Mesembryantemum: growing from seeds, planting and care in the open ground
Mesembryanthemum (Mesembryanthemum) is a succulent annual or biennial plant is a member of the Azizova family. In nature, it is found in South Africa. This plant was called a mesembryanthemum in 1684, from Greek this name is translated as “noon flower”, because the mesembryanthemum known at that time was united by such a feature as the opening of flowers only in sunny weather. This plant is also called "midday", or "sunflower". But in 1719, species were found that bloom only at night. According to various sources, this genus unites from 50 to 80 species.
Features of mesembryanthemum
The genus mesembryanthemum is represented by not very tall creeping or creeping plants, and in some cases by shrubs having a height of no more than 15 centimeters. Highly branching, stalk shoots are usually straight. Fleshy sessile leaf plates of a greenish color have a fusiform or rounded shape. In the upper part of the stem they are placed next, and in the lower - opposite. On the surface of the leaf plates there are superficial swollen cells called idioblasts that look like small balls of crystal, which is why this culture is also called ice or crystal grass. The flowers of such a plant are similar to daisies. They are collected in brushes, but can be single. Flowers are painted in a variety of colors: white, pink, red, and sometimes yellow. Such a plant blooms throughout the summer period, and blooms in mid-autumn. The fruit is a five-leaf box, inside of which are small seeds. They remain viable for 1–2 years. They grow this culture both in indoor conditions and in open soil.
Spectacular annual. Mesembryantemum: seed cultivation
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Care for mesembryanthem at home
Sowing the seeds of mesembryanthem immediately in the soil is possible only in the southern regions. In middle latitudes, seedlings of such plants are first grown, while sowing is carried out in the first half of April. It is not worthwhile to sow seeds earlier because seedlings need a large amount of light. To grow seedlings, you will need a breathable light soil mixture, which should consist of coarse sand, peat and garden soil (2: 2: 1).
The substrate must be disinfected before planting; for this, it is calcined in an oven or spilled with a potassium permanganate solution. Then the surface of the soil mixture is leveled and cleaned in a warm place for 15 days, during which time the beneficial microorganisms needed by the plants should multiply in the substrate. Seeds must be evenly distributed over the surface of the soil mixture, which must be moistened beforehand, then they are pressed a little into the substrate, but not covered with the substrate. The container needs to be covered with glass or film, and then it is cleaned in a well-lit cool (15-16 degrees) place before the seedlings appear. After about 7 days, the first seedlings should appear, when this happens, the plant is harvested in a cooler place (from 10 to 12 degrees). Mass emergence of seedlings occurs only after 3-4 weeks.
How to water and feed
The development of fragile seedlings is extremely slow, and even they do not have resistance to root rot, in this regard, in order to grow seedlings of such a culture, it must be properly watered. The greenhouse where the seedlings grow should be well ventilated, while the soil mixture should always be slightly moist. To moisturize it is necessary to use a spray.After the plant has grown stronger, and they each form 2 real leaf plates, they should be peaked according to individual containers (plastic cups or pots) that are filled with the same soil mixture, but it should be noted that there should be a lot of sand in it. It is not necessary to feed such a plant in the seedling period.
Outdoor planting and care of mesembryanthemum
What time to plant
In open soil, mesembryantemum seedlings should be planted only after the return spring frosts are left behind and warm weather sets in, while the earth should be well warmed up, as a rule, this time falls in the second half of May or the first days of June.
To grow such a culture, it is recommended to choose a ventilated area that has reliable protection against drafts and is illuminated by the sun throughout almost the entire day. Best of all, such flowers will grow on a plot located in the southern part of the garden. The soil should be well-drained rocky or sandy. Before embarking, you should dig the soil, while it is necessary to make expanded clay, as well as sand. This plant is not recommended to be planted near moisture-loving crops, the fact is that in overly moist soil the bushes rot.
Growing mesembryanthemum in your garden is very simple. Before proceeding to planting, on the prepared site, it is necessary to make landing holes, while their depth should be such that they can fit a raspberry along with a clod of earth and roots. A distance of at least 15–20 centimeters should be observed between the pits. Free space in the planting pits after transplanting seedlings must be covered with moisture-permeable loose soil. When the plants are planted, the soil needs to be watered and tamped a little.
