Exacum - Gentianaceae - How to care for and grow Exacum plants



L'Exacum , small bushy plant particularly suitable for summer decorations when covered with fragrant flowers.






: Angiosperms


: Eudicotyledons


: Asteris











: see the paragraph on "Main species"


The genre Exacum belonging to the family of Gentianaceae, includes about forty species of small bushy plants where the only one that adapts to be bred in is the Exacum affine.



L'Exacum affine it is a small plant that looks like a small roundish bush of small dimensions not exceeding 25 cm in height, with opposite, glossy, oval-shaped leaves. The flowers grow numerous in summer, fragrant, lilac or white with, in both cases, evident bright yellow stamens. They are all native to the island of Socotra, in the Indian Ocean.

It is a perennial plant but is normally grown as an annual.


L'Exacum it is a very simple plant to grow. It requires high temperatures, even 30 ° C, a humid environment and excellent exposure to light but not to direct sunlight. Minimum temperatures must not drop below 15 ° C.

Most of the time the Exacum it is treated as an annual plant, that is to say, when it blooms, it is allowed to dry in consideration of the fact that it is extremely easy to obtain it by seed. However, if you want to preserve and therefore treat as a perennial, it is simply possible, during the autumn-winter period, not letting it dry out.


During the period of active growth (spring - summer) the soil must always be kept moist but not soaked.

The best way to water the plant of Exacum is to leave it for a few minutes in the saucer filled with water and wait for the earth to absorb the water it needs.

During the autumn-winter period, if you want to raise the plant as a perennial, watering is reduced starting from the moment the plant fades and watered just enough so that the soil does not dry out.


A good potting soil to use forExacum it consists of garden soil, peat and sand.


There Exacum fertilize once a week throughout the spring-summer period, halving the doses compared to what is stated in the fertilizer package.

During the other periods they must be suspended.


L'Exacum it blooms throughout the summer - autumn period and the flowering will last longer if you have the foresight to promptly remove the flowers from the plant as they wither.


L'Exacum it is a plant that cannot be pruned.


The Multiplication of Exacum occurs by seed.


The multiplication by seeds of theExacum it takes place either at the end of the summer or in the spring. In the first case, the plant will flower before the following summer; in the second case, flowering will begin in the summer and continue throughout the autumn. So to enjoy the flowers of this delicious plant for a long time, it will be better to sow part of the seeds in September and part of March.

Distribute the seeds evenly in a tray containing seed soil and bury them lightly. Since the seeds are small, you can help them with a flat piece of wood.

Place the tray with the seeds in the shade, at a temperature around 24 ° C and keep the soil constantly moist (use a sprayer to completely moisten the soil) until the moment of germination.

To ensure a constant temperature and prevent the soil from drying out too quickly, cover the tray with a transparent plastic sheet (if you do not have a multiplication box available) that you will remove every day to check the humidity of the soil (it must always be moist) that to remove the condensation that will surely have formed on the plastic.

When the first plants begin to sprout, remove the plastic sheet permanently and gradually the plants of Exacum grow, increase the amount of light (never direct sun) and ensure good ventilation. The less vigorous plants must be eliminated because in this way you will guarantee more space for the more robust ones.

When the plants are large enough to be handled, you will transplant them into pots no more than 7 cm in diameter which you will place in an area away from drafts and direct sun. Always keep the soil moist and every day rotate the plants 180 ° to make them grow straight.

When they have reached a height of 6 cm, they should be transplanted into larger pots arranged in groups. For example, to have a nice bush you can use a pot of 15 cm in diameter where 5 seedlings will be placed.

To obtain a well branched plant, be careful to pinch the apical buds of the plant.


Radical rot

If you overuse with irrigation or if you leave the water to stagnate, the plant can easily undergo root rot.
Remedies: immediately flare the plant and eliminate the damaged roots and treat them with broad spectrum powdered fungicides; after which let the soil dry, repot the plant and wait at least a week before proceeding with the following irrigations to give the wounds time to heal.

Flowering plants also at home

The duration of the flowers is often limited in time, this is even shorter when it comes to flowering plants in the apartment. Despite the short duration of the flowers, these plants give a touch of color and liveliness also thanks to the leaves.

Flowering indoor plants

The flowering indoor plants unlike green plants, they add an element of seasonal variation, color and liveliness that unfortunately lacks the classic plants.
The only flaw ... their short life!

The most rewarding flowering plants are those that grow more and more from year to year, with periodic flowering crowning another year of proper and good care and cultivation.

Many flowering plants that we can place indoors are difficult to keep, and it is best to get rid of them as soon as flowering has taken its natural course.
A large majority of these types of plants are annuals and can be cared for and grown with little effort. We can list a few that might be right for us: browallia, calceolaria, cineraria and exacum.
All flowering plants with bright and cheerful colors, easy to grow and affordable for a few euros. Obviously, as mentioned above, they die after flowering and must be thrown away, instead of keeping them at home.

If, on the other hand, we wanted to have a flowering plant that can last at home, we could choose some lilies that grown in pots are truly spectacular. In this case, after their flowering it is advisable plant them in the garden to keep them alive longer.
If the lily is not our favorite flower, we could opt for some more resistant bedding plants such as astilbe. Magnificent in flower, but if kept beyond their flowering in the house there is a risk that they can wither. Planting it in the garden will give the plant itself many more years of life.
Or, i annual chrysanthemums, excellent short-lived houseplants. It would be preferable to buy them in buds or flowers and then enjoy them for a few more weeks before having to trash them.

Purple violet plant care after flowering

Once your purple shutter has lost all of its blooms and the foliage turns yellow, it is moving towards the dormant stage. Stop watering the plant and place it in a cool room with moderate light. The leaves will eventually dry out. Complete drying takes about two months. When this happens, remove the tuber and transplant it into a larger size pot.

Fill the pot with the peat moss peat mixture and place the tuber in the soil so that the top half protrudes. Don't water the tuber until the leaves appear next season. When you see new growth, put your shutter near a window. The plant should grow back, but the flowers may be smaller and you may have fewer.

Exacum - Gentianaceae - How to care for and grow Exacum plants

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Indoor plants from TO to Z:

Hibiscus - Plant belonging to the group of malvaceae, originally from China.

It is a genus of over 300 species of herbaceous, annual and perennial plants, shrubs or small trees.
Some species are evergreen, others deciduous.

It requires fertile soil rich in organic substances.
It is a plant that is very afraid of water stagnation. For this reason it is recommended to plant it in well-drained soils, preferably in sunny or partially shaded areas.

The most frequent parasite is the cochineal, which attacks the branches and the flowers.
Other very frequent parasites are the aphid, the auleorodide and the red spider.
Treatments with insecticides are advisable to control infestations.

Exacum - Gentianaceae - How to care for and grow Exacum plants

Indoor plants from TO to Z:

Cestrum - also known as Cestrum Rubrum or Cestrum Purpureum.
It belongs to the family of Solanaceae (toxic like all solanaceae) not resistant to the rigors of winter, its name derives from the Greek, it means pointed hammer and refers to the shape of its leaves.

It blooms continuously from spring to all autumn (if you protect it from the cold) there is a wide range of species with different flowers in color, some even in shape. The cestrum reproduces by semi-woody cutting (young branches that abandon the green coloring to take on a color tending to hazelnut) about 10 cm long.
The cuttings are placed in the seed tray in light compound once rooted they are planted in small pots keeping them at a temperature of about 10 degrees.
The following spring they can be planted.

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