Caricature plant (Graptophyllum pictum)
Caricature plant (Graptophyllum pictum) is an evergreen, ornamental shrub. It can grow to 6 – 9 ft tall. Graptophyllum pictum is basically grown for its variegated foliage. Oval to elliptic leaves is deep green varyingly blotched with cream along the midveins. Terminal clusters of red to purple-red tubular blossoms with protruding stamens bloom in summer.
Scientific Name: Graptophyllum pictum
Synonyms: Justicia picta
Common Names: Caricature plant.
How to care and grow Caricature plant (Graptophyllum pictum)?
Caricature plant thrives best in a bright light, you can grow on a southern window, however in the summer, it will require shading. It can also grow on the west and east window. In low light, the shade of the leaves diminishes.
Graptophyllum pictum grows well in fertile, moist, well-drained soil. Use a mix of 1 part humus, 1 part of the turf soil, 1 part peat, 1 part perlite or sand. Remember to try to stay away from wet, mucky or dry, sandy soils.
It prefers increased humidity, it needs regular spraying or maintenance in dishes with wet pebbles or expanded clay. However, it can also adapt to the dry air of the apartment.
Water thoroughly during the growing season and always keep the soil evenly moist but not soggy. You can allow the top 1 inch of soil to dry out between each watering. During the winter months, reduce watering.
Fertilize sparingly at least 6 inches away from the base, tri-annually with a slow time release 15-5-10. The heavy salts in cheaper fertilizers will damage the roots and possibly kill the plant.
Prune regularly to stimulate new foliage growth and promote business.
Caricature plant can be easily propagated by stem cuttings in stem cuttings. Take cuttings about 6-inch long. Root in water or a mixture of peat with sand. It is advisable to cover the stalk with polyethylene. Rooting lasts 4-6 weeks.
Pests and Diseases
There are no serious insect or disease problems. But they are susceptible to spider mites, white flies, and scale.