The Crossandra, commonly known as the rock cracker flower, is a tropical subshrub. Flowers are the real showstopper. They are often salmon or apricot, but can be found in yellow, red or pink colors. Lush dark green foliage creates a background that really makes the flowers shine.
This warm weather plant is grown indoors and outdoors and really stands out. Crossandra is an excellent choice as a potted plant. In warmer climates, it can also be a beautiful low border. It can act as an evergreen perennial or an annual depending on your preferences.
So why wait any longer? Let’s explore everything this rotten flower needs to stand out and stand out!
All about Rotten Flowers
Crossandra is a common plant in the subtropics and is just as good indoors. The leaf can reach a maximum height of three feet, but often stays about 2 feet inside. The shiny leaves with a slightly wavy texture are oval to drop-shaped. The leaves can grow up to five centimeters long!
At the top of this beautiful dark green leaf, the flowers appear. They attach to an erect stem protruding from the leaves. Each flower consists of five overlapping fan-shaped petals. These are not uniform in shape, because the overlap is asymmetrical. The base of the flower is a thin tube.
The flowers are usually salmon to apricot in color. Some cultivars have also been selected to produce yellow, pink or red flowers.
But the color does not give this plant the common name “rotten flower”. The name actually has nothing to do with the beautiful flowers, but with the pods. After the flowers have dried and formed pods, the small time bombs filled with seeds. A day of high humidity causes the pods to burst with a pupa, which overflow the soil with seeds.
He is a recipient of the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit, and for good reason. The beautiful flowers it produces are distinctive, and it is a super easy plant to care for!
Crossandra Flower Care
It doesn’t take much to keep your rotten plants at their full potential. Let’s take a look at our top tips to make sure you have healthy and happy plants!
Light and Temperature
Partial shade is perfect for your firecracker plants. Indirect direct sunlight is the preferred lighting style. Although it can sometimes take direct sunlight, it can be burned by a very hot sun.
Indoor growers may find that a high-quality grow light will help them ensure good lighting. Placing your plant near a bright window is also a good choice.
This plant is quite heat-tolerant, but it is sensitive to cool temperatures. Keep the temperature above 55 degrees to avoid damaging the ends of the leaves from the cold.
Water And Humidity
Avoid completely drying out the soil during the growing season. Constantly moist soil is important for your crossandra plant. These plants are not drought tolerant, and as such, you need to make sure they have the water they need!
During the winter months, indoor and outdoor growers can slow down watering. Soil moisture does not evaporate as quickly during these periods. Mulch around your plants to slow them down even more.
Moisture can help your plants. Indoors, an occasional light mist keeps the moisture around your plant. Placing it on a pebble tray above the water will also increase the humidity. Outside, it is enough to make sure that it is well watered and mulched.
A monthly feeding of a balanced grain fertilizer is recommended for spring and summer. In autumn and winter, reduce the frequency to about every month.
When using liquid fertilizer, dilute by half. Feed every two weeks in spring and summer, and every month in autumn and winter.
Cold conditions cause problems for your rotten plants. Temperatures below 55 degrees can cause discoloration of the leaves. Too cold, and the leaves pass away back. It is not frost-resistant at all. To avoid this problem, bring the plants indoors to a warmer climate. A cold frame can also help keep the temperature above 55 in winter.
If your plant is still exposed to colder temperatures, it may pass away on the ground. Make sure the roots are kept warm in winter by mulching abundantly around your plant. This gives it a better chance of regrowth in the spring.
Drying out of the leaves can also be caused by other reasons. Too much direct sunlight can cause sunburn on the leaves. Not enough water or too little moisture, and the leaves of your plant begin to dry out at the edges. Try to ensure that direct sun exposure is early in the morning and provide shade during the heat of the day. Maintain a regular watering regime.
Although pest problems on your crossandra plants are not incredibly common, they do happen. They should be milder in terms of damage than on edible plants, however. Let’s review the most common lawbreakers and how to get rid of them if they appear.
Aphids are quite common in any garden, and they will also appear on your rotten plant. To avoid them, spray the plant with neem oil. An insecticidal soap finishs all latecomers.
Whiteflies are easily recognizable. If you see a bunch of small white insects flying around, it’s a safe bet that the eggs will be on your neighboring plants. Treat as you would aphids to get rid of them.
The long-tailed mealybug is another pest that you can find out about. Like other forms of scale insects, it joins the leaves and stems. It pierces the surface and sucks out the juice. Neem is also a good preventive here. For minor infections, use a cotton swab dipped in alcohol to remove them.
Finally, spider mites can be found both indoors and outdoors. They, too, are a sucking pest and can cause a sharp yellowing of the leaves. For these, prevention is the easiest option. Spray your plant every 7 to 14 days to keep it at bay. A spray based on pyrethrin finishs anyone who may appear.
Crossanders are generally resistant to most ailments. You should not experience major problems with plant ailments.