Brahma Kamal: Plants with beautiful white majestic flowers
Image Source: Ishan Manjrekar – Flickr (Image cropped)
Brahma Kamal plants are grown for its beautiful flowers. They are medicinal and also are considered sacred in India and it is said that the flowers get luck to the people who see it bloom. These mountain plants can be a bit tricky to grow under normal conditions and can require a bit of care and attention to maintain a healthy plant. They are called as the ‘King of Himalayan flowers.
Quick Details of Brahma Kamal
|Other Common Names||Orchid cactus, Night Blooming Cereus, Queen of the night, Lady of the night.|
|Type||Outdoor perennial flowering plant|
|Flowering||Mid monsoon till October|
|Light||Bright indirect sunlight|
|Water||Water when the soil starts to get dry|
|Soil||Well draining cactus mix or mountain soil.|
|Fertilizer||Any balanced fertilizer|
|Habitat||Himalayas, China, Burma, India|
|Common Diseases||Not prone to many diseases or pests|
|Scientific name||Saussurea obvallata|
Brahma Kamal Buying Instructions
- Plant prefer indirect bright sunlight and this makes the plant grow well in balcony where you get indirect sunlight.
- Buy a healthy plant.
Overview of Brahma Kamal
The Brahma kamal which is named after the God of creation -Brahma, is a perennial flowering plant native to the Himalayas Indian states like Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh China and Mangolia. The plants are hardy and belong to the Asteraceae family.
The plants can grow up to a height of 45-60 cm tall. The stems are stout and the leaves are oblong to lanceolate in shape with phyllocades in the leaf margins. The upper part of the plant is clasping and flattened. The lower part is stalked. The flower heads are purple colored and is protected from the cold weather by layers of yellowish green bracts.
The plants flower only for a day during the night mostly mid monsoon. The flowering can be seen till October in some cases. The flower almost takes 2hours to completely bloom. The flowers are perfect flowers and as both male and female organs in the same flower. pollination takes place through wind or insects. The plant is medicinal and is used in healing a variety of human ailments. The plant is considered sacred in India and the flowering of the plant is considered to get good luck to the home.
Usage and Advantage of Brahma Kamal
- Grown as an ornamental plant.
- The plant is a herb and is used in traditional medicine to treat various diseases.
General Care for Brahma Kamal
They are night flowering plants and require a acidic soil. The plants are native of mountain regions and hence prefer rough mountain soil to grow. The soil should be well draining. A combination of peat, sand and moss can be used for planting them. A cactus mix can also be used.
These plants are a type and cactus and prefers their soil to be dry. The plants can tolerate under watering but cannot withstand extend water in the soil. Water the plant twice a week or when the soil becomes dry. Make sure not to over water the plants as it can lead to water clogging and death of the plant. Preferably water the plants in the morning. Avoid over head watering.
They prefer filtered light or bright indirect sunlight for at least 6-8 hours a day. Do not place them in bright direct sunlight as it can be harmful to the plants. Do not place them in dark rooms.
The plants prefer a temperature range of 10- 30 degree Celsius. The plants can thrive best in warm conditions. Do not place the plants where there is harsh summer heat or cold wind flow. They prefer normal humid conditions. Shift the plants indoors or to shade in case of harsh winters or summers.
Make sure to find a perfect spot for the plant to grow. It is essential for the plants growth. Do not over water the plant. Avoid exposing them to excess heat or cold. Do not mulch the soil. Avoid re potting the plant as they prefer being root bound. Do not prune the leaves. It is better if the leaves dry and die out in the plant.
Fertilize the plants ones a month during the growing period i.e., from spring to winter. Add a balanced fertilizer or compost to increase the organic content of the soil. Dilute the fertilizer so that the plant do not absorb excess fertilizer at a time. Avoid feeding the plants during winter. Give a balanced diet do not provide excess nitrogen as it can initiate shoot growth preventing flowering.
Pests and other problems for Brahma Kamal
They are not prone to many diseases and pests however, excess feeding and over watering can lead to a number of problems.
Overwatering of the plant can lead to the leaves become weak and the plants becoming limp. Excess water can cause clogging leading to root rot. The plants can wilt and die.
Over feeding the plants can cause the leaves to turn brown and dry out.
Excess sunlight or cold can also cause the leaves to turn brown and wilt.
In some cases the plants can be attacked by pests. Use a mild pesticide or spray the plants with neem oil to get rid of them.
Propagation of Brahma Kamal
The propagation of Brahma kamal can be done through stem or leaf cutting, through rhizomes. The easiest way to propagate is through the leaves. Remove the small phyllocades from the mature leaves and plant them separately in a potting mix suitable for the plant. Provide enough water for the leaves to develop. The roots starts to develop within 2-3 weeks.