Mikado plant: care - Complete guide

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The mikado plant, with its unique appearance and bearing, is one of those plants that does not leave anyone indifferent since they are capable of providing, by themselves, a different and striking touch to the decoration of any space.

If you want to learn how to grow this striking little plant, keep reading this Green Ecologist article where we will talk about the mikado plant and its care.

Characteristics of the mikado plant

The Syngonanthus chrysanthus, which is the scientific name of the commonly called mikado plant or kokedama mikado, it is an original plant from the tropical areas of Brazil. It belongs to the genus Syngonanthus, which has more than 200 species, all characterized by being aquatic environment.

It receives its name from the Mikado, an oriental children's game consisting of a series of long and thin wooden sticks, strongly reminiscent of the particular bearing of this plant, with its long stems totally straight and devoid of leaves or ramifications.

It has a rosette of fine green leaves, from which sprout its characteristics inflorescences, which are the long stems topped by a small white or gold flower bud before opening.

The flower stems reach a height of between 25 and 30 cm, while the rosette has about 8 cm in diameter, being a small plant that we can place practically anywhere.

If you want to know more about aquatic plants, we leave you this other article with more than 50 aquatic plants: names and characteristics.

Location and climate of the mikado plant

As with many species, its condition as a tropical plant tells us a lot about its needs in terms of light and temperature. Therefore:

  • In its natural habitat: and being a small plant, it is found in areas with a lot of light but under cover under the rest of the taller vegetation, so it needs very illuminated areas but always at covered from direct sun.
  • Indoors: the ideal would be to place it in a room with lots of light but away from the windows. If there is no choice but to place it next to a window or light source, it will be necessary to use a clear curtain that filters the light, giving it the luminosity it needs without damaging it.

The kokedama mikado can also be grown outdoors, but only in areas with a temperate climate that is very similar to the tropical one, so it is most commonly grown indoors, in a pot.

Its ideal temperature is between 19ºC and 22ºC, tolerating cold up to 14ºC and heat up to 30ºC. We can thus see that this is its main weakness and one of the most important points when it comes to caring for the mikado: the room temperature.

Find out more about the Excess or lack of light in plants in this other Green Ecologist post that we recommend.

Irrigation of the mikado plant

How could it be otherwise, this is the other great pillar of the care of this tropical plant: irrigation and humidity. Tropical climates are characterized, in addition to their stable temperatures, by their high humidity levels and the mikado plant needs these conditions.

Must water it often to maintain a constant level of humidity in the substrate, as it is an aquatic species of swampy areas. This does not mean that we should flood the substrate, because although kokedama mikado is more resistant to these conditions, they could damage it in the long run. Always keep it moist, either with a system of drip irrigation or manually watering around 5 times a weekespecially in the warm months.

The plant also requires high humidity, which can be emulated either by spraying water on its rosette once or twice a day, or by placing the pot on a small bed of stones and pebbles partially submerged in water. In this way, the humidity will rise by evaporation, seeping through the drainage holes and enveloping the plant.

Here you can discover How to make a home drip irrigation system that may help you.

Substrate for the mikado plant

Regarding the substrate, the plant is not excessively demanding, the only important point being that the earth is slightly acidic, with a pH of between 4 and 5 points. If the water in your area is very rich in calcium, it is likely that it will end up altering the pH of the substrate, so if you see symptoms that the substrate has become too alkaline, such as yellow leaves or stems, transplant it and move on to water it with distilled water or at least let stand the tap water for 24 hours before watering with it. In this way, the salts will settle to the bottom and if you water without rushing all the water you will avoid adding those elements to the plant's soil.

What to do if your mikado plant dries up

If the plant seems to dry out or shows signs of yellowing it is most likely due to:

  • Lack of watering and humidity: in this case, simply gradually increase the watering and spraying.
  • The substrate has lost its acidity: you must transplant it to a new pot with a specific substrate for acidophilic plants and stop watering with tap water.

Take a look at this other article on the Types of Substrate that exist and that perhaps can help you understand more about the subject.

If you want to read more articles similar to Mikado plant: care, we recommend that you enter our category of Cultivation and care of plants.

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