The plant pakhira (Pachira), which is also called saba nut, or Guiana chestnut, is part of the Malvaceae family. Translated from Latin, Pachira means "fatty". The fact is that it has a hollow and solid trunk that expands towards the root system. The peculiarity of the trunk is the ability to retain a large amount of moisture inside. The upper part of the trunk is relatively narrow. It is decorated with glossy green leaf plates.
The size of the bush directly depends on the growth conditions. So, in room culture, it is distinguished by its slow development, while its maximum height can reach no more than 3 m.
In the wild, the height of pakhira reaches 20 m. During flowering, spectacular unusual flowers appear, decorated with a large number of long stamens. When pollinated, light green fruits are formed in place of flowers, which can be eaten. Indoor pakhira does not produce flowers or fruits. If you provide her with good care and favorable conditions for growth, then she can live for about 10 years.
Such an ornamental plant also has healing properties. In alternative medicine, its bark is used for pain in the stomach or throat. The fruits are widely used in cooking: hot drinks are prepared from them, they are fried, and in a ground form they are used in baking bread. In addition, pakhira is considered a symbol of abundance in the house. Superstitious people believe that with the active growth of pakhira, luck and prosperity come to their home.
Brief description of cultivation
- Air temperature... In the warm season, the room should not be warmer than 23-25 degrees. During the autumn-winter period - no colder than 16 degrees.
- Air humidity... The air humidity should be high (about 60%).
- Illumination... The light should be bright and diffused. A southwestern or southern windowsill is perfect for a bush. Be sure to protect the pakhira from overheating.
- Watering... On hot summer days, the tree is watered 2 or 3 times every 7 days, using water that is slightly above room temperature. In the winter months, the substrate in the pot is rarely and sparsely moistened, but do not allow its top layer to dry out.
- Substrate... A soil mixture consisting of sand, leafy and soddy soil (1: 1: 1) is suitable. A good drainage layer must be made at the bottom of the pot.
- Fertilizer... Top dressing is carried out from the beginning of March to the end of November with a frequency of 1 time in 20 days. For this, it is recommended to use a mineral complex for decorative deciduous non-flowering plants.
- Transfer... A young bush is subjected to this procedure every year, and an old one - once every couple of years.
- Reproduction... Seeds, and they are sown in the spring, or cuttings (in late summer or early autumn).
- Care features... Particular attention should be paid to watering, while avoiding stagnant moisture in the substrate. In addition, the plant must be provided with a large amount of bright light. With poor lighting, the growth of the bush slows down, and the foliage becomes faded.
Pakhira is a tree with a scythe. Care secrets.
Pakhira care at home
On hot days, make sure that the bush does not overheat. Therefore, it should not be allowed that the direct rays of the sun fall on it for a long time. It is also important that the air temperature in the room does not rise above 23-25 degrees. In winter, make sure that the tree is not exposed to low temperatures (below 16 degrees). Also at this time, protect it from drafts and place it as far as possible from working heating appliances.
Since the pakhira comes from the tropics, it feels comfortable only with high humidity. If the room has low air humidity, then the foliage must be systematically moistened with a spray bottle. When spraying the plant, make sure that moisture does not fall on the crown growth point, as this may cause rot. The foliage should be moistened with well-settled water, the temperature of which is close to room temperature.
In order for the foliage of the tree to retain its spectacular appearance for a long time, it is important to provide it with a sufficient amount of light throughout the year. Poor lighting leads to the elongation of the stem, as well as to the loss of decorativeness by the crown.
Protect foliage from prolonged exposure of foliage to direct sunlight, as this can cause burns. Soft diffused sunlight is best suited for indoor pakhira. To protect the plant from the scorching rays of the sun, it needs to provide a little shading.
On hot summer days, the soil mixture in the pot must be moistened systematically. It is important to constantly maintain the optimum moisture level of the substrate. Watering is recommended only after the top layer of the soil mixture dries up. In the winter months, pakhira is watered less often, while it is recommended to moisten the substrate only when its top layer dries out to a depth of 30-40 millimeters. Please note that if the irrigation regime is violated, rot may appear on the plant.
For irrigation, it is recommended to use rainwater or well-settled water. Bottom watering is not suitable for such a tree.
