Characteristics of a gypsophila plant, how to plant and care in open ground, advice on reproduction, difficulties in growing, facts to note, species.
Gypsophila (Gypsophila) can be found in botany under the names Gypsolyubka or Kachim. The plant belongs by scientists to the Caryophyllaceae family. The genus has up to 150 species, which are mainly found in southern European lands, in the coastal regions of the Mediterranean and Asia, where the climate is drier and cooler (extratropical). Science knows one species that grows on the continent of Australia.
|Growth type||Perennial or annual|
|Plant features||Herbaceous, shrub|
|Breeding method||Seed or vegetative|
|Open ground planting time||Rooted cuttings, planted in May or August|
|Disembarkation scheme||Practically 1x1 meter for a bush|
|Priming||Calcareous, loose, sandy, stony|
|Illumination||Brightly lit sunny place, dry without moisture stagnation|
|Moisture indicators||Drought-resistant, watering is needed in the heat or young plants|
|Plant height||In the range of 0.1–0.5 m, dwarf shrubs up to 1 m|
|Color of flowers||White, greenish white or pale pink|
|Type of flowers, inflorescences||Loose panicle consists of many small buds|
|Flowering time||Starts in June|
|Place of application||Cutting, decoration of flower beds and borders|
Due to the fact that this representative of the flora prefers to settle on calcareous soils, it is called gypsum or gypsophila (which has a similar translation). But since all the spherical bushes are covered with delicate flowers, the people usually call the plant "baby's breath", swing or tumbleweed.
Gypsophila is an annual or perennial crop with a herbaceous or shrubby form of growth. There is a rod-shaped, powerful, branched rhizome, which sinks to a rather large depth into the soil. Stems are erect, refined, characterized by a large number of processes emerging from the lateral parts, due to which the gypsum-lover bush acquires the shape of a ball over time. The height of the shoots rarely exceeds 10-50 cm, but there are species in which the stems grow creeping, spreading close to the ground, so such plants can be used as ground covers. If the plant is bushy, then its shoots can reach a height of one meter or more.
The branches are covered with a smooth green bark and leaf plates practically do not bloom on them. All foliage is located at the bottom of the stems, while forming basal rosettes. The shape of the leaves is lanceolate, spatulate or oval, the edge is solid, there is a sharpening at the top. The shade of the foliage can be rich dark green or with a grayish tint. The surface of the leaves is smooth to the touch, glossy.
The flowering process occurs at the beginning of summer and can stretch until the onset of frost. At the same time, loose paniculate inflorescences are formed on the tops of the stems. Such loose panicles are composed of small flowers, the petals of which have a snow-white, greenish-white or pinkish tone. Their size is such that when fully expanded, the diameter of the flower corolla is in the range of 4–7 mm. The calyx has the shape of a bell and has 5 petals. They are wide, their edge is jagged, while there is always a strip of green color, located vertically. There are 5 pairs of thin stamens in the corolla. There are species that have a double flower structure, which are comparable to miniature roses.
After the flowers are pollinated, the fruits begin to ripen in the form of a capsule filled with a large number of very small seeds. The shape of the box can be either ovoid or in the shape of a ball. When the fruits are fully ripe and dry, cracking occurs into two pairs of valves, the seed material is poured onto the soil. Seed germination remains high for 2-3 years.
Since the plant creates rather spectacular clumps covered with a large number of flowers, borders and flower beds are decorated with their help. Gypsum lover looks good in cut, next to plants with large flowers.
Planting and caring for gypsophila in the open field
- Kachima landing site. The qualities of the gypsum are best manifested when the flower bed is in a place open to direct sunlight. Also, it should be dry, without stagnant water after melting snow or prolonged precipitation.
- Soil when planting gypsophila. Since in nature the plant prefers stony and calcareous substrates, then when growing in the garden, it needs a loose, sandy and non-acidic soil, with acidity values up to 6, 3 pH. Will not tolerate growing "baby's breath" in a swampy place or with closely located groundwater. You can also mix ground limestone, chalk or a little dolomite flour into the soil.
- Landing. When caring for gypsophila, it is important that when planting seedlings, their root collar is not covered with soil. When planting in rows or groups, it is recommended to leave almost one meter between the plants. For example, for the type of gypsum-lover paniculata, it will be normal to leave 1x1 m for one bush. Transplanting adult plants is undesirable due to the elongated rod-shaped rhizome, therefore it is important to immediately think over the permanent location of the kachima. Since the "baby's breath" is characterized by growth, after two years, every second bush will need to be dug out so that the indicated square meters are allocated to a separate plant.
- Watering. When growing gypsum loves, it is important to carry out abundant and regular watering after planting, but it is important not to fill the soil. When the perennial grows up, it will more easily tolerate drought. However, if the weather is very dry in summer, you will need to moisten the soil under the bushes. Water is poured directly under the root, approximately 3-5 liters are needed for one plant.
