This genus includes 6-7 species of small perennial plants with a prostrate habit, originating in Malaysia and southern Asia. The Hemigraphis repanda reaches 15-20 cm in height, and tends to develop very wide; it has thin semi-woody stems, very branched, which bear thin lanceolate leaves, sometimes serrated and lobed, of a greenish-purple color, silver on the lower side and with shades tending to purple and pink; from spring to autumn it produces small creamy-white flowers. For a compact and dense development it is advisable to shorten the stems in autumn; these small plants could also be grown as annuals in the garden, in a partially shaded place, but only in places where temperatures are mild as they are plants that need heat and temperatures that do not fall below 10 ° C.
These small perennials, due to their origin, fear the cold and need minimum temperatures above 12-15 ° C; for their cultivation it is therefore necessary to keep in a fairly bright place, far from direct sources of heat, such as fireplaces or radiators. Hemigraphis repanda plants need to be positioned in bright places but not in direct sunlight, especially on the hottest and sultry days as the leaves may show signs of burns.
The E. colore species can also be grown in the aquarium.
From March to October water the Hemigraphis repanda regularly, keeping the soil slightly humid, but checking that water does not build up, which are rather harmful for this type of plant; every 20-25 days, provide fertilizer for green plants, mixed with the water used for watering.
During the winter months water sporadically, when the soil is dry, always providing moderate amounts of water.
For a good growth of the specimens belonging to this variety, it is necessary to cultivate in a rich and soft, well-drained soil; we use balanced universal soil, mixed with a part of sand and a part of finely shredded bark, so as to have a substrate with a correct degree of drainage, able to prevent water stagnation, a dangerous factor for the health of this plant which could present rottenness in case of excess humidity.
These plants are reproduced by apical cuttings, in autumn or spring; sometimes the stems that come very close to the ground tend to root themselves, even when they are attached to the mother plant, in spring they can be detached and repotted in individual containers.
The cuttings should be placed in special containers with a substrate formed by peat and sand in equal parts, to be placed in a sheltered and protected place with constant temperature, up to the rooting.
Hemigraphis repanda: Pests and diseases
These plants are very prone to attack by mites and aphids, which can cause total loss of leaves. To effectively counter the problem it is good to act quickly when you notice the first signs of pests, or using special insecticide products, or with the use of macerated garlic or nettle, which must be vaporized on the affected plants.