Schizanthus: planting and care when growing outdoors

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Schizanthus: planting and care when growing outdoors
Schizanthus: planting and care when growing outdoors

Characteristics of the schizanthus plant, how to plant and care in a personal plot, recommendations for reproduction, methods of combating diseases and pests, species and varieties.

Schizanthus can be found under the name corresponding to its transliteration - Schizanthus. The plant belongs to the Solanaceae family. The natural area of ​​natural distribution is in the south of the American continent (Chile and Argentina) and South African lands. There is also an opportunity to meet these representatives of the flora on the islands of New Zealand or in the USA. According to various sources, the genus Schizanthus has combined 10–12 species, and the last indicators were obtained from the The Plant List database. The plant has an attractive appearance and has become a favorite as an annual in our territories, or is grown as a pot culture.

Family name Nightshade
Growing period One-year or two-year
Vegetation form Herbaceous
Breeds Seeds only (seedlings grown)
Dates of disembarkation in open ground At the end of return frosts
Landing scheme Distance between holes 10-15 cm
The soil Lightweight, well-drained, rich in nutrients
Indicators of soil acidity, pH Any, but better neutral with values ​​of 6, 5-7
Illumination level Open, well-lit by the sun or light shade
Humidity level Regular and abundant watering, in the heat twice a day
Special care requirements Mandatory feeding
Height options 0.3–1 m
Flowering period Depends on sowing time, but usually takes the whole summer
Type of inflorescences or flowers Terminal racemose inflorescences
Color of flowers Snow white, yellow, crimson, pink, red, peach, orange or purple
Fruit type Bivalve box
Fruit color Light brown
The timing of fruit ripening Depends on the beginning of flowering
Decorative period Spring-summer
Use in landscape design As a single or group planting, in mixborders or flower beds, in rock gardens or ridges, for decorating borders
USDA zone 5–9

Schizanthus got its generic name due to the fusion of a pair of Greek words "schizein" and "anthos", which have the translation "to split" and "flower", respectively. This is because people have long noticed the structure of the corolla of a flower that has cleavage and resembles a butterfly. Apparently, this was the reason for the emergence of the popular names of Shikhantus "butterfly" or "poor man's orchid" (due to the similarity of the outlines).

Schizanthus, although it is considered a perennial representative of the flora, but its life cycle does not exceed two years and is often used as an annual. The plant is distinguished by trochitomic branching, that is, when the stem is divided into three branches of equal size, and those, in turn, are also divided into three identical branches, and so on. The vegetation form in Shikhantus is herbaceous. The height of the species that are part of the genus is quite diverse, so they can be measured by 30 cm or reach meter heights, but this will directly depend on the cultivation conditions, the composition of the soil and the frequency of watering. The surface of the shoots, like the leaf plates, is covered with pubescence of glandular hairs.

Schizanthus foliage is colored grassy green or light green. The outlines of the leaf plates are pinnately dissected.Because of this shape, the deciduous mass has a very delicate openwork outlines, which makes the bush, even before the flowers have opened, very decorative. The flowering of schizanthus is very long, it begins in late spring and lasts until the first frost. This directly depends on the sowing time, but mainly takes place during the entire summer months.

At the tops of the shoots of the schizanthus, flowers of a zygomorphic structure open up - that is, through its center there is the possibility of drawing only one plane of symmetry. Apical loose racemose inflorescences are collected from the buds. The calyx of the schizanthus flower is composed of five parts. The corolla has a two-lipped structure. The upper lip has a three-sided shape, with the central petal having a serrated apex. There are as many stamens in the corolla as there are shares in it. The diameter of a flower can reach 2 cm. A lot of buds are revealed.

The color of the Schizanthus flowers can take on a wide variety of colors: snow-white and yellow, crimson and pink, red and peach, orange and purple. Among other things, the surface of the petals is often decorated with a pattern of strokes and specks. The shape of the corolla is very similar to a butterfly, for which the plant is popularly nicknamed - the butterfly flower. Some flower growers who do not have sufficient experience often confuse schizanthus with an orchid, but these are completely different representatives of the flora from different families.

