Pellionia is a pretty foliage plant that is suited to hanging baskets. Native to South-East Asia, especially to Vietnam, Burma, the Malaysian Peninsula and Polynesia, Pellionia was first cultivated in the early twentieth century. The plants are named in honour of a young French naval officer, A.M.J. Alphonse Pellio (1795— 1868), a member of the French voyage of discovery headed by Louis Freycinet.
Grown for its handsome foliage, Pellionia is a low, bushy plant with pretty, marbled. Some varieties produce small, insignificant in the summer, but they sap energy and nourishment from the , so it is best to pinch them out. The long trailing grow with great vigour, and the veined leaves appear in a flat plane opposite each other along the length of the . If the stems grow straggly in the summer, pinch them back.
The plant likes a light, rich, and needs to be repotted in spring if the have run out of space.
In spite of the prolific growth pattern, both the leaves and stems are delicate and should be protected from both direct sunlight and draughts. To ensure adequate humidity, plants can be hung aboveof other plants, placed in an outer pot with a layer of moist pebbles in the base, or stood on a support in a dish of water.
Pellionias are low, creeping plants which are seldom more than 20— 25cm (8-10in) tall. The trailing stems can, however, be quite long.
Pellionia pulchra has pale, grey-green leaves with dark veins and edges. It is also called Satin Pellionia.
Pllionia daveauana has olive-green leaves with a tinge of bronze and a pale grey centre vein. Its stems are very fragile.
Takein early spring. Remove lower leaves and trim the cuttings to 10cm (4in) long. Put 3 or 4 cuttings into a pot of moist, warm, fast-draining rooting with plenty of peat. Cover with a perforated polythene bag. Maintain a temperature of 21°-24°C (70°-75°F). The cuttings need warmth to take . They also need light, but must be protected from direct sunlight.
After about 3-5 weeks, transplant rooted cuffings to a mixture of two parts soil-basedcompost and one part -mould. Plant 3-4 cuttings in a 15cm (6in) pot for a bushy plant.
Pests And Diseases
Black or brown, badly withered leaves indicate either too much sunlight, a cold draughty position or not enough humidity. Treatment: Move the plant to a more favourable position and raise humidity by standing pot on a tray of moist pebbles.
Grey mould, a brownish-grey dust on the leaves, indicates cold, damp conditions.
Treatment: Spray with an appropriate fungicide and move the plant to a warmer position.
may appear on the plant.
Treatment: Spray with an.
This is a fairly easy plant to grow, provided its needs — low sunlight, high humidity and protection from draughts — are met. Pellionia cannot tolerate direct sunlight.
: Repot in early spring if the plants fill their , using a light mixture of peat and potting compost.
Pellionia needs high humidity and a light, moist compost. Do not allow the compost to dry out at any time. Check daily in hot weather. Stand pot on moist pebbles, and mist spray the leaves frequently.
Feeding: Feed only occasionally with a weak liquid fertilizer.
BEST GROWTH ENVIRONMENT
- Light: This plant needs light, but cannot tolerate direct sunlight, even for a short time each day. It can thrive in a draught-free north-facing window in winter.
- Temperature: Pellionia will flourish in ordinary room temperatures in summer and winter. The temperature shouldn’t fall below 13°C (55°F).
- As a foliage plant, Pellionia is attractive throughout the year, and can be bought at any time from most garden centres or nurseries:
- Choose a healthy-looking plant with a compact shape. Pellionia can be confused with various hanging varieties of Pilea, to which iris distantly related.
- It can live for many years in the right conditions.
Pellionia is a charming plant grown for its marbled foliage.
Its creeping habit makes it ideal in hanging baskets or displayed on a pedestal to show off its long, trailing stems.