DESCRIPTION: These tropical plants are native to South America and are grown for their beautiful foliage. The size of the heart-shaped leaves may vary from 6 inches to 2 feet in length. The colors vary from green and white, green and red, white with red blotches or green veins and some have lavender spots. They like a warm and moist atmosphere with a minimum summer temperature of 75 degrees and a minimum winter temperature of 55 degrees. There are several pictures below in the varieties section.
POTTING: Tubers are started in February or March. They are first shaken free of any old dirt and then placed in a flat of leaf mold or peat moss and covered. As soon as roots have formed, they are taken out of the box and potted in 4-inch pots. They are then placed in a warm, humid environment and kept out of direct sunlight. They need to be carefully watered until the pots fill with roots, then they need to be repotted in 5- or 6-inch pots, according to their size. The best compost to use is two parts loam, and equal parts peat, leaf mold and dried cow manure. In the morning and afternoon, sprits their leaves with water. Liquid fertilizer can be added twice a week, when the pots have been filled with roots. A few of the feeble or insignificantly colored leaves may be removed if the plant becomes overcrowded. Water is gradually withheld towards the end of the summer when the leaves begin to wither. After they die, they are stored in a dry, moderately warm place until early spring when they should be started into growth again. Do not water the soil while the tubers are dormant.
PROPAGATION: By dividing the roots after they have started to grow in the spring, you can produce more plants. The pieces should be set in sifted leaf mold or peat moss and kept warm and damp. When they have grown roots, they should be planted in 3-inch pots.
C. humboldtii (argyrites);
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