Beaucarnea, appreciated for its properties as a smoke-eating plant, is an evergreen native to the hot and dry areas of Central America. Verdant, it belongs to the Agavaceae family, in Mexico it is even among the protected species because urbanization and intensive agriculture ruin its natural habitat. It is also a plant very commercialized and therefore too much in demand for what today is its presence.
Beaucarnea smoke-eating plant
Said Nolina or smoke-eating plant, it really has the ability to absorb harmful gases and fumes and does not suffer the consequences, indeed, it is always in great shape. It is not a legend and anyone who has hosted one knows that it is all true.
The name of smoke-eating plant also derives from the fact that it is one of the few plants that can resist in the event of a fire.
There Beaucarnea grows slowly and has a stem that forms a kind of bulge at the bottom, at the base, not for unnecessary deformity but to store water. At the top of the barrel there is a tuft of leaves, deep green, long and thin, curved and even up to 2 m long, but not more than 3 cm wide.
It does not produce many flowers and only when it is advanced in years is there the likelihood that it will give us someone, plus they are female and male, they define the sex of each Beaucarnea and have a creamy-white color.
This variety, originally from Mexico, it is the most widespread and cultivated and is also called ponytail palm because it resembles the palm and actually becomes a real tree, 15 meters high and with a diameter of even 3 m.
Its leaves are long but never flanked except in rare cases by inflorescences. In our part it is it is almost impossible to make Beaucarnea flourish, in the areas from which it comes instead it occasionally produces pale yellow flowers. The male flowers have anthers, the female ones the pistil. The Beaucarnea recurvata it is so called because its leaves are more curved than usual.
This is another of the varieties of Beaucarnea that reaches us, in total there are several and only eight are endemic to Mexico. There Longofolia like the others, it produces fruits that have the formula of a small capsule with 2-3 seeds inside, when it blooms it blooms in summer, otherwise there is only a beautiful plant full of particularly long leaves.
Regardless of whether it blooms or not, the Beaucarnea is a not particularly difficult plant to grow especially if in pots and in apartments. The important thing to remember if you want to get satisfactory results, are the temperatures, in cold ones it is very sensitive and can kill you.
The thermometer must never show numbers lower than 10 ° C, but certainly not even exceed 30 ° C, the environment must remain humid.
Beaucarnea: exposure to light and location
There Beaucarnea desires abundant light all year round and is not disturbed by the direct sun. If it is not hit by too violent currents, it is at ease even in areas where there is a bit of air spinning.
The Beaucarnea must be watered constantly but without exaggerating and avoiding stagnation of water in the saucer, from spring to late summer.
In autumn and winter, the Beaucarnea must be watered only if it does not rain for several days. Otherwise it does not need to be watered as the plant is able to use the water collected in its stem during the hours of rain.
Fertilization of the Beaucarnea
The Beaucarnea can be fertilized using the specific fertilizer for succulents, diluted in water. As for the frequency, we recommend limiting yourself to one fertilization per month in the months of spring and summer.
Reproduction of the Beaucarnea
The The most used method to reproduce the beaucarnea is the multiplication by shoots as it allows to generate plants identical to the original one.
Performing it is quite simple: just plant the sprouts gently detached from the mother plant in moist soil, taking care to place the pot in a place away from the sun's rays.
If you want to multiply the beaucarnea using the seeds, you will have to plant them in the ground a few cm deep in the months of February and March, watering periodically in order to maintain the right humidity.
A Beaucarnea already grown can have a considerable price, it really depends on its overall size and from those of the bulge at the base: the bigger it is, the more the plant costs. It is not possible to give a random estimate, these plants can in theory be up to 10 meters, in truth those that we usually find on the market in Italy they range from meter and a half to 2 meters, maximum, a little for the climate and a little for "comfort" reasons.
Those who want to spend little and try to get a Beaucarnea starting from the recurvata seed can buy some 10 to 3 euros on Amazon.
Beaucarnea: diseases and dry leaves
There are diseases that make them diseased leaves, make them dry out and then fall. There cochineal, in particular the floury cochineal, is one of the enemies of Beaucarnea which more often damages it.
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