Ipomea

 In Category Cactus

Family: Convolvulaceae
Habitat: Tropical areas of Asia and America
Cultivation: The ipomeais afraid of the cold and needs to be repaired by the air currents. Instead, it needs a lot of light, even during the vegetative rest.
Curiosity: Some varieties of ipomea are very common in our gardens: they are generally the climbing species that are used to beautify fences or supports.

IPOMEA KEY FEATURES

The Ipomea genus is very big and includes about 500 species of very different types and only a few of them are part of succulent plants. Many, in fact, are small ornamental herbaceous plants. The one which is very interesting in this rubric, is  the perennial Ipomea that accumulates the necessary water, for its survival, inside their caudex, a woody big root which comes out from the ground and functions as a tank.

The body of the ipomea can therefore be herbaceous, climbing or woody; the leaves have very different shapes according to the species. The flowers have the typical bell shape and vivid colors that are very different from each other. Seeds are toxic and in case of ingestion they cause hallucinations and serious disturbances; on the other hand, some species come from a tuber which is, however, edible.

VARIETIES AND TYPES

Below is a list of the main Ipomea species that can be put into the category of succulent plants.

  • Ipomoea bolusiana
  • I. digitata
  • I. holubii
  • I. linosepala
  • I. platense
  • I. lapidosa

TIPS FOR CULTIVATION

  • The Ipomea genus includes very different species among them. The following cultivation advice is only valid for caudex species.
  • The ideal exposure is in full sunlight: the light is essential, among other things, to stimulate blooms and it should never be missed even in winter if the plant is sheltered in a greenhouse.
  • The minimum temperature, that these plants tolerate, is 7 ° C. In addition, a particular care must be taken to keep them safe from the strong air currents.
  • Water every 3-4 days in the summer and decrease as it approaches the winter season. As with all caudex species, it can be easily understood if the amount of water is too low looking at its consistency (tends to “deflate”). To see if the water is too much, you can look at the leaves that in that case tend to yellow.
  • The soil must be light, nourishing, very draining. A peat base mixed with inerts can be suitable for the purpose.
  • Fertilize in spring and summer with a product rich in nitrogen, potassium and microelements.
  • To repot in the spring to give new vigor to the growth of the plant.
  • The Ipomea reproduces mainly by seed. Sowing should be done during the summer season, taking care to leave the seeds in water for about 24 hours before buring them to increase the possibility of rooting.

The reproduction by cutting, on the other hand, is possible only for a few varieties.

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