Come coltivare lo scudo persiano

Se le piante di scudo persiano fioriscono, di solito è in autunno o in inverno. Se coltivato come annuale, lo scudo persiano potrebbe non avere abbastanza tempo per impostare boccioli e fiori, ma non ti mancheranno con tutto il fogliame colorato. Le piante coltivate in casa generalmente fioriranno in inverno, ma potresti preferire di pizzicarle e sviluppare invece una pianta più piena. I fiori tendono ad essere piccoli e sono oscurati dalle foglie. Lo scudo persiano preferisce il terreno umido e l’ombra durante le parti più calde dell’estate.
Persian shield planted in partial shade will pick up the light and reflect it back off its leaves. If kept indoors, it needs bright light to keep its color.
Persian shield grows well in the neutral range of soil pH and can tolerate slightly acidic soil . Keep the pH between 5.5 and 7.5.
The less water the Persian shield plant gets, the more shade it will need. The plant will quickly droop if it doesn’t receive adequate water, but it typically bounces back quickly after a drink.
Persian shield requires warm temperatures (above 60 degrees Fahrenheit) and sultry humid air. It is hardy in USDA hardiness zones 9 to 11 but is more commonly grown indoors or as a summer annual in cooler climates. In zone 9, and during mild winters in zones 7 and 8, Persian shield may die back to the ground after frost but remain alive and regrow the following season. In zones 10 and 11, it should remain evergreen or “everpurple.” If growing indoors, make sure it has humid conditions. Dry air will cause the leaves to dry and drop. Misting daily is recommended, but be sure to use soft water, as chlorine will damage the leaves.
If grown in rich soil with plenty of moisture, Persian shield should only need light feeding at the start of the season and again about midway through the summer.
When indoors in a container, keep the plant to a manageable size instead of letting it grow to its full capacity. The best way to accomplish this is to pinch back plants, repot younger plants annually until they reach their maximum size, then repot every other year. Root prune older plants as a way to control their size. If your plant becomes leggy, take stem cuttings and discard the mother plant.
You can start Persian shield from seed or cuttings . Seeds require somewhat warm conditions (55 to 64 degrees Fahrenheit) to germinate.
Plants can easily be started by softwood cuttings. Applying some bottom heat will keep them from rotting before they establish roots. Change water daily. Spring and early summer are the best times to take cuttings.
Since Persian shield is grown for its foliage and the flowers are not particularly showy, many gardeners like to pinch back the leaves to create a fuller plant. If left to grow on its own, it can get tall, leggy, and floppy.
Do not remove the fading leaves that develop immediately after flowering. The leaves may look sad at this point, but that is because the plant has gone dormant for the remainder of the winter. Resist the temptation to pinch at this point, to avoid disturbing dormancy. Resume pinching when the plant starts growing in earnest in the spring.
Persian shield makes a striking border plant, particularly when paired with soft gray greens or chartreuse.
In USDA Zone 10 and higher, Persian shield can get quite bushy and makes a wonderful focal point. It may even overwinter some years in cooler climates.
Even when grown as an annual, Strobilanthes make an eye-catching addition to borders and containers. Bring a plant or two indoors, and grow as houseplants through the winter. You can always move them back outdoors in the spring.