X Fatshedera Lizei ‘Annemieke’
Introduced to the pot-plant market within the last ten years or so, this unusual plant is one of the more shrubby of the cultivars available. It is a tough, hardy evergreen for indoors or out. Having leaves softly marked with splodges of lime green to sulphur yellow, this plant makes a subtly different coloured houseplant. As with most variegated plants, it is slower growing than the plain green version. The leathery leaves can reach 30cm (12in) wide and are about 20cm (8in) long on well grown plants. The stems are weak and must be given support, or the plant pinched out regularly to maintain bushiness. If placed outdoors for Summer, keep it out of direct sunlight.
Keep this plant at a minimum Winter temperature of 9°C (45°F), although colder conditions may be tolerated if the rootball is kept fairly dry. For the best growth, a range of 9-22°C (45-72°F) is recommended.
Grow in bright, indirect, light, especially in Winter: the variegations will be lost if the plant is grown in very dark or bright conditions.
Water moderately at all times, adapting the watering regime to complement the growing conditions.
Keep thebarely moist at all times.
This tough-leaved plant will withstand fairly dry air, but if the temperature exceeds 18°C (65°F), mist at least twice weekly.
Newly-potted plants need no feed for 4-6 months. During the growing Season, established plants need feeding every three months with half-strength houseplant feed.
Repot overcrowded plants in Spring; using a free-draining, loam- based compost. This provides stability, as tall plants such as this are prone to toppling over. Large plants, which are difficult to repot, may be top-dressed, the feeding regime being started six weeks later.
These plants can have several stems in the same pot for a good display; this is worth remembering when propagating your own material. In addition, regular pinching out will result in a bushy and more compact plant. The whole plant can be cut back to 10cm (4in) to encourage branching growth.
Red Spider Mite may be a problem in very hot conditions: under-leaf misting discourages the pest, but badly-affected plants should be trimmed and the trimmings burned. Once regrowth begins, treat with a proprietary insecticide.
Other pests: Aphids may attack succulent new shoot tips, while Mealy Bugs lurk in the leaf axils. Control the former with a proprietary insecticide, and dissolve Mealy Bugs using a cotton bud and methylated spirit.
Sudden leaf drop will result from cold or very-wet conditions.