Useful information

Hovea: home care

Hoveya Forster

Hovei - the famous palm trees from Lord Howe Island, from which they got their name, hardly need an introduction. Their extraordinary shade tolerance and tolerance for care errors make them one of the best indoor plants.

Since Victorian times, these are the most widely planted and popular palms. If you carefully watch English films, for example, based on the works of Agatha Christie, you will notice that it was hovea that was used to decorate rich houses and hotels. It may not be the most lush palm tree, but there is a certain grace and sophistication in its appearance.

Hovei are single-stemmed palms, and for greater density several plants are planted in one container at once. They come to our stores through Dutch auctions, from small plants 1-1.5 m tall to real large-sized plants. The growth rate of hovey is low, the growth of only a few leaves per year.

In culture, both representatives of this small genus are grown - Hovey Forster and Hovey Belmora, their description and features are given on the Hovey page.

Hovei -some of the most unpretentious palms at home

Hovei are subtropical palms, they tolerate indoor conditions much better than many of their tropical relatives. Adaptation to a rather strong drop in temperature, up to + 10 ° C (and even for a short period of time to 0 ° C), significantly facilitates their winter maintenance, and their high shade tolerance makes these plants simply irreplaceable for landscaping offices.

When choosing a plant pay attention to the color of the leaves, it should be dark green at the top and a little lighter at the bottom. On the underside of the leaves, brown scales can be seen - this is the norm for hovei. Do not buy plants with large brown spots on the leaves, this is a sign of improper watering that could lead to root disease. Be sure to inspect the plant for pests such as mealybugs and scale insects.

After purchasing the plant, take care of its proper transportation. In winter, warm packaging is required, in several layers of paper and film, with a minimum stay in the cold. In the summer, especially in the heat, do not leave the plant for a long time in the car, where it can "cook" in the sun.

At home, carefully inspect the plant again, after adapting to room temperature, wash the leaves under a warm shower, treat with Aktara insecticide in order to prevent insect pests (sprinkle and spill the soil according to the instructions).

Hoveya Forster

Illumination. Hovei are shade-tolerant plants that do not require bright light, the illumination can fluctuate between 35-80%. They prefer northeast or north windows, in rooms with a south orientation it is better to place plants in the back of the room. Mature plants can tolerate direct sunlight, but young specimens under 5 years of age must be protected from sunlight or the leaves may burn. It is considered sufficient lighting under which the book can be read. In winter, when the light becomes much less, it is advisable to lower the temperature of the content to + 14 ° C for adult specimens and up to + 18 ° C for young specimens, but hovei may well winter at room temperature, then it is advisable to provide them with additional lighting (LED or fluorescent lamps).

Watering regular and moderate all year round. Watering time is determined by the state of the soil, drying out of its top layer. In summer, during active growth, the plant's need for water increases, as the soil dries out faster. In winter, with a lack of light and, especially, with a cool content, the need for water decreases sharply, the soil dries out longer. Therefore, it is necessary to reduce the frequency and abundance of watering, but the soil cannot be brought to complete drying.Overmoistening will lead to rotting of the roots, overdrying will cause damage to the roots, in both cases large brown spots form on the leaves. Errors with the irrigation regime cause the greatest harm to the plant.

Air humidity. The optimum humidity for hovey is 60-70%, but they are quite tolerant of dry indoor air. If possible, spray the leaves several times a day at temperatures above + 18 ° C. Spraying in hot weather is especially useful. From too dry air, the tips of the leaves turn brown and dry, they have to be carefully trimmed. Dry air can cause an attack by a spider mite; for prevention, arrange a regular warm shower for the plant and often spray the leaves.

Temperature. The optimum temperature for keeping hovey in summer is + 20 + 25 ° C, in winter with low illumination, it is advisable to lower it a little, but not lower than + 12 ° C, although these palms winter well at room temperature (preferably with additional artificial lighting). Adult specimens endure short-term cooling up to +5 and even 0оС.

Soil and transplant. It is useful to replant young plants every year, carefully transferring them to a slightly larger pot. Adult palms do not need frequent transplants, they can grow in one pot for many years, you only need a regular, once a year, replacement of the top layer of soil with a fresh one. Hovei are undemanding to the composition of the soil, but grow best in a rich loamy substrate with good drainage. A ready-made substrate for palm trees or for decorative deciduous plants is suitable as a base, in which it is desirable to add leaf humus and sod land. To ensure good drainage of the soil, the addition of perlite is beneficial.

Top dressing Produced with complex fertilizers with microelements for palms or ornamental foliage plants from spring to autumn, according to the instructions. In winter, all feeding is canceled. Adult palms may be deficient in magnesium and potassium. Partially, you can apply fertilizers by spraying the leaves with weak concentrations of mineral fertilizers.

Reproduction hovey is possible only by sowing seeds. But the seeds do not germinate at once, after about 2 months, the germination rate is low, sometimes it takes up to 1-3 years for their germination. The reason may be both in the rapid loss of germination (the seeds are most viable within 8-16 weeks after harvesting), and in the fact that the seeds ripen for several years on the tree and are not always harvested to the required degree of ripeness. Presowing soil treatment with fungicides and bottom heating increase seed germination.

Pests. Hovei are affected by mealybugs, scale insects, thrips, spider mites. Examine the plants carefully when buying, a regular warm shower will clean the leaves of accumulated dust and reduce the number of ticks if they are infected.

About control measures - in the article Pests of indoor plants and measures to combat them.

Possible problems when growing hovea

  • Yellowing and dying off of the lower leaves... Perhaps this is a natural process of dying off an old leaf. When several leaves die off at once, the reason may be excessive watering, less often a lack of light. It is necessary to normalize conditions.
Yellowing of leaves
  • The appearance of large brown spots on the leaves... This is possible with regular waterlogging of the plant or with strong overdrying. If waterlogging was allowed, then it is advisable to carefully remove the clod from the pot, examine the roots, which are severely affected, cut or remove, sprinkle with charcoal, dry the clod, return it back to the pot and normalize watering. When overdrying the plant, after a strong loss of turgor by the leaves, sprinkle the crown generously and sprinkle the soil sparingly. For the early restoration of the root system, you can treat the plant with Zircon (4 drops per 1 liter of water), spray and shed no more than once a week.
Spots on the leaves
  • Whitish color of leaves... The plant is affected by spider mites or thrips.Wash the leaves on both sides under a warm shower, in case of severe tick infestation, treat with acaricides, normalize conditions, provide better lighting, spray the leaves often. If affected by thrips, treat with Aktara systemic insecticide.
Whitish leaves due to mites or thrips

Photo: Rita Brilliantova, Natalia Semenova and from the forum

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