HouseplantsDecorative

How To Grow & Care for Homalomena?

homalomena

Homalomena plants are green houseplants with huge leaves. Its leaves are arrowhead or heart-shaped and glossy green. Homalonemas are also called shield plants or queen of hearts due to the shape of their leaves.

If you are looking for blooms, this plant is not for you. They have small green flowers, which don’t stand out. This plant is great for indoor spaces where you need to add a lot of green.

Queen of hearts is native to the southwestern Pacific and southern Asia. However, some species are known to be native to Latin America. Some species of Homalomena have a strong anise scent.

Types of Homalomena

There are 106 species of the shield plant, quite a variety. Although all of them aren’t available for purchase. A few cultivars can be found in stores, which are specifically created to grow as an ornamental houseplants. Below you can find a few cultivars that you may be able to find in shops.

  • Emerald Gem – Dark green foliage with heart-shaped leaves
  • Lemon Lime – Yellowish, neon green foliage
  • Maggy – Red stems with green almost upright foliage
  • Camouflage – Green foliage with specks of yellow
  • Red Sumatera – Very dark green leaves with glossy red underside, quite rare
  • Army – Similar to camouflage, but instead of yellow there are specks of white
Homalomena ‘Army’ Source: Clivid

Homalomena Care

It’s a tropical plant but relatively low-maintenance. One of the reasons you might find homalomenas indoors is their ability to grow in low light exposure.

Soil

Drainage is important for the queen of hearts plant. Soil has to be loamy, light, and well-draining. Soil can be slightly acidic or neutral in the pH range of 6.0-7.5. It is a good idea to add peat moss to standard houseplant potting mix, to improve drainage. Adding a little vermiculite perlite or sand can work as well.

Fertilizer

If you want to ensure growth during the growing season, you can feed it organic fertilizer with a slow release. It is optimal to feed the plant two times a month. Its best not to fertilize during winter months.

Homalomena ‘Emerald Gem’ Source: Starr

Light

Homalomenas can withstand periods of low light without any problems. Although, the plant grows quicker with indirect bright light. Avoid direct sunlight, which can burn the leaves.

Watering

During the growing season, the queen of hearts plant needs more water than in winter. Since its a tropical plant and does not like cold temperatures, ensure the water is at room temperature before pouring it on the plant.

Leave Tap Water Out For 24 Hours Before Giving It to Plants

It’s a good practice to leave water out before feeding it to plants. It will reduce the chlorine due to evaporation and the water will be at room temperature, which won’t shock the plants.

When overwatered, Homalomena gets root rot easily. Leaves will become yellow if that happens. The best time to water the shield plant is when the top inch of the soil has dried out. Oh, and use a container with drainage holes for this plant.

Climate

Tropical plants thrive in warm temperatures and high humidity. Homalomena is no different. In the case of dry indoor air, you can use mist spray on the plant regularly.

The second option would be to place it near a humidifier. The third option is to place the container on a tray of small rocks and pour water on the tray.

The ideal temperature range for Homalomena is 65-85 °F (18-29) °C. Keep it away from cold drafts. If you regularly open windows during cold periods, the windowsill is not a good location for this plant. Homalomena can grow outdoors in USDA Hardiness zones 10-12.

Huge Homalomena in nature Source: Clivid

Propagating

Homalomena roots are rhizomes, which means the plant can be propagated by root division. Check out this video, to see how it is done successfully.

Pests

The usual suspects of houseplant pests are scales, spider mites, whiteflies and mealybugs. It’s not a surprise you can also spot them on Homalomena. Use diluted rubbing alcohol or insecticial soap to get rid of them.

You can also give your plant a shower in case the infestation has not manifested. Be careful not to waterlog the soil and cause root rot. If previous methods don’t work, try neem oil.

Conclusion

Homalomena is a terrific houseplant. Its beautiful glossy colors and large leaves introduce a tropical feel to your office or home. It is easy to grow but doesn’t like cold or overwatering.

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