The iresine herbstii "Bloodleaf" or "Chicken Gizzard" is a beautiful plant with rare and vivid colours. It is a member of the Amaranthaceae family, which is mainly native to tropical and subtropical regions of the world, although some species are also found in temperate regions.
What kind of watering is suitable for iresine?
The iresine herbstii prefers a relatively high level of humidity. It is therefore important to maintain good humidity around the plant by watering regularly and avoiding placing it in dry, windy places. However, you should not overwater the plant either. Initially, it is best to water from the moment you see the foliage lose its turgidity, i.e. when you start to see the foliage wilt slightly. If you water according to this visual parameter, it will be easier to measure the daily amount of water.
How do I prune my iresine?
There are two types of pruning for Iresine herbstii.
There are two types of pruning for Iresine herbstii. The first, considered light, is more commonly known as "pinching". This is because it is done with the gardener's first tool: his nails! This pinching is done several times during the spring, as it allows your iresine to branch out and make several branches. It should be noted that the iresine herbstii has difficulty branching on its own, hence the need to help it by pinching. This should be done on the apical parts of the plant, i.e. the tips of the stems. As soon as you remove this part, you encourage the emergence of the axillary buds located at the base of the leaves.
The second type of pruning of the iresine is more important than pinching. This pruning is called "wintering" and its purpose is to bring the plant into vegetative rest. It is carried out when the first autumn frosts arrive. It consists of reducing the height of your plant by 50 to 60% of its annual growth. It is crucial to help your iresine herbstii enter winter dormancy and thus promote its vigorous growth the following year.
Does iresine fear frost?
As we have seen above, iresine herbstii is a plant from the Amaranth family, a family from tropical and subtropical regions. It is therefore necessary to protect it from winter frost by placing it in a frost-free shelter or indoors. It can be used as a houseplant all year round in your home if you wish. A little aesthetic tip: highlight its bright red colour by choosing a very light coloured pot, or even one that is entirely white, which will create a magnificent contrast. In short, you can put it outside (preferably in partial shade) from spring to autumn, and inside during the winter.
What kind of exposure for my iresine?
The iresine herbstii is a full sun plant. However, it will be just as happy in semi-shade: a less restrictive exposure for you in terms of watering. In fact, by placing it in semi-shade, the frequency of watering will be less important for you.
What soil should I use for the iresine?
The iresine needs a substrate that is both draining and water-retaining. The best potting soil for the iresine is a geranium potting soil with added perlite. The potting soil for green and flowering plants provides the nutrients and structure necessary for the iresine to develop properly, while the perlite provides temporary water storage for the plant, which will only draw water from it when it needs it.
What fertiliser should I use for my iresine?
The iresine herbstii is not a very fertiliser-intensive plant. For the first three months of spring, it will be satisfied with what it has in its potting soil to feed itself. After that, you will need to add one or two of fertiliser caps to your potting soil to encourage the emergence of new leaves.
How do I care for my iresine herbstii?
In this short video, you will find all the maintenance tips for your iresine herbstii.