In this post for indoor and garden flowers we will focus on Pachistahis - a very beautiful and unpretentious herbaceous or shrubby plant native to South America. This genus of 12 species of perennial evergreen shrubs, just like Crossover, belongs to the Acanthaceae family. Of all the representatives, only three are cultivated and grown in a controlled environment - Pachystachys coccinea, Pachystachys lutea and Pachystachys spicata, while the rest can be seen only in their natural habitats. Its name comes from the Greek pahi (παχύ - thick) and stachis (σταχυς - class / cob of corn), because of the specific and bright, yellow, yellow-orange or red bracts. In tropical and subtropical regions, where the temperature does not fall below 10 degrees, pahistahis can be grown as a garden plant, while in the rest of the planet, it is a houseplant or greenhouse flower.

The most common yellow species (Pachystachys lutea) is a semi-shrub reaching up to a meter in height, with green stems that cover the tree bark at its base. There is a dense green mass of cruciform leaves with convex veins. It blooms from March-April to September-October, forming golden bracts, with white or cream-colored flowers.
The red phystachys (Pachystachys coccinea), also called the "Guardian of the Cardinal", because of its resemblance to the guard feathers, is the other common representative, which, however, can grow almost double.





The plant is not capricious, but if minimal care is not taken, it will not indulge in its lush flowering. Pachistachis loves light and fresh air, but currents and the very strong sun must be avoided. As it is good to be outdoors during the summer months, its location should not be ventilated and although it does feel good in direct sunlight in the morning and afternoon, no direct sunlight should be avoided.

Like all tropical plants, pachistachis feels best in a temperature environment around 20-22 degrees, with summer not desirable to exceed 25. In the winter or in the October-March period, a range of 16-19 degrees is recommended. Air conditioning is needed, because in the event of sudden changes, some of the leaves may drip. Lowering the degrees below 13-14 already poses a serious risk to the plant.

Irrigation should be copious and frequent, with cool water remaining, but the soil should be drained very well so as not to hold it. During flowering, be careful not to wet the flowers. The soil should not dry during the warm months, while during the cold watering is thinned. The inherent high humidity in the natural environment for pachistachis makes it feel very good with spray, warm showers, humidification, etc.

Moderate soil nutrition with flowering mineral complexes is welcome during the flowering period. It is a good idea to replant a year or two by replacing much of the substrate to reduce acidity. The new soil layer must be very well drained.

Although it grows slowly, periodic pruning of the pachistachis will have a good effect on the density and flowering. Propagation is by cuttings of color in the flowering period, which are placed in soft cool water until the roots appear.