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Ruscus Is A Great Room Butcher's Needle

, Admin

It is difficult in principle to imagine a more original plant than the puffball. And among the houseplants it is an exceptional phenomenon at all. Stemmed evergreen miracle having modified shoots which look like leaves, and also producing fabulously beautiful red berries - Ilyssum will subdue anyone. But the appearance of this dense, neat berry bush is only the beginning of miracles. After all, Sprucebush is capable of growing even in extreme conditions.

Ruscus is a great room butcher's needle
Sprucebush (Ruscus). © MIRAFLOR


  • The originality of ruscus in detail
  • Species of Ruscus
  • Home care of Ruscus
  • Diseases and pests
  • Ruscus multiplication

Ruscus originality in detail

When Ruscus is called the most extravagant indoor plant, one is not far from the truth. This culture only looks like a classic shrub. And in practice it turns out that absolutely everything in it is unusual - from its roots to shoots, leaves, flowering and fruiting. This plant is so hardy that its low distribution absolutely defies any logic.

The botanical name of Puffins is Ruscus (Ruscus), though the "translated" name is much more popular among florists because it clearly indicates the main decorative advantages of these mountain dwellers. In indoor culture, Iglitzes represent the Asparagaceae family (Asparagaceae). In the nature, Ruscus can be found, mainly in mountainous regions of Mediterranean countries.

Representatives of the genus Iglitz (Ruscus) - evergreen semi-bush or stemmed perennials with a powerful densely branching rhizome. The maximum height of Ruscus, even in nature, is only 70 cm. They are compact and very bright plants, attractive regardless of their period of development.

The Needles look like compact, bushy, densely pubescent shrubs. And this is the biggest paradox. In fact, the real leaves of the puffins are not easy to notice at all. Very small and almost inconspicuous, true leaves develop best underground and simply "break through" the way for young shoots. But above the ground, they are presented in the form of easily fallen white scales.

A unique feature of these plants is the leaf-like modified shoots, or false leaves - phyllocladia. They superficially resemble ordinary leaves so much that it is very difficult to believe that they are not. The flat leafy shoots of oval or elliptical shape with a pointed tip create the very deceptive effect of dense foliage.

But the wonders of the puffins do not end with the unusual greenery alone. The flowering of the plant is unsightly, but it precedes a spectacular berry show. Greenish, unsightly and very small, resembling fleshy stars, flowers with six "petals" appear in the middle, at the bottom or at the top of phyllocladia.

If pollination occurs, a not at all tiny berry, about 2 cm in diameter, begins to develop in place of each tiny flower. Bright ruby-colored, with a stunningly shiny surface, single or double-seeded, these luxurious berries look almost like jewelry against the pseudo-leaves. The only disadvantage is the bipedal nature of the puffins: in order to bear fruit you will have to work on cross-pollination yourself.

Species of puffins

While puffins are unique by all parameters and easily recognized, these plants are also capable of surprising with an unexpected selection of very similar varieties. There are three species of Puffins in the room culture.

Iglica prickly or Iglica pontica, or Iglica spiny (Ruscus aculeatus) is the most popular ruscus plant of about 60 cm high. This species is characterized by stiff shoots. The leaf-like oval or heart-shaped shoots with a pointed tip are too easily mistaken for ordinary leaves from a distance. Spiny needleberry blossoms are absolutely plain, the flowers covered with scaly bracts can not be seen, but the bright red berries are very effective. They decorate the plant in autumn.

Iglitza podlista (Ruscus hypophyllum) is externally very similar to the prickly one. The only differences are the lighter shade of the leaf-like shoots and the flowers that bloom only at the bottom of the false leaves.

Please also read this. How do I trim my houseplants?

Hypophyllum (Ruscus hypoglossum) is a species of ruscus that stands out for its elongate-lanceolate pseudo-leaves and beautiful white bracts that make the flowers more appealing. Small flowers bloom at the top of pseudo leaves in the axil of a whitish two-centimeter bract-leaf. The red berries, about 2 cm in diameter, are typical.

Ruscus is a great room butcher's needle
Iglitza prickly, or Iglitza pontica (Ruscus aculeatus). © Dominicus Johannes Bergsma
Ruscus is a great room butcher's needle
Iglitza sublista (Ruscus hypophyllum). © freenatureimages
Ruscus is a great room butcher's needle
Hypophyllum (Ruscus hypoglossum). © Benjamin Zwittnig

Housing Ruscus hypoglossum in the home

Iglitzas are considered unique plants not only because of their pseudo-leaves. These crops adapt not just to uncomfortable, but even to extreme conditions. Ruscus can grow almost without light, require minimal care, endure almost any lapses in care. And they have no equal in invulnerability of plants.

