Levkoy: planting and care in the open ground, growing from seeds
A plant like Levka (Matthiola) is also called matthiola. It relates to the genus of herbaceous annuals and perennials of the cruciferous or cabbage family. In natural conditions, levok can be found in southern Europe, Africa and in neighboring regions of Asia. This genus contains 20–50 species. Such a plant is decorative with fragrant flowers. R. Brown gave the Latin name to this flower in honor of the Italian P. Mattioli, a physician and botanist who lived in the 16th century. The name Levka comes from Italian, German or Latin. The fact is that in these languages there are similar source words. From Greek "Levka" is translated as "white violet." In the 20th century, such a plant could be found in almost any park and garden, but in the 21st century such a flower went out of fashion for some reason. In that case, if you are a fan of park style, then this flower is what you need.
Levkoy is a herbaceous plant or a shrub that can be perennial, biennial, or annual. The height of erect branching shoots can vary from 0.2 to 0.8 meters, they are covered with felt pile or bare. Lanceolate or oblong sheet plates may have a serrated or solid edge. The inflorescence of a racemose or spike-shaped form consists of double or simple flowers that can be painted in pink, purple, white and dirty yellow. Flowering is observed in June-November. The fruit is a pod, inside which there are flat narrow-winged seeds. The aroma emanating from the flowers of levkoy cannot be confused with any other. Varieties with simple flowers are considered excellent honey plants, while terry varieties are a wonderful decoration of any garden. Everyone can grow such a flower, even those people who are far from gardening.
Growing Leukkoy from seeds
Before you start sowing, you need to prepare the seeds. To do this, they are soaked for 24 hours in water, and then put in moistened gauze and put on the shelf of the refrigerator for several days for stratification. Sowing seeds for seedlings is carried out in the last days of March or the first - in April in boxes or containers that must first be filled with moistened soil mixtures, which include turf soil and sand (3: 1). Sowing should be carried out sparsely, while sowing the seeds should be only half a centimeter. Then the container must be covered with film or glass and rearranged in a warm (from 20 to 22 degrees) and a dark place. In some cases, the first seedlings can be seen in just 4–5 days, however, they can also appear after half a month.
After the first seedlings appear, the shelter needs to be removed, and the container should be moved to a well-lit place with diffused light, this will not allow the plants to stretch. The necessary temperature for growing seedlings is from 10 to 12 degrees, so it is recommended that the containers be moved to an unheated veranda or a sheltered balcony. Two days after the first seedlings appear, they will need to be watered for the first time. After 10-12 days, seedlings should be dived into individual pots with openings for drainage. They should be filled with an earth mixture consisting of turf and leaf soil and sand, which must be taken in a ratio of 2: 2: 1. It should be borne in mind that by this time the plants will not yet have a single real leaf plate. When diving seedlings into the substrate, it is recommended to pour a small amount of hydrogel, which will strengthen the root system of plants. Late, as well as medium-flowering varieties, if desired, can be dived directly into the open soil. The first feeding should be done when the plants begin to develop a second true leaf plate.Micronutrient fertilizers should be used for feeding; for this, 0.3 grams of boric acid and copper sulphate and 0.1 grams of manganese sulfate and zinc sulfate are taken per 1 liter of water. Seedlings of such a plant must be hardened. To do this, first open the window on the balcony for a short time, while the procedure time is gradually increased. In the end, the flowers should be kept with the window fully open. Seedlings should be hardened 1–1.5 weeks before planting in open soil.
LEFT - ROYAL FLOWER sowing for seedlings
Watch this video on YouTube
Planting levkoy in open ground
What time to land
Levkoy seedlings should be planted in the last May days. To do this, you need to choose a cloudy day or plant in the evening, because the scorching sunlight can ruin the newly planted seedlings. For planting matthiola, the area where plants belonging to the cruciferous family previously grew does not fit, otherwise the cruciferous flea can destroy the flowers. It should also be noted that the soil from such a site is also not suitable for filling containers for growing left-handed seedlings, because there is a high probability that the plant will get a black leg or a keel.
