The genus of plants that goes by the name of Bouvardia it belongs to the Rubiaceae family and produces flowers that are very popular, both from an aesthetic point of view and because of their intense scent. This plant is native to Mexico and of some countries of South America, it is classified as a small evergreen shrub, with a bushy character, with woody stems and many thin branches covered with deep green leaves, with smooth margins. When it's time to bloom, the Bouvardia produces tubular shaped flowers which are always very fragrant but can have different colors depending on the variety considered. We usually find them united in clusters.
Growing this beautiful plant is rather trivial, the important thing is to do attention to the climate, since it is not used to a climate like ours due to its origins. In spring and summer we must place it in a bright area but without the sun's rays being too direct, with temperatures from 15 ° C to 24 ° C. In winter, always keep it in the light, even with direct sun, and never with temperatures below 13 ° C.
The Bouvardia soil must always be last, so we water often, especially in summer, and when it is time to repot, or when the roots have occupied all the available space, we can use a soil mixed with a little coarse sand promotes drainage and avoids the formation of water stagnations.
In the months from March to September, we can fertilize this plant, using a liquid fertilizer to mix with the water when we irrigate, towards the summer the Bouvardia then it blooms giving us magnificent perfumes. The branches must be pruned towards the end of winter, however, and are usually cut about ten centimeters from the base of the plant which reacts immediately by producing new shoots.
These plants do propagate by cuttings, by seed or by root division. When proceeding with the first method it is necessary to cut the cutting in the spring, about 10 centimeters, starting from the node. The terminal part of the cutting should be immersed in a rhizogenic powder to facilitate rooting, then we can arrange it in a soil formed by peat and coarse sand at a depth of about 1.5-2 centimeters.
At this point it is important to protect the vase with a hood, to maintain a constant temperature and avoid excessive loss of moisture. Only when the cutting has rooted, and has shown the first shoots, will it be possible to free the pot from its protection by moving it one position as bright as possible. Wait a little longer and then, when the seedlings have grown sufficiently, it will be possible to transplant them into a larger pot and with a more suitable soil for their growth.
Among all over fifty species of Bouvardia, let's see the most relevant ones.
There Bouvardia Domestica it is one of the most cultivated hybrids and has a very prolonged flowering characterized by white or red / pink color. It is not very big, it does not exceed 70 centimeters in height. There B. longiflora it has beautiful white flowers, gathered in clusters and very fragrant, on dense and curved branches covered with shiny green leaves. ternifolia it is native to Mexico and has very particular leaves covered with a light down and with smooth edges. Its flowers are red, often gathered in clusters that sprout at the end of the branches, always fragrant and tubular in shape.
Then there is the B. jasminiflora known for its small leaves and white flowers that sprout in winter. The last species we want to remember is the B. humboldtii, of modest size and often considered a variety of longiflora with large, white and fragrant flowers.
If we manage to keep our plant well, it will not give us problems and worries because it is usually a genus that shows one robust health. When it gets damaged, very often the cause is bad cultivation techniques.
When we overdo it with watering, it can happen that the leaves and the flowers fall off or rot. It is time to check the roots, to eliminate any rotten roots, and not repeat the mistake. It may also unfortunately happen that the aphids attack the plant, we can defend it with specific pesticide products that are readily available from a good nurseryman.
Bouvardia: name and curiosity
We owe to Louis XIII's doctor and superintendent of the Jardin Royal in Paris,Charles Bouvard (1572 - 1658), the name of this beautiful plant of which new species are still being discovered. It also happened in 2008 when the Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, found a new species, Bouvardia borhidiana, in the southern Sierra Madre, in Mexico.
In the meantime it turned out that it is not only a beautiful ornamental plant but also useful. In traditional medicine, the aqueous extract of its leaves is used in the treatment of diabetes but in some states of Mexico much more is done. Indeed, it would appear that the B. terniflora can work as an antidote to the venom of vipers, scorpions, bees, ants and other insects as well as to combat cough, dysentery, stomach and head pains.
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