The Episcia cupreata is a perennial herbaceous plant native to South America. It has stoloniferous, fleshy and rapidly developing roots, from which thin fleshy, densely branched fleshy stems grow, bearing numerous oval leaves, of various colors, from dark green to bronze, with contrasting or variegated, fleshy and rough veins; the plant remains below 10-15 cm in height, but develops in dense enlarged carpets. In summer it produces numerous tubular flowers, red, orange, white or pink; there are numerous hybrids with flamboyant leaves or with particular blooms. These plants are very suitable for growing in hanging containers.
Place the Episcia cupreata in very bright places, but sheltered from the direct rays of the sun, especially in the hottest months; fears temperatures below 10 ° C, so in winter it should be kept indoors or in a temperate greenhouse. Being a variety of tropical origin, it has no problems with maximum temperatures; if it is placed in places with little brightness it will produce few flowers and the leaves will lengthen.
The plants of Episcia cupreata prefer moist soils, so they need frequent and regular watering, but we advise you never to soak the soil and let it dry slightly between one watering and another. From March to October, provide fertilizer for flowering plants, every 15-20 days, mixed with the water of the watering, possibly in half the amount recommended on the package.
It is advisable to vaporize the leaves often with demineralized water, to increase the environmental humidity.
The Episcia cupreata prefers loose, rich and very well drained soils; use a mixture of peat and leaf mold in equal parts, to which to add perlite and pumice stone, to increase drainage. We recommend repotting the plant every 2-3 years, possibly in early spring. The roots of the plant are rather superficial and develop more horizontally, so it is advisable to choose large and less deep vessels.
This plant propagates in various ways, in spring you can practice stem or leaf cuttings, or you can sow small seeds. Often we proceed to the propagation by division, detaching the well developed stolons, which carry some branches; these portions should be immediately repotted in a single container.
Cuprean episcia: Pests and diseases
Sometimes the aphids ruin the leaves; it can also be attacked by the cochineal and affected by root rot, especially when the soil is not sufficiently draining. Aphids or lice can be eliminated with the use of specific products or with natural preparations based on garlic, which must be boiled in water, to then filter the whole and vaporize the mixture on the affected plants. For scale insects, when they are not widespread, it is possible to use a cloth with alcohol to remove them manually. Even the red spider mite can be a parasite that affects the plant, in this case, it is sufficient to increase the degree of humidity, since these parasites do not like water.