When choosing a place for planting, it should be borne in mind that such plants need a lot of sunlight and well-drained soil, since if the soil stagnates, this can greatly harm the left side. The soil should be neutral or slightly alkaline, saturated with nutrients and better if it is sod-loamy or sod-loamy. Fertilize the soil before planting only when it is excessively depleted.
How to plant
First you need to prepare the holes, and then fill them with water. Planting needs to be done directly in earthen slurry, this will allow plants to quickly adapt to new conditions. When the holes are filled with soil, it must be well compacted. The distance between undersized and single-stem varieties should be about 15–20 centimeters, and between branched and tall, from 25 to 30 centimeters.
Levko care in the garden
The most important thing when growing matthiola should be remembered that it reacts extremely negatively to both prolonged drought and too abundant watering. In this regard, watering should be moderate and necessarily systematic. Also, while caring for such a plant, it is necessary to weed in time and systematically loosen the soil surface in the area, and this should be done every time after the plant is watered. From organics, only wood ash should be used for feeding, but it is preferable to use complex mineral fertilizer. So, in springtime, full mineral fertilizer should be applied to the soil in the area where matthiol grows, and during flowering, phosphorus-potassium fertilizer is used for feeding. If you plant a perennial matthiola, then remember that in the year when it is planted, it should not be mulched.
It is possible to grow matthiola from seeds at the same time, if you want such plants to bloom in your area throughout the season, they need to be sown every 1.5–2 weeks. Terry matthiola is barren, however, it was noticed that terry flowers grow from those seeds that were collected from underdeveloped bushes with simple flowers, while they should have short pods pressed to the shoot with a blunt end. From seeds collected from such bushes, plants can grow with both simple and double flowers in a ratio of 1: 1. During the cultivation of seedlings, you can try to select a plant with double flowers, if necessary. For this, seedlings should be kept at an air temperature of 12 to 15 degrees.After that, they are moved to a room for several days, where the air temperature is 6–8 degrees, at this stage you can see the differences. In plants with double flowers, cotyledonous leaves will be larger and not so bright. If necessary, it will be possible to select bushes with double flowers, while the remaining shoots are removed.
Diseases and pests
The cruciferous flea is capable of causing the greatest harm to such a plant. To get rid of a small amount of insects, an ash solution should be used. Treatment of affected bushes with such a tool should be carried out 1 time in 4-5 days, while it should be repeated 3 times. During processing, it is very important that the solution falls both on the front and on the wrong side of the leaves. In the event that there are a lot of fleas, insecticides will need to be used to destroy them, for example: Decis, Aktara, Actellik, Bankol and Intavir.
Mattiola most often gets sick with a black leg. In an infected bush, the lower part of the shoot first turns brown, and after a while it turns black. It is impossible to cure such specimens, but infection can be prevented, for this, before planting seedlings, soil treatment with Hom should be performed. In this case, even if the earth was infected by the carrier of the black leg, the plants still will not get this disease.
Levkoy after flowering
Seeds become ripe in September or October. Wait until the pods change their color to brown, and then pull out the bush completely with the root, and put it in a well-ventilated room. Wait until it is completely dry. Dry pods need to be torn off and seeds poured out of them.
Preparing for the winter
If Levka is grown in a region with cold winters, then they are cultivated as annual plants. In this regard, in autumn, plants should be pulled out of the soil before they are completely wilted. Plant debris will need to be disposed of, and the area on which the left-handed grown, must be dug up. If the winters in the region are relatively mild, then after the frosts begin, the bushes will need to be cut to the ground surface level. If you wish, you can use your left hand to decorate your house in the winter, for this you need to dig a bush and transplant it into a flower pot.
