The Lollipop Plant, also known as the Golden Candle Plant (Pachystachys lutea) is very unique because of its intense golden yellow flowers, which are really bracts.
These bracts stand 4 to 6 inches tall on woody stems above heavily veined leaves. This plant is often confused with the golden shrimp plant landscape plant because they have the same type of overlapping scales surrounding the actual white flowers.
The Pachystachys lutea species is very suitable for indoor cultivation as it is easy to care for; grows well in bright light and average room temperatures. Having this very colorful, flowering indoor houseplant will add that tropical feel to your home especially during the dreary winter days.
This striking, exotic plant is an evergreen perennial with leaves that grow to six (6) inches long. The plant is from the Brazilain tropics and is related to the African violet and the Gloxinia plant.
It grows well indoors all year long and produces beautiful, long-lasting flowers. Let plants spend the summer outside to get all the benefits of the sunshine.
As houseplant, it produces long-lasting flowers to brighten the home and
lift the spirit -- especially during the winter season when provided a
southern or western window exposure.
In tropical and subtropical areas of the world it is a popular landscape plant (see pictures) that grow up to 4 feet tall and is planted in masses to form borders and hedges of beautiful, showy flowers. This fast-growing plant really needs to be pruned regularly.
The plant cannot tolerate cold temperatures and may drop leaves if air temperatures go below 60 degrees F. It can easily be grown in a container and brought indoors for winter or in the.
Light: High light for growth; very highlight for flowering (near sunny south or east window).
Water: Keep the potting mixture evenly moist at all times, but not saturated. Always reduce watering in winter.
Humidity: High humidity. Increase humidity by placing the plant on pebbles in a water-filled saucer. Make sure the pot sits above the water on the pebbles. As the water evaporates it increase the humidity around the plant. This reduces loss of lower leaves.
Temperature: 60 to 80 degrees F Avoid drafts and air-conditioning vents.
Fertilizer: Apply monthly during active growing seasons. Regular feeding with a blossom booster plant food helps to maintain good blooming.
Propagation: tip cuttings of stem segments of 3 to 5 inches (7.5 to 12.5 cm)
Pests: Plant is susceptible to aphids, mealybugs, scales, spider mites and whiteflies. Check for mealybugs at leaf nodes and axils, and scale on stems and undersides of leaves. If present, you can flush aphids of with plain water and treat other pests with appropriate pesticide.
Pruning and Grooming: Since the lollipop plant is such a fast grower, it needs to be pruned during spring to manage its size indoors. This keeps it from getting leggy and top heavy. Cut back just above the where the leaves meet the stem. Deadheading is important for this plant; therefore, when the flower heads begin to die you must cut these away to encourage new growth and health. In addition, pinching the growing tips will make a more attractive, fuller plant.