How to care in the garden
Watering such flowers must be moderate and timely. Watering is carried out only when the soil dries well and it will be seen that the bushes suffer from a lack of water. If it rains often in the summer, then such a culture can suffer very much, in this regard, experts recommend that in wet weather cover the area with film, as a result, the soil will not become sap from water. The plots are fertilized once every 15–20 days. For feeding, a solution of complex fertilizers for succulent plants is used.
You do not need to trim the bushes, on the contrary, flowering creeping shoots on the plot turn the flowerbed into a colorful motley carpet. If you take care of the bushes correctly, then their flowering can last until the second half of the autumn period.
Bushes for the winter must be removed from the soil, while all excess land must be removed from the root system. They are stored for storage in a cool place (from 10 to 12 degrees), while in the spring, when the growing season begins, the bushes must be cut. The rooting of cuttings should be carried out with poor watering and under diffused bright light, and when frost has passed, they should be planted in open soil.
Diseases and pests of mesembryanthemum
When grown in open soil, this culture has a fairly high resistance to both diseases and harmful insects. Most often, it suffers due to adverse weather conditions, or rather, increased humidity or due to improper watering. If stagnation of moisture is observed in the soil, then the bushes can be affected by root rot, while it is almost impossible to cure diseased plants. You can trim the affected areas of the root system and spray the bushes with a fungicide, but it is likely that this will not help them.
If the bushes are planted in a shaded place, then they may not bloom at all, because they need a lot of sunlight, while direct rays do not harm them at all. If the mesembryanthemum lacks light, it will become elongated and will take on a painful appearance.Also, bushes become less attractive if they lack the nutrients contained in the soil.
Spider mites can live on the bushes, which prefer to live under exactly the same conditions as the mesembriantemum, but these pests can suffer due to high humidity. To get rid of ticks, you need to use acaricides, for example, Aktara, Fitoverm, Aktellik or Akarin.
Types and varieties of mesembryanthemum with photos and names
Gardeners today cultivate a not very large number of varieties and types of mesembryanthemum, their description will be given below.
Mesembryanthemum crystal (Mesembryanthemum crystallinum)
Or mesembryanthem crystallinum, or crystal grass. This kind comes from the deserts of South Africa. Such a wide-spreading perennial reaches a height of about 15 centimeters. He has a large number of shoots that adorn small fleshy oval-shaped leafy plates and a greenish color, while their edges are wavy. Flowers look similar to daisies or daisies. This view is described in more detail at the beginning of this article. The following grades are popular:
- Sparks. Leaf blades are whitish yellow. The flowers have a different color, and in diameter they reach about 45 mm.
- Harlequin. Petals have a double color, namely pink with orange.
- Limpopo. This variety mix includes varieties of various colors.
Grassy Mesembryanthemum (Mesembryanthemum gramineus) or tricolor
Such a branched annual reaches a height of 12 centimeters. Shoots have a pale red hue. Fleshy linear leaf plates reach a length of 50 mm, with hairs on their surface. The color of the flowers is carmine pink, closer to the middle they are painted in a darker color shade, in diameter they reach 36 mm.
Mesembryanthemum daisy-like (Mesembryanthemum bellidiformis), or hairy mesembryanthemum
Annual branched plant reaches a height of 10 centimeters. The length of the fleshy leaf plates is about 75 mm, they have an obovate shape, and on their surface there are papillas. The flowers in diameter reach 30–40 mm, they are painted in pink, orange, bright purple, red, apricot, yellow or purple. Their disclosure occurs only on a fine day.
Mesembryanthemum cloudy (Mesembryanthemum nubigenum)
This succulent is cultivated as a groundcover, but under natural conditions it is a shrub. The height of the bush varies from 60 to 100 mm. Leaf plates have an oval or linear shape. When the temperature drops, the bushes are painted in bronze color. The species is frost-resistant and has a short flowering period. Narrow petals can be colored yellow-golden, orange, red or purple. The diameter of the flowers is about 35 mm.
Mesembryanthemum ocular (Mesembryanthemum occulatus)
The species has an unusual color, which explains its great popularity among gardeners. The petals are saturated yellow, with the stamens, pestle and center of the head bright red. The height of the bush is about 10 centimeters. The length of the scapular-lanceolate sheet plates is 10–45 mm.
Mesembryantemum Sparkles. Search
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