ColumneaColumnea is a genus of flowering plants in the family Gesneriaceae, native to tropical America. They are shrubs or vines, often with succulent leaves, and produce colorful flowers. Many species are grown as houseplants for their ornamental value. The genus Columnea includes about 150 species. They are found in tropical America, from Mexico to Argentina. The majority of species are found in Colombia.
Columneas are mostly shrubs or vines, though a few are epiphytes. They range in size from 10 cm (4 in) to 3 m (10 ft). The leaves are usually simple and often have succulent tissue. The flowers are bisexual and borne in inflorescences that can be terminal or axillary. They are usually brightly colored, and range in color from white to yellow, pink, orange, or red.
Many Columnea species are grown as houseplants for their ornamental value. They require bright light and should be watered regularly, but allowed to dry out between waterings. They can be propagated by stem cuttings. Pests and diseases that affect Columneas include mealybugs, spider mites, and aphids. They are also susceptible to fungal diseases such as powdery mildew and root rot. The genus Columnea was first described by Carl Linnaeus in 1753. The name is derived from the Latin columna, meaning "pillar".
In order to produce a high-quality columnea, growers must carefully control the environment and provide the plants with the proper care. They must also have a good understanding of the plant's growth cycle.
Columneas are tropical plants that typically bloom in the spring and summer. However, they can be forced to bloom at other times of the year by controlling the environment. Forcing typically involves providing the plants with 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness each day. This can be done with artificial lights or by covering the plants with a black cloth during the dark periods. Growers must also control the temperature and humidity levels in the growing area. The ideal temperature for columnea production is 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit. The ideal humidity level is 50-60%.
In order to produce high-quality flowers, growers must provide the plants with the proper nutrients. A balanced fertilizer that contains nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium should be applied every two weeks. Additionally, growers may need to provide additional iron and other minerals if the plants are not receiving enough through the soil. The columnea plant has a relatively long flowering season. However, the length of time that each flower remains open can be affected by the growing conditions. For example, flowers that open in cooler temperatures tend to last longer than those that open in warmer temperatures.