Bovieya Is An Exotic "curly Cucumber" In The Interior. Home Care. Photo

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Bovieya Is An Exotic "curly Cucumber" In The Interior. Home Care. Photo
Bovieya Is An Exotic "curly Cucumber" In The Interior. Home Care. Photo

Video: Bovieya Is An Exotic "curly Cucumber" In The Interior. Home Care. Photo

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Video: Many exotic cucumber species (Cucumis div sp) 2023, January

The fashion for growing strange houseplants with unusual flowers or deformed stems has drawn attention to one of the most exotic bulbous plants - the bovie. The climbing cucumber, or the climbing bulb, is such an original plant that it is not easy to recognize it as an ordinary forcing culture even after a long acquaintance. Its thickened bulb is combined with a bizarre mass of shoots, flowering scatters unusual stars along the crown, and the character remains almost the same as that of hyacinths or poultry farms. Luxurious and exclusive, bovieya is the main sensation in the category of indoor exotic plants in recent years.

Bovieya - exotic "curly cucumber" in the interior
Bovieya - exotic "curly cucumber" in the interior


  • Curly miracle growing from a ball - bovieya
  • Conditions for growing indoor bowie
  • Boviaea care at home
  • Diseases, pests and problems in growing
  • Reproduction of boviei

Curly miracle growing from a ball - bovieya

Bovieya is one of the plants that invariably evoke associations with very strange exotics. The appearance of this bulbous is so atypical that at first glance, one recalls bokarneis and other indoor pets with thickenings on the trunk than its true counterparts. Belonging to the original seasonal accents of the boviea is somewhat controversial, because the plant is not just driven out for the sake of flowering - it is also a full-fledged indoor culture with its own specific character and requirements.

The name of the representatives of the genus Bowiea was given in honor of the English scientist, collector of the royal botanical gardens and lover of rare plants James Bowie. This plant, despite more than two hundred years of history as a cultivated bulbous plant, is still rare and exclusive in the West and in our country.

But at home, on the African continent, this bizarre plant is so popular that it is practically not called by its botanical name. Popular nicknames boviei eloquently indicate her striking appearance: she is known as a Zulu potato, and as a curling onion, and as a sea cucumber, and as a creeping onion, and as a curly cucumber.

In nature, boviei are very widely represented in the southern part of the African continent. This plant is typical for both dry and humid regions of Zimbabwe, Kenya, Tanzania, it is found everywhere and is a valuable medicinal crop. In indoor culture, only one plant is widespread - a spectacular and bright vine climbing. Previously, three other varieties were also considered separately, but according to the latest classifications, the curly beauvia remained the only species in the genus Beauvia.

Climbing bowie (Bowiea volubilis) is a herbaceous perennial from the category of bulbous plants that forms not an ordinary rosette of leaves, but an outlandish stem. Unlike many other bulbs, the boviae has most of the large bulbs located above the soil line.

At first glance, the bulbs resemble turnips or giant green radishes
At first glance, the bulbs resemble turnips or giant green radishes

Boviei bulbs

At first glance, the bulbs resemble turnips or giant green radishes. Bulbs are light green, with protective dry scales, slightly flat-shaped, constantly growing and in adult plants are not limited to 30 cm in diameter at half the height.

In indoor culture, the outer scales of the bovieya most often do not dry out and remain green, which makes it sometimes difficult to identify the true nature of this plant. But even if the green bulb cannot be preserved, the plant has something to admire: when it dries up in uncomfortable conditions or in the sun, the outer scales expose the inner ones, creating a kind of ladder, which only gives the plant more decorative effect. In this case, the scales still cover the bulbs almost completely, and we are talking only about a small hole for the peduncle to exit at the top.

Each bulb consists of 8-10 succulent scales, in one year only two scales are formed in the plant, so the true beauty of its bulbs is revealed by the bovieya quite late. One of the most unusual features of this plant is the fragility and tenderness of the scales. Even just holding the bulb in your hand carelessly, and even more so by pressing with effort, you can push through fragile and thin scales and irrevocably destroy the plant, so you need to handle the bovia very carefully.

The presence of such a powerful bulb does not prevent this plant from forming a strong rhizome. Strongly branched, perennial, not dying off for a dormant period, thick and strong, the roots of the boviae provide the unique character of the plant and allow it to maintain its decorative effect even in extreme conditions.

