Hemantus, Or Deer Tongue, Full Of Surprises. Home Care, Cultivation, Reproduction. Photo

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Hemantus, Or Deer Tongue, Full Of Surprises. Home Care, Cultivation, Reproduction. Photo
Hemantus, Or Deer Tongue, Full Of Surprises. Home Care, Cultivation, Reproduction. Photo

Video: Hemantus, Or Deer Tongue, Full Of Surprises. Home Care, Cultivation, Reproduction. Photo

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Gemantus is a modest baby in which everything screams about non-standardness. This medium-sized and not very whimsical plant from the amaryllis family can surprise even an experienced grower. The foliage of the bulbous is evergreen, the dormant period does not lead to the loss of greenery, and the shape of the leaves really resembles deer tongues. Add to this undemanding care, "fluffy" flowering and rich varietal palette - and the hemantus will appear before you in all its splendor. This is an amazing houseplant suitable for both experienced and novice flower growers looking for original shapes and unusual details.

Scadoxus multiflorous subspecies Katarina (Scadoxus multiflorus ssp katherinae), syn. Gemantus Katherinae (Haemanthus Katherinae)
Scadoxus multiflorous subspecies Katarina (Scadoxus multiflorus ssp katherinae), syn. Gemantus Katherinae (Haemanthus Katherinae)

Gemantus - atypical bulbous with original flowering

Haemanthus is a fairly large genus of tender bulbous with evergreen leaves. A distinctive feature of Hemantus, which favorably distinguishes it against the background of other amaryllis, is the ability not to stop growing even in winter. Gemantus is an evergreen culture and attractive even at the dormant stage. Its foliage is invariably beautiful, looks good in pots and interiors, even when it is still far from flowering.

Gemantuses release up to three pairs of broad leaves from each bulb. They are arranged symmetrically in a pair, hanging on two sides, elongated and with a classic rounded edge, often slightly widened at the ends. In some hemantus, the surface of the leaves is catchy-glossy, in others it is pubescent, in others it is sticky. But the association with the linguistic form is difficult to avoid. To many, hemantus leaves without flowering resemble clivia, but in hemantus they are wider, shorter, located not in a perfectly symmetrical rosette, but form bizarre geometric lines, each pair of leaves seems to look in different directions. Thanks to this, the hemantus does not look so formal and strict, but seems more cheerful and elegant.

This plant is characterized by umbrella inflorescences, the brightness and showiness of which are given by bright bracts. Peduncles are powerful, flower arrows are very similar to amaryllis and hippeastrum. Umbrellas consist of hundreds of small flowers of red, orange and white hues, and the inflorescence itself is surrounded by four fleshy bracts, exactly repeating the color of the inflorescence. The "fluffiness" of hemantus inflorescences is just a visual effect. The thinnest filamentous stamens are long and create a furry effect, towering above the flowers in a kind of halo. And thanks to the spherical shape of the inflorescence itself, such details seem even more attractive: the inflorescences of the "deer's tongue" resemble delicate pompons or pillows.

White-flowered Gemantus (Haemanthus albiflos)
White-flowered Gemantus (Haemanthus albiflos)

Hemantus bloom begins in mid-summer and lasts until the end of November. The only drawback is the unpleasant odor that the inflorescences emit as soon as pollen and nectar are actively released. The plant self-pollinates, on the arrows an ovary is formed in the form of round berries about 1-2 cm in diameter with the most varied white-red color. In the ovary, seeds even have time to ripen, which quickly lose their germination, but allow new plants to be obtained.

Variety of Hemantus

In indoor culture, the most widespread and recognition was received by Hemantus white-flowered (Haemanthus albiflos) - an evergreen and very decorative species with wide lingual glossy leaves and a delicate ciliate edge along the edge. The leaves of the plant grow together with the peduncle, very thick, up to 20 cm in length and almost 10 in width. The foliage color is muted, dark green. White-flowered hemantus has short peduncles, up to 25 cm in length, but very powerful. They are crowned with dense balls of an umbellate inflorescence with almost sessile white flowers, white and greenish leaflets of the bedspread and long white stamens, crowned with golden anthers. It was this species that received the nickname "deer tongue", which gradually spread to all Gemantus.

On sale today there is also a basic type of white-flowered hemantus, and a variety of hybrid varieties, in which breeders have increased the size of inflorescences. An excellent hybrid variety of white-flowered hemantus "Prince Albert" is found today much more often than the modest basic form. An exclusive feature of the variety is the presence of larger inflorescences, twice the usual and much brighter color of a rich orange hue. When buying a hemantus, be guided by the range of local flower centers and shops - sometimes new hybrids remain unnamed, and it is better to choose plants by color, size of inflorescences.