When choosing a container for planting pakhira, you should pay attention to the size of the plant itself and its root system. While the bush is young, it has a poorly developed root system and therefore does not need a tall pot. Choose a low container, which should be at least 29 centimeters across.
If the container is too tight, it will slow down the growth of the bush. If the pot is too deep, then the roots will not be able to master the earthen lump completely, and this can cause the soil mixture to acidify.
For pakhira to grow and develop normally, it needs a well-drained soil mixture that does not contain a lot of nutrients. To prepare the substrate with your own hands, combine the leaf and sod soil with an admixture of brick chips and sand in equal proportions. Instead, you can use a ready-made universal soil mixture for dracaena and palms. The main thing is that the soil mixture passes air and water well, a high-quality drainage layer at the bottom of the pot is also important.
It is necessary to apply fertilizer to the soil mixture during the spring and summer at a frequency of 2 times a month. For feeding, it is recommended to use a special mineral fertilizer for decorative deciduous indoor crops. To prepare the nutrient solution, use ½ part of the dosage indicated in the manufacturer's instructions.
Alternatively, foliar feeding can be carried out using an anti-stress solution, and during its preparation, the dosage indicated on the package should be adhered to. In the autumn-winter time, feeding is not carried out.
It is very important for home pakhira to ensure timely transplants. Thanks to this, the period of intensive growth of the bush is extended. A young plant is subjected to this procedure annually in the spring. An older bush should be replanted once every 2 years. During each transplant, the old soil mixture should be completely removed, replacing it with a fresh one.
- remove the bush from the old pot and straighten its roots a little;
- immerse the root system in a container of water, it is pulled out after about 15 minutes;
- remove the entire substrate from the roots, and you should also examine them and cut out all injured, dead and rotten areas;
- if there is such a need, then shorten the healthy roots;
- pour the soil mixture into a new pot in such a way as to make a small slide;
- set the bush in a pot and gently spread its roots over the entire volume of the container;
- fill all voids with fresh substrate.
PAKHIRA. TRANSPLANT CARE REPRODUCTION
It is not necessary to trim the room pakhira. However, if the tree has lost its decorative effect, then it is still necessary to cut it off. This procedure should be carried out at the beginning of the spring. In the place where the cut was made, the plant begins to branch, while the crown transforms: it becomes spherical and thicker. Dried or dead leaf plates are cut as needed at any time.
Pakhira blooms very effectively, while its flowers have a pleasant light vanilla smell. However, such a tree blooms only in the wild or in a greenhouse. Most often it blooms in the first summer weeks, and fades at the end of November. The unusual flower consists of a large number of long red or rich yellow stamens, which are bordered by petals of pale green, light pink or cream color.
In length, the flower reaches 30–35 centimeters, and in diameter - from 10 to 15 centimeters. After pollination, a fruit is formed in the place of the flower. A fully ripe fruit splits into two parts, while inside it you can find about two dozen rounded "nuts" that are edible.
Pakhira at home is often propagated by cuttings. The length of the segment should be about 10 centimeters, while the stalk should have a formed structure and a pair of leaf nodes.
- the lower part of the segment is dipped in an agent that stimulates the growth of roots;
- for rooting, a substrate consisting of charcoal, sifted sand, sphagnum moss and leaf humus (2: 2: 1: 2) is used;
- the soil mixture must be disinfected;
- for planting the segments, plastic cups or containers are used, and at their bottom there must be drainage holes;
- the cuttings are buried in the substrate by 3 centimeters, then they are watered.
The roots will grow back after about 20 days. You can root the segments in a glass of water, but for this they need to provide optimal conditions: air temperature - from 20 to 22 degrees, diffused sunlight, about 80% humidity.
The lower part of the segments is also dipped in a growth stimulator, and then placed in a container filled with clean water. When the roots grow back, the cuttings are planted in the soil mixture in a permanent pot. A young bush at this time is experiencing great stress, and therefore it is recommended to create the most favorable conditions for growth.
Can PAKHIRA take root in water.
Growing from seeds
Take an airtight bag and put in it sphagnum moss with a layer of 20-30 millimeters, before that it must be soaked and squeezed out. Place a pakhira seed on it, after which it is again covered with a layer of sphagnum on top. Seed germination is low: out of 10 seeds, an average of 3 or 4 emerge. Therefore, you will have to sow at least 4 or 5 seeds, each in a separate bag to see at least one seedling.