Vegetation and rest periods of boviei

In the development of boviea, periods of active vegetation and rest are pronounced. In the rooms, it does not change the habits acquired at home, actively growing in the cool and humid period, and in the hot and dry season being in a full period of rest.

The lack of cooling leads to the fact that the plant does not discard ground parts, therefore, correction of conditions makes it possible to either grow bovia as a seasonal plant or as a permanent ornamental crop. An active growing season starts with the growth of leaves, which quickly dry out in adult plants, giving way to a bizarre and rapidly growing peduncle. In the middle of the active growth phase, the boviea blooms, and then the aerial parts die off and growth stops.

The active vegetation of bovie and the nature of its growth are quite atypical. This plant forms a rosette of leaves only at a very young age. Round, resembling an onion in cross section, thin, small, juicy, they are not so decorative. It is worth waiting for the age when the leaves will be formed in an amount of no more than 2 pieces, develop at the beginning of the active growth phase and dry out immediately. After all, the most important thing in bovie is a decorative climbing stem that looks bizarre against the background of huge bulbs.

Flowering boviea

Boviei flower stalks with a unique bright color and fairly thin branching do not grow straight, but fancifully bend, curling in a spiral around the support. The bright color of the peduncle is simply explained: it is he who is responsible for photosynthesis in the plant. Not wider than 0.5 cm in diameter, flattened, original, peduncle replacing leaves and producing a huge number of lateral shoots and subulate twigs, can reach three meters in length. Curly twisted lashes look like a fancy green sculpture against the background of bulbs.

Bovieya, for all the beauty of its branches and bulbs, does not at all lose its ability to bloom. At the ends of the shoots, touching stars of flowers bloom - no larger than 1 cm, unusual, whitish-green, fleshy, they look inconspicuous even close, but still seem to be a scattering of small decorations.

Boviei's wheel-shaped perianths have open, free, pointed segments and give the plant an asterisk-like appearance. Bracts lanceolate, with a spur, look beautiful against the background of a thin curving pedicel. Flowers are pollinated only by flies or artificially.

Flowering boviea
Flowering boviea

Conditions for growing indoor bowie

This houseplant can be grown as a stable ornamental plant or as a common bulbous plant with a pronounced dormant period. The traditional cycle of development with withering away for the winter persists only when a cool environment is created. If the bovia is kept in a stable heat, then it retains its peduncle all year round.

Boviei are ranked among the most dangerous poisonous plants. It is necessary to avoid not only any contact with mucous membranes, but also with the skin (the juice of the bulbs and stems causes irritation, and internal intake is extremely dangerous due to cardiac glycosides).

Lighting and placement

Boviaia is not at all demanding on lighting. The most beautiful and rich color of a curly peduncle in a plant is observed in partial shade or in soft diffused lighting. But the plant is more than resistant to direct sunlight. When kept in a sunny place during a dormant period, even if a cool wintering is not organized, the plant must be moved to partial shade to observe the cyclical development and stop growth.

When choosing a place for a boviei, you can focus only on the desired decorative effect: such an outlandish miracle is worth it to decorate the interior, not window sills. Recently, boviae are increasingly being sold as one of the most shade-tolerant plants, but since the development of the peduncle directly depends on the amount of light, it is not worth placing a beauty in a too dark place (unless after the beginning of flowering).

Due to its winding and long peduncle, Bovieia can be considered as a partially ampelous culture: it is placed so that you can admire the bulb, but also allowing the fancy stem to hang freely down. When grown on supports, the plant can be placed so that the gaze falls on the crown from top to bottom.

Temperature regime and ventilation

Bovia is cold-resistant, able to withstand temperature drops to almost 0 degrees, undemanding to air temperature. It can be grown without problem in normal living rooms or in areas with hotter summer environments. The lack of cool wintering accelerates degeneration and will require rejuvenation measures, but it allows the plant to remain attractive all year round.

If it is possible to provide a cool wintering, the bovieya is kept at a temperature of +10 to +15 degrees, taking it out into the heat at the end of winter or early spring. If the temperature is not lowered, the plant will not lose its peduncle and growth, although it will stop, but the boviae will retain its greenery.

The plant is not afraid of drafts, but it is not advisable to take it out into the fresh air for the summer.