- Fertilizer. When caring for gypsophila, it is necessary to feed with complete mineral complexes (for example, Kemiroi-Universal), but no more than 2-3 times during the growing season. Rotten manure or compost is suitable as organic matter. It is strictly forbidden to use fresh drugs.
- Collecting seeds. Since kachima seeds have good germination and preservation, it is quite easy to collect them from a plant that has a plant. With the arrival of autumn, the seed pods on the dried shoots of gypsophila must be cut off. Then the fruits are dried in a dry and warm room, where good ventilation is provided. When the capsules are dry, they are opened, and the seed is poured onto a paper sheet and dried a little more. After complete drying, the seeds are poured into paper bags or cardboard boxes and stored in a dry, dark place.
- Wintering gypsum-lovers. Since the plant is characterized by increased winter hardiness (it can tolerate frosts with a temperature of -34 degrees), a special shelter for the bush is not required. A perennial species in the autumn period cut off shoots, leaving only 3-4 of the strongest near the root. Then the kachima bush is sprinkled with dry fallen leaves or spruce branches if there is little snow or very severe frosts.
Gypsophila breeding tips
You can get new bushes of the baby's breath plant by sowing seed material and rooting cuttings.
Gypsum loves reproduce well by seeds, while annual species need to be sown on a prepared garden bed with the arrival of autumn. Also, finishing is carried out in early spring, when the snow melts. To do this, holes are made on the garden bed no deeper than 1–1.5 cm. Kachima seeds are evenly distributed in them and lightly sprinkled with soil. After that, the crops are watered. In May, when the seedlings grow up thoroughly, they are transplanted to a permanent place (on a flower bed or in a container), trying not to destroy the earthen ball at the roots. It is better if it is large.
If perennial gypsophila is grown, then it is necessary to pre-grow seedlings. To do this, a peat-sandy substrate is poured into the seedling boxes, mixing in a small amount of chalk or crushed limestone. The soil is moistened and the seeds are planted no deeper than 0.5 cm. The container is covered with plastic wrap. In some cases, a piece of glass is placed on top of the box to ensure high humidity conditions. The container is placed in a well-lit place with a heat reading of about 20-24 degrees. Maintenance consists in maintaining moderate soil moisture and daily ventilation.
After a week, you can see the first shoots. If the height of the seedlings reaches 3-4 cm, then it is necessary to dive them in separate pots. It is better to take peat, then the subsequent planting in the flower bed will be easier. The seedlings should be kept in such a place at all times so that the lighting level is good. When this condition is impracticable, phytolamps are used when growing gypsum seedlings, trying to withstand the duration of daylight hours about 13-15 hours.
When the gypsophila variety has a double flower shape, it can be propagated by the vegetative method. Before the buds appear, cuttings are cut from the tops of the kachima branches. The same operation is carried out at the end of summer, when the flowering is complete. The length of the blanks should be at least 10 cm. For planting the cuttings, loose soil is used, into which chalk is mixed. The branches are deepened by no more than 2 cm. Then the pots are placed in a well-lit place, for example, on a windowsill, but at the same time they are protected from a draft. The temperature is maintained at about 20 degrees.
During the rooting process, it is necessary to maintain a high humidity. To do this, you can carry out daily spraying of cuttings from a finely dispersed spray bottle with warm boiled water. You can also cover the seedlings with a cut plastic bottle. When new leaves appear on the cuttings, this is a signal of successful rooting, then with the arrival of autumn, young gypsophila are transplanted to a prepared place in the garden. The main thing is to choose the time of planting in the flowerbed so that before winter the plants can adapt and take root well.
Diseases and pests when growing gypsum
If the growing rules are systematically violated, then a big problem in caring for gypsophila will be diseases provoked by fungi:
- Gray rot manifested by a fluffy grayish bloom on stems and foliage. Brown spots also appear on the leaves, which quickly grow in size. If measures are not taken to combat the disease, then the bushes of the "child's breath" will quickly wither and die. This is because the spore layer does not allow photosynthesis to take place.
- Rust - a disease of fungal origin, the parasites "feed" at the expense of the "carrier". Yellowish spots become visible on the leaves, gradually acquiring a reddish-brown tint, which indicates the death of the cellular tissue of these parts.
In both the first and second diseases, it is necessary to spray the gypsophila with fungicidal agents, among which Bordeaux liquid, copper sulfate or oxychom are considered the most popular.
Of the pests, the gypsum lover suffers from gall and cyst nematodes. These roundworms spoil the root system, and the bushes gradually die. To combat them, it is recommended to use the drug Phosphamide, with which plantings are sprayed. The interval between irrigation should be 3-5 days. If this method does not give a positive result, the growers dig up all the affected plants and wash their rhizomes in very hot water (the temperature should be 50–55 degrees), since already at 40 degrees the nematodes die.
Facts to note about gypsophila
This plant is quite gentle and in the language of florists it symbolizes the purity of heart impulses, sincere feelings and happiness. Therefore, in the cut when drawing up bouquets, it is customary to combine gypsum lover with roses, which also carry the message of sincere feelings and strong love. Since ancient times, secular beauties have used flower babies to decorate their bodice.
