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Aphelandra tetragona, Aphelandra cristata, Red Aphelandra

Aphelandra tetragona, Aphelandra cristata

Red Aphelandra
Family: Acanthaceae
Origin: South America
Groundcover and low-growing 2ftSmall shrub 2-5 ftShadeSemi-shadeRegular waterRed/crimson/vinous flowers

These attractive tender perennials and shrubs are grown for their ornamental foliage and interesting flower spikes and require high humidity and warm temperatures to flower. The color of the flowers is orange-scarlet to scarlet. These plants may be grown outdoors in mild climates, in humus-rich soil; otherwise, they need to be grown in homes or greenhouses. When grown indoors, well-drained pots that are filled with equal parts of loam and peat and a generous amount of sand should be used. They should be placed in bright, indirect light out of drafts. Water must be applied with care. Waterlogged, or very dry soil will make the leaves fall. They should be fed with liquid fertilizer as the flowers form. When they've finished blooming, less water is needed. Do not pinch off the tips of the shoots, the idea is to produce one stem with one large spike of flowers. Propagation by cuttings. In the spring, side shoots can be removed, or a piece of the old branch can be inserted in sand in a propagating case in the greenhouse. When they have grown roots, they are placed on the open benches for a few days and then potted. Seeds may also be sown in pots of sandy peat and loam in the spring.

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