Indoor Hoffmania - Beautiful And Capricious

From among the usual indoor crops Hofmannia stands out especially and immediately. But not only because this plant is very rare and seems outlandish. Being one of the most capricious and demanding houseplants, hoffmania even from a distance strikes the imagination with its, as if drawn to the ruler, patterns on the corrugated leaves. It is one of the most graphic plants, evoking associations with abstract art and modern design. Bright, textured, and patterned, the gofmania remains a mystery in many ways. But a mystery so beautiful that it is quite difficult to refuse the pleasure of admiring its luxurious leaves.

Indoor Hoffmania - beautiful and capricious
Hofmannia. © tengcheewai


  • How does a room hofmannia look like?
  • Views of room hoffmania
  • Conditions for growing room hoffmania
  • Hoffmania care at home
  • Diseases, pests and problems in growing
  • Rooming of room hoffmania

What does a room hoffmania look like?

Hofmannia are shrubs and herbaceous perennials with a fairly short history of cultivation in Europe. They did not appear in culture until the nineteenth century, survived a period of high demand, but never became full-fledged stars of private greenhouses. Even today, despite the fashion for unusual plants and tropical exotics, Hoffmannias continue to be a plant not for everyone.

The Hoffmannia was named after the outstanding German botanist who earned fame for his work at Moscow University - H. Hoffmann.

A charming Hoffmannias represent the not so widely represented in the range of house plants family Marenonia. This plant is found mainly in South America, although individual Hoffmannia species can also be found in Mexico and on tropical islands.

Hoffmannia (Hoffmannia) are amazing low growing, large-leaved bushes with powerful (prone to lodging), rather strongly branching shoots. Even in their natural environment, under the canopy of a humid rainforest, they are limited to a maximum height of 1 m.

Gorgeous leaves

But the small size does not prevent Hoffmannia to grow wide, creating stunningly beautiful thickets. There are varieties, which form more compact bushes and so-called rosette ones, producing a large number of daughter plants - cultivars. Whether wild or cultivated: Its leaves are the only thing that attracts the eye.

The large, obovate leaves (up to 30cm long and only 10cm wide) are impeccable in shape. They are fleshy, wrinkled, somewhat reminiscent of succulents. The smooth edge and symmetrical veining pattern only benefit from the size and contours of the leaf. The olive-green, basic color of the leaf plates with light veins in the mature leaves changes to emerald and dark tone, in addition, on the young leaves also surprise and smooth transitions of white, pink and purple tones.

This watercolor, noble fading colors are even more stunning due to the combination with the velvet surface texture. Hoffmania greens don't just look like luxurious fabric - they even feel like luxurious velvet to the touch. Velvety is not characteristic of young leaves, it appears gradually, along with the true color. With changes in light of varying intensity, the leaves may be more glossy or more matte.

The back side of the purple with a bronze tint only emphasizes the unusual velvety leaves. It is one of the noblest textured plants, a true room aristocrat. But Hoffmanias are famous not only for the texture of their leaves, but also for their patterning. The central thick blond vein combines with perfectly symmetrical, "skeletal" side veins, giving the plant an unusual geometric intricacy.

Indoor Hoffmania - beautiful and capricious
Hofmannia flowers. © Andreas Kay

Small flowers

Hofmannia flowers are not unsightly, but are seen as just an added bonus against the attractive foliage. In addition, indoor hofmannias rarely bloom. Small, up to 2 cm long, tubular beige-pink flowers are gathered in bunches of inflorescences. The most interesting thing about flowering is the arrangement of the flowers. They blossom in the axils of leaves, actually on the trunk, are hardly noticeable, but it is only necessary to look at them closer - and all new and interesting details open up.

Species of indoor Hoffmannia

The genus Hoffmannia includes almost a hundred independent species of South American low shrubs and perennials. But as cultivated plants, even in countries with mild climates, only three varieties of Hoffmannia are used. Of these, a single plant is widespread in room culture.

Hoffmannia ghisbreghtii (Hoffmannia ghisbreghtii) - the most spectacular, eye-catching and most striking species of the entire genus. The large thirty-centimeter leaves with interesting veins and the reverse reddish side are captivatingly velvety. This hoffmania has quite a few interesting varieties. Along with the usual green-leaved, there are also mottled and dark-leaved specimens. The variegata, the variegated form, is especially popular among decorative forms of this type of Hoffmannia.

