Growing schizanthus at home, care tips

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Growing schizanthus at home, care tips
Growing schizanthus at home, care tips

Description of common signs of schizanthus, recommendations for growing indoors and in the garden, tips for reproduction, problems and pests during cultivation, species. Schizanthus is often found in some literary sources under the name Schizanthus. This plant is attributed to the Solanaceae family, containing numerous representatives of these beautiful flowers, as well as more prosaic species such as tomatoes or potatoes. The homeland of this flower is considered to be the territories of South Africa and South America. About 12 species are known. Schizanthus is often grown by flower growers in flower beds in the summer or cultivated as an indoor pot.

The shape of the flower is very reminiscent of the unique flowers of orchids, but it has nothing to do with these plants. Because of this, the schizanthus is often popularly called the "poormans orchid". All decorativeness is provided to him by abundant flowering. It is a one- or two-year-old plant with a herbal or semi-shrub form of growth. The height of the bush can reach 25-30 cm. Its stems branch rather strongly and the whole bush looks like a pyramid. The upright stem starts branching straight from the base. The shape of the leaves of the schizanthus is pinnately dissected and slightly fluffy, in appearance they are very delicate with light greenish shades. The stem and leaves have a slight pubescence - the glandular hairs are sticky to the touch.

The inflorescences, which are located at the tops of the stems, have a loose shape and are formed by a large number of variegated flowers, of which there are so many that they completely cover a bush, like a blanket, so that the leaves are practically invisible behind their various shades. The shape of the flowers of the schizanthus is irregular: the calyx has a deep cut and passes into a corolla with two lips, the blades of which are quite wide open. The color is very diverse and highly decorative, since the petals are completely covered with drawings and patterns: spots, dashes, edges, stripes, and this is not the whole range. The color of the main background is unusually diverse, shades vary from white to all colors and iridescence of the rainbow, excluding green.

The flowering process occurs at the beginning of May days and lasts until the beginning of autumn, but if the plant is protected from cold temperatures, then you can admire the flowers in November.

Recommendations for growing schizanthus

Young sprout of schizanthus
  1. Lighting. Regardless of where the plant is grown indoors or in a flower bed, a well-lit place is suitable for it. Since if it grows in the shade, it will lose all its attractiveness - the stems will be very elongated. Therefore, in the room, windows of a southern, eastern or western location are chosen. In the south, at noon, it is better to shade the flower from the scorching ultraviolet flow. When disembarking in the garden, you need to choose a place where the temperature will not be high, the humidity is moderate and well-lit is also provided.
  2. Content temperature. High heat values ​​are not suitable for a flower, but a decrease is not so much for a schizanthus that is problematic. If the air humidity in the room is low, coupled with high temperatures, then it will lead to the death of the bush. Heat indicators of 20-24 degrees will suit him most of all, with the arrival of cold weather it is worth withstanding them at least 10-15 degrees and the room should be regularly ventilated.
  3. Air humidity should be moderate, but it is worth keeping it indoors, especially in summer. You can spray the plant in the evening, so that before the sun's rays fall on it, all the water droplets have time to dry.Indoors, you can put mechanical humidifiers or a vessel with water next to the pot.
  4. Watering the schizanthus. The plant is sensitive to excessive soil moisture, although it likes abundant watering. The soil should be moderately moist. Overdrying the earthen coma will lead to the death of the plant, just like waterlogging of the substrate. The soil should dry out a little between waterings. If the "poor man's orchid" is grown as a pot culture, then it is necessary that the water that flows out after irrigation into the container under the pot is immediately removed. It is recommended to moisten the plant under the root of the bush, as the water jet can damage the delicate flowers of the plant.
  5. Conducting dressings it is carried out every 2 weeks with fertilizers with a full mineral complex. To begin with, you can use top dressing with a high nitrogen content so that the schizanthus grows a green leaf mass, and then fertilization is carried out with dressings for flowering plants. When the bush is in bloom, it needs to be fed weekly.
  6. Transplantation and selection of a substrate. Since the plant is considered an annual, it does not need transplants, after the flowers cease to form, it is necessary to discard the bush and carry out reproduction to get a new one. In a pot, if the plant is indoor, holes must be made to drain the water. The soil is necessary to be nutritious and loose. Its acidity is equal to pH 6. The density of the soil is chosen as medium. If the plant is planted in a garden, it is recommended to add humus to the substrate. When schizanthus is grown as a potted crop, any fertile soil for indoor plants is suitable for it. You can make a soil mixture yourself by combining leafy soil, sod soil, humus, river sand (all parts are equal).
  7. Use in landscape design. This plant is already often used by decorators of personal plots, both in phytocompositions and in single planting. Schizanthus is often planted along garden paths or curbs. Flower varieties that do not reach 30 cm in height are usually planted in containers to decorate balconies or terraces. If the flowers are cut, then with a regular change of water in the vase, they can stand up to 7-8 days.