Scadoxus pomegranate (Scadoxus puniceus), synonym for Hemantus pomegranate (Haemanthus puniceus)
Scadoxus pomegranate (Scadoxus puniceus), synonym for Hemantus pomegranate (Haemanthus puniceus)

Other types of hemantus are less common in indoor culture, mainly due to the shedding of leaves and shoots during the dormant period. But they also have something to boast about. Deserve attention and recognition:

  • Hemantus cinnabar (Haemanthus cinnabarinus) with oval, sometimes underdeveloped leaves and a high peduncle with cinnabar-red flowers and stamens, blooming earliest - in April;
  • also flowering in spring, Gemantus multiflorus (Haemanthus multiflorus) with veined leaves, tall peduncles and large inflorescences, scarlet-red or pinkish;
  • outwardly similar to the white-flowered congener Gemantus pure white (Haemanthus candidus) with a pubescent peduncle and the underside of leaves;
  • Hemantus pomegranate (Haemanthus puniceus) with ten-centimeter balls of scarlet-colored inflorescences and leathery, wavy leaves;
  • large and showy tiger Gemantus (Haemanthus tigrinus) with leaves up to 45 cm long, decorated with brownish spots at the base and short peduncles up to 15 cm in total bearing large reddish inflorescences;
  • Gemantus Katarina (Haemanthus Katherinae) with long, thinner leaves sitting on a false fifteen centimeter stem and huge, up to 20 cm in diameter, red inflorescences, blooming in late summer;
  • Scarlet Hemantus (Haemanthus coccineus), which is easy to recognize not only by more than half-meter leaves with red tips and a spotted peduncle, but also by the original red inflorescence with large yellow anthers and beautiful large perianth petals (unfortunately, the species does not bloom annually, less long and only in autumn);
  • more often grown as a garden bulbous Hemantus Lindenii (Haemanthus lindenii) with long leaves arranged in two rows on long petioles, with beautiful longitudinal folds along the midrib and an almost half-meter peduncle with inflorescences up to 20 cm in diameter, consisting of large, up to 5 cm scarlet flowers …
Scadoxus multiflorus, synonym Haemanthus multiflorus
Scadoxus multiflorus, synonym Haemanthus multiflorus

Hemantus care at home

Reindeer tongues are easy to grow. The main thing is to provide them with a cool wintering and make sure that moisture does not stagnate in the pots. Otherwise, these crops need really minimal care. Gemantus, regardless of the species, are poisonous plants. It is better to work with them in protective gloves, and after transplantation or other procedures, do not forget to wash your hands thoroughly.

Reindeer Tongue Lighting

Gemantus are light-loving plants. Like any bulbous from among purely indoor plants, they cannot stand direct sunlight, but they can bloom only in a bright location. The penetration of rays is very dangerous for the greenery of the hemantus: not only burns remain on the surface, but also gradually die off, turn white, the ends of the leaves lose their attractiveness, and the problem spreads further along the plate. Ideal for Hemantus is considered to be placed on the eastern or western windowsills.

Hemantus is as much an indoor culture as a garden one. And even if other species are used in landscape design, plants from the indoor range perfectly tolerate fresh air. In summer, from June to the end of August, pots with hemantus can be displayed on balconies or taken out into the garden. But in the open air, "deer tongues" should be reliably protected from precipitation, and from direct sunlight, and even from drafts.

Temperature regime for hemantus

Deer tongues adapt very well to standard room temperatures during the entire active season - from early spring to late autumn. But in winter, after flowering is complete, these plants need to be moved to cooler conditions with an air temperature of 10 to 15 degrees. If you come across a rarer species, and not a variety of white-flowered hemantus, and the plant sheds leaves for a dormant period, then you need to keep it in much cooler conditions - at a temperature of 12 to 14 degrees. As with all bulbous plants, a cool hibernation for hemantus is a decisive factor in flower stalk release. Higher temperatures cannot be compensated for by adjusting other care parameters, including humidity or watering.

Scadoxus cinnabar (Scadoxus cinnabarinus), synonym for Gemantus cinnabar (Haemanthus cinnabarinus)
Scadoxus cinnabar (Scadoxus cinnabarinus), synonym for Gemantus cinnabar (Haemanthus cinnabarinus)

Gemantus loves fresh air and will gratefully respond to regular airing of the room in which they grow. Stagnation of air for this bulbous is unacceptable.