Types and varieties of levkoy with photo
Levkoy gray-haired (Matthiola incana) - this species is the most popular in culture. Its homeland is the Canary Islands and the Mediterranean. The height of this cold-resistant annual plant can vary from 0.3 to 0.7 m. The bush is branched often with woody shoots, the flowers are very fragrant. Large sequentially located leaf plates can be diamond-shaped or narrow. Their color is dark or pale green, while the surface of the leaves can be pubescent or bare. Loose or lush racemose inflorescences consist of 10-60 flowers. The flowering is lush and observed in June – November, while in the southern regions mattiolu, strewn with flowers, can be met in the winter. Seeds of this type of levkoy remain viable for 4-6 years. Cultivated since 1570. At the moment, about 600 varieties of this species are known. Varieties are divided by flowering season in summer, autumn and winter. The most common varieties of summer flowering. Varieties are also divided by height: high (0.5–0.7 m), medium (0.3–0.5 m) and low (0.15–0.3 m).
Mattiols are also divided into inflorescences into 8 groups:
- Bouquet (Victoria). Branched compact bushes in height can reach from 25 to 35 centimeters. The main and lateral inflorescences are located on the same level. Dense flowers are a part of dense and medium-dense racemose inflorescences, the diameter of which can reach from 3 to 3.5 centimeters. The duration of flowering is from 50 to 75 days. Varieties included in this group are medium early. They are most often grown in rabatka, flower beds, pots and used for cutting.
- Gigantic bomb-shaped. The bushes have thick foliage and a wide pyramidal shape. Their height can vary from 45 to 60 centimeters. The main inflorescence is large (diameter from 15 to 25 centimeters) and loose, it blooms faster than the lateral ones, and it includes densely-doubled flowers. The duration of flowering is from 45 to 50 days. Almost all varieties are late flowering and are often grown for cutting.
- Quedlinburg. On such a terry plant, simple flowers are also present. The varieties included in this group are divided into subgroups:
a) Late tall bushy. Shirokopyramidalnye bushes in height can reach from 0.5 to 0.6 m. Green leaf plates are elongated, blunt or lanceolate, have a solid or uneven edge. The diameter of thick-bloomed flowers can reach from 4 to 5 centimeters, they are part of inflorescences, the length of which varies from 20 to 50 centimeters. It begins to bloom in July.
b) Early tall bushes. Spreading bushes in height can reach from 45 to 60 centimeters. The bluish-green leaf plates can be obovate, narrow, blunt or lanceolate, their edge is smooth or wavy. The length of the inflorescences is from 13 to 20 centimeters, their composition includes saturated color large flowers, the diameter of which is from 4 to 5 centimeters. Flowering begins in June and lasts from 55 to 60 days.
c) Early low bushy plants. Their height can vary from 25 to 40 centimeters. Strongly branched compact or semi-spreading bushes with a spherical shape. Greenish-gray leaf plates can be lanceolate or oval. The diameter of terry flowers reaches from 4 to 4.5 centimeters, they are part of inflorescences, the length of which is from 12 to 20 centimeters. Flowering begins in June and lasts from 40 to 65 days.
d) Six-pointed. Pyramidal forms of single-stemmed or weakly branched bushes in height can reach from 0.5 to 0.8 m. Leafy plates obovate or oblong obtuse. The length of loose inflorescences varies from 0.2 to 0.6 m, they consist of flowers, the diameter of which is 4-6 centimeters. It begins to bloom in June and lasts 1-2 months.
- Short-branched (Erfurt). Compact weakly branched broad-pyramidal leafy bushes in height can reach from 0.3 to 0.4 meters. Large light-gray sheet plates have a solid edge and an oval-elongated shape. A distinctive feature of such a group is that the laying of lateral shoots occurs higher compared to plants of other groups. In this case, the central inflorescence is located above the lateral ones. The diameter of the convex flowers is from 3 to 4 centimeters. Flowering begins in June and lasts from 4 to 8 weeks. They grow such flowers in pots, as well as for cutting.
