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Physostegia (Physostegia) is an original, extraordinary and insanely beautiful herbaceous perennial from the Labiate family. North America is considered to be the homeland of this perennial flower. There are not so many species of this plant, their number varies from 3 to 12.
Physostegia is translated from Greek as "bubble", the perennial got this name because of the calyx of the flower, which looks like an inflated bubble. Of all the known species, only Physostegia Virginia is grown in the garden, the rest of the species are considered wild. Despite its beauty, originality and singularity, physostegy does not require special care at all and that is why flower growers like it so much.
Description of the flower physostegia
Physostegia grows well in the garden and is a thick and wide floral "carpet". In height, a perennial can reach about 100-120 cm, and sometimes even more than one and a half meters. The perennial rhizome is powerful, strong and strongly growing. The leaves are oblong, long, serrated along the edges, and smooth inside. The flowers are two-lipped, swollen at the base like bubbles. The color can be white, purple, pink or lilac. The flowering period lasts long enough, physostegia begins to bloom in July and stops only in September.
The perennial's aroma is very sweet and alluring, it attracts pollinators well, thereby helping its less noticeable neighbors.
Growing physostegy from seeds
Most often, physostegia easily dissipates on its own and does not require special efforts and special landing. But if the perennial needs to be planted in a certain place or to bring out some new variety, then it is best to plant the flower in a seedling way. The best time to plant seeds for seedlings is March. Physostegia is distinguished by good germination, so the first shoots will appear in about a couple of weeks. To protect the seedlings from drafts and direct UV rays, it is best to place the boxes with physical seedlings in a greenhouse.
Seedlings of physostegia
Watering should be regular and abundant; the topsoil must not completely dry out. In addition to watering, you should also carry out regular and accurate loosening of the soil after each watering.
As for the picking, it is absolutely necessary for the seedlings of physostegia and is carried out when the seedlings have already had two leaves. It is necessary to pinch the top of the seedlings by about 5-7 cm, but not more.
Before planting seedlings in open ground, it should be well prepared for this. Gradually, you need to take out boxes with seedlings of physostegy outside, so that the flowers get used to the climate and are ready for planting in open ground. The habituation period should be at least two weeks.
Planting physostegia in open ground
The best time for planting seedlings in open ground is late May and early June. Physostegy is not picky about the sun's rays, so a place for planting it is suitable both in partial shade and in the open sun. As for the soil, it is best to fertilize it with humus or rotted manure before planting, this will help saturate the soil with useful substances and will help moisture not evaporate longer.
Due to the powerful root system, physosteria can interfere with the active growth and development of other plants that will grow with a flower in the neighborhood, therefore, before planting, it is imperative to dig limiters into the soil: slate, boards, metal plates, etc. Or dig in ten-liter buckets without a bottom and plant seedlings of physostegy in them. This will help stop root overgrowth and save space for other plants in the garden. The distance between the bushes should be at least 30 cm.
Physostegy does not require any special and complex care. Perennials need regular and abundant watering, but do not allow stagnation of moisture in the soil, this can lead to decay of the roots and death of the plant or the appearance of harmful fungi. After each watering, the soil should be carefully and carefully loosened so as not to damage the root system. Weeds should be removed as needed.
Top dressing and fertilizers
As for fertilizers, the perennial does not need regular special dressings. It is enough to add humus or rotted manure to the soil before planting and, before the period of active flowering, fertilize physostegia with a balanced complex of mineral fertilizers, which is designed specifically for flowering garden plants. You can buy such fertilizers at absolutely any flower shop.
Every 5 years, the perennial must be transplanted to a new place. During this time, the bush grows strongly and needs mandatory division, and the soil needs rest. The transplanting process is very simple, it is enough to carefully dig out the roots and transplant them to a new place prepared in advance. It is necessary to prepare the place in the same way as before planting seedlings in open ground. After transplanting, you should thoroughly water the soil and mulch on top with foliage, hay or sawdust.
Physostegia after flowering
How and When to Collect Physostegy Seeds. The best time to collect seeds is the end of August and all of September. Physostegia's seeds are large enough, black in color and slightly ribbed. After the seeds are harvested, you must give them time to dry. To do this, place the seeds of physostegia in a warm, dry and well-ventilated place.
Preparing for winter
In places where the climate is warm enough, it is not necessary to insulate the physostegia for the winter, but where the winters are long and harsh without insulation, the flower may not winter and die. After the flowering period is over and the leaves wilted, the bush must be carefully trimmed, leaving about 5-6 cm from the root. Then cover the rest of the bush with peat, sawdust, spruce branches or a thick layer of foliage.
Reproduction of physostegia
Physostegia reproduces not only by seeds, but also by dividing the bush, dividing the rhizome and grafting.
