General description of the ornamental plants of the genus Sphagneticola
Sphagneticola is a genus of herbaceous creeping plants very popular in gardens of tropical and subtropical areas of the world for their vigorous growths and beautiful blooms. They are grown mainly to cover large spaces in the outdoor gardens since they have a fairly accelerated development.
In warm climates, they bloom in abundance during the whole year decorating permanently the area on which to develop. They are species belonging to the Asteraceae family where only 4 species are included. The Sphagneticola trilobata plant is one of the most cultivated and the latest included in the genus.
The species of this genus are perennials with prostrate or semi-erect stems that fail to exceed 15 cm in height. In the nodes of the stems, adventitious roots and ramifications are produced that allow rapid growth and accelerated coverage of the substrate.
Leaves are arranged opposite, sessile and generally form oval, lanceolate or divided into lobes. The wavy margin or with small conspicuous teeth. Usually, the foliage coloring is dark green and even bright. In addition, the leaves are a bit leathery to the touch. The foliage is maintained throughout life if the plant maintains its optimum water level; in times of drought, the leaves dry easily as a strategy to avoid perspiration.
The flowers are arranged in small (+/- 2 cm diameter) and solitary inflorescence that arise from the armpits of the stems or at the apex of these. Each inflorescence is supported by a conspicuous peduncle of +/- 7 cm long and erects protruding from the foliage. The formation of inflorescences in these plants is very large, observing more than 50 of them in plants of +/- 1.5 meters in diameter. The ligature flowers have a generally yellow coloration (the long petal) very intense. The small flowers of the disc also have petals with yellow coloration.
The fruits are small achenes that form in the flowers of the disc. The seeds have a village conspicuous that allows the dispersion of these by wind action.
Tips for the cultivation of ornamental plants of the genus Sphagneticola
Plants of this genus are extremely simple to grow and become invasive in many places. Then, the basic care of these plants:
For rapid growth and abundant flowering, it is necessary to grow these plants in full sun throughout the year. Nothing grows well indoors, being exclusively brightly lit plants.
They prefer to grow under the influence of warm temperatures than in cold environments. They develop better in a range of temperatures that are between 24 ºC -30 ºC. They do not tolerate frost. In temperate countries, they will likely lose all foliage when temperatures drop and then sprout again when they rise.
It is important to use a soil rich in organic matter and with optimal drainage. They grow efficiently on universal substrates to which some coarse sand is added.
Water 2-3 times a week if high temperatures predominate. In winter irrigation should be reduced to once a week if temperatures exceed 12ºC.
To control growth stems that exceed the crop area should be pruned regularly. Cut stems can be used for multiplication. In case of not using them for this task, it is recommended to dispose of them in the trash and not on other substrates. These plants can easily root and invaded areas.
Pests and diseases:
They are quite resistant to the attack of plagues, but they can suffer infestations of mealybugs, ants, and mollusks.
Extremely simple system cuttings that usually already have adventitious roots. It is a very easy plant to multiply.