In order for a seedling to appear from the seed, the crops must be provided with optimal conditions:
- temperature is about 25 degrees;
- diffused lighting;
- slightly moist sphagnum (it should not be excessively moist);
- the level of humidity in the room is about 80%;
- you need to ventilate several times a day.
After the seed sprouts, it is carefully planted in the substrate along with the sphagnum. During the first 7 days after planting, crops need to be provided with increased air humidity. After 30 days, you can feed the plant for the first time, but only if it is actively growing and developing.
With improper care with room pakhira, problems such as:
- Yellow foliage... The plant is in dire need of trace elements and nutrients.
- Fly around the sheet plates... The tree is located in the immediate vicinity of working heating appliances.
- The foliage loses its turgor and withers... The pakhir needs to be watered urgently.
- Leaves become faded and dry out... Too poor lighting. Experts advise making sure that the direct rays of the sun hit the bush every day in the evening or morning.
- Light specks form on the leaf plates... In extremely bright light. Because of this, sunburn appears on the foliage.
- The foliage becomes soft... As a rule, this is observed during the cold season, when the air temperature in the room drops below 15 degrees.
- Twisting sheet plates... This is due to frequent exposure to drafts and very low air temperatures.
- The leaves turn black and fly around... This is a clear sign that the tree is dying.
- Pulling out the bush... This is due to the fact that the pakhira stands in the shade all the time and is in dire need of direct sunlight.
- Pests... The plant can accommodate scale insects, spider mites, thrips and aphids. However, this happens very rarely.
Types of pakhira with photos and names
Pakhira aquatica, or water (Pachira aquatica)
Glossy long-stemmed leaf plates are colored green. The length of the paniculate inflorescences is about 30 centimeters. The flowers have a vanilla scent. After pollination, pale green fruits are formed, while inside them there are about two dozen nuts that can be eaten. The nuts are covered with a high density peel. The fruits, bark and foliage have healing properties. They are used both in folk medicine and in cooking.
Round-leaved pachira (Pachira rotundifolia)
This type of pakhira is the rarest. A characteristic feature is the unusual structure of rounded leaf plates. Under natural conditions, the stems of this species spread over the soil surface. In this regard, in room culture, you can use a flowerpot or hanging planter for planting it.
Silver Pachira (Pachira argyreia)
This species is very similar to water pakhira. It differs only in that on the surface of its leaf plates there are a large number of filamentous strips of silver color.
Weaving Pakhira ✔️ How to Weave Pakhira Aquatik Correctly ✔️ Pakhira Home
For decorative purposes, the plant is planted in groups of 2-3 flowers in one flowerpot. As they grow, their stems stretch, and at this moment it is necessary to braid them into a braid. It will harden and retain its shape forever. This pakhira will be a decoration for any home or office.
Crown formation and pruning are done in the spring. The most advantageous artificial Malabar chestnut looks with a crown in the shape of a ball. To form it, carefully cut off the upper branches, and after 30 days branching will begin to occur. The more intensively the crown is trimmed, the more magnificent and beautiful the shape of the plant becomes.
Pakhira is a thermophilic plant and is not afraid of high temperatures. Although +20 - 25 degrees are considered optimal, in fact, it calmly tolerates higher temperatures. But pakhira is still an indoor plant, therefore, it is advisable to adhere to the recommended regime. This is especially true for the winter period. At this time, try to create conditions for her with a temperature of +18 - 16 degrees. But no matter what temperature you keep pakhira, the main thing to consider is that it reacts very painfully to drafts, especially cold ones.
Pakhira needs a lot of light. Even direct sunlight will do her good, but only in the morning or evening hours. The scorching midday sun can burn pakhira leaves. Lack of light leads to stretching of the plant and a significant loss of decorative effect.From this it follows that the best place for the location of pakhira will be windows of east and west orientation or south windows, but with shading.
