Growing Achimenes Plants: How to Care for the Orchid Pansy

Achimenes longiflora is a perennial herbaceous plant. The genus comprises about 30 species, of which most are native to South America and some to Mexico.

Some species are widely grown as ornamental plants in the garden or elsewhere for their attractive flowers. 

Delicate AchimenesPin

They have been cultivated for centuries in their native region and were introduced to European gardens in the 19th century.

They are commonly grown as indoor potted plants and outdoors in temperate climates such as Europe and North America.

The flowers in this genus come in many colors, shapes, and sizes. Achimenes are members of the Gesneriaceae family, which includes African Violets.

The flowers are shaped like funnels and come in various colors, including pink, white, blue, scarlet, lavender, yellow, and purple.

Achimenes is also known by several common names, such as:

  • Magic Flower
  • Cupid’s Bow
  • Orchid Pansy
  • Star of India
  • Mother’s Tears
  • How Water Flower

Quick Facts On Achimenes

  • Family: Gesneriaceae
  • Light: Bright
  • Temperature: 60° – 70° Degrees Fahrenheit
  • Water: Needs moist soil
  • Fertilizer: Feed weekly with a balanced liquid fertilizer.
  • Propagation: Collecting and replanting rhizomes
  • Common Problems: Susceptible to overwatering, pests, brown spots on leaves

 Achimenes Plant Care 

 How Big Do Achimenes Plants Grow?

Achimenes plants can grow up to 3′ feet tall in the garden. The flowers are up to an inch across, and the lance-shaped leaves can be as long as 4″ inches.

 When Does Achimenes Flower? Are The Flowers Fragrant?

Achimenes plants begin to flower in late spring, usually between May and June. They will continue blooming until the first frost of fall when they go dormant. 

Other flowers that bloom during this time are rhododendrons (which bloom earlier) and gladiolus (which bloom later).

The floral fragrance of the flowers is pleasant when the plant is in full bloom. 

The flowers are pink, blue, purple, or white and appear in clusters. Achimenes are a popular choice to attract butterflies and hummingbirds to your garden because they are easy to maintain and proliferate.

Other flowers that bloom in late summer include:

  • Dahlias
  • Zinnias
  • Sunflowers

What Are The Lighting Needs And Temperature Requirements?

Achimenes grow best in full or partial shade, meaning it can take as much as 4 or 5 hours of direct sunlight a day.

However, if you live in a climate with intense sunlight, you’ll want to keep your plants out of the sun during the hottest part of the day.

Achimenes prefer warm weather and will not do well at temperatures below 55° degrees Fahrenheit.

Ideally, daytime temperatures should be between 60° and 70° degrees Fahrenheit for this plant to thrive.

How And When To Water And Fertilize Achimenes Plants?

Achimenes like moist soil, so it is good to water once per week. The brown or discolored spots you sometimes see on the leaves are from cold water.

Water around the plant base and prevent water splashing on the leaves to avoid this problem. 

Water during dry periods and fertilize monthly with half-strength fertilizer for growing plants until mid-summer, when there will be enough rain to sustain them with no additional care.

What Is The Best Soil For Achimenes Plants And When Should You Transplant?

It’s best to transplant Achimenes plants when they outgrow their pots. It is usually recommended that you wait until early spring for this process, but this is not always possible.

If you are transplanting more than one plant at a time, get them in pots as close to the same size as possible.

The new pot should be about 1″ to 2″ inches wider than the old one was.

Now that you’ve picked out your achimenes, it’s time to transplant them into your garden.

Achimenes are usually grown in pots but may also be planted in window boxes, hanging baskets, or garden beds. Transplanting should be done in spring or fall. 

Water the plant well before transplanting it, then dig a hole twice as big as the root ball and plant at the same depth it was previously planted.

After planting, water thoroughly and mulch around the base of the plant to keep the roots cool and moist. 

How To Propagate Orchid Pansy?

Propagating From Seed

You can easily propagate achimenes from seed when the plant is grown as an annual. Seeds are available for purchase in garden catalogs and nurseries.

If you’re careful, you may also be able to collect seeds 8 weeks after flowering. But, first, pick off the softened fruits that hold the seeds.

Propagating From Rhizomes, Tubers, And Bulbs

After the frost kills the tops of achimenes plants in the fall, dig up the rhizomes, tubers, or bulbs and allow them to dry out for a few days.

Store them in a cool dark place with good air circulation until spring.

Plant each tuber or rhizome about an inch (2.5 cm.) apart in moist potting soil. In approximately 3 weeks, shoots will begin to grow with roots beneath each bulb or rhizome segment.

Then transplant the young division into new pots or containers filled with fresh potting soil and water well.

Magic Flower Pests And Disease Problems

What are the signs of a healthy plant?

The leaves should be dark green. They may also have some purple spots, but that is normal for this type of plant.

If you see any yellow leaves, you will need to identify the problem and fix it quickly.

What kind of pests or diseases affect achimenes plants?

These plants are not prone to many pest problems.

However, they can sometimes get aphids, mealybugs, or scales.

You can treat these with insecticidal soap or horticultural oil.

Achimenes plants can also get mildew, rust, and leaf spots if they do not have enough sun or airflow.

Is The Achimenes Plant Considered Toxic Or Poisonous To People, Kids, Pets?

Achimenes are grown as indoor and outdoor plants. They also make attractive hanging basket plants.

Many people and pets may be attracted to the beautiful foliage of the Achimenes plant, but it is not considered toxic or poisonous. 

If an animal or child ingests a large portion of the plant, it could cause a stomach upset. 

Ensure that you keep your plants out of reach of children and pets to avoid accidental ingestion.

While they are not toxic, people with skin sensitivities should wear gloves when pruning or cutting the stems. Some people have reported skin irritation after handling the plants.

Is The Achimenes Plant Considered Invasive?

No, the Achimenes plants are not invasive at all. The Achimenes plant grows slowly, so people have to don’t worry about it taking over their gardens or yards. 

Suggested Cupid’s Bow Uses 

Achimenes can be used in many ways in your yard and home.

They are good for hanging baskets and make great additions to pots and containers. 

Use them in shade gardens, as bedding plants, or fill gaps in garden beds. They may also be used as ground cover or houseplants.