Achimenes : Greenhouse Plants
W – warm, minimum of 13°C (55°F)
Mexico and South America
The popular name for these are Hot Water Plants. As a young grower of eleven or twelve I diligently watered them with boiling water, which is not recommended. It is more likely that the name is derived from their having been grown in tropical houses heated by hot water pipes. I have known growers get good results from putting hot water on gravel beneath the plants so that it evaporated around them without contact with the roots. These are rewarding plants to grow and are usually acquired as seed or tubercles. Seed is extremely fine and needs to be surface sown on moist peaty.
Germination should take three to four weeks at 21°C (70°F). Tubercles resemble anglers’ maggots and should be planted 2.5 cm (1 in) deep and 2.5 cm (1 in) apart between February and April. Water carefully and keep at a temperature of 15°C (60°F). At lower temperatures they are slow and erratic to get going but it can be allowed to drop subsequently. If you have trouble starting them, try planting them first in shallow peat. Once they have sprouted they can be transplanted to pots. After a show of exotic flowers they should be watered and fed well until they begin to die down. During winter, keep them dry. The following spring take them out of their pots and be surprised at how much the original tubercles have multiplied. Repeat the process. They make excellent hanging baskets, particularly the cascade varieties. It is possible to makeby cutting across the base of the leaf and inserting them upright in cutting compost.