Heliotrope flower: photo with description, features of planting and care
The heliotrope flower is very popular with gardeners and landscape designers. Decorative cultures will decorate a bed and will fit into any composition. In addition, the plants produce a pleasant sweet aroma that spreads throughout the district. But in order to grow attractive smelling bushes, you will have to make some effort.
The heliotrope flower is a prominent representative of the Buravchik family. Translated from the Latin name means "turning the sun." This perennial herbaceous plant in its natural environment is found in the forests of North and South America and on the Mediterranean coast. In our climate, it is grown as an annual crop or indoor flower.
In appearance, this plant is a small shrub or shrub with large pubescent leaves. The color of the plates is dark green, the shape is ovoid, slightly wrinkled. The height of the culture reaches 60 cm.
Peduncles small, corymbose, painted in dark blue and purple tones.But breeders derived varieties with white and blue petals. The plant exudes a strong pleasant aroma. Heliotrope flower is valued by gardeners for its attractive appearance, unpretentious nature and resistance to diseases and pests.
Growing heliotrope flower from seed
For the development of culture need from 80 to 110 days. Therefore, the best time to sow heliotrope flowers is from February 20 to March 10. Then the plant will decorate a flower bed with buds in June. Seeds are unpretentious to the choice of soil, for them and suitable universal storey soil. If you want, make the substrate yourself. To do this, mix peat and sand in a ratio of 4 to 1.
Before sowing, be sure to steam the soil on the steam bath or calcine it in the oven. And to carry out this procedure is desirable for the store mix. So you protect plants from pathogenic microbes. How to sow:
- Fill pots or containers with substrate.
- Moisten the soil and lightly tamp it with a plank.
- Spread the seeds evenly over the soil surface.
- Truncate the substrate with a layer of 1–2 mm.
- Cover the container with glass and place it in a place with a temperature of + 18–20 ° C.
Heliotrope seeds germinate in the shade and in the light.But as soon as the first shoots appear, provide them with sufficient illumination. Do not allow the soil to dry out and periodically sprinkle the soil in the greenhouse with separated water from the sprayer.
This event is held when two true leaves develop on the seedlings. The seedling is spiked in individual pots, measuring 9 * 9 cm. You can fill the containers with a substrate with the same composition that was used for the seeds. During the procedure, carefully unravel the roots of the seedlings.
After planting, water the soil with separated warm water. After 15 days, feed the seedlings with complex mineral fertilizer, which contains nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus.
The heliotrope flowers are pretty light-loving plants, and for them choose the most lighted areas. Small penumbra from shrubs and trees is allowed. If the crops do not have enough light, then less buds will appear. In addition, the shade of the petals fade, and the flowering period will be short.
The plant prefers a light fertile soil with good breathability and a neutral reaction.Strongly does not tolerate lowlands and areas with close groundwater table.
Planting is allowed in heavy ground. But here the roots of the culture are developing poorly, which affects the duration and quality of flowering. To remedy the situation, when planting heliotrope flowers, add humus, compost, sand and peat to the soil.
Planting and care
Planted heliotrope flower should be in late May - early June, when the risk of night frost disappears. If you plan to grow in containers, you can transplant plants earlier. For the culture, pits are harvested with a depth exceeding the volume of the earth coma twice. The grooves are filled halfway with a mixture of leafy earth and humus.
Keep in mind that bushes grow quickly. So that they do not interfere with each other, keep a distance of 30 cm between them. The heliotrope seedling is planted using the transshipment method, without disturbing the earthen coma. After planting, the bushes are filled with humus, the soil is slightly compacted and flooded with water.
The first two weeks the plants are watered every 2-3 days. During this period, it is desirable to protect the seedlings from direct sunlight.
Regular, but moderate moisture - the main rule of care. The heliotrope flowers do not tolerate drought well, and it is worth watering them as soon as the topsoil dries. It is not recommended to “flood” the plant, because the culture becomes susceptible to gray rot from an overabundance of moisture. This disease can destroy a sapling in a short time, so it is worth regulating the amount of watering.
The flower responds well to sprinkling. It is desirable to carry out the procedure in the morning or in the evening, otherwise the leaves will get burned. For these purposes, use warm water from the tank.
