The Tolmiea is a small evergreen shrub native to Central and North America; it has an erect or creeping, ground cover; it produces a globose shrub, 30-40 cm tall, and just as wide. The stems are thin, very branched, and bear large leaves with serrated or jagged margins, often trilobed, light green in color, often spotted and variegated with yellow; they are covered with a thin white hair. It can also be used as a garden plant, but with cold winter weather it loses its leaves. During the summer months it produces long erect stems that carry small brown or yellowish flowers, of little ornamental interest.
The placement of a plant in a given position determines the good or bad development of the same. The exhibition is very important, and it is an aspect that must be taken into consideration. The tolmiee prefer semi-shady or even completely shaded positions, so they can also be found in low-light apartments, or whose windows remain darkened for many hours a day. Although they develop without problems in the apartment, these plants do not fear the cold and can withstand temperatures close to -3 ° C.
To have a luxuriant plant it is necessary to keep the soil constantly moist, then water it regularly, avoiding to soak the substratum or leaving water in the saucer to avoid rotting; every 3-4 days it is also advisable to vaporize the leaves, so as to increase the humidity of the environment in which the plant is located.
The soil is the main source of plant sustenance; from the earth our cultivations acquire the nutrients they need to live and develop at their best. Therefore the choice of the soil is a well considered operation that must be done taking into consideration the specific needs of the plant.
The species of tolmiea require a soil rich in organic matter and that retains moisture at best; you can prepare an ideal substrate by mixing a little manure with balanced universal soil and well-chopped bark.
During the spring season, it is possible to fertilize the soil with a liquid fertilizer to be combined with irrigation water. The ideal fertilizer must be formed by microelements such as potassium, nitrogen and phosphorus.
No pruning is required. Simply remove the dried leaves manually.
The tolmiea plants are known for their ease of propagation, in fact the plants produce small buds at the leaf axil, which quickly produce their own roots, already while they are attached to the mother plant; these offshoots can be detached at any time of the year and repot individually.
Tolmiea: Pests and diseases
This plant fears root rot and cochineal.
To avoid the problem of rot, pay attention to irrigation; follow the instructions described in the previous paragraph concerning watering.
The cochineal instead is a tiny insect, or parasite that nourishing itself of the sap contained in the leaves of the tolmiea, weakens the plant limiting its development. To eliminate the problem, opt for specific pesticide products available at the main garden centers.