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The Artillery Plant: A Complete Guide and Care Tips
Gardening is a great way to add beauty and life to any space, and plants are an important part of that equation.
The artillery plant, also known as Pilea microphylla or the gunpowder plant, is one such plant that can make a great addition to your garden.
Its unique appearance makes it stand out among other plants and its easy care requirements make it perfect for both novice and experienced gardeners.
Overview of the Artillery Plant
The artillery plant is native to Central America but can now be found in many parts of the world including Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and the Americas.
It gets its common name from the explosive nature with which it produces seeds.
When matured enough for reproduction – usually in early spring – tiny white flowers develop on matured stems that later turn into small green pods containing black seeds-looking like gunpowder.
Care Tips for Your Artillery Plant
When caring for your artillery plant there are several things you need to keep in mind.
- Light: This plant thrives well under indirect light conditions; placing it next to a window with an eastern-facing direction would be ideal.
- Watering: Overwatering can cause root rot hence watering once per week during growing season (spring through fall) eliminates this problem while allowing adequate water supply.
- Fertilization:You should fertilize every two weeks during growth period at half strength using any balanced fertilizer available n local stores or online gardening centers.
- Potting soil:A combination of peat moss potting mix provides all necessary nutrients required by this fast-growing herbaceous perennial.. Ensure proper drainage in the pot to eliminate root rot.
- Temperature: The plant thrives well under temperatures ranging from 60°F to 75°F, hence normal room temperature is ideal for it to grow.
Propagation of the Artillery Plant
The artillery plant can be propagated both through cuttings and by division.
Here are the steps you need to follow:
Cutting propagation method
- Select a healthy stem and cut it just below a node using a clean sharp knife.
- Pot your new cutting in moist potting soil mix ensuring that it has adequate drainage.
- Cover the cutting with plastic wrap or bag to prevent moisture loss, then place it in indirect light conditions within room temperature range of 60°F-75°F.
- Maintain proper humidity around the newly planted cutting by using misting bottle or placing tray beneath containing pebbles with some water added (not touching bottom of pot).
- Gently remove your plant from its container and separate roots carefully without damaging them.
- Pot each divided part separately in fresh soil mix.
Pests and Diseases that Affect Artillery Plants
The artillery plant is quite resistant against pests but occasionally may encounter these common problems:
- Powdery mildew:A whitish coating on leaves caused by fungal infestation due dampness on foliage caused by high humidity levels (above 50%).
Keeping indoor ventilation or positioning outdoor plants correctly helps keep powdery mildew at bay.Fungus gnats: Are tiny dark insects that hover around the plant or soil surface.
The best way to eliminate them is by using sticky traps, while also maintaining good hygiene on the leaves and removing dead foliage.Spider mites:Affect this plant when humidity levels drop below 50%, causing a web-like structure on foliage.
The artillery plant is an easy-to-care-for herbaceous perennial suitable for both indoor and outdoor gardens.
By following the care tips outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your artillery plant thrives all-year-round while also avoiding common pests and diseases.