The Thunbergia alata is a very simple climbing plant to cultivate. It does not require excessive care and is able to give wonderful and special blooms. Let’s see how to sow and cultivate this plant.
The Thunbergia alata is an evergreen climber native to Africa. It is a plant cultivated more as an annual plant due to its easy reproduction, a very fast growth and flowering. It is a plant belonging to the family of Acantaceae and contains about 200 different species.
The leaves of Thunbergia are oval, the stems are woody, thin and drooping where they come to life numerous blooms during the summer. The flowers are of various colours, orange, yellow, red, white and pink, their particular characteristic is the central black dot.
This plant requires little care, so it is very simple to grow both in pots and in the garden, now let’s see how to do it.
How And When To Sow
The Thunbergia alata is a species whose reproduction takes place by sowing. Seeds, oval in shape, can be found online or can be obtained at the foot of the plant, around the period from September to October. It is capable of self sowing, so it can be grown easily as an annual.
If we want to anticipate the times and have the plants of Thunbergia alata ready already in spring, we can choose to reproduce it in the greenhouse or seedbed. This procedure should be carried out in the period from February to March. Here’s how to do it:
Let’s get small pots, even the biodegradable ones on the market and a lot of seeding soil, called peat. Let’s fill the pots with earth, make a hole in the center where we will put the seed, covering it with the soil. The hole must be twice the size of the seed. Water well with a nebulizer and place the pots in the chosen seedbed, covering with the appropriate cover.
The temperature inside the seedbed should be between 18-23 degrees Celsius.
After 4-5 days from sowing, the first shoots will sprout, leave the pots in the greenhouse for another 5-6 days, continuing to spray the ground constantly.
After such time, the small plants will be able to get out from the seedbed, getting them used to the temperatures of the house. Put the small pots in a luminous and temperate zone, or get the lamps for the indoor cultivation. Continue to water constantly. Then, as temperatures rise, we can take the plants outside, gradually getting them used to, first in the shade and then slowly to the first rays of sunlight.
To be more successful in sowing, the seedbed or the greenhouse must be equipped with a mat or a heating element.
If we do not have space, or if we do not have a greenhouse, we can sow the Thunbergia outside. It will be sufficient to choose the point, or the pot where to grow our plants, add soil, mixing it with peat and sow. Then cover the seeds slightly and water well.
Taking Care of the Winged Thunbergia
As soon as the plants of Thunbergia alata have reached a height of 20-30 cm, they will be ready for transplanting. This happens in April or May, when there will be no more danger of night frost.
We will choose a sunny place during the morning hours and away from the sun’s rays, during the hottest hours of the day. Let’s prepare a small hole, take the jars and select the best and most vigorous plants. Wet the soil of the pot and exert a slight pressure with the palm of your hand, letting the plant out with its compact roots to the ground. Place it in the hole previously made, cover compacting the soil and water.
The Thunbergia alata, as said before, grows and develops quickly. It prefers a sunny position in the morning, shaded during the hottest hours. The soil must be soft and well draining, the Thunburgia suffers from the presence of too moist moulds. The ideal temperature is between 18-25°C.
The plant should be irrigated constantly, wait for the soil to dry completely between watering. Avoid water stagnation.
During the summer period, from June until the first cold, the winged Thunbergia is able to give wonderful blooms. It withstands, for a short period of time, temperatures that fall below 0 degrees, gradually the stems will begin to dry up.