Watering and air humidity for Hemantus

Caring for hemantus is quite simple, primarily due to the discreet watering. The plant does not tolerate stagnant water, too abundant watering, and procedures for it are rarely carried out. This plant responds better to underwatering than overwatering. Between waterings, the substrate is allowed to dry out in the middle layer, and the specific frequency of procedures is set in accordance with how the plant behaves: if the leaves wither, they are made more frequent, but not excessive. If your hemantus sheds leaves and does not preserve them for the winter, then immediately after the end of flowering, it must be smoothly transferred to limited watering, starting to shorten procedures to stimulate shedding of foliage.

The transition to the winter maintenance regime must necessarily be accompanied by a reduction in watering. The foliage of the hemantus should not be allowed to fade, but the substrate should dry out almost completely between procedures. Non-evergreen species are sparsely watered.

For irrigation of hemantus, you can use only settled and soft water.

Hemantus is not at all demanding for air humidity. They grow well and in the driest conditions when central heating systems are in operation, do not need high humidity support at any stage of development.

Hemantus pure white (Haemanthus candidus)
Hemantus pure white (Haemanthus candidus)

But what you need to remember when caring for the "deer tongue" is rubbing the leaves. Do not let dust accumulate on the sheet plates, regularly wash off the dust with a soft sponge or warm water.

Top dressing of hemantus

Gemantus fertilize very modestly. The plant needs feeding in small doses, there are two periods in its development when fertilizers are not applied at all:

  • from the end of flowering until the resumption of growth in early spring - during the dormant stage;
  • at the moment the peduncle begins to grow and before the shoots grow up to 10 cm in height.

During periods of active leaf growth, flowering, fertilizers are applied every 2-3 weeks. Gemantus love organic matter, but you can also use universal fertilizers or mixtures for bulbous ones. The feeding regime is influenced by habits, so be sure to check the comfortable frequency and period of feeding when purchasing.

Reindeer tongue transplant

Hemantus should be transplanted annually. If the plant does not fill the earthen lump with roots, a lot of space remains in the pot, then the transplant can be postponed for 2 years, but less often than once every 3 years, the transplant cannot be carried out. The optimal time for transplanting is late February or early March. The bulbs must be handled carefully, being careful not to damage the roots. In the new substrate, the hemantus are set so that the bulbs are not completely immersed in the soil: about 1/3 of the bulbs should remain above the surface.

Bulb of Gemantus white-flowered
Bulb of Gemantus white-flowered

The substrate for the hemantus should be light and nutritious. Most often, the same soil mixtures are used for hemantus as for other amaryllis or bulbous ones - a soil mixture of equal shares of greenhouse, sod and deciduous soil with the addition of peat and bone meal.

For this plant, only wide, but shallow containers with a high-quality drainage layer are suitable.

Pests and diseases of hemantus

In hot conditions, pests spread very quickly on hemantus. Scabbards and red spider mites are the most dangerous for the "deer tongue", which must be dealt with by washing, removing insects from foliage and stems and treating with insecticides. Aphids and thrips are less common on hemantus.

Scarlet Hemantus (Haemanthus coccineus)
Scarlet Hemantus (Haemanthus coccineus)

Of the diseases for this bulbous, only gray rot is dangerous. When necrotic spots appear, it is better to immediately remove damaged plants, because treatment with fungicides often does not bear fruit. It is because of the gray rot for the plant that its waterlogging is so dangerous.

Reproduction of hemantus

Reproduction of hemantus is a rather simple question. Like all bulbs, this plant is easily propagated by children, or side bulbs. It is better not to rush to separate them from the mother plant: if the number of shoots does not become excessive for a given container, leave the group intact and only with active growth, plant the children in separate pots. Flowering will begin as soon as the bulbs are fully grown (approximately 3-4 years after dividing).

Hemantus can be propagated by seeds, including self-collected ones. They will germinate, if you do not hesitate with sowing, in an ordinary moistened substrate under greenhouse conditions. Seedlings are grown with gradual planting, they can bloom only after 5-7 years.

Hemantus squat (Haemanthus humilis)
Hemantus squat (Haemanthus humilis)

The method of propagation by leaf cuttings is also considered promising. For it, you can use old, outer leaves with a fleshy base that is attached to the bottom of the bulb. After processing the sections and drying, leaf cuttings are rooted in a mixture of equal shares of sand and peat, constantly moistening the substrate. After the formation of new bulbs, they are planted in a regular substrate for growing. Flowering also occurs after 3-4 years.

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