During flowering, the open corollas of schizanthus attract not only bees, but also butterflies. After pollination, fruits are set, which in the schizanthus are represented by a box with a pair of valves. When ripening is complete, the flaps crack, opening access to the seeds.

There are a lot of varieties for today, which are characterized not only by the height of the stems, but also by the color of the flowers, and since the plant is not difficult to care for, even novice gardeners can grow it.

Rules for planting schizanthus in the open field, care

Schisanthus blooms
  1. Landing place schizanthus bushes should be open so that it is illuminated from all sides by the sun's rays. As a last resort, partially shaded areas may work. We can talk about the plant's resistance to the effects of drafts and gusts of wind. If the flower bed for planting schizanthus is in a thick shade, then its stems will stretch upward and become thinner, the color of the leaves will turn pale, and the splendor of flowering will also suffer.
  2. Soil for schizanthus it is recommended to choose light and well-drained, with good moisture. The acidity indicators of the substrate during cultivation do not play a big role, but neutral substrates with a pH of 6, 5–7 are preferred for comfortable growth. For nutritional value, a couple of days before planting, it is necessary to mix humus into the soil and then dig up the area intended for flowers.
  3. Planting a schizanthus. It is clear that, due to their southern origin, schizanthus bushes are best grown in open ground, where the regions have a warm climate and mild swamps, but in the middle lane, planting is carried out when the return frosts have already receded - this may be the end of May or the beginning of summer.
  4. Watering when caring for schizanthus, it should be not only regular, but also abundant, despite the origin of the plant from South African and South American territories, where, it would seem, there is little rainfall. In order for the plant to develop normally, it is recommended to maintain the soil in a fairly strong moisture, but at the same time to avoid stagnant moisture in it. If the weather is hot and dry, the substrate is moistened twice a day. With complete or even partial drying out of the soil, schizanthus will quickly lose a significant part of its decorative effect. Due to the moisture-loving nature, schizanthus bushes, on the advice of experienced gardeners, must be moistened in the evenings from the last week of May.This will stimulate the growth of shoots of the plant and the setting of a large number of flower buds, and then lush flowering. When watering schizhantus, they try to prevent drops of moisture from falling on the leaves, and even more so on the flowers, otherwise it threatens with burns or the appearance of spots. Although drought by schizanthus is more easily tolerated than waterlogging of the soil, it is still not worth bringing the soil to complete dryness. If there is a chance of moisture stagnation on the site during a too rainy summer or groundwater is nearby, then you need to think about landing on a high bed or in an alpine hill. Water for irrigation is used warm and well-separated, you can collect moisture from precipitation or leave the tap water collected in a bucket for several days.
  5. Fertilizers when caring for schizanthus, it is recommended to do it regularly. For this, complex mineral preparations should be used for flowering garden flora representatives (they can be Mister-Tsvet, Kemira-Universal or Fertika-Plus). Usually, 1 tablespoon of the product is taken for 7 liters of water and a glass of the prepared solution is poured under each bush. Top dressing should be done two to four times a month. The first time they are brought in after 14 days from the moment of the first pick of the schizanthus and continue after landing in the open ground. Usually, an increase in fertilization is performed at the peak of the flowering process (approximately threefold). Fertilizers will help the stems to actively branch and form a large number of buds.
  6. General advice on care. Like many flowers in the garden, the schizanthus will need weeding and periodic loosening of the soil. In order for the stems to branch out better, you should regularly pinch their tops. This will also be the key to the formation of numerous buds. If a species or variety with high stems is grown, then it is better to tie it to a peg as it is pulled.
  7. The use of schizanthus in landscape design. Although the plant itself is very decorative and can be planted as a tapeworm (a single bush in the garden), it is better to beat these properties when decorating a plot. Moreover, after heavy summer showers, such "lonely" bushes have thin and delicate stems that can lie down. When growing conditions are favorable, the "poor man's orchid" will acquire strong shoots with excellent branching, which will not be afraid of gusts of wind. But in the early stages, when the flowering process has just started, the likelihood of damage is very high. For this, it is recommended to plant schizanthus with different flowering periods, forming group plantings. Such beautifully flowering plantings will be a universal decoration of any flower beds. The best neighbors for the schizanthus will be lilies or large daisies. This is because the delicately colored moth flowers on delicate branches have the property of creating "air" in the flower garden and can fill the surrounding space. But by themselves, such bushes can be used in rabatkas and rock gardens, for decorating borders. Schizanthus planted in pots for growing as home plants will also look good. It is fashionable to place several plants in one container. Plants with high stems are often used for cutting and bouquets.

