The sunset bell (Chrysothemis pulchella) is an ornamental plant. This ornamental plant is very popular as a decorative houseplant indoors, in greenhouses or on patios.
Quick Facts on Sunset Bell:
|Biological name:||Chrysothemis pulchella|
|Light:||Filtered Sunlight; Partial Shade|
|Temperature:||60°F to 75°F|
|Ph level:||5.6 to 7.5|
|Fertilizer:||Compost / organic liquid fertilizer|
|Propagation:||Cuttings or Division of Rhizome|
Description of Sunset bell / Chrysothemis pulchella:
Sunset bell tender tropical perennial belongs to the Gesneriaceae family. this plant’s also known as black flamingo and copper leaf pulchella. And the scientific name of the Chrysothemis pulchella. This plant is native to Brazil, coastal areas of the southern Caribbean, and large areas of Central and South America.
The green thick and succulent stems are usually up to 1.5 foot tall. One of the characteristics of the sunset bell plant is that it has only one main stem. The stem does not branch. The stem of the plant is flexible and grows by massing the soil and the tip of the stem is upward. Nodes are formed along with growth and new leaves emerge from these nodes. And the stem of the flower emerges from the base of this leaf. And as this stem grows, it divides into multiple parts to form a flower cluster.
The upper surface of the leaves is bright copper grey, uneven, and covered with very fine hairs (which are not easily noticed). The underside of the leaf is purple in colour and the veins are prominent. And the edges of the lanceolate broad leaves are Saw-Toothed and very slightly wavy.
The yellow flowers begin to appear in early spring and bloom until the dawn of winter. One of the big reasons gardeners are attracted to the sunset bell plant is its brightly coloured flowers. Yellow flowers bloom within dark orange sepals. And the two small red vertical lines on the yellow petals multiply its beauty. But the yellow petals do not last more than one to two days. However, it does not detract from the beauty of the plant. The beautiful bright orange-coloured sepals are long-lasting and bring a different level of beauty to the plant.
The roots of the sunset bell plant are formed by rhizomes. The function of this tuber(rhizome) is to store plant food. One characteristic of this sunset bell plant is that the plant extinct as the temperature drops in winter. The plant remains dormant in these tubers throughout the winter. And as the temperature increases, nodes are again formed in these rhizomes. And from it, new plants are born. As the plant matures, the tubers expand. and forms multiple rhizomes.
Sunset Bell Care: How to Care for Chrysothemis Pulchella Easily
This sunset bell plant, located in the tropics, likes a lot of light. But never direct intense sunlight. Because intense sunlight can damage their leaves and flowers. Partial shade or filtered light is ideal for these plants and greatly encourages their growth. For this, you need to select southeast facing balcony or window. Where morning light falls indirectly. And a greenhouse is the best.
Sunset bell hardiness zones are 9 to 11. This plant grows best at temperatures between 65° and 75° degrees Fahrenheit. A warm indoor room is the best place for this plant in cold climates. Plants will die at the roots if exposed to freezing temperatures. And new plants will not emerge from the rhizome unless the temperature is suitable in spring. Meanwhile, there is a special need to pay attention.
Water this sunset bell plant in such a way that the soil is always moist. Regular watering may be required in summer. But do not overwater. Keep the soil moist even in winter.
Sunset bell grows well in moist humus and well-drained soil. The soil should be slightly acidic. Which pH level should be around 5.6 to 7.5.
Any compost fertilizer and organic liquid fertilizer, such as liquid seaweed fertilizer, are suitable for growing this black flamingo plant. The best time to fertilize is early spring to mid-autumn. No need to fertilize in winter.
I think sunset bell plant are pest-resistant. Because I haven’t seen any insect attack on this plant in my garden yet. However, due to overwatering, fungi and root rot diseases affect this plant greatly.
Pruning of Chrysothemis Pulchella plants is not necessary. However, to maintain their beauty, you can remove dry, decaying or dead leaves and out-of-bounds shoots.
How to propagate sunset bell plant easily:
You can propagate this plant by cuttings. Collect fresh cuttings with nodes from a mature plant. And plant it in a pot filled with moist humus soil. And cover the pot with a plastic bag and place it in a warm, lighted place. You can propagate this plant by watering the cuttings if you wish.
Easily propagate without extra care:
But in my opinion, the sunset bell plant is a fast-growing plant. if this plant is placed in a suitable environment with a slightly larger pot, it will grow rapidly and produce multiple small rhizomes with it. And within a few days, a new plant will grow from the rhizome. When the seedlings are 4-5 inches tall, carefully collect the seedlings along with the rhizomes and transfer them to new pots. Keep a bright shady place for 7 to 10 and water properly before the soil dries out.
How to repot the sunset bell?
Sunset Bell is a fast-growing plant. As a result, multiple rhizomes form underground. The formation of multiple rhizomes disrupts the balance of the pot. Especially in small containers. For this reason, it is necessary to repot this plant once a year. As the leaves and stems of this tree disappear in winter. and remains dormant within the rhizome. So at the very end of winter adopt the below-mentioned methods.
- Separate the soil along with the rhizomes from the pot. And clean the pot thoroughly and dry it in the sun.
- Separate the rhizomes from the old soil and clean it with water and dry it in a shaded place.
- Ensure good drainage of the pot with gravel and sand.
- Half-fill the pot with organic composted soil and compress the soil by hand pressure.
- Place the rhizome in the centre of the pot and backfill with soil. And again compress the soil with hand pressure.
- Moisten the potting soil thoroughly with water, and place it in a bright, shady spot.
- Monitor regularly. And water properly before the soil dries out.
Using of sunset bell plant:
The sunset bell plant is widely used as an ornamental plant on balconies and indoors and as a greenhouse beautifying plant.