Pakhira aquatica is one of 24 species of a plant of the baobab family with this name. Another name is pachira water. It differs from other species in that its seeds can be eaten. Pakhira grows for a long time, lives for many years. Is it possible to grow such a tree at home and how to do it?
This plant is grown as a tree. However, it belongs to succulents, because it stores moisture in reserve and stores it in the trunk under the bark. Its trunk resembles a bottle. Therefore, pachira is called the bottle tree. There are other names: Malabar or Guianan chestnut, which the plant received for the similarity of fruits and especially chestnut leaves and pakhira. At home, you can grow a specimen up to one and a half meters high. Pakhira aquatica, the photo of which is located below, has dark leaves. Their shape is palmate, they are dense, leathery to the touch. Leaf petioles are long.
Pachira's homeland is the swamps of Mexico. Under natural conditions, pachira aquatica blooms every year from June to November. The flower is large, can be white, yellow, pink and creamcolors. Its size reaches 12 cm. It has a large number of long stamens. The flowers have a vanilla scent. They are collected in inflorescences-panicles. The length of each of them is 35 cm. The plant blooms with leaves, although other bottle trees - with fallen leaves. When grown in an apartment, it does not bloom.
Pakhira aquatic: reproduction
Pakhira is propagated by sowing seeds or rooting cuttings.
Seeds that are going to be sown must be from the last harvest, because they quickly lose their viability. They are grown at high temperatures. It should be at least 27 degrees. Such a high temperature is difficult to maintain. You can use the bottom heating. Seeds are placed in a wide dish, where sand or peat is poured. Seeds are poured on top.
Dishes covered with glass are installed on the radiator. Periodically, the seeds are sprayed with warm water and left open for a while for ventilation. After a month or a little less, sprouts appear on the seeds. But it is not recommended to immediately plant them in pots. We need to wait for them to get stronger.
Cuttings are cut closer to autumn, capturing part of the bark. The cutting must have a bud and a leaf. It is immersed in "Kornevin", which contributes to the rapid formation of roots. Install them in a dish with a substrate, cover with a lid or plastic wrap. Rooting cuttings also need a high temperature and humidity of about 60%. After about a month and a half, roots appear. When they reach aboutcentimeter in length, transplanted into a new pot. In the future, they are looked after like an adult plant.
The soil for growing pachira should be slightly acidic and consist of equal parts of leaf and sod land and river sand. Pieces of charcoal will prevent root rot. Broken brick will draw in excess moisture from the soil. Drainage is a quarter of the dishes. You can buy a special mixture for palm trees in the store. Pachira aquatica grows well in it, the care of which we will consider further.
Some flower growers believe that pachira requires special care. Others refer it to plants that do not require special care. Pakhira aquatica is in no hurry to grow, it grows only a few centimeters in a year. Branching begins only after the tree grows large. Before that, it has no side shoots.
It is advised to place a young pachira on the window, but not on the south and not on the north. It is better not to install it on the northern pachira, because the lack of light causes the trunk to stretch and become ugly.
You can install pachira on the south window for a while, but you need to shade it from the direct rays of the sun at noon. If this is not done, unsightly pale burn spots may form on the sheets.
The temperature regime for keeping a plant is easy to observe in any apartment. It should not be below 16 degrees in winter, and rise above 25 degrees in summer. Do not install pachira near radiators orother heating appliances. But most of all she is afraid of drafts.
Humidity doesn't matter much for pachira. It can grow indoors with both dry and moist air. A couple of times a month it can be sprayed with warm water. The spray jet should be directed at the leaves, trying not to hit the trunk. Excessive moisture can lead to decay.
Pakhira Aquatica does not need abundant watering. Moreover, it is harmful to her. After all, a tree always has a supply of moisture, and it uses it if necessary. Therefore, you need to water the pachira in the pan, and she herself will use it at the right time. Water when the clod of earth dries well.
For a pachira aquatica plant, both excess and lack of moisture are harmful. From too frequent watering, its roots rot, and it disappears, and with insufficient watering, the leaves wither and fall.
Pakhira aquatic needs to be fed once a month with complex fertilizer. But you need to do it carefully. Excessive feeding can adversely affect the condition of the plant. Its roots may burn and perish.
Pruning the plant
Pruning of branches is carried out in the spring. In the place where the cut was made, the rapid growth of young branches begins, the crown becomes lush. With the help of pruning, you can form a crown, giving it the desired shape, most often in the form of a ball.
You can shape the trunk of the pachira so that it looks like a pigtail. For this, they are planted in onepot three plants at once and gradually intertwine them together. But this is not always possible. Sometimes with this form of cultivation, only one trunk develops, while the others or one of them lag behind in development or disappear.
You can accelerate the growth of pachira aquatica. Home care includes transplantation. The first years of life, pachira is transplanted every year. Do it in the spring. Older specimens require a transplant every 3 years. New dishes should be 5 cm wider than the old, but shallow. The root of the plant is located on the surface. Therefore, it cannot be deepened into the soil. Mature pachira trees are not replanted.
Features of care
Pakhira aquatics can be taken out into the fresh air in summer. You just need to make sure that it has enough light, to exclude drafts.
The main thing in caring for pachira is to keep the trunk solid. If it softens, this indicates root rot. In this case, the plant is removed from the tub. Cleared from the earth. Remove unsuitable roots, disinfect the cut points, sprinkling them with crushed charcoal. Let dry. Planted in new soil and not watered for at least a week.
Sometimes dark spots appear on the leaves. This indicates that the plant was exposed to drafts or kept and watered in the cold.
Pachira leaves turn yellow and fall when the air is not humid enough. Wither and droop with a lack of moisture.
Pests of pachira aquatics
Leaves and stem of Pachira candamage: spider mites, thrips, aphids and scale insects. You need to fight them by spraying with insecticides. They don’t do it indoors, they take it out to the street or to the balcony. After all, insecticides are harmful to the inhabitants of the apartment.
Processing is carried out 2-3 times, repeating in a week. Plants affected by the pest must be urgently isolated from others so as not to infect them.
Using Pachira Aquatica
In place of the pachira flower, elongated large green berries are formed. Some sources call their pulp inedible. Others claim that they can be eaten. Up to 25 nut seeds are located inside each fruit. The seeds can be consumed raw. They can be fried or boiled before consumption. Also, the seeds are ground into flour, from which bread is baked. A delicious drink, like hot chocolate, is prepared from the same powder. Leaves and flowers are also eaten.
Pakhira plants are very popular. They are used to create bonsai. It is believed that they bring good luck, he alth and prosperity to the house. They should increase with each new sheet. The plant has the glory of the money tree. It is believed to bring good luck and prosperity.