You can rarely find another type of Hoffmannia on sale - hoffmannia shiny (Hoffmannia refulgens). It is distinguished by strong shoots, glossy leaves, a more intense red shade of color on the reverse side of the leaves and flowers.

Indoor Hoffmania - beautiful and capricious
Hoffmannia ghisbreghtii (Hoffmannia ghisbreghtii). © Jerzy Opioła

Conditions for cultivation of indoor Hoffmannia

The difficulty in growing Hoffmannia and creating conditions for it in rooms in which it would not lose its decorativeness is directly related to its tropical character and origin. It is a maladaptive, requiring certain environment, moisture-loving and heat-loving plant. In selecting conditions for Hoffmania, neither the requirements for constant temperature during the periods of active vegetation and hibernation, nor this plant's love for special lighting can be ignored.

The easiest way to grow Hoffmania tropicana is in room greenhouses and flower showcases, in large florariums or their analogues. The plant is excellent for greenhouses and conservatories. Living room conditions are different from those usual for this plant, but with careful care they can be compensated for, achieving almost the same results from this shrub as when grown in a showcase.

Lighting and placement

Hofmannias in nature grow in rainforests and are naturally quite dimly lit. The shade tolerance of hofmannias is a pleasant surprise for anyone who dares to grow this plant. Only diffused light or penumbra is suitable for it, Hoffmania does not like direct sunlight. The variegated varieties have a lower tolerance to shade.

Lighting for this plant should be stable throughout the year. Place Hoffmania on a windowsill in the winter, compensating for seasonal changes.

Unlike many other tropical crops, Hoffmania does well in the back of the interior. The perfect velvety appearance of its leaves looks better in solo lots. The plant should not be displayed next to other crops, because its background pales and the brightest ornamental-leaved stars. Only in flower showcases or with other tropical plants does Hoffmania look equal.

Thanks to its growth form, in winter gardens Hoffmania can be combined in large containers with other plants of similar character. Hoffmania looks great where the plant is below the line of sight: it is best placed in rooms so that the leaves can be viewed from above.

Temperature and ventilation

Hoffmanias are extremely demanding of stable and high air temperatures. They are so thermophilic that even a drop to +18°C can be a considerable stress for the plants. And the fall of temperature to +16 ° C significantly affects the health and attractiveness of this plant.

These cultures must be protected from draughts and any sharp changes in growing conditions, including temperature drops.

Hofmania care at home

Hofmania not by chance listed as the most capricious houseplants. It does not forgive mistakes, especially in watering, and quickly loses its attractiveness. The slightest mistakes in care result in its elongation, shedding of leaves or disturbance of their development; and on such large leaves as Hoffmania even a dry tip is too conspicuous.

Hoffmania is a crop for experienced florists, who are ready to satisfy all whims of such a difficult tropican. And also for those who like unusual plants with a difficult character.

Watering and humidity

Regular and sufficiently abundant watering is an obligatory point of care for Hoffmania. This plant does not tolerate complete drying out of the ground ball, but it does not tolerate dampness either. Mistakes in watering for Hoffmania have serious consequences, so you need to monitor the substrate. Watering is carried out after the drying of the upper layer of soil.

It is difficult to name another plant, which would be so intolerant of dry air. Hoffmanias are sensitive to humidity fluctuations, air conditioners, not to mention heating appliances. Humidity should be as high as it gets. A reading of 75-80% is ideal. Increase humidity in several ways:

  • Partially compensate for dryness by regular, system spraying.
  • Place the plant on a pallet filled with moist pebbles or expanded clay.
  • Cultivate Hoffmania in double containers by placing the pot in which the plant is planted in a container filled with moist expanded clay.
  • Install humidifier devices.
  • Place room fountains or an aquarium near Hoffmania.

The spraying for Hoffmania has many secrets. This culture requires the use of filtered or boiled water. Its temperature should be 5-6 degrees higher than the air temperature. Use only a fine sprayer for velvet leaves.

