Graptophyllum Pictum, famous as the Caricature Plant, stands out with its smashingly vivid foliage! Let’s have a look at how to grow it.
Graptophyllum Pictum has beautiful foliage that comes in a wide range of colors, including bright green, pink, red, and purple. Some cultivars even feature variegated or speckled patterns, adding even more visual interest to this already stunning plant. So get ready to make an impression on everyone who looks at your garden!
Common Names: Tricolor Caricature Plant, Waimea Caricature Plant, Black Adulsa
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Graptophyllum Pictum Information
Graptophyllum pictum, commonly known as caricature plant, is a species of flowering plant in the Acanthaceae family. It is native to Southeast Asia, with its natural range extending from Thailand through the Philippines and Indonesia.
The plant is a popular ornamental, grown for its attractive foliage and its ability to thrive in a wide range of conditions. The leaves of the caricature plant are elliptic to ovate in shape and display an array of colors from deep purple to chartreuse. The underside of the leaf is typically lighter in color and may be spotted or mottled.
Graptophyllum pictum bears small, white flowers that are produced in clusters. Graptophyllum pictum is easy to grow in a wide range of temperatures and can survive in both full sun and partial shade.
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Propagating Graptophyllum Pictum
The following are the steps to propagate Graptophyllum Pictum:
- Choose a healthy, mature Graptophyllum Pictum plant with several stems and leaves.
- Prepare a well-draining potting mix with a combination of perlite, peat moss, and sand.
- Take a 5-6 inches long cutting from the Graptophyllum Pictum.
- Remove the bottom leaves from the cutting, leaving only the top 2-3 leaves.
- Dip the cut end of the stem into a rooting hormone powder to encourage root growth.
- Plant the cutting into the prepared potting mix and water thoroughly.
- Cover the cutting with a clear plastic bag or plastic wrap to create a humid environment.
- Place the pot in a warm, bright location but out of direct sunlight.
- Check the cutting regularly and mist it if the soil begins to dry out.
- After a few weeks, new growth should appear, indicating that the cutting has successfully rooted.
- At this point, you can remove the plastic covering and treat the new plant as you would a mature Graptophyllum Pictum plant.
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Requirements to Grow Graptophyllum Pictum
Graptophyllum Pictum requires bright, indirect sunlight to grow, preferably for 4-6 hours per day. It can tolerate partial shade, but too little light can cause the plant to become leggy and lose its vibrant foliage color.
Direct sunlight can scorch the leaves, so it’s best to place the plant in a location where it can receive filtered or dappled light. If grown under artificial grow lights, the preferable amount would be 12-14 hours per day.
The plant grows best in well-draining, slightly acidic soil that’s rich in organic matter. The soil should be moist but not waterlogged, as Graptophyllum Pictum can be susceptible to root rot in overly wet conditions.
A growing medium that contains a combination of peat moss, perlite, and sand can provide the proper drainage and aeration that the plant needs to thrive.
Graptophyllum Pictum needs consistent, moderate watering to grow. It’s best to water the plant when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. When watering, ensure that the water reaches the roots and does not just sit on the surface of the soil.
It is a tropical plant that thrives in warm temperatures between 20-30°C (68-86°F). Graptophyllum Pictum cannot tolerate frost or temperatures below 10°C (50°F), so it’s best to keep the plant in a warm and humid environment.
If grown outdoors, the plant should be protected from cold temperatures and strong winds.
Graptophyllum Pictum prefers a humid environment to grow, similar to its native tropical habitat. The ideal humidity range for this plant is between 50-70%, which can be challenging to maintain in some indoor environments.
To increase humidity levels, mist the leaves regularly with room-temperature water or place its pot on a tray of pebbles filled with water.
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Taking Care of Graptophyllum Pictum
The plant benefits from regular fertilization to support healthy growth and maintain its vibrant foliage color. A balanced, water-soluble fertilizer can be applied every 6-7 weeks during the growing season to help Graptophyllum Pictum thrive.
Pruning is not necessary, but it can be beneficial to control its size and shape or to remove damaged or diseased leaves. The best time to prune is in the early spring before new growth appears.
Use sharp and clean pruning shears to make a clean cut just above a leaf node or lateral branch.
Pests and Diseases
This plant can be affected by some common pests, such as spider mites, mealybugs, and scale insects, which can be controlled by wiping the leaves with a damp cloth or using a horticultural oil or soap spray.
Overwatering can cause root rot, while underwatering can lead to wilting and browning of the leaves.
Additionally, the plant can be susceptible to fungal diseases such as leaf spots or powdery mildew. This can be prevented by ensuring good air circulation around the plant, avoiding overhead watering, and keeping the leaves dry.