Lighting for the ruskus

This culture is called extremely hardy for a reason: it is almost impossible to find a more resistant to shade culture. The absence of foliage allows the Prickly Pear to tolerate even strong shade, to put up with illumination below 200 lux, in which even the most hardy Spartans perish. At the same time, the lack of normal light does not affect the beauty of the plant and persists not only during the cold resting phase.

Shade tolerance does not mean that the Ruscus can not grow in more intense light: any regime, except direct sun, this culture will do. But since it is difficult to find competitors for puffins, usually always use the opportunity to place the plant in the back of the rooms and enliven the interior.

Comfortable temperature regime

During the active vegetation period, puffins feel fine in almost any conditions, except the cold: the main thing is to make sure that the air temperature exceeds 16 degrees. The Ruscus is perfectly adapted both to usual room temperature and to heat, but it is in the restrained temperatures (about 18 degrees of heat) that they achieve the highest decorativeness.

For the puffball flowering and normal development of the plant in general, in winter you must ensure transition to full rest period with gradual lowering of the air temperature. Ruscus prefers to winter in a temperature of about 13 degrees of heat, acceptable deviations - from 12 to 15 degrees.

Pouring and humidity

Iglica is one of the most unusual indoor succulents. It requires very careful, moderate watering, avoiding excessive overwatering even for short periods. The substrate should be allowed to dry out between waterings, trying to do more frequent treatments with less water.

One of the main advantages of this rare but persistent indoor plant is its excellent tolerance of dry air. There is no need for puffins to take steps to increase air humidity or even simple spraying. In the heat of summer, periodic spraying enhances the coloration of the foliage, but it is not necessary. Contrary to many other indoor plants the Ruscus feel well indoors with air-conditioners and heaters, but you'd better avoid their direct proximity.

Kommandatory measures of care for the plant include clearing leaves of dust, which you can gently wipe with any soft cloth. © rosenerds

Fertilizers for Ruscus

Fertilizers for this plant are made only when the bush is actively growing, new shoots appear and the green mass increases. But even at this time fertilization with a frequency of 1 time in 3 weeks is enough.

Any universal complex fertilizers will do for this indoor plant.

Trimming Needlewort

Trimming is considered an optional measure in the cultivation of this plant. It is enough to remove dry or damaged shoots. The thing is that even without pruning, the puffball is not prone to "falling apart", loss of compactness, chaotic visual disorder. But if desired, the plant can also be shaped. To give the contours more rigor, and silhouettes - expressiveness, if desired, annually prune excess shoots, shortening long branches, controlling the density and density of the crown, directions of development.

Ruskus transplanting and substrate

Iglitzas are content with the standard substrate - loose, nutritious and light. Any universal purchased substrate is suitable for them, as long as it is not dense. If you mix the substrate yourself, to an equal amount of sand, leaf soil and humus add a double portion of turf soil.

Pine needles are best transplanted only as needed, when the plant has nowhere to grow. The time of transplanting is limited to the spring months.

For pine needles, drainage must be laid on the bottom of containers. And the choice of the container itself should be taken responsibly: its shape, the ratio of height and diameter determine the form of growth. In high and narrow pots, puffins grow as trees or slender bushes, in wide and low - as lush shrubs with a large diameter of the crown. So the choice is made not by any practical parameters, but by the desired appearance and silhouette of the plant.

Ruscus is a great room butcher's needle
Blooming Sprucewort. © G.H. Shimizu

Diseases and pests

The resilience of puffins is also shown by the fact that this indoor plant is very rarely diseased. Only in very uncomfortable conditions spider mites, scales and thrips are dangerous for ruscus. It is better to fight the insects with insecticides.

Ruskus multiplication

Iglicans can be obtained from seeds or by dividing old bushes.

The seed method is quite complicated, because it is considered easy to lose young sprouts, and seeds do not germinate sometimes even for several years (at best, sprouts appear only after 3 months), and it is not so easy to get seeds.

The seeds are freed from the wax shell in warm water, drying before sowing. Cold stratification at 0 to 10 degrees Celsius in the soaked state can accelerate sprouting, but you still have to wait long enough.

Sowing is carried out in a light earth mixture. You need to maintain a stable cool temperature of 18-20 degrees and light humidity under glass or film for the emergence of seedlings. Plants are seeded as they grow up, but usually until the picking can take about a year: transplanting is carried out when the sprouts stretch out to 7-8 cm. Young ruscus often arrange a kind of cold stratification, lowering the temperature to accelerate growth to 13-15 degrees.

The easiest way to propagate puffins is division. It is carried out during replanting and only on old, very large plants. The rhizome is divided into fragments with a large number of roots and at least three ground shoots. Handle the plants carefully, injuries to the shoots are unacceptable. Rooting takes quite a long time.