Pollution of Hoffmania leaves is a big problem. The plant must be protected from all dust and household contaminants, protected when cleaning rooms, and kept away from hard water. It is almost impossible to clean the surface of velvet hoffmania leaves: the fine surface texture literally absorbs any dirt and deposits, and neither washing nor any other methods here will not help, but only lead to the loss of the leaf, from which they are trying to remove the dirt. The dust is gently swept off the leaves with a soft brush.

Indoor Hoffmania - beautiful and capricious
The leaves of the hoffmania have sunk from insufficient watering. © Marcella Scrimali

Feeding and Fertilizer Composition

As with most plants, Hoffmania will only need fertilizer during its active growth period. Hoffmanias are fertilized from May until September. The optimal feeding frequency is once every 2 weeks. Hoffmania is prone to root scorch, feeding for it should be done carefully, only in liquid form and only after abundant watering.

Hoffmania prefer organic fertilizers, not mineral. Hoffmania can be fed with a simple solution of cowpea. Of purchased fertilizers, preference should be given to universal mineral-organic preparations. The dosage of fertilizers is reduced by half compared to the manufacturer's recommendations.

Trimming and rejuvenation of domestic Hoffmania

The disadvantages of this culture can include its tendency to drop the lower leaves and eventually lose ornamentality. Pruning of shoots is especially strong in winter time with low light or in case of low humidity.

Trimming on Hoffmania is done only when the plant loses its compactness and attractiveness. In fact, it all comes down to rejuvenation: elongated, bare shoots are cut low, leaving only small stumps. The plant will be ornamental as soon as the young shoots have grown back. To stimulate thickening and to get more bushy bushes you can pinch off the tops of young branches.

Potting and substrate for Hoffmania46>

The plant is repotted only when it becomes necessary - as the substrate is developed by the roots. Until then, the top layer of soil for the plant is replaced annually. Transplanting Hoffmania in late winter or early spring. Containers (diameter) are increased by 5 cm compared to the previous ones.

For this tropikaniya need to pick up high-quality, loose and light in texture, friable and weakly acidic substrate. It is better to plant Hoffmania in purchased substrates with controlled characteristics. If the soil is mixed independently, it is better to combine in equal parts peat, leaf soil and sand with a small proportion of compost or humus.

When transplanting, you should try to preserve the ground lump and not expose the roots. At the bottom of the containers be sure to lay a high layer of drainage. After transplanting and abundant watering the plant should be kept in the shade and in greenhouse conditions (under a hood or in a flower cabinet).

Diseases, pests and problems in cultivation

All problems with Hoffmania are caused by improper care. In optimal conditions and with quality care, pests are very rare. This plant is capricious, reacting painfully to improper care and dry air. Shieldworms, feltworms and aphids are the most dangerous enemies of the plant. Insecticide treatment is the best way to fight these pests.

Fungal diseases cause no less problems. Any overwatering, strong contamination of leaves, careless watering can result in the spread of rot. If you see signs of rotting, adjust your watering and start using fungicides.

Common growing problems:

  • loss of leaf elasticity with too much watering;
  • drying leaf tips in dry air or with variations in soil moisture;
  • fading with improper watering or pest spreading.
Indoor Hoffmania - beautiful and capricious
Hophmania indoor. © Marcella Scrimali

Propagation of Room Hofmannia

New bushes of the plant can only be obtained by vegetative methods.

The easiest way to propagate Hofmannia is to divide adult plants. When transplanting, the following options are possible:

  • Divide a densely branching, actively producing daughter plants into parts with 2 - 3 points of growth;
  • Separate rooted upright shoots along the perimeter of the bush from the mother plant and plant them in separate small containers.

Separate Hoffmania must be carefully, trying to cause as little damage to the roots as possible. After planting, the plant is kept in high temperatures and very high humidity (until the beginning of growth). Bright light at the stage of adaptation can be destructive.

It is possible to propagate Hoffmania and by cuttings. For this purpose, shoot tops or twigs left after pruning are used. The cuttings should be rooted in a very light substrate under a hood. A prerequisite for successful rooting is bottom heating and high air humidity. The temperature should not fall below +21 ° C, and the light should remain not intense (penumbra is excellent).

Maybe you already have hoffmania growing in your house, or you are just planning to settle it in your house. Share your experience of growing this capricious tropic with the readers of "Botanica" in the comments to the article or on our Forum.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Fields marked with * are required. *