Crossandras

Filed Under: Tropical Plants · Keywords: My, Plant, Pots, Food, Flower, Flowering, Plants, Sun, Shade, Water, Up, May, Getting · 575 Views
My crossandras put out a little bloom at the top only. When I purchased them the blooms were very bushy, but they have never been that way again. I replanted them in larger pots and fed them with time released plant food for flowering plants. They're outside in the sun, except late in the day, they get some shade. I live in Florida and except for the Tropical Storm we had, we haven't had the usual amount of rain, so most of my plants I have to water every couple of days. So, after reading your blog, maybe they are getting too much water. I usually check to see if they are dry on top, but don't go further down. Is that my issue?


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Answer #1 · Maple Tree's Answer · Hi Kathleen-Normally the only things that will keep crossandra from blooming well besides fungal disease or pests is too much or too little water and or too little sunlight. The crossandra should be getting 6 hours of bright shade or morning hours of direct sunlight which sounds as though yours are getting. This plant likes to be kept moist only watering when the top one inch or so of soil feel dry. When planted in pots make sure the pots have holes in the bottom for good drainage. If the pots are sitting in a tray make sure the tray is emptied of any water after the pot has drained. Any water in the tray will be absorbed by the soil keeping the it too wet. Removing any spent flowers and their stems will also help to keep the plant looking neat and help with the development of new flowers. Although these plants can bloom continually from late spring till fall the blooms throught out the summer may not be as abundant as they were in the spring or when you purchased the plant. Growers propagate and grow these plants under perfect conditions in greenhouses and are forced to bloom in order to sell well. Not always are conditions perfect in our gardens to enable the plant to continually grow and bloom like this all year long. Ferilizing with a timed release flower food is good but I normally will cut back the amount of food used by 1/2. Too much fertilization can force a lot of green growth at the expense of flower production. If the foliage looks nice and green and not yellow or spotted I'm thinking the problem may be too little or too much water. When growing in pots it take some extra care in making sure the entire root ball and soil in the pot is continually moist and not too dry or wet. I can't count the number of times my neighbors tell me they water their pots daily and the plants still do poorly. When removing the plants from the pots the soil most of the time is too dry even when watered daily. Once the soil in the pot becomes too dry it will not longer absorb water quickly and will need some slow deep watering to wet the soil again. When soil becomes dry the water will just move through crackes in the soil and out between the soil and the side of the pot without beeing absorbed into the soil. The two most important things when growing plants in pots I do besides placing them in the correct location is making sure the pots have holes for good drainage and a quality potting soil or mix is used. In my opinion quality potting soils can only be found at your quality nursery or garden centers. Cheaper less quality potting soils can easily be found at many stores but these have a tendency to dry out quickly and decompose within a year or so leaving only mud in the bottom of the pots. I would first dig down at least half way to the bottom of your pot and feel the soil. The soil should feel cool and moist but never too wet or dry.

If you are in a warm hardiness zone 9, 10, or 11 as I am these plants are perennials and will survive the mild winters. When in pots these plants can be ovenwintered indoors in colder climates. In the spring these plants should be replanted in one size larger pot and pruned back by 1/3 their size. This will help to produce a fuller plant and more blooms also. Let me know what you find when checking the potting soils moisture.

John)



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