Reproduction by dividing the bush
It is best to divide the bush in the spring, even before the plant is ready to bloom. This will help the perennial to better take root in a new place and please with flowering this year.
Reproduction by dividing the rhizome
The division of the rhizome is a little more difficult. In order to separate the roots, it is necessary to cut off all the leaves and stems with inflorescences, then carefully dig up the roots and divide them into small root groups. The best time for dividing physostegy by roots is autumn, at this time the flowering period is already ending and the plant is preparing for winter rest.
Propagation by cuttings
Cuttings are usually carried out in June. To do this, you need to carefully cut the cuttings with three living buds (no less!) And dig them in for rooting in boxes with prepared soil. It is best to prepare the soil in advance. Soil mixed with sand and humus or rotted manure is well suited. It will be possible to plant such cuttings as early as next spring, by which time they will take root well and will be ready for transplanting into open ground.
Diseases and pests
Physostegia is very rarely invaded by insects or affected by various diseases, but sometimes such cases do occur. There are not so many pests who like to feast on perennials, usually physostegy is attacked by aphids and spider mites. In order to get rid of them, it is necessary to carefully treat the bushes of the plant with a special insecticide solution: Aktellik, Biotlin, Antitlin and others. And correct mistakes in perennial care.
As far as diseases are concerned, rust and various kinds of fungi affect physicalostegia. You need to deal with them as soon as the first signs of the disease appear. Treatment with fungicides helps a lot. In order for the plant not to become infected again, it is necessary to follow the rules of caring for it, because the advanced stage of the disease can lead to the death of the entire perennial and the infection of neighboring plants.
Types and varieties of physostegia
As already mentioned above, only Virginia Physostegia and varieties that were bred from it are grown in the garden. The rest of the known species are considered wild and are not grown in the garden.
- Physostegia Alba - Plants can reach a height of almost 1 m. Flowers are white and large. The leaves are jagged at the edges, and smooth in the middle.
- Fizosteria variegata - an extraordinary flower variety. Leaves are variegated, dark green in the middle and a white border around the edges. The flowers are bright pink. Can grow up to 1 m in height.
- Physostegy Summer Spire - the leaves in shape and color are no different from the physicalostegia of Alba, but the flowers are of an unusual dark pink or lilac color. The flower can grow up to 90 cm in height.
- Fizosteria Vivid - This flower is considered to be undersized, since the maximum height to which it can grow is 60 cm. The leaves of this species are green, and the flowers are not large and pale pink in color.
- Fizosteria Bouquet Rose - a flower can grow up to one and a half meters high. The leaves are powerful, light green and serrated at the edges. The flowers are large and have an incredibly beautiful bright lilac color.
Compositions for mixborders in the garden from physostegy
Physostegia - this perennial is unpretentious and quite beautiful, therefore it is often used to decorate garden plots. Physostegia virginsky blooms before frost. Florists often use it in their compositions, because the buds stand for a long time. The whole branch stands until the last bud opens.
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In May, she planted tuberous calla lilies in the open ground. How to feed them in the summer so that they bloom better?
Elena Savinova, Ryazan
- Tuberous calla lilies like potassium and phosphorus-potassium supplements, which contribute to an increase in the number of flowering stems. Use these fertilizers according to the instructions - and your calla lilies will bloom profusely, releasing up to 10 luxurious peduncle arrows.
Also, good flowering is achieved due to the correct organization of the growing and dormant periods. In September, transplant the calla into a pot and transfer it to the house, gradually reduce the amount of watering. In November, put the tuber in a pot with dry sawdust and put it in a room with a temperature of + 5-10 degrees, (but not higher than + 12-15 degrees).
It is not necessary to water it, otherwise it will rot. In March, remove the plant from sawdust, plant it in a pot with a high-quality, loose substrate from sod soil, peat, compost soil, sand (2: 1: 1: 1) with the addition of complex fertilizer (according to the instructions). When the first peduncle appears, feed it with potassium fertilizer, and after 2 weeks - with potassium-phosphorus fertilizer (according to the instructions). In the summer, when the threat of return frost has passed, transplant the calla into open ground. In September, repeat the whole cycle again.
Calla lilies have been growing and blooming in my garden for many years. Initially, they were white-flowered, then - red, now the range of colors is much wider, because every year new hybrids appear on sale.
Tubers are best germinated in the home or in a heated greenhouse from late March to early April. I plant them separately in containers larger than the diameter of the tuber. Moreover, I deepen it no more than 4 cm, with further transplantation into a large container I deepen it by about 2 cm more.If you plant it too deeply, the calla will bloom poorly or will not bloom at all, but it will actively grow the baby.
Moisturizing around the edge
pot or through a pallet and put it on the sill of the south or west window. It is convenient to arrange containers into one large pallet.