Independent reproduction of schizanthus

Schisanthus blooms

You can get a new plant by planting seeds using the seedling method. They will be suitable for sowing for 2-3 years. In a one-gram bag, usually up to 2000 thousand seeds. When sown, it takes approximately 10-15 weeks until flowering. If seed is planted in a greenhouse, then it is recommended to do this from November to mid-spring. And when the plants are planted at 3-4 week intervals, the flowering will be almost continuous.

They select landing containers or boxes that are not too voluminous and fill them with a peat-clay substrate (you can also use sandy soil). The acidity should be in the range of pH 5, 8–6, 2. The soil is slightly moistened. Since the seed is very small, it is only lightly dusted with soil or left scattered on the surface of the soil. Then they cover the landing boxes with plastic wrap or glass and put them in a dark place with constant warm temperatures (at least 16-18 degrees). As they grow, these indicators should be reduced to 10-13 degrees, so this will be the key to further exuberant flowering. After a week, when the seeds hatch and shoots become visible, it is recommended to replace the glass or film with agrofibre so that the air humidity is high.

As soon as 2-3 leaves appear on the seedlings, it is necessary to dive the seedlings. Carefully using a wide knife or spatula, the sprouts are planted in separate plastic 200 gr. cups of 2-3 units, which are filled with the same substrate. When another month has passed, the young schizanthuses will need to be transplanted using the transfer method (without destroying the earthen coma, so as not to disturb the young roots) into pots with a large diameter. You can take the soil that is suitable for an adult plant.When the plants grow, they need more space and the pots should be placed in such a way that the bushes do not come into contact with each other. While the seedlings are not yet strong enough, much attention needs to be paid to watering. It is important that the soil is not overdried or flooded. From the very beginning, you need to add a little complex fertilizers to the water to moisten the soil, since the growth of schizanthus will require a lot of nutrition. If it is customary to grow a plant in the fresh air, then about 14 days before transplanting to a flower bed, the seedlings must be taught by hardening. As soon as night temperatures are high on spring days, and frosts are no longer expected, then schizanthus should be planted at a distance of 25 cm from each other on a flower bed. The soil should be regularly loosened and weeded around the planted bushes.

It is important to remember that when diving sprouts, weak and underdeveloped ones should not be discarded. As a rule, schizanthuses of the most bizarre and unusual colors are obtained from such parostki. If the plants are sown in late autumn, then it is necessary for them to provide a light and cool wintering - more than 10-14 degrees will lead to the fact that the seedlings will begin to stretch strongly, and a lower temperature will slow down the formation of buds. Before the flowering process, you can increase the heat slightly (up to 18 degrees). In order for young schizanthuses to start branching, their tops are pinched and the main stem must be tied to a peg, since gusts of wind can simply break the plant. In areas where the climate is milder, the planting of schizanthus begins from April to the end of May.

Schisanthus is very sensitive to the extent and length of daylight hours. If this figure is lower, above 12 hours, then the plant will bloom quickly, but its duration is greatly reduced. In the period from November to the end of winter, the illumination should be maximum, otherwise it will also lead to an unaesthetic stretching of the stem and a small formation of buds.

Problems when growing schizanthus

Parasites on the stem of the schizanthus

The main disease of this wonderful flower is anthracnose, it is provoked by parasitic fungi. Leaves and peduncles begin to become covered with putrid spots. And then the bush dries up completely, and it is impossible to save it. It is recommended to remove infected schizanthus, and treat the rest with fungicides, which contain copper. Sometimes solutions are used to prevent tomato diseases. Late blight and pityosis can also become a problem. The means of struggle are the same.

