Exacum affine – EXACUM

An attractive small plant often given as a present. Long stems of heart-shaped leaves carry clusters of dainty mauve flowers with vivid yellow centres. It is a member of the Gentian family.

Temperature:

Flowering season 18 C (64 °F)

Soil: A soil-less compost with 20% good friable loam added.

Where to position: In good light but avoid bright sun.

Watering requirements: Keep soil moist to thumb pressure.

Exacum affine

General care: The plant is inexpensive and should be purchased early in summer. With reasonable care it will stay in flower over a long period. It is to be regarded as disposable and is seldom worth keeping after October. It can be given easily from seed sown in a propagator in late February or early March.

Rest: The plant will seldom survive the winter and even when it does, will not be as good as a young plant.

When it looks sick:

Tired, limp leaves : Place plant in a cooler spot. It does not like high temperatures.

Drooping leaves : Check soil condition and water in order to restore a good moist condition.

Browning leaves : Move the plant away from strong sunlight which is scorching it.

Parasites : Spray with insecticide.

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