Watering, air humidity and feeding
Pakhira has the ability to accumulate moisture reserves in the trunk, for which it received another name - “bottle tree"(As well as nolina - bokarney). But this feature does not mean that it can rarely be watered. On the contrary, in warm weather, watering should be regular and abundant. At the same time, waterlogging of the land should not be allowed. It should dry slightly before watering again. Watering should be done carefully, avoiding the ingress of water on the pakhira trunk. It is advisable to apply the method of bottom irrigation, in the sump. Also, avoid watering pakhira with cold water. It should be warm and well-kept. In winter, watering is significantly reduced and is carried out only after the soil in the pot has completely dried out.
Pakhira water is not particularly demanding on air humidity. Only on extremely hot days or in winter, if the air is too dry, can the crown be gently sprayed, avoiding water getting on the trunk.
There is often no need to feed pakhira either. Moreover, the fertilizer concentration must be halved. During the period of active development of the plant (in spring and summer), one feeding per month with full mineral fertilizer will be enough.
Pakhira grows very slowly and annual transplants will be needed only in the first two to three years. Subsequently - once every three years, or even less often. More frequent transplants are also allowed, but in this case the growth of the plant takes on a more intense character and as a result you can get a very impressive tree, not inferior in size to adult yuccas, monsters, ficuses, dieffenbachia and other indoor giants.
The root system of the pakhira is superficial and develops mainly in breadth. This must be taken into account when choosing a pot for planting - a pakhira transplant. Wide shallow pots are preferred. Also, do not take too large pots. An oversized pot often leads to yellowing and leaf fall.
Pakhira is transplanted in the spring, before the beginning of the growing season. When choosing a land for transplanting, keep in mind that it must necessarily pass water and air well, be slightly acidic and not particularly nutritious. Of the ready-made soil mixtures, mixtures for palm trees, dracaena are best suited. You can prepare the soil for pakhira yourself, mixing in equal parts turf, leafy soil and sand... It is also advisable to add a quarter of a fraction of brick chips.
Pay special attention to drainage! The drainage layer should be a quarter of the height of the pot, and if the pot is deep, then more.
Reproduction of pakhira
It can be propagated both by seeds and cuttings. Moreover, unlike most indoor plants, the seed reproduction of which is a thankless task, it is not particularly difficult to propagate pakhira by seeds. The main condition is that the seeds are fresh, and the temperature during germination is high enough (approximately + 26-27 degrees). The seeds are planted in a light mixture of peat and sand or peat and perlite. At the same time, they are not buried, but are distributed over the surface of the earth and lightly sprinkled with the same earth. Then the container is covered with glass or foil and placed in a warm place. The process is no different from growing seedlings. The same control of soil moisture, regular ventilation, etc. In twenty days, a maximum of thirty, seedlings will appear.
Propagating pakhira by cutting is also not difficult. This process is very similar to propagating a lemon by cutting. The main thing is to choose the right stalk. The most suitable time is the end of summer, when the pakhira has grown a sufficient number of shoots suitable for reproduction. The stalk must have at least one healthy leaf and bud. After cutting, the cutting is planted in a mixture of peat and sand, covered with a transparent cap and placed in a warm, bright place. Under favorable conditions, after a couple of weeks, the pachira stalk acquires its own roots. Rooting in water is also often practiced. It is enough to put the stalk in a glass of water and wait for the roots to appear (for example, geranium, epiphyllum, monstera).
Trimming, pinching, braiding trunks
If you want your pakhira to look the most impressive and decorative, then first of all you will have to take care of the formation of a lush and uniform crown. Trimming is indispensable here. The plant itself will show you which branches need to be removed and which ones to cut. But pakhira should be cut off only when the growing season ends and the growth of new shoots stops.
Pinch the tops of pachira shoots both in order to form a uniform crown and in order to limit its growth.
Braiding the trunks with a pigtail is the easiest and most popular way to give plants a special charm and originality. Just like Benjamin's ficus and indoor pomegranate, aquatic pachira is the most suitable plant for this. The process of forming a pigtail is long and takes more than one year, but the result is impressive.
You can start to weave a pigtail from the pakhira trunks from the moment of planting. Of course, not one, but several (classically - three) plants are planted in one container. The stems intertwine as they grow, forming a pigtail. Often, in order to ensure a more reliable and quick accretion of trunks, the bark at the points of contact is scratched to the wood. Until the trunks have grown together, they are fixed over the upper knot. To prevent damage to the plant bark, a strip of soft rubber can be placed under the retaining wire or braid.