Bovia is more than resistant to direct sunlight
Bovia is more than resistant to direct sunlight

Boviaea care at home

Even those who do not like the process of forcing bulbs will not be able to call this crop difficult to grow. Bovieya is also suitable for the most inexperienced growers. The key point in the care is very careful watering, which should allow the soil to dry out. Top dressing for this plant is rarely carried out.

Watering and air humidity

Bovieja is very afraid of waterlogging and can suffer from rot even with a rare overflow. The plant should be watered very carefully, allowing the substrate to dry out before the next procedure. Watering should be accurate, even drops of water should not get on the bulb.

For a dormant period during wintering in the coolness, watering is completely stopped after the peduncle dies. If the boviea winters in a warm place, rarely watering is carried out, just preventing the stems from drying out, reducing the frequency of procedures by two to three times.

Bovieya does not like high humidity and grows well in a dry environment of living rooms.

Top dressing and composition of fertilizers

For this plant, fertilizing is applied only from the moment the first arrow of the peduncle appears and until the peak of flowering. Enough 1 procedure in 7-8 weeks (or 1 feeding per month with a halving of the fertilizer dosage).

For boviei, special fertilizers are used for bulbous. The plant also responds well to succulent fertilizers.

Trimming and shaping

A thin, wriggling, unusual flower stalk of a boviei several meters long in indoor conditions needs support or such a placement that it can hang down freely. When choosing supports, curly arcs or ladders are preferable, along which the peduncle can curl.

For bovie, annual transplanting is preferable only in cases where the plant forms babies
For bovie, annual transplanting is preferable only in cases where the plant forms babies

Transplant and substrate

For boviae, an annual transplant is preferable only if the plant forms babies, cracks into nests, or is grown in cramped containers and there is not enough space for roots. Otherwise, the bovia is transplanted on demand, when it really has nowhere to freely develop. The transplant is carried out before the beginning of the stage of active growth or before being brought into the heat. Immediately after transplanting, the plant is watered and placed in conditions that stimulate the growth of shoots.

Any bulbous substrate is suitable for boviei. It thrives in light, permeable dredges, half sand and half nutritious soil. A purchased substrate for bulbous or succulent plants is perfect for a plant.

The main secret in growing bovia is a dislike for spacious containers. The diameter of the pots is determined by the diameter of the bulb: it can exceed the volume of the plant by only a few centimeters.

Bovia can be grown in pairs, one bulb at a time, and in larger groups. A very high drainage layer must be laid at the bottom of the tanks. Bovieja grows well with double drainage, including the upper (in addition to the lower) - a decorative layer of stone chips. When planting, the bulbs are not buried, setting them at the same level (the maximum depth is ½ of the height); it is safer to leave almost the entire bulb on the surface in pots.

Diseases, pests and problems in growing

Boviei in room culture are quite stable. Spider mites and mealybugs are occasionally found on them. Juicy scales can attract the attention of scale insects when adjacent to infected plants. In case of pest damage, the plant is immediately better treated with a solution of systemic insecticides.

Boviei in room culture are quite resistant to diseases and pests
Boviei in room culture are quite resistant to diseases and pests

Reproduction of boviei

The Bovieis themselves determine the process of division, and it often defies logic. In some conditions, the bulbs may not form children for a very long time, while in others they “crack” into huge families surprisingly quickly. The process of formation of daughter bulbs is very specific, because the plant forms and grows babies under the upper "covering" scales, literally cracking into groups of new plants as they grow and increase in volume.

If the boviae has formed daughter bulbs, when transplanting, the nests are separated and used separately, but this method does not depend on the owners and requires patience, being in many ways a lottery.

Rooting of scales remains the main breeding method of boviei. They are removed from old bulbs that have reached the maximum diameter, handling the plant very carefully. The scales are separated from top to bottom, gently breaking the scales covering the entire circumference of the bulb to the bottom and trying not to damage the lower layers.

The separated scales are cut into vertical strips 3 cm wide, dried for several days and planted as cuttings in a disinfected moist substrate under a hood. With regular airing and careful moistening, after a month, small bulbs begin to develop at the base of each strip. Plants are gently grown, gently moistening the soil, for several months before rooting, and then planted as independent plants.

Seeds at home are rarely propagated by bovieia, and you cannot find them on sale. Seeds require early, winter sowing, bottom heating, additional lighting, light sandy substrate and maintaining a stable temperature from 20 degrees Celsius. Seedlings grow up within a year, planted only in the second year, expecting full flowering only from the third or fourth year.

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