- Large-flowered gigantic tree-like. The bush branches at the top and has a height of about 100 centimeters. Large elongated oval sheet plates have a wavy edge. The diameter of the flowers is 4–6 centimeters thick, they are part of large compact inflorescences. Flowering begins in June and lasts approximately 8 weeks. Such flowers are cultivated in discounts, group plantings and for cutting.
- Single stem. The bush can reach a height of 0.5 to 0.8 m. The diameter of large, densely-spread flowers is about 5–6 centimeters; they are part of strong dense inflorescences. Large diamond-shaped sheet plates have a twisted or wavy edge. Flowering begins in June and lasts approximately 4 weeks. Most often grown for cutting.
- Pyramidal. Varieties in this group are divided into subgroups by size:
a) Gigantic large-flowered. Medium-early varieties that can be high (up to 0.8 m tall and above) and half-high (up to 0.5 m). The diameter of large densely-spread flowers is from 4 to 5 centimeters. Flowering is observed in June – September.
b) Dwarf. Early flowering plants have pyramidal bushes reaching a height of 20–25 centimeters and having branched shoots. Inflorescences are compact. It begins to bloom in June and finishes only after 40-50 days.
c) Half high. The pyramid-shaped bushes of such a mid-early plant in height reach from 30 to 45 centimeters. Has highly developed side shoots. The length of compact inflorescences is from 13 to 18 centimeters, and their composition includes flowers with a diameter of 3 to 4.5 centimeters. Flowering begins in June and lasts from 1.5 to 2 months.
- Spreading. The varieties included in this group are divided into:
a) Repairing (Dresden). Strongly branched bushes in height reach from 0.5 to 0.6 m. Loose inflorescences consist of flowers with a diameter of about 3.5 centimeters. Flowering is observed in June – November.
b) Late large-flowered (Bismarck). The height of the bush is from 0.45 to 0.7 m, it has branched strong shoots. Leaky inflorescences consist of densely-sized flowers with a diameter of 4.5 to 5.5 centimeters. Flowering begins in July and ends after frost.
Varieties included in these groups differ from each other in the size of flowers and inflorescences, as well as their color:
- Victoria is purple. The bush reaches a height of 0.3 m. Terry flowers have a dark purple color.
- Rosetta. The bush in height reaches from 0.55 to 0.6 m. Terry flowers are painted pink.
- Rainweis. The bush reaches a height of about 0.7 m. There are white, densely-colored flowers.
- Carthrosis. The height of the bush is approximately 0.7 m. The flowers are light pink with a dark pink overflow.
- Rubinrot. Strongly branched bushes in height can reach from 0.5 to 0.6 m. The color of flowers is red-pomegranate.
- Diana. The height of the bush is about 0.7 m. Dense large double pink flowers with a touch.
- Sensational. The bush reaches a height of 0.7 m. The color of terry flowers is dark red.
- Erfurt The bush is highly branched and has a height of 0.3 to 0.4 m. The color of the flowers is dark blue with a purple tint.
- Bouquet. The height of the bush is about 0.35 m. The color of terry flowers is dark red.
- Bouquet white. This form of Bouquet variety with white flowers, which reaches a height of 0.3 m.
Levkoy bicorn (Matthiola bicornis) is another type of matthiola that has been completely unpopular until recently. This kind comes from Greece and Asia Minor. A highly branched sprawling or erect bush of such an annual plant can reach a height of 0.4 to 0.5 m. Linear leaf plates have a large serrated edge. This matthiola is simple - its unsightly small flowers are part of loose racemose inflorescences. Scented mauve flowers may close in the daytime. Flowering is observed in June – August. The fruit is a pod, in the upper part of which there are 2 horns. Brownish-gray small seeds remain viable for about 3 years. Cultivated since the 16th century.
Watch this video on YouTube