It is curious that gypsophila was valued by ancestors not only for the delicate outlines of flowers, it also had practical applications. In ancient times, these bushes were called "Levant soap root". All due to the fact that the places of natural growth of this plant were in the Levant, territories located on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean. The rhizome contains saponins, complex organic compounds with a surface-active effect. "Saponis", even translated from Latin as "soap", which gave the name to substances with similar properties. If you shake the solution of the roots of the drywall, a strong foam will appear, which helps to cope with fat and clean the surface of the fabric. It is important that even in ancient times such a solution was used for washing especially expensive and delicate fabrics. But, despite one root, "soap" and "soap solution" do not at all resemble each other in properties, since the latter does not contain alkali.
Since a very strong and abundant foam appears when creating a solution from the roots of gypsophila, they did not fail to use this property of the plant in the manufacture of beer and other refreshing fizzy drinks.
Since the gypsum lover is saturated with saponins, it is used as a medicine. Preparations based on it have anti-inflammatory, analgesic effects and are capable of liquefying sputum. It is known that saponins are involved in almost all biochemical processes in the human body. However, today the medicinal properties of kachim are somewhat forgotten. After research, British doctors and pharmacists have proven that gypsophila can be used to fight leukemia and cancer. Its extract helps to enhance the effect of drugs that are prescribed for these serious diseases. The substances in the extract destroy the cell membranes of the tissue of malignant neoplasms, which makes it easier for prescribed medicines to penetrate them.
Types of gypsophila
Gypsum varieties can be both annuals and perennials. Annuals:
Gypsophila graceful (Gypsophila elegans)
is a ball-shaped plant, since its shoots are highly branched. The height of such a shrub varies in the range of 0, 4–0, 5 m. The stems are covered with leaves of a grayish-green hue, the size of the foliage is small, the shape of the leaf plate is lanceolate. When blooming, small flowers form loose paniculate or corymbose inflorescences. The color of the petals of flowers can be white, pink and carmine. Despite the fact that a large variety of flowers are revealed, flowering is very short-lived.
The most popular varieties are:
- Rose (Rosa) - gypsum lover with inflorescences of pink flowers.
- Karmin - in the process of flowering, the plant attracts attention with flowers with carmine-red petals.
- Double Star has very small parameters in height (15–20 cm), but the stems are decorated with inflorescences of bright pink color.
Gypsophila creeping (Gypsophila muralis). R
Asthenia with branchy shoots that are spread out on the soil. The height of such bushes is no more than 0.3 m. On the twigs, leaves of a linear shape with a dark green tint unfold. The arrangement of the leaves is opposite. When flowering, panicles form from the buds, covering the bush, as if with an openwork blanket. Flower petals can be painted in pinkish or whitish colors.
In floriculture, the most popular varieties are:
- Fratensis has double-shaped flowers and a pink tint.
- Pink Haze - the bush has such abundant flowering that the inflorescences completely cover the green growth. The color of flowers in panicles is bright pink.
- Monstrosis differs in abundant snow-white flowering.
Perennial gypsum lovers are very loved among flower growers, since plantings do not need to be updated annually:
Gypsophila paniculata (Gypsophila paniculata)
can form spherical bushes with its shoots, the height of which reaches 1, 2 m. All because of the increased branching of the stems, covered with grayish-green bark, which has pubescence. The color of the leaf plates is the same, their shape is narrow-lanceolate. During flowering, the formation of paniculate terminal inflorescences occurs. They are composed of small flowers, the diameter of which is no more than 6 mm. The shape and color of flowers directly depends on the variety, it can be both simple and terry, the petals are snow-white or pinkish.
- Pink Star - the petals in the flowers are painted in a dark pink shade, their shape is terry.
- Bristol Fairy has stems not exceeding 60–75 cm in height; inflorescences of terry snow-white flowers are formed at the ends of the shoots.
- Flamingo it is distinguished by a bush with a height of about 60–75 cm. The color of the petals in the flowers is rich pink, the corolla is terry.
- Snowflake has a rather dense bush with foliage of a dark green hue. Its diameter can reach 0.5 m. With the arrival of summer, inflorescences are formed on the tops of the stems, collected from terry snow-white flowers.
Gypsophila cephalic (Gypsophila cerastioides)
The native range of origin stretches from Bhutan to Pakistani lands. Although the branches have strong branching, they are still very close to the surface of the ground. The height of such a bush rarely exceeds 8–10 cm. The green foliage forms an openwork carpet. From late spring to July, such a rug is covered with white or purple panicle inflorescences.
Gypsophila pacifica (Gypsophila pacifica) -
perennial with spreading outlines, the stems of which almost reach a meter in height. Shoots are strongly branched. The leaf plates are grayish-blue, broadly lanceolate. When opened, the flowers do not exceed 0.7 cm in diameter. The color of the petals is whitish-pink.