Ageratum: landing and care. Growing ageratum
Translated from the Greek, the word "ageratum" means "ageless." And indeed, the flowers of this popular ornamental plants can not fade for a long time. Ageratums are often used as decoration of courtyards and gardens, as well as loggias and balconies. Sometimes they are grown as indoor plants.
This flower belongs to the group of perennials of the Astro family. Its homeland is Mexico and some other countries in South America. Also sometimes this plant in the wild is found in East India. In our country and in Europe, it is divorced mainly as an annual. For several years the ageratum can grow only in indoor conditions, as well as in greenhouses and greenhouses.
The root system of this plant is very well developed. The same can be said about the aboveground part. Fluffy compact bushes are literally dotted with small bright blue flowers. One of the distinguishing features of ageratum is the presence of soft hairs on the trunk, branches, leaves and even flowers.
So, you decided to plant an ageratum in your area.Seeds can be purchased at a specialty store or on the Internet. There are several varieties of this flower, each of which is beautiful in its own way. The most spectacular is Ageratum Blue, or, as it is also called, "blue mink." Ageratum Blue Danube is also very popular with gardeners. This is a hybrid of "blue mink", characterized by greater compactness and a purple hue of flowers.
Very often in the gardens and courtyards one can also see the Houston's ageratum or the Mexican variety. This semi-shrub or herb can reach a height of 50 cm. The flowers of the Mexican ageratum are usually pure blue. Sometimes they also have a slightly lilac shade.
Another beautiful variety is Ageratum Summer Snow. This is a small and very compact plant with small leaves and also small dark pink flowers.
Ageratum, planting and care for which are made according to certain rules, is most often used to decorate yards and gardens in large flower beds. Many varieties of this plant form a solid very thick and beautiful "carpet". These flowers are very well combined with marigolds, zinnias, verbena, calendula, gelenium and rudbeckia. Sometimes ageratums are used also in borders or on alpine hills.
How to choose a place for landing
Most species of ageratum love sunny patches. In the shade of plants, the stems can be pulled out, which is why they lose much of their decorative effect. The decay of the root system is what the ageratum suffers very often. Growing it should therefore be done in an open, well-ventilated place.
The soil of these plants love a light, nutritious, neutral. A flower bed before planting should be dug up and fertilized, for example, well-rotted manure. Very nice pre-arrange drainage. To do this, the land from the flower beds removed and poured to the bottom of the resulting gravel pit. Next, the soil is placed back.
How to plant
Flower ageratum is usually propagated by seed, seedling method. In the boxes, you can pour garden soil mixed with manure or a special soil mixture from the store, intended for ampel or terraced flowers. Landing is made in late March - early April.
Seeds are not buried too deep, only lightly sprinkling them with earth. The temperature of the air in the room with the boxes should not fall below 20 degrees. Sprout ageratum appear approximately two weeks after planting.Prior to this, the boxes should be covered with plastic wrap. In this case, a moist warm microclimate will be established in them, which will allow to grow a strong ageratum. Seedlings get more viable and developed.
After a few leaves appear on the plants, they pick them into cups. Thanks to a very well-developed root system, transplant flower transfers the ageratum very well. In gardens, gardeners sometimes even dig up flowering plants and plant them in another place. At the same time, there are no negative changes in agetums. The only thing - after such a transplant, as well as picks, the plants should be thoroughly filled with water.
When is it worth to transfer the ageratum to the open ground? They do this immediately after warm weather is established on the street. Bushes are planted, carefully removing from the mashed cups. The distance between plants in open ground should be at least 20 cm.
Reproduction by cutting
Ageratum, planting and caring for which - the procedures are in fact usually not very complicated, thus, most often propagated by seed.However, this method can be obtained only tall plants with a small amount of foliage. More compact bushes grow when using the method of propagation for propagation. The same method is usually used for hybrid forms. Such ageratums cannot be propagated by seeds, since in this case their special decorative qualities will be lost.
To get the cuttings, the mother plant in the fall, before the onset of frosts, is dug, placed in a pot and put into a warm room. In the spring, several healthy shoots (side) are removed from the bush. The cut should be done directly under the kidney. The fact is that the tissues in this place of escape are less susceptible to fungal diseases. The length of the cuttings should be about 5 cm. Shoots are planted in a small greenhouse with a loose nutrient substrate. Rooted cuttings ageratum very quickly. Replant them in the open ground in the same way as seedlings.
How to care
Plant agertatum - tropical, and therefore, the drying of the soil does not tolerate too well. Therefore, it is necessary to water the bushes every day. This is usually done in the morning. But you shouldn't overflow plants too much.Moistening can lead to rotting of the root system. Water after watering in the garden should not be.
Of course, the owners will have to fertilize the ageratum as well. Cultivation in this case will be much more successful. For feeding, you can use well-rotted manure, compost or complex mineral fertilizer. Too much organic matter under these plants can not be made. Otherwise, the bushes will grow very fluffy, but will not bloom. Instead of organic, it is better to use ammofosku or nitrophoska (20-30 g per 10 liters of water).
Too much elongated plants should be cut. New shoots on the bushes appear very quickly. Be sure to remove and departed buds. Otherwise, the plant will quickly lose its decorative appearance.
Diseases and pests
For various kinds of infections, ageratum, planting and caring for which - procedures that require compliance with certain rules, is quite stable. But sometimes some problems with these flowers from the owners of country sites still arise. For example, if ageratums are planted too often, they may develop a disease such as cucumber mosaic.Also, errors in planting can lead to bacterial wilt plants. The same problems often arise when watering these flowers too often.
Sometimes the ageratum in a flowerbed or in a border is affected by aphids, spider mites or whiteflies. In the first case, the flowers should be sprayed with infusion of garlic. To do this, the teeth are rubbed on a grater and poured with water (200 grams per 1 liter). The resulting mixture is infused for 5 days. Then 300 ml of the solution is diluted in 10 liters of water.
You can cope with spider mites by spraying the plants with a drug from the group of insectoacaricides. You can use, for example, "Neoron", "Agraverin" or "Nissoran." Against the whitefly is usually used "Tanrek", "Mospilan" or "Commander".
In that case, if the plant will be planted in the ground too early, it can greatly lighten the leaves. The fact is that ageratums very poorly tolerate low temperatures. To avoid this, the seedlings of plants before planting in open ground should be tempered. As soon as it gets a little warmer on the street, cups with ageratums are taken out to the balcony or loggia. At night, they need to be taken back to the room.
Ageratum in a flower bed is actually very beautiful. But not when his flowers begin to turn black and wither. In this case, the buds can also become slightly moldy. In this case, the affected flowers are removed, and the plants themselves are thinned. To avoid this problem, watering should be done very carefully. Do not pour water on the flowers and leaves. Water the ageratum best under the root.
Seeds are harvested immediately after flowering. Fade ageratum approximately 2-3 weeks after the buds begin to bloom. Most varieties are pollinated by bumblebees and bees. Seeds of ageratum are elongated and very small. 1 gram of them may contain 6000-7000 pieces. The color they have is light brown.
Collected planting material is placed in paper bags or bags and stored in a cool, dry place until spring.
As you can see, it is quite spectacular and at the same time not too whimsical plant - ageratum. Planting and maintenance should, however, be carried out correctly. With timely watering and using the recommended fertilizers above, you can grow a beautiful fluffy "carpet" that can become just a wonderful decoration of any garden or yard.