conditions suit her. This plant will feel good in living quarters - in this it is very similar to its owners.

Decorative leafy akalifs are somewhat more thermophilic. For example, Akalif Vilkeza cannot stand the temperature drop below 26 degrees. But on the other hand, they can be grown as garden plants throughout the warm season. They do not have to be simply exposed in the open air, but they can also be planted on flower beds, in flower beds, as accents or in compositions in large flower containers.

Akalifa Vilkeza
Akalifa Vilkeza

Fox tail irrigation

Akaliphs love stable but light soil moisture. Overmoistening of the substrate for this culture should not be allowed, but droughts should not be arranged either. Adjust the frequency of watering according to the degree of drying of the substrate and select the ideal regularity of procedures. Make sure that between treatments the soil dries out in the upper layer and partially dries out at an average depth. In winter, due to the natural reduction in the incoming light, irrigation should be made more economical, but it is also better to correct the correction in accordance with the state and rate of soil drying. In both winter and summer, after watering, it is better to drain the excess water from the pallets.

Air humidity for akalifa

The only difficult moment in growing akalifa is maintaining the high humidity required for the plant. In a dry "climate" Akalifa not only loses the attractiveness of the leaves, but also becomes supremely vulnerable to diseases. At the same time, humidity indicators from 75% must be provided with comprehensive measures:

  1. Installation of humidifier devices or pallets with wet moss or pebbles;
  2. Frequent, systemic spraying of leaves (inflorescences are not afraid of getting wet, so there will be no difficulties with procedures).

Top dressing for akalifa

Indoor exotics from the Akalif clan are not too fond of excess nutrients. But their lack, excessive depletion of the substrate is dangerous, because akalifa blooms for a very long time, sometimes all year round, and the color of the leaves in other species requires "feeding". Akalifs feed even in the cold season, but in moderation. Fertilizers are applied once every 1.5-2 months from October to February and once every 2 weeks in the warm season. Fertilizers should be universal, complex mineral or meet the specifics of a particular species - for flowering and decorative deciduous plants, respectively.

Akalifa bristly-haired
Akalifa bristly-haired

Pruning akalifa

This plant quickly loses its beauty and compactness of bushes, actively develops and often “falls apart”. Therefore, it is better for akalifa to regularly trim, forming or maintaining beautiful silhouettes. The best pruning time is spring, before replanting. Shorten the longest shoots, and pinch the tops of escaping branches.

In addition to the actual formative pruning, you will need akalife and the timely removal of wilting inflorescences. The thing is that the pedicels of akalifa are already sticky, and fading flowers become a kind of magnet for rot and dust. Also, in a timely manner, you need to remove dry or grafted leaves from the bushes.

Watch your plants carefully: akalifs in room culture, especially if they were restrained in growth, they tend to degenerate, overgrowth, and at the first signs of oppression, it is necessary to carry out a cardinal rejuvenation. Branches up to 25 cm long are left on the bushes, the weak and damaged are cut out, and the tops of the shoots are used for cuttings. Recovery will require patience: the mother plant will not show signs of growth for a long time at first, but then it will quickly and actively start to grow.

Repotting frequency: only as needed, after the soil is completely filled with roots.

Transplant time: spring, at the very beginning of active growth.

Substrate: light, breathable and permeable (a mixture of equal parts of high peat, leafy, soddy soil and sand is best suited).

Breeding methods Akalifa

1. Apical semi-lignified cuttings that can be collected during spring pruning from flowering plants and throughout the year from decorative deciduous plants. For rooting, greenhouse conditions with bottom heating and a temperature of at least 22 degrees are required. Young plants must be pinched a month after rooting, removing the buds on top of the shoots, and they are gradually adapted to bright lighting.

2. Seeds, which are sown in early spring in a substrate of soil and sand in equal parts. At an air temperature of 20 cm and above, with bottom heating and under the hood, they germinate quite well. Akalifs take care of seedlings in the same way as for ordinary seedlings.

3. Air layers, when wrapping the shoot with moist moss in September and separation of young Akalif in early spring.

Pests and diseases akalifa

  • aphid;
  • felt;
  • shield;
  • spider mite;
  • whitefly;
  • leaf spot.

Possible problems in the development of akalifa caused by improper care

  • falling leaves in extremely dry air;
  • wilting of leaves with improper watering or in a too dense substrate;
  • loss of color with poor lighting;
  • drying of leaf tips with insufficient watering or low air humidity;
  • dark spots on leaves at low temperatures.

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