Sunday, 9 September 2018

Graptophyllum pictum Acanthaceae Caricature plant

Although rarely seen, this evergreen shrub would prosper in the home, especially in a sunroom.

The laurel-shaped leaves, arranged opposite each other along the stalk, are up to 6in/l5cm long. Each leaf is shiny deep green, marked in the center with a creamy white or yellow blotch that is sometimes thought to resemble a human face, hence the common name. There is occasionally a pinkish tinge along the central leaf vein.

The lV2-in/4-cm-long tubular crimson or purple flowers open wide at the mouth.

FACT FILE

ORIGIN Australasia; Pacific Islands.

HEIGHT To 6ft/1.8m.

POTTING MIX Soil-based.

REPOTTING In spring, move to a pot one size larger.

PROPAGATION Take stem cuttings in late spring or summer.

KEEPING PLANTS Pinch off the growing tips regularly to encourage bushiness. Replace the plant after 3 or 4 years, when it becomes leggy.

PLANT CARE

Bright filtered light with some direct sun except on the hottest days. »
Average room temperature. •
Water thoroughly, particularly in summer. 
 Apply a standard liquid fertilizer once a month between spring and fall.

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