Some difficulties in growing pakhira
The main difficulties that can arise when growing pakhira at home are a direct consequence of improper care and maintenance. Some of them:
- The trunk of the pakhira has become sluggish, soft to the touch... - A clear sign of over-watering. This happens especially often in winter when the plant is kept cool. An immediate transplant is required. First, you need to remove rotten roots and treat the root system with crushed charcoal. After that, lightly dry the roots in the air and only then plant them in fresh soil.
- The leaves turn yellow and fall off. - The pot is too big. Transplanting into a smaller, more suitable pot is required.
- The stem is elongated, the "bottle" thickening decreases until it disappears completely. - Too little light. Rearrange the plant.
- Leaves soften, curl. The tips of the pakhira leaves darken. - It can cause cold drafts or sudden temperature fluctuations. It is required to streamline the temperature regime.
- Leaves brighten noticeably, dry spots appear on them. - A clear sign of an overabundance of light and burning sun rays on the pakhira leaves. Protect the plant from them, or move it to another place.
Pakhira aquatica: pruning
The plant loves a constant "haircut", so the procedure is painless and easy. It enters the phase of active growth in spring and summer, so when the stems gain height, pruning can be carried out. You can also use the spring time, when the period of stagnation in growth is over. After the procedure, the crown gains noticeably volume, thickens, becomes brighter thanks to new shoots. A favorite shape for flower growers for her is a ball or an oval.
Pakhira: propagation by cuttings
The tree can be propagated by known methods: sowing seeds in the spring or cut off shoots (cuttings) in the summer. If this is a process, then you need to choose it among all the others, giving preference to the presence of a heel and at least one kidney.
The cuttings are planted in the soil, without waiting for the rhizomes, pre-selecting a combination of peat and sand of a loose structure. So that in such modified conditions the roots begin to grow, greenhouse conditions are created for them: humidity, a regular temperature of 25-28 degrees Celsius and closed access to oxygen (bag, film or glass). You can expect roots after 10 days, sometimes the process can take a little longer for a couple of days. Once they are traced, the flower can be transplanted to a permanent location.
For experiment, you can try to achieve rooting in the usual way - in water. To avoid the formation of rot, the water is softened with charcoal. In this case, the glass is wrapped with a warm piece of cloth or material so that there is no access to the sun's rays at the root part. The handle itself at the bottom of the glass should not lie or come into contact with it. The lower leaf plates are removed, if decay appears, then they get rid of them immediately.
This video shows a pakhira aquatic in an adult state, raised in a home environment.
Reproduction of aquatic seeds
There are no special recommendations for pre-soaking the seeds, so this procedure should be dispensed with. Collected edible breadfruit nuts can be prepared as seeds, but it is advisable not to delay the planting of seeds in this case, since good germination will be lost. You can buy ready-made packaged ones, but be sure to look at the packing date (for the same reasons).
Spread the seeds directly into a humid environment (a combination of peat with sand is suitable). The top is not sprinkled with earth, leaving it open, but you still have to cover the container with the plants. For this, cling film is chosen.
So that the procedure does not keep itself waiting for the result, use the bottom heating, keeping the temperature at 26-28 degrees. Several times a week, the container with seeds is ventilated. The results can be observed after a month. New shoots may be a little late, so there is no need to despair.
Any of the pakhira breeding methods requires equal conditions: full lighting, but without the threat of direct rays, high humidity and a comfortable temperature, within the specified limits for each of the selected methods. If it is not possible to provide a sufficient amount of light for the pakhira during the breeding process, then they resort to artificial lighting. However, there is a decrease in seed germination using the lamp.
When the seeds sprout, and it will be possible to plant young shoots in separate flowerpots, a small group of 3-7 pieces of young should be formed for this. Plant each group, closely placing it in the central part of the flowerpot. A little later, when the stems are slightly stronger, it will be possible to practice braiding for the future trunk.
An unpretentious room interior decoration does not need it, and this is noticeable even in the choice of soil for transplanting - a non-nutritious soil mixture. If there is a desire, you can add once a month any mineral fertilizer in the appropriate dosage, but no more.
Pakhira: proper home care.
Bromeliad: transplantation and reproduction.
This video tells about the features of the growth of pakhira. Do not forget to leave wishes and comments for the article.