To achieve a lush and prolonged flowering, it is recommended to fertilize the soil every 15 days. For these purposes, use of complex mineral preparations for flowering plants and organic fertilizing. Moreover, these fertilizers should be alternated with each other.
This agrotechnical reception has a lot of advantages. First of all, the mulch retains moisture at the roots, respectively, heliotrope flowers can be watered less often. In addition, the layer does not allow weeds to grow near the crop. Therefore, do not have to spend time weeding the beds.For mulching flower bed, peat or sawdust is used.
Preparing for the winter
In the northern regions and the middle lane, the heliotrope flower in the garden will not survive the cold season. Therefore, they are grown as an annual plant. But cultures can be preserved until spring indoors. To do this, in the fall before the arrival of frosts, the seedling is dug along with the earthy clod and transplanted into a bulk container.
Flowers should be stored in a room with a temperature of + 15-18 ° C. It is advisable to place the pot near the south and east windows. In addition, it is recommended to highlight plants fitolampoy. Water culture should be less frequently than in summer, but it should not be allowed to completely dry the soil. Then the flowers will delight the buds all winter.
In mid-March, when the plant starts growing, the crop is cut. Do not throw out the young cuttings, because of them you can grow new shrubs. How to do this is described in the next chapter. The cropped mother culture is transplanted into a new substrate consisting of the following components:
- sheet soil;
- turf ground;
It is desirable to add crushed charcoal and granulated complex fertilizers to these components. At the bottom of the pot necessarily laid out a layer of drainage.After transplantation, normal watering and feeding are resumed. It is possible to plant a plant in an open ground at the end of spring - the beginning of summer.
Reproduction by cuttings
Young shoots with a length of 4–5 cm and 2-3 interstices are suitable for breeding. In order for the cuttings to settle down faster, the lower pair of leaves is cut off from them, and the upper one is shortened by half. Sprigs preferably rooted in peat tablets or cassettes. Then the root color system will not suffer during transplantation.
If the cuttings are rooted in ordinary soil, then the soil must be treated with a fungicide, for example “Fitosporin”. This will protect the plants from fungal diseases. To speed up rooting, treat the cutting sites with "Epinine" or "Root".
After planting, the cuttings are covered with glass or polyethylene, and greenhouse conditions are created for them. Do not allow the soil to dry out, so do not forget to periodically spray planting warm water from a spray bottle. It is advisable to illuminate the greenhouse with phytolamp for 8–10 hours.
When the shoots give the first roots, they are transplanted together with tablets in pots with a diameter of 7–10 cm. After this, the shelter is removed.The grown bushes pinch the top. This event is held so that the plant develops flower buds, and its crown becomes lush and branchy. Seedlings transplanted into the open ground in early summer, when the risk of night frost disappears.
Diseases and pests
Heliotrope is a plant with strong immunity, immune to most diseases. Only occasionally it is affected by gray mold. This fungal disease develops in rainy weather and low temperatures. The disease can be recognized by gray-colored mold spots formed on the leaves and stems of the culture.
Gray rot is cured only in the early stages, therefore, at the first signs of damage, the damaged parts of the culture should be removed and the bush should be sprayed with a fungicide, for example, Fundazole or Radomil Gold.
The aroma of heliotrope attracts pests. Often a plant is attacked by such insects:
- Whitefly. A gray-white midge feeding on sap of a plant. A colony of pests can destroy shrubs. In addition, insects carry dangerous viruses. As a rule, the whitefly starts up at high temperature and high humidity.
- Aphid.This pest is recognized by deformed, rotten leaves. Insect sucks culture juices, because of which the shrub quickly fade.
- Spider mite The parasite can be recognized by the thin white cobwebs that are present on the leaves and shoots.
You need to fight pests at the first signs of appearance. To get started, use folk remedies. For example, treat shrubs with garlic or soapy water. If they do not help, then spray the flower bed with potent insecticides. The drugs Aktellik, Ankara and Fitoverm have proven themselves well. In case of severe injury, repeated treatment will be required. Repeat the procedure is recommended no earlier than 7 days.