By Susan Patterson, Master Gardener
Achimenes longiflora plants are related to the African violet and are also known as hot water plants, mother’s tears, cupid’s bow and the more common name of magic flower. This native Mexican plant species is an interesting rhizomatous perennial that produces flowers from summer to fall. In addition, Achimenes care is easy. Keep reading to learn how to grow Achimenes magic flowers.
Achimenes Flower Culture
Magic flowers got their nickname of hot water plants due to the fact that some people think that if they submerge the entire plant pot in hot water, it will encourage blooming. This interesting plant grows from small rhizomes that multiply rapidly.
The foliage is bright to dark green and fuzzy. Flowers are funnel-shaped and come in a wide variety of colors including pink, blue, scarlet, white, lavender or purple. Flowers are similar to pansies or petunias and hang eloquently down the side of containers, making it an excellent choice for a hanging basket.
How to Grow Achimenes Magic Flowers
This pretty flower is grown mostly as a summer container plant. Achimenes longiflora require temperatures of at least 50 degrees F. at night but prefer 60 degrees F. During the day, this plant does best in temperatures in the mid 70s. Put plants in bright, indirect light or artificial light.
Flowers will fade in the fall, and the plant will go into dormancy and produce tubers. These tubers grow under the soil and at nodes on the stems. Once all of the leaves have fallen off of the plant, you can gather tubers to be planted next year.
Place the tubers in pots or bags of soil or vermiculite and store them in temperatures between 50 and 70 degrees F. In spring, plant the tubers ½-inch to 1-inch deep. Plants will sprout by early summer and form flowers shortly after this. Use African violet potting mix for best results.
Achimenes plants are easy keepers as long as the soil is kept evenly moist, humidity is high, and the plant is given a weekly fertilizer feeding during the growing season.
Pinch the flower back to keep its shape.