Alonsoa - Mask Flower
DESCRIPTION: Alonsoas are tender, evergreen perennials that are usually grown as annuals. They can grow 9-24 inches high and have erect, branching growth. Their stems are wiry and they produce small, flat, 2-lipped blooms in the summer and fall. They can be grown outdoors during the summer, but other times they must be kept in a greenhouse having a minimum temperature of 45-50 degrees. They are natives to Peru and other parts of South America.
POTTING: The soil mixture that should be used is equal parts of loam and leaf mold with a bit of sand added. They can be planted outside in May, 6-9 inches apart, or they can be potted in 5-inch pots to flower in the greenhouse.
PROPAGATION: Seeds can be sown, from February to March, in a greenhouse that has a 50- to 60-degree temperature in light, sandy soil. Just sprinkle a bit of soil over the seeds to cover. When they're an inch or two high, the seedlings are potted singly in small pots 21/2 to 3 inches in diameter that are filled with the compost described above in potting or they can be set in flats filled with similar soil 2-3 inches apart. Cuttings can be made from the current year's growth from August to September, or from the young shoots on old plants in March. If they're inserted firmly in sand an inch apart and covered with a hand light or bell jar, they'll form roots in 4-6 weeks and should then be potted separately in small pots and finally in 5-inch pots.
VARIETIES: A. Warscewiczii; A. incisifolia; A. miniata; A. Mutisii.
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