Gynura aurantiaca, the velvet plant, is an indoor or outdoor pot plant in summer that is extremely cheerful: what a color! Ideal for beginners, it is easy to cultivate and multiply, grows quickly, is pruned, cuttings and regenerates very easily.
Scientific N. Gynura aurantiaca
Synonyms Cacalia aurantiaca
Origin South East Asia
Typeeasy foliage houseplant
Heightde 30cm 2m
Plant and cultivate
Hardiness slightly hardy, to -3C
Exposition very bright without direct sunlight
Solrich and ordinary
Acidity basic neutral
useindoor plant, greenhouse, veranda, outdoor in summer or in warm climate, patio
Gynura aurantiaca, called orange gynure or velvet plant is a plant lively foliage persistent belonging to the family Asteraceae, like the daisy or the senecio. This subtropical plant is native to Southeast Asia, however it has escaped crops in the tropics. In France, the velvet plant is a wonderful houseplant or patio with very colorful foliage, easy to grow and share with friends.
Description of the velvet plant
Gynura aurantiaca is a herbaceous plant with evergreen foliage, 30 cm to 2 m high, depending on whether it is cut back regularly or whether it lengthens its stems by becoming sarmentose (semi-climbing by leaning on a support): very malleable, it therefore takes the form that you will let it develop, branching out as soon as you prune it.
The orange gynure shows alternate leaves that are somewhat succulent (firm), lanceolate and dentate. Their skin is dark green, covered with hair bright purple in color.
This houseplant is mainly cultivated for this velvety foliage, sometimes called ‘purple passion’.
It sometimes flowers in summer, in the form of small orange heads, a little curious and often nauseating which produce egret seeds, much like those of dandelion.
How to cultivate orange gynuria?
The velvet plant is very easy to grow in a pot with a mixture potting soil and garden soil or pure potting soil: a fairly rich soil with a neutral or acidic tendency. It develops fairly quickly and without complex in a bright situation, but without direct sunlight. Moreover, the more light it receives, the more compact (short internodes) and colored it will be.
Gynura aurantiaca prefer one soil always slightly damp without soaking too much in the saucer, which amounts to a watering 2 to 3 times a week in summer and once a week in winter.
Temperature: it grows from 12 ° C, lends itself well to growing in apartments, but resists occasional weak frosts and can also decorate pots in a patio.
Pruning and caring for the orange gynura
We avoid letting the velvet plant flower indoors, because not only its fleur smells pretty bad, but as it blooms the plant becomes lanky and less pretty. It is therefore advisable to pincer as soon as we spot floral stems.
On the other hand, from the second year of cultivation, Gynura aurantiaca can be cut back in spring (April / May) to allow it to provide short and dense foliage in the coming season.
The cut stems are then treated as cuttings: either stuck directly next to it in the pot, or cuttings in another pot.
When, aged 3 to 5 years, the plant becomes ugly; we get rid of it for the benefit of new plants that we have produced by cuttings.
How to cut the velvet plant?
Gynura aurantiaca is a real pleasure to cut : in spring or in summer, use the ends of the stem (5 to 10 cm) that you drive into the earth at 3 or 4 per pot. Keep moist and at 18/20 ° C. They are even sometimes able to cuttings in a glass of water.
Species and varieties of Gynura
About 40 species in this genus
- Gynura bicolor, Okinawan spinach or edible gynura
- Gynura pseudochina, a medicinal species with colorful leaves also
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