Over the Christmas vacation i got to visit Logees [wonderful place] and bought 2 Columnea 'Mirage's' a mostly white variagated plant. Does anyone know if it's a good bloomer, easy to grow or other info. It seems to have an upright growth habit.
as a rule variegated plants are not as vigorous as their green counterparts - they have less chlorophylle. Means if you want a super abundant bloomer - go for the green plant - like Aladdin's Lamp columnea. Julia - they have it at Logee's - when it blooms - it blooms.
You got a plant that will be attractive bloom or no bloom. So - pamper it just a bit more. Good light, regular fertilizer.
I never had Mirage, I tried Light Prince - another variegated columnea - and it was a disaster. It was so picky and didn't want to grow for me. And I am not the only one who had trouble with this variety. On the other side I have a variegated Aeschynantus lobbianus = and it grows and blooms OK.
The less variegation it shows, the better it will be, because white parts of the leaf are not producing anything - for example, pure white AV babies inevitably die.
Usually there is a dependence between variegation and temperature - the higher the temperature the less variegation it shows. I would keep it on a warm side and give it fish emulsion from time to time to green it up.
It will give it more vigour and eventually enough energy to bloom.
Again - in my experience - upright growth columneas are stronger than trailing varieties.
Good luck and waiting for a pic.
I hope someone else will give you more information than I can, but since there hasn't been much activity here lately I'm just so glad to see some I'll try. I think I may have grown 'Mirage' a long time ago, but that's true of so many plants my mind numbs. If it didn't I'd be in permanent mourning. I think it's true of all those variegates that they prefer cooler climates than mine. If you give them cool temperatures in the winter they'll bloom, and it seems to me 'Mirage' blooms well, but even our winters aren't consistently cool. 'Bout froze to death today because it was only 68. The foliage is so beautiful on a well-grown plant that it doesn't really need flowers.
Hi, Irina! Guess you were posting while I was still composing! I have a C. 'Goldheart' that seems to be pretty vigorous out in my unheated greenhouse--maybe because we have had a little more what-passes-for-cold here than normal. It was an 'extra' with an order, not one I would be glutton-for-punishment enough to order myself, but it sure is nice so far. Shudder to think what'll happen to it next summer. Maybe I'll send it to my sister in Montana! There are some nice ones on Ron's site, which I got to by googling both those names hoping to find pictures. Don't know why I didn't go there first!
Hi - yeah - it was way too quiet here...
Where are you going to go first? To Montana? (Just kidding!)
We are expecting a cold blast in 2 days - night temperatures down to -8F. Montana is going to be much worse... It would be way too cold in a Montana unheated greenhouse ;-))
James - Greenelbows is absolutely right, to stimulate bloom - columnea requires cold. Means - you pamper it all year - but in a fall - keep it on a cold window, it could even go to 50F in the night - and it will scare it to bloom. Something with the seasons in its native place, I think.
I love columneas