Read also how to grow petunia at home and outdoors.

Recommendations for the reproduction of schizanthus

Schizanthus in the ground

In order to have such flowering plants on the site, only the seed method is used. In this case, you can either sow the material directly to the flower bed or grow seedlings.

If in your area the winter months are not distinguished by harsh weather conditions, sowing is carried out in the autumn, immediately after the collection of schizanthus seed. After that, it is recommended to cover the seedbed with dry foliage or spruce branches.And when it snows, then pour a larger snowdrift, which will also serve as a shelter for future shoots of the schizanthus. When the weather is warm, then such a shelter needs to be removed. In climatic zones with mild winters, where such bushes do not freeze immediately after flowering, the plant gives abundant self-seeding and when spring comes, the gardener will only need to plant young seedlings.


Experienced gardeners note that schizanthus plants grown during winter sowing in a way differ in power and a large number of opening flowers. The flowering process of such specimens takes up to three months.

Growing schizanthus seedlings

Sowing is recommended in February. For this, loose and nutritious soil is poured into the seedling boxes - for example, peat-sandy soil in which the volume of the components will be equal or the soil mixture is combined from river sand and humus (in a ratio of 2: 1). Before sowing, seeds must be soaked in warm water (with a temperature of 20-24 degrees) for several hours to swell. Seed material is spread over the surface of the substrate and sprinkled on top with the same soil mixture or river sand. Then the sihzanthus crops are moistened by spraying with a fine spray gun. The box is then covered with a plastic transparent film. The place in which the container with crops is placed should be with a temperature of 14-18 degrees, this will be a guarantee that the stems will not stretch. When leaving, it is important to keep the soil in a moderately moist state and periodically ventilate.

After 14–20 days, you can see the first shoots of schizanthus. When the seedlings grow a little and a pair of real leaves unfold on them, the first pick is carried out. To do this, young schizanthuses are transplanted into separate pots (peat pots can be used) and the same soil. Seedling care in the future will consist of spraying the soil when it dries up and airing for at least half an hour a day. In order for the seedlings to develop better, it is recommended to re-pick after a couple of weeks.

When the return frosts are left behind by the vein, it is possible to transplant schizanthus seedlings to a flower bed. But before that, the seedlings must be hardened for a week, exposing them to the open air. First, the containers are left on the street for 10-15 minutes, gradually increasing this time until it becomes round the clock. Together with the transplant, the first pinching of the tops of the shoots is carried out in order to stimulate their branching. The distance at which holes are dug for planting schizanthus should be maintained at about 10-15 cm. After planting, abundant watering is required.

Often, seedlings begin to grow in the fall. Then the sowing of schizanthus seeds is performed in early September. Sowing rules are the same as described earlier (using seedling boxes and nutrient medium). When a pair of true leaf plates unfolds in the seedlings, a pick is performed in individual pots. Wintering of young schizanthus plants should take place in cold conditions; frost-free rooms are suitable for this. But at the same time, bright lighting is important so that the shoots of schizanthus do not stretch too much. When spring comes, the seedlings can be planted in a prepared place in the garden or in flower pots. But transplanting into open ground, as mentioned above, can only be carried out when a positive average daily temperature is set, when frosts will not destroy delicate plants.