Soil and care
For planting tuberous calla lilies, I use loose, slightly acidic and humus-rich soil. It should not dry out, but an excess of moisture can cause even greater harm - the tubers can rot.
In May, when the threat of frost has passed. I transfer plants to open ground or into large containers. For planting, it is better to choose wet places, well lit, but without the midday sun.
The plant is responsive to feeding. However, I feed no more than three times per season, since with an excess of nitrogen, the number of peduncles decreases and the veils suffer - they become deformed or green.
Each flower remains decorative for up to 1.5 months. Then I remove the peduncle, which promotes the growth of the tuber.
With the onset of low temperatures (in the Moscow region this is the beginning of October), I dig up and wash the plants. I put it in a cool dry place for a month. This allows nutrients from the leaves and roots to transfer to the tubers and the plants to prepare for the dormant period. Then I cut off the leaves and roots.
Homeland - India. These are evergreen perennial grasses or shrubs. They have simple, toothed, opposite large leaves, shaped like the leaves of Motherwort (deaf nettle).
The leaves are very decorative - bright and velvety, patterned, of various original colors. The flowers are inconspicuous, small, bluish or purple in color, collected in narrow, spike-shaped inflorescences. The plant blooms from June to August.
In Coleus, seed ripening is also observed, but with the formation of flower arrows, the plant quickly grows old and loses its decorative effect. Therefore, the flowers must be pinched and removed. Seeds are small, black.
Coleus Hybrid is propagated by seeds, stem cuttings, which take root well for several days. These are thermophilic, light-loving plants of the labiate family, which grow well in living quarters, as well as in sunny places.
The soil for growing it should be soddy, loose and moderately moist, as well as nutritious. The plant prefers liquid fertilizers. More hardy varieties of Coleus Hybrid are used to decorate carpet plantings. Delicate ones - which have very decorative painting and coloring of leaves - are used as a mustard culture in living quarters and offices.
Also some species of Coleus are known, which have starchy roots, therefore they are used as food in Africa and Asia. From variegated Coleus in greenhouses and rooms, hybrid varieties are grown - Colleus Blumei, Coleus Rehneltaianus. Coleus Frederici, Coleus Thyrsoides, Coleus Shirensis also grow very beautifully.
Physostegia (Physostegia) - a genus of perennial herbaceous plants of the Yasnotkovye family. The genus name has Greek roots: physa – bubble and stege – cover, and indicates swollen calyces surrounding ripe fruits. Currently, the genus includes 13 species, the natural range of which is completely limited to North America.
In culture, one species is widespread - Physostegia Virginia (Physostegia virginiana). In nature, he chose the southeastern United States, where it grows in moisture-filled forests or near water bodies. In the garden, a mixborder and a coastal zone are equally suitable for him.
The plant is up to 1 meter high with beautiful spike-shaped inflorescences consisting of flowers of the original tubular shape, for which the plant is also called a false snakehead (False Dragonhead). The color scheme is white-pink-lilac. Duration of flowering is from June to September. There is a variegated form Variegata with white fringing of leaves and pink flowers.
Physostegia prefers light, humus-rich soils in a sunny or slightly shaded place, feels good even in an acidic, constantly humid environment, but does not tolerate drought at all. It is desirable that the plant be protected from strong winds or have some kind of support. Requires abundant watering in the absence of rain, but this is perhaps his only requirement. The rest is a minimum of hassle. Occasionally, once or twice a season, you can "pamper" physicalostegia with fertilizing with a complex fertilizer for flowering plants, but the plant can do without it.
Despite the fact that in the homeland physostegy is called "Obedient plant" for its exceptional unpretentiousness, it is difficult to agree with this name because of its tendency to rapid growth. To limit its expansion to other plants, it is recommended to chop down the roots growing from the planting site or to dig in root restraints. Reluctantly, physostegia spreads only to dry areas. As a rule, this perennial is grown in one place for 2-4 years, after which the plantings are rejuvenated.
Physostegia is easily propagated by seeds, which ripen abundantly by autumn. Sowing in winter gives the best results, although you can also sow in spring by seedling or non-seedling method.
It is much easier and faster to propagate physostegia by dividing rhizomes or layering in spring or early autumn. Humus, compost, a little river sand are preliminarily introduced into the pits located at a distance of 40-60 cm from each other. Delenki are planted with a lump of earth and watered abundantly, the soil around the plants is mulched, at first they must be shaded.
Reproduction by cuttings at the beginning of summer is also possible, but practically no use is made of it. It makes sense only for the reproduction of especially valuable varieties with a lack of starting material, or in order to obtain a large number of young plants at the same time.
Many consider physostegia to be too simple a plant, but this unpretentious, winter-hardy and disease-free perennial very well complements the garden with verticals of its inflorescences at the end of summer. It blooms for a long time, up to 1.5 months. It is used independently and in group plantings, cut into bouquets.