Alternanter – This is an unusual plant that is suitable for growing both in the aquarium and in open ground. Thanks to its spectacular form, it is popular among aquarists and gardeners. In addition, the plant does not need special care. It is enough to create favorable conditions for her, and observe several simple care rules. The plant itself is safe for other inhabitants of the flora and fauna.
Alternanter is a semichisternary perennial or annual (depending on the kind) herbaceous plant. Its homeland is the subtropical regions of America, Australia, Africa and Galapagos Islands.
This plant came to Europe together with South American importers back in the 70s. Today it is grown in various corners of the globe. Due to its spectacular species, this plant is particularly popular.
Please note that alternanter is suitable for both water bodies and aquariums, and for personal plots.
There is a wide variety of species – Over 200 varieties. Among them there are both perennial and annual semicustody plants. Each of themselves all types differ in shade and size of the sheet. It can have both light green and bright red color.
Interesting fact: translated from Latin «Alternans» denotes «volatile». The plant got its name for a reason. Its color may vary depending on the lighting.
Based on the shape of the sheet, all types of alternators are divided into 4 groups:
- Large tall. The bright representative of this group is Juvel. Large leaves of this species have a rich, bright color. Upper foliage most often karmino-red color.
- Narrowleaved stunted. Among the representatives of this group can be distinguished a.amoena f. Rosea. This is a small plant with neat leaves that seem very fragile. The color of the leaves is bright red.
- Narrowleaved and curly. Here you can highlight the view A. Paranychioi. Its main feature is the original form. Plant height rarely when exceeds 10 cm. The color of the leaves differs from previous groups. It is darker. Many varieties have a brick color of foliage. There are also species with yellow leaves.
- Wideleaved and triangular. Representatives of this group can be considered by the example of type A. Versicolor. Its main feature is the glossy surface of the sheet. It has a beautiful purple or color. Wideleaved species grow and develop faster than all other groups. However, they do not like cold, so they may not take root.
Among the 2000 varieties, alternatives have many spectacular and attractive representatives of this kind. The most beautiful and unusual of them deserve a separate consideration.
She belongs to the Amaranth Alternanter family. South America is considered her homeland. This species has a final root system. It develops quite widely and quickly, while the roots themselves are very thin. The bush itself resembles tall grass. The foliage is located perpendicular to the soil. Its characteristic feature is the pointed tip. The length of the sheet can reach 4 cm., And the width 0.5 cm.
Reine is a variable color. For example, the upper foliage can have a brown-brown tint, and the lower – scarlet. The height of the plant is also different. It can grow up to up to 20 cm., and up to 500 cm. In the summer, Reineck begins to bloom. The inflorescences are rather nondescript. Against the background of bright foliage, pale pink or yellow small flowers remain almost invisible.
This species is often used to decorate the aquarium. Under water, the stems grow up. If you want the height of the plant to reach the very top of the aquarium, then do not deepen it too much. However, in this case, it is important to take into account that the upper sheet of the Reineki should not get out of the water. To avoid this, pinching should be done. This procedure promotes the branching of the stem, due to which the plant will become magnificent and beautiful.
The main advantage of this species is rapid growth. In 1 month it can grow up to 15 cm. The main thing – comply with the required content conditions. Water temperature should be 24-28 degrees. The plant transfers temperature drops up to 20 degrees, but in this case its growth slows down. Permissible water hardness – 2-12°, pH 6.2-6.8. Once a week it is required to replace 20% of the fluid volume.
Due to its color, it stands out against the background of other plants. The lilac alternator will become the main decoration of the aquarium, profitably transforming it. This species has long leaves of an interesting epileptic form. Most often the foliage located below has a bright burgundy color. Upstairs are the leaves of a completely different color – Saturated green.
Tip: if you want to make a shade of foliage even more intensively, then add carbon dioxide to the water.
Lilac alternanter is characterized by complex conditions of content. Water should be very clean. It is necessary to ensure good filtering. It will also require regular cleaning of the aquarium and water replacement every week (approximately 1/5 volume). This species grows slowly, so it is recommended to choose greasy soil enriched with trace elements.
Mainly lives in the reservoirs of South America. Belongs to the Amaranth Alternanter family. It is a long plant with a beautiful color of leaves: from pink-green to purple-red. Lanoleaf leaflets with noticeable side veins and short petioles depart from the rounded in the cross section of the stem. The length of the sheet reaches 8 cm., And the width 0.5 cm.
The people are called this species «Another salesman». Your official name («Sedentary») He received due to the location of the inflorescences.
This type includes 2 subgroups:
- Alternanthera Sessilis Var. Lilacina – Easy to take root anywhere with a warm and wet climate. Basically, the leaves have a green color. Such a subspecies is unpretentious, therefore it does not require special care.
