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 Mitraria coccinea

Mitraria coccinea

Cultivation tips

 

Soil -- Mitraria likes rich soil that drains easily.  A typical mix would be 1 part potting soil to 1 part perlite.  An alternate mix would be 1 part coir fiber or peat moss to 1 perlite or coarse sand, with some slow-release fertilizer mixed in.  Do not add lime to the mix, as this plant prefers an acidic soil.

Transplanting -- I recommend waiting a week before repotting it.  Repot to a 1-3 gallon container with drainage holes.  Water the soil before repotting, so the soil ball doesn't break apart, which can damage the roots.  After repotting, shade from sun the first week. 

Watering -- Aim to keep the soil evenly moist most of the time.  Don't let it dry out completely, but don't keep it perpetually soggy either. 

 If your tap water is very "hard", meaning high in minerals, it's best to use bottled water or rain water.

Sunlight -- Mitraria likes part sun, with protection from strong afternoon sun. 

Climate -- Mitraria likes cool temperatures.  It's happiest between 45 and 75 degrees F, with cool nights.  In warmer areas, it's best to give it afternoon shade, and keep the pot shaded.  Established plants reportedly can take down to 16-20 degrees F, but it's best to protect it from hard frosts.  Indoors, above about 40% is best.     

Fertilizing -- During periods of active growth, feed about every 2-3 months with a slow-release (pelleted or organic) fertilizer. 

 It's normal for an older leaf to turn yellow and die throughout the year, but if it seems excessive, the soil could be too dry, or the plant may need more fertilizer.  

Pruning & training-- Feel free to remove some stems to shape the plant.  You may tie the branches to a trellis or fence to train them in an upward habit, or you can let them trail along the ground or out of a hanging planter.  

Pests to watch for -- Spider mites (tiny "dots" on the leaves), ants.  Snails/slugs.  Watch for any pests that typically infest your other plants.

If you have any questions or problems, please email me.

Enjoy your plant!

- Jeff

Strange Wonderful Things

 

 
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