Read also about the rules for self-breeding nightshade

Methods of combating diseases and pests during the cultivation of schizanthus

Schisanthus grows

When growing bushes "poor man's orchids" problems may arise due to waterlogging of the soil, which provokes the development of fungal diseases. Among such problems are, for example, powdery mildew, which is manifested by the formation of a whitish bloom on the leaves and stems of the schizanthus.For prevention, it is recommended to spray with fungicidal preparations containing copper (for example, preparations from Bayer, as well as Teizer or Champion). In this case, all specimens that have been damaged should be destroyed, and the rest should be treated with a fungicidal solution.

An unpleasant and most common disease in the cultivation of schizanthus is anthracnose… When it appears on the leaves and flowers, the putrid spots that have appeared are clearly visible and if measures are not taken, then the entire bush begins to fade. The spread of this disease occurs through wind, rainfall or insects (usually aphids). That is, most often such a disease can occur at high humidity (more than 90%) and temperature (25-27 degrees). All schizanthus bushes, on which traces of the disease are clearly visible, must also be removed from the flower bed, and the rest should be sprayed with systemic fungicides such as Fundazol and Bordeaux liquid.

If we talk about insects, then, as already mentioned, aphid is the most common plant pest in the garden. In addition, it is able to tolerate viral diseases, for which there is no cure for today (all sorts of spots and mosaics). If small green bugs are found that feed on the cellular juices of the Schezanthus, measures are immediately taken to combat the "uninvited guests." It is recommended to treat the plantings with insecticidal agents, such as Aktara, Actellik or Karbofos.

Types and varieties of schizanthus

The most common in culture of all 12 species are the following:

In the photo Schizanthus Graham

Schizanthus grahamii

is an annual that grows naturally in the Chilean Andes. In culture, the beginning of cultivation dates back to 1834. Strongly branching stems do not exceed the parameters of 0.6 m in height. When blooming, flower petals have a pinkish-purple hue. The corolla is two-lipped, in which the lower lip has an elongation, and the upper one is shortened. The exotic look gives the flowers a pattern of a large number of specks of bright yellow color and crimson strokes.

Through the labor of breeders, many varieties of the Graham Schizanthus variety have been bred, which are characterized by flowers with snow-white, lilac or pink color of corolla lobes.

In the photo Schizanthus pinnate

Schizanthus pinnatus (Schizanthus pinnatus)

- an annual, which with its shoots can reach a height of 45-60 cm, while the diameter of the bush will be about 30 cm. The stem is not as branched as in the variety of Schizanthus Graham. Leaf plates of a bright green hue unfold on the stems, their length can be measured 13 cm. From the end of summer to the last autumn days, racemose inflorescences form from the buds on the tops of the shoots. They are made up of flowers of purple or pink color, the diameter of which, when fully expanded, is 4 cm. The pharynx at the corolla of the flower is yellow, and there is also a pattern of purple spots. It is noteworthy that the lower lip in the corolla of Schizanthus plumose has a splitting into three parts, its base is decorated with crimson specks.

There are many varieties bred by breeders that vary in color. The diameter of such bushes is in the range of 20-30 cm, and the height does not go beyond 35-120 cm. Among them, the most popular are:

  • Butterfly Mixture can reach a height of 0, 6 m with stems. When flowering, racemose inflorescences are made up of flowers with the most varied colors (it is not for nothing that the Schizanthus pinnate variety is called "Mix of butterflies" in translation). The colors range from tan and orange to dark red and crimson. The pharynx of flowers can be yellow or whitish, and there are also specks of a purple tone on its surface.
  • Giant Hybrids justifies the translation of its name (Giant hybrids). The stems are capable of reaching up to 120 cm in height. Flowers are very different.
  • Star Parade or Star parade, This variety of schizanthus pinnate differs in the compact size of the bush, but the flowers have large parameters, the petals in them are painted in a wide variety of tones and variations of combinations.
  • Picollo, which is an annual. The height of the plant does not exceed 45 cm. The inflorescences are racemose, crowned with the tops of the shoots. They are made up of a large number of small flowers, the color of which takes on a raspberry, pink or cream tone. The cultivation of this variety of schizanthus plumose is engaged both in the open field and in pots. The flowering process begins in late spring and lasts until September.
In the photo Schizanthus Vizetonsky