- Alternanthera Sessilis Var. Rubra – In just 1 week, it can grow up to 20 cm. It branches pretty well, due to which it looks very magnificent. The leaves have an emerald shade. The subspecies blooms with small scarlet flowers.
You can grow a sedentary alternator both under water and in open ground. In this case, the color of the foliage will differ.
This is a perennial plant from the amaranth family. It has another name – «Betzikian». The birthplace of this species is Brazil. Betzika easily adapts in high humidity conditions. In a natural environment, it can be found both in water and on land near swampy ponds. Based on this, at home it is preferable to grow an alternator in a tropical aquarium.
The leaves have pointed shape. On the tips of the stems you can see bright flowers. In the aquarium, the plant grows to 15-20 cm., And in natural conditions – up to 50 cm.
This subspecies from Brazil. He got his name thanks to the color of the leaves. They have a green tint. The height of the plant reaches 20 cm. With proper care, small pink flowers bloom.
When growing this type, it is especially important to monitor the temperature. If she falls to 18°C, the plant will die. Another important condition – Water replacement should be carried out every week.
All types of alternatives have oncoming or opposite leaves. The main feature of the appearance lies precisely in the color of the foliage. As a rule, it is much brighter than flowers. All varieties are stunted. They can give them any shape, since they tolerate the haircut quite well.
Thanks to a bright and spectacular species, an alternator is used as a decorative element to decorate flower beds or aquariums.
Content in the aquarium
Representatives of this kind should be planted in the side walls of the aquarium. There should be a minimum of 6 cm between plants. Keep in mind that the root system develops quite quickly. If the height of the plant exceeds the water level, that is, its stems appear on the surface, then it begins to eat air.
Because of this, air leaves are formed, which strongly burden underwater. As a result of an alternanter loses its beauty. The procedure of pinching will help to maintain an attractive appearance.
To give the plant a decorative look, it is recommended to cut it regularly (1 time per week). This procedure will also positively affect the splendor of alternanters.
The content of this mini-shrub requires the creation of certain conditions in the aquarium:
- The water temperature should be in the area temperature 24-30°FROM;
- The level of acidity should be pH 6.8-7°;
- hardness of water – DH 4-12°;
- once a week, it is necessary to replace 1/4 of the volume of fluid;
- Install powerful filters (an alternanter needs very clean water);
- Lighting should be bright – 0.5 W/l. With a daylight hours of at least 12 hours;
- Use coarse sand and small gravel as soil;
- The soil layer should be – 3 cm.;
- 1 once a month additionally introduce feeding in the form of microfuiting with a high iron content.
Since the plant develops quickly enough, if necessary, it can be transplanted into a pot, and in the aquarium, beg a new alternator in the aquarium. When transplanting, you need to put the drainage layer on the bottom of the pot. It is necessary to prevent stagnation of water.
Growing a plant is quite simple. The main thing – Provide the alternator with a large amount of light. This is necessary to preserve a decorative kind, since under the influence of sunlight the leaflets become brighter and more beautiful.
For active growth and proper development, the plant should be placed in a moist environment. In this case, it will delight you with miniature bizarre flowers. When growing this crop in a pot, it is necessary to create the following temperature in the room:
- summer – from 24°FROM;
- In winter – from 17°FROM.
Perennial species can be planted not only in aquariums, but also the soil. In the latter case, it is important to consider that the plant does not take root well in the ground in which there are few nutrients. It is preferable to choose a readymade, welldrained, nutrient mixture containing organic top dressing and sand.
Aquarium views do not need watering. It is enough to replace water in a timely manner. With a soil method of growing watering should be moderate. The soil should always be wet, but it is not possible to allow stagnation.
Important! Prolonged finding the roots in stagnant water should not be allowed. This will lead to its decay, as a result of which the plant will die.
Immediately after you purchased an alternator, it cannot be placed the place allotted for it, since malware and viruses may be on the leaflets. First, treat the stems and leaves with insecticides. After that, you can plant a mini-boiler in a common place after 2 weeks.
Alternanter propagation is possible by cutting or dividing the bush. It will be necessary to cut off healthy petioles from culture. The cut is made in the area of attachment of the escape to the stem. Be sure to clean the bottom of the shooting from the leaves. After that, place it in wet soil, well sealing the landing site. When propagated by alternanters in aquarium conditions, a torn stalk is simply left to swim on the surface of the water.
You can grow an alternator from the seeds. However, this is quite difficult. In addition, in this plant, flowers may not form at all.
If an already planted mini-boiler has been put on the pest attack, then in such a situation it is necessary to eliminate damaged areas by circumcision. After that, the whole plant should be treated with insecticides.