The Gibasis geniculate, popularly known as the bridal veil plant, probably gets its name from the foliage whose trailer can grow as long as 3 feet. Due to this, the flowers are ideal for hanging in baskets, both indoors and outdoors. Its three-petaled white flowers usually bloom between spring and autumn. They have such a nice fragrance and if you want to enjoy watching it blossom, taking care of the plant is crucial. Here are a few guidelines on how to take care of your bridal veil plant, which you might also be pleased to learn is called Stephanotis or Madagascar Jasmine.
According to Gardennerdy, although the plant does well in the outdoors and indoors, it should be planted away from direct sunlight. It thrives in bright areas receiving moderate heat of between 50- 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Placing it in an area that receives direct sunlight, even if it is for a few hours, will have the plant’s green foliage turning brown. Therefore, in the outdoors, ensure that you plant it in a spot with good shade, either partially or completely, especially when the sun is hottest. If you prefer having it indoors, ensure it gets enough sunlight by placing it near a window in the morning when the temperatures are not extreme. After a few hours, move it to an area away from direct sunlight but be careful not to have it next to a heater or cooling vent; even extremely cold temperatures will cause the leaves to turn brown.
Garden Guides advises that you should only water the plant when the soil feels dry to the touch. In that case, instead of regularly watering it, you should soak the plant with warm water. Too much water will affect the roots, which will begin to rot; the rotting will continue upwards, leading to the leaves and stems turning brown. You can prevent oversaturating the roots with water by ensuring that the plant has enough drainage. If your container does not have drainage holes, you can improvise by adding pebbles at the bottom to form a layer. Space also allows for the roots to breathe since plants require oxygen too. You will notice that you do not need to water the plant as much during winter since the growth will have slowed down. Note that even excessive dryness results in the leaves drying up, hence the need for a daily check of the soil’s moistness. You can use rainwater or filtered water to provide your plant with enough moisture.
Trimming the bridal veil plant does not have any ground rule. Usually, you will go with your preferences; if it grows too long for your liking, it is time to prune. However, remember that pruning encourages growth, so do not wait for it to grow too long. Besides, it helps to shape the plant for a more appealing look. You can use clean gardening shears to cut off long branches, dead parts or weak areas that will only hinder your plant’s blossoming. The emphasis on using clean gardening shears is to prevent carrying any disease-laden particles to other potted plants. Therefore, even after finishing the pruning process, clean the shears. Although warm soapy water is enough, you can go a step further to kill fungal spores by using a cotton swab dipped in 70% isopropyl alcohol to keep the shears ready for the next job.
Put in Right Container
You can start with a small container to grow the bridal veil plant, but it will outgrow it with time. If the roots find no more room to spread out, the plant can start wilting because it will stop growing, and the first signs you will see are the brown leaves and a black stem. According to Hunker, before you think of transferring the plant to a bigger container or maybe outside, you can check to see if the cause of stunted growth is dead roots. Therefore, get the plant out of the pot and inspect the roots; healthy roots are usually fibrous with white tips, whereas rotted ones are black and decayed. If the plant has healthy roots but the pot needs to be changed, you can divide it into smaller parts and place them in small pots. Alternatively, you can transfer the entire bridal veil plant to a much larger container. Ensure that the new containers are clean by cleaning them with hot water and soap to kill any disease-causing bacteria or fungi. If you prefer a clay pot, you must first soak it in water lest the dryness will drain the plant’s moisture leading to browning. Only use fresh soil in the new containers and remember to change the soil once a year. Fertilize it twice a month during spring and once a month during winter.
Prevent Parasites and Fungal Attacks
No matter how hard you try to keep the containers clean during transfer to bigger ones and use fresh soil, you might later spot a few fungal spores. While you may wonder why your plant is suffering from fungal attacks, according to SFGate, fungal spores are airborne and will spread from contaminated plants. Immediately you see brown areas on the leaves, remove them to curb the spread of infections. Since bacteria and fungi thrive in damp areas, avoid overwatering the plant. As for the pests, they will most likely attack the plant if it is outdoors. In such a case, you can physically remove them by hand-picking. Alternatively, you can use insecticidal soap, which you dilute with water in the ratio of 2.5 -5 tablespoon of soap to a gallon of water. You should spray the leaves both on top and the underside as well as the entire plant. You should then allow for the insecticidal soap to dry by leaving the plant in a shaded area. Repeat the process once or twice a week, depending on the severity of the infestation.