Schizanthus Wisetonensis

is a hybrid plant obtained by crossing the above two species. The height of the stems of the herbaceous shrub varies from 45 to 60 cm with a plant diameter of about 30 cm. The foliage is characterized by irregularity and pinnately dissected outlines. The color of the leaves is bright green, their length is about 15 cm.

When flowering, buds bloom, the diameter of the corolla in which, when fully opened, measures 2–2, 5 cm. From them racemose inflorescences are collected. The process starts from late summer to late autumn. The shape of the flowers is irregular; the petals have splitting. The color of the petals in the flowers of Vizeton Schizanthus varies from snow-white and lavender to pink and brown (often with yellow spots). Often, the surface of flowers is decorated with strokes, stripes, specks and rims. However, most often the flowers are snow-white.

There are a large number of bred varieties of Schizanthus Vizeton, here are the most popular among gardeners:

  1. Angel Wings or Angel wings… The height of the plant reaches approximately 0.4 m. The upper part of the shoots in the period from May to September itself begins to be decorated with racemose inflorescences composed of small flowers. Their diameters at full disclosure are measured 2 cm. If all the rules of care are followed, the number of blossoming flowers is so large that it is impossible to see the stem behind them. The flower petals are white, purple or carmine. The bushes of this variety of Schizanthus Vizeton can be cultivated both in open ground in flower beds and in garden containers or flowerpots. Some gardeners are engaged in growing them indoors.
  2. Monarch combines annual plants in which the shoots grow upright. The height of such bushes reaches 0.4 m. From May to the first autumn frosts, inflorescences formed by flowers with an irregular shape begin to decorate their tops. When opening, the diameter of the flower reaches 2 cm. The color of the petals in the corolla of this variety of Schizanthus Vizeton can be as follows: pink or red, carmine or cream. Flowering is characterized by splendor. Designed for growing, both in garden pots and in a flower bed in the garden.
  3. Fiji is an exotic variety of Schizanthus Vizeton, which is highly effective. Through the shoots, a pyramidal bush is formed. Flowering is characterized by stability, while the entire surface of the shoots is covered with numerous flowers. Panicle-shaped inflorescences are collected from them. The outlines of the corolla are tubular, while when the flowers open up completely, their diameter reaches 2 cm. The color of the petals of the Fiji schizanthus is snow-white, purple or pinkish. The entire surface of the petals has a pattern of numerous spots and stripes. Designed for cultivation in garden containers or in the open field, you can decorate rock gardens.
  4. Hybrid F1. All plants of this group are attributed to the Vizetonian schizanthus variety. Annual, reaching a height of 0.55 m by shoots.Flowering is characterized by splendor and begins from the first summer days to early autumn. Inflorescences crowning the tops of the shoots are panicle-shaped. They are formed from small flowers, the diameter of which reaches a maximum of 2 cm. The petals in the corolla are painted in pink, cream or raspberry color. But the surface of the petals has a colorful pattern. Any plant from this hybrid mixture is planted in an area with a sunny location, preferably for decorating a rabatka.
In the photo Schizanthus littoralis Phil

Schizanthus litoralis Phil (Schizanthus litoralis Phil)

is an annual, whose height varies in the range of 42-60 cm. The leaf plates are characterized by a sticky coating due to glandular hairs with a split shape. The length of the leaves ranges from 4–8 cm. From the flowers are collected compact inflorescences. The color of the petals in the flowers is very colorful.

Related article: Planting and care when growing schizanthus in the open field

Video about growing schizanthus:

Schizanthus photos:

Photo of Schizanthus 1 Photo of Schizanthus 2 Photo of Schizanthus 3 Photo of Schizanthus 4 Schizanthus Photo 5

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