If the leaves began to dry out, then this is evidence of drying out of the earthy coma or low humidity in the room, along with high temperatures.

Of the pests that can infect schizanthus, there are:

  • aphids, small green or black bugs that crawl along the stems and leaf plates in large numbers;
  • thrips, as a result of the attack of which, the young leaves of the plant appear strongly deformed and the same happens with flowers;
  • whitefly, which can be seen from the back of the leaves in the form of small whitish dots (these are pest eggs) or small white midges that heave when touched by the bush.

To control these harmful insects, spraying with systemic insecticides should be carried out.

Schizanthus species

Schizanthus bloom

Among the different types of this amazing flower, there are:

Schizanthus grahamii. The plant grows naturally in areas of South America. Reaches a height of 50-60 cm. It has been grown in culture since the beginning of the 19th century (since 1831). The pubescence of a plant of this variety is not so great. The stems are very tough. Most of the flowers are presented in shades of pink, decorated with yellow and purple colors with strokes, specks and specks. Inflorescences can be located not only on the tops of the branches, but also in the leaf axils.

Today there are already a sufficient number of hybrid forms, of which the following can be distinguished:

  • Var Lilacinus - differs in purple buds;
  • Var carmineus - has carmine flowers;
  • Var aibus - inflorescences are collected from snow-white flowers.

Schizanthus pinnatus (Schizanthus pinnatus) can reach a height of 45 cm. Cultivation, which in the form of a home and garden culture, began in 1822. Its branches do not branch as much as those of plants of other varieties and its crown is not so compact, looser. This annual also has the least pubescence of stems and leaves. Flowers have a lip split into three lobes. Their color is purple at the very base. The inflorescences of these flowers are located at the tops of the stems and have a loose, racemose shape. The color is also very varied.

Schizanthus wisetonensis (Schizanthus wisetonensis). It is the most famous hybrid form of schizanthus. It has been cultivated as a garden and pot plant since 1900. It can reach a height of 50-60 cm. The bush takes on a pyramidal shape. Stems and heavily dissected leaf blades are heavily pubescent. Flowers reach 2 cm in diameter. The color of the two-lipped flower is also very diverse. The following very popular types are highlighted:

  • Brilliant - the plant reaches a height of 40 cm, and its flowers are painted in a carmine-scarlet color;
  • Roter Herold - the shade of this variety is scarlet-carmine, the bush reaches 35-40 centimeters in height;
  • Zwerg Bukett - the variety is distinguished by a dwarf height of 10–25 cm and flowers of quite a variety of shades.

Schizanthus species are divided into tall (about 90 cm high), medium-sized (50-60 cm) and dwarf (10-25 cm) forms of growth. Hybrid varieties:

  • Disco (Schizanthus Disco F2 Hybrid). One of the best varieties for growing in flower beds, although it was bred for cultivation in a pot. Plant height varies from 15 to 25 cm. The stem is strong and sturdy, very abundant flowering, colors can be pink, red or pinkish-lilac.
  • Dwarf Bouquet (Schizanthus Dwarf Bouquet, mixed). In addition to all the usual shades of flowers, there may also be orange-yellow (amber) and salmon. The height is approaching 35–40cm.
  • Angel Wings (Schizanthus Angel Wings). The plant can grow to a height of 35–40 cm. It is preferred to grow in flower beds or mixborders - this is a complex combination of phytocomposition of flowers and shrubs that complement each other. Its foliage is quite dense and has a high growth rate. A feature of the flowers is that all their petals in the corolla are as if incised, and not just the lower ones, like in other species. The color of the flowers is all sorts of variations of the pink color scheme. There is a spot in the center of the bud; it is colored crimson, yellow with a pink edge, or lemon color with pink veins.
  • Hit Parade (Schizanthus Hit Parade). Plant suitable for potted growth. Bushes, mostly rounded at a height of 25-30 cm. Inflorescences are very dense, large flowers have wide petals, the spot in the center is yellow, with a purple or whitish edge. Shades of color of flowers are pale pink, lilac, salmon or pink.

Blunted schizanthus (Schizanthus retusus) takes on very diverse shades of flowers with a variegated contrasting pattern, reaches a height of 70 cm.

Learn more about Schizanthus from this video:

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