Hoffmannia is a genus to which about ten species of evergreen shrubs belong, originating in Central and South America. These are species that have large, wrinkled and often dark, green or brownish-pink foliage; the leaves have an oval shape, with showy white veins; they develop from the vertex of semi-woody branches. In spring along the stems, under the leaves, small pink flowers bloom, scarcely decorative but still beautiful to admire. Depending on the species, these small shrubs have sizes ranging from 40-50 cm up to over a meter. They are planted in large containers, or in low bowls, even in hanging baskets, to enhance the slightly prostrate habit of the shrubs and create scenarios of great visual impact.
Exposure is an important factor for the cultivation of our plants that must be taken into consideration if we want to achieve excellent results with our plants. The species of hoffmannia are cultivated in a luminous position, but far from the direct rays of the sun; they are used as apartment plants, with winter lows above 15 ° C; many species can withstand decidedly lower temperatures, so in areas with mild winters they could also be planted in the garden.
From March to September water regularly, when the soil is slightly dry; during the cold months the watering should be reduced. During the vegetative period, provide fertilizer for green plants, every 20-25 days, mixed with the water used for watering. They prefer damp environments, so it is advisable to vaporize the leaves often with demineralized water.
One of the most important aspects to take into consideration when cultivating our hoffmannia seedlings is the type of soil to be preferred. Then use a good balanced soil, to which you will need to add a small amount of sand, to increase drainage.
The multiplication takes place by semi-woody cutting, in spring, using the tips of the branches or the new shoots. The cutting is the ideal reproduction method for obtaining new seedlings at no cost, starting simply from fragments of the mother plant. It is in fact necessary to take branches or fragments of a length equal to or greater than 10-15 cm from the plant, making a clean cut with clean and sharp work tools. Once the branch to be used is obtained to give life to a new seedling, immerse it in rhizogenic powder to allow the plant to root. Then place the branch in a container containing sand and peat and compact the soil around the new branches installed in the pot.
Hoffmannia: Pests and diseases
As for pests and diseases, the plant is fairly resistant, although occasionally they can come attacking from aphids or mites. Rust can conspicuously ruin the foliage. When the leaves appear almost burnt, on the other hand, the plant has been exposed to direct sunlight for too long. In this case, the plant must be moved to a more sheltered place. When, on the other hand, the leaves come off the plant it means that the humidity present in the environment is too low. Then water the plant as indicated.