Auriculas are classified according to the form of the flower:
These exhibit a circle of meal known as paste around the centre of the flower.
Show auriculas that do not fall within the above classes are called “Fancies”, and often have bodies coloured red, yellow, or purple.
These have stripes of meal and/or colour radiating out from the centre in a range of colours.
Alpines have no circle of paste and no meal on flowers or foliage. They can be either light-centred, displaying shades of pink, blue or mauve, or gold-centred in shades of red, scarlet, brown or bronze. The petals of alpines all show a degree of shading on the petals from dark at the centre to pale at the edge.
Caring for auriculas
Auriculas are best grown in a well-ventilated cold greenhouse that should be shaded from April to September. Auriculas require an open compost that is well drained but with enough organic content to be moisture retentive. Over-watering is a sure way to kill auriculas, and during the winter months the plants are resting and require only the minimum of water. Much depends on the season but, generally, start watering as the plants begin into growth in late February or early March, and during spring diluted liquid feed may be added. In the summer, water the plants as necessary but take especial care not to over water in hot weather as the roots rot in the warm, moist compost.
Weekly maintenance includes removing dead leaves that are easily detached. Do not wrestle off leaves as you may leave a wound through which disease may enter. Unless you are saving seed, deadhead by cutting below the flower to leave the stem to die back naturally.
Auriculas should be re-potted annually. Traditionally, literature recommends re-potting after flowering ceases, but, whenever you choose to re-pot, it is advisable to avoid the heat of mid-summer.
For more information we suggest that you contact your nearest Auricular Society where you will find help and advice freely given.