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Botanical name: Ruellia makoyana
Common names: Trailing Velvet Plant, Monkey Plant
Ruellia makoyana commonly called Trailing Velvet Plant bears velvety oval-shaped leaves tinged with purple and veined in silver while the flowers are long flared trumpets.
The flowers are 2 in. long. The stems, about 2ft long droop gracefully making it ideal for a hanging basket.
Monkey Plant is an evergreen perennial plant whose decorative leaves qualifies it for a permanent houseplant. The leaves are hairy, dark-green with silvery veins.
Traling Velvet Plant adapts to indoor growing conditions but it needs warm and moist conditions inorder for it to thrive.
Ruellia makoyana is native to the rain forests of Brazil where the growing conditions are warm, moist and humid.
Ruellia makoyana (Trailing Velvet Plant) thrives in bright light away from direct sunshine, warm and humid conditions and consistently moist, fertile, well-drained soil coupled with monthly feeding during the growing season.
Trailing Velvet Plant requires regular pruning to keep it neat, to encourage a bushy growth and to rejuvenate growth. Repotting is only necessary when it becomes pot-bound. Continue reading for more on the best growing conditions for this plant and how to achieve them.
Trailing Velvet Plant grows best in bright light away from direct sunshine. Do not expose the plant to direct sunlight as it can result in sunscorched leaves.
Regularly turn the pot to ensure that the plant receives light on all sides for even growth.
It can also grow under a grow light where the natural lighting is inadeqaute.
Water Trailing Velvet Plant thoroughly during the growing season to maintain the soil moist through out.
Lessen watering during the cold season to maintain the soil slightly moist.
Do not allow the soil to dry out completely as it can lead to wilting and leaf drop.
Ensure the pot has a drainage hole to avoid getting soggy soil as it can lead to root-rot disease.
The best temperature for Trailing Velvet Plant is average room temperature with a minimum of 120C. Keep it away from cold draughts as it lead to leaf fall.
Trailing Velvet Plant grows best in humid conditions inorder to thrive. To raise humidity, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier.
Regularly clean the leaves by damp-wiping with a soft cloth to get rid of dust and also minimize pest and disease infestation.
Feed Trailing Velvet Plant monthly with a phosphorous-rich, water-soluble fertilizer during the growing season but do not feed during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time.
Prune Trailing Velvet Plant by removing dead blooms and leaves to maintain the plant neat and tidy. Pinch off the growing tips to encourage bushy growth and to keep the plant compact.
Repot Trailing Velvet Plant at the beginning of the growing season in a pot one size larger than the current one only when the plant becomes pot-bound.
Make sure that the pot has a drainage hole and the soil is free-draining soil to avoid soggy soil. Soggy soil can lead to root-rot disease and eventual death of the plant.
The best soil for Trailing Velvet Plant should be rich in organic matter and free-draining to prevent it from getting soggy while providing the required nutrients.
Most multi-purpose potting mixes are ideal for this plant. Buy quality Potting Mix for Ruellia makoyana online from Etsy.
Ruellia makoyana (Trailing Velvet Plant) can be propagated at the beginning of the growing season from stem cuttings. Below is an outline of Trailing Velvet Plant propagation from stem cuttings.
Take stem cuttings of about 4-6 in. from a healthy Trailing Velvet Plant. Ensure each cutting has 2-3 leaf nodes. Strip off the lower leaves.
Dip the lower cut end of the cutting in a rooting hormone to hasten rooting.
Insert the cutting in moist, free-draining soil and cover the set up with clear polythene to create a greenhouse effect in order to promote rooting.
Place the set up in a warm brightly lit spot away from direct sunlight. Rooting should occur in about 4-6 weeks.
Allow the Ruellia makoyana to be well established before transplanting after which you can begin routine care.
Trailing Velvet Plant (Ruellia makoyana) problems indoors include flower bud drop, wilting, drooping leaves, leaf spots, curled leaves, lack of blooms, pests and diseases among other. Continue reading for more on these problems, their remedies and solutions.
Flower bud drop in Trailing Velvet Plant is due to underwatering resulting in dry soil (little moisture in the rootzone).
Water the Ruellia makoyana liberally and maintain the soil consistently moist during the growing season. Reduce watering in the cold season but do not allow the soil to dry out completely.
Wilted and drooping leaves in Trailing Velvet Plant is due to underwatering resulting in very little moisture in the soil.
Ruellia makoyana grows best in consistently moist soil. Water the plant thoroughly and maintain the soil consistently moist during the growing season.
Decrease watering in the cold season to keep the soil slightly moist but do not allow the soil to dry out completely.
Brown soft leaf spots in Trailing Velvet Plant are due to overwatering or too wet soil (soggy soil).
Cut down on watering during the cold season to maintain the soil slightly moist. Also, ensure that the pot has a drainage hole and the soil is well-drained to prevent it from getting soggy.
Brown leaf tips and edges in Trailing Velvet Plant are due to too low humidity especially where the temperatures are very high.
To increase humidity, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier. Check out these techniques on how to raise humidity for houseplants.
There are three possible reasons why Trailing Velvet Plant is not blooming or flowering. One possible reason is too little light.
Move the plant to a brighter spot as it grows best in bright light but away from direct sunshine or instal a grow light if you do not have adequate light in your home.
The second possible reason why Ruellia makoyana is not blooming or flowering is feeding it with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer which promotes vegetative growth at the expense of blooms.
Feed the plant monthly with a phosphorous-rich, water-soluble fertilizer during the growing season to promote flowering.
The third possible reason why Trailing Velvet Plant is not blooming or flowering is underwatering.
Water the plant thoroughly and maintain the soil consistently moist during the growing season. Reduce watering in the cold season but do not let the soil dry out compeletely.
Brown leaf spots in Trailing Velvet Plant are due to exposure to direct sunlight. These are sunscorch marks. Shield the plant or keep it away from direct sunlight to avoid sunscorch on the leaves.
Leaf curl and leaf drop in Trailing Velvet Plant is due to too cold temperatures. The plant grows best in warm temperatures. Keep the plant away from cold draughts and maintain warm temperatures above 120C.
The common pests in Trailing Velvet Plant are Spider Mite, Scale Insects and Aphids. Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to the other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the pests. Read more on how to identify and get rid of pests in houseplants.
Trailing Velvet Plant (Ruellia makoyana) is non-toxic to both humans and pets. It is safe to grow in the home.
However, Trailing Velvet Plant can be invasive if not properly controlled. Take care to destroy any plant remains and avoid growing it in the ground.