A beautiful exotic flower, resembling a fluffy ball with needles on a leg, is a cleoma that has recently entered the gardens of the middle strip. Today, it is not familiar to every gardener, but the time when it will grow on most plots is not far off. All because of not only the spectacular appearance of the plant, but also the relative simplicity in caring for it. Several such bushes definitely have the right to occupy a central place in any garden.
What is uniquely interesting is that the prickly cleoma is that each gardener perceives it differently: someone in unusual colors sees small exotic hummingbird birds flying past; someone compares its long spines with fountain splashes; someone in a fluffy colored ball finds the outlines of fireworks, especially if you look at it at dusk; and for some, cleoma is a big spider, devoid of all charm. However, it is difficult to disagree with the fact that a flower arrived from North America attracts attention, especially during flowering - from early summer to late September. Moreover, the buds are opened from the bottom up, which gives the bush even more grace and mystery.
Both in natural habitat conditions, and in an unusual middle lane, cleoma is grown only as an annual, dying when frost is approaching. The shrubs reach a height of 1.2-1.5 m, almost do not branch, therefore they are often compared with Bengal lights: on a thin long stem there is a “star” with a lot of thin rays - this is its inflorescence. Some varieties of flowers are located vertically on top, but mostly they make up a large and lush ball. The color range of barbed-off cleoma is pink, with occasional care in purple or white. The spectacular view of the plant contributes not only to its frequent appearance on the flower beds as the “pearl” of the collection, but also in cut bouquets, where the cleoma can stand for up to 7-10 days.
In its pure form, varieties of cleoma are practically not sold: various mixes are mainly represented in flower shops, where, by the way, you can even find specimens selected in the first color range. For example, RoseQuinn has crimson petals of varying degrees of dispersion, and WhiteQuinn, as the name implies, are white. Kirshkeni-gen carmine red looks great too. And, interestingly, its addition to the name - prickly - cleoma was received not for the thin needles on which its flowers sit, but for the processes between the leaves. In addition, the stem is trimmed with small hairs, through which the juice is released, as a result of which the plant has a pronounced aroma.
Cleoma: growing a plant from seed
- Sowing cleoma on seedlings is the most difficult stage in growing a flower. The majority of gardeners who are not familiar with the plant had questions that affected the further process. First, it is important to know that the germination of seeds is not high, in addition, their germination occurs very slowly, therefore, the sowing of cleoma takes place 1-2 months before the desired transfer to the open ground. The seedlings themselves appear no earlier than 16-18 days after sowing, if all the conditions were met. Frequent and delays up to 29-30 days, with uneven germination, so some of the seedlings can stretch earlier, and some - a little late. For this reason, it is better to sow a flower separately from other ornamental plants, so as not to create a conflict in their biological clock.
- Unlike other ornamental plants, barbed glue can be sown immediately in open ground, but it is recommended to do this in the southern regions: in areas with a cold spring, the same delay in germination is often noted. To accelerate germination, seeds of cleoma are soaked in a solution of potassium permanganate or a drug called "Appin" for 1-2 days. After that, they are transferred to containers filled with soil and compost, they diligently moisten the soil, and clean the seedlings closer to the window, but not under direct sunlight. Containers must be tightened with a film to increase the humidity of the air inside.
- If you plant glue into the ground, it can be done at the end of November, under the snow: natural heat from it will be enough so that the seeds do not freeze, and at the same time do not have to worry about their germination, they will remain until spring, develop independently and April will start to hurt. If, however, sow glue in the spring, it is better to do it in mid-March, but not in the open ground, but into the greenhouse. The illumination of its role almost does not play, but the overall air temperature should be maintained at 10-12 degrees, and the earth itself should be heated. Outside the Urals, gardeners occasionally sow glue on the so-called warm beds in greenhouses: under the main upper layer of the earth, a space is created, driven by foliage, branches and organic fertilizers. Basically, this method is used for early vegetable crops - tomatoes, radish, etc., but it is allowed to work with some decorative ones: such as gnome prickly.
- In spring, shoots appear 25-30 days after sowing, if the flower is grown immediately in open ground. When sowing for seedlings, it is possible to shorten the period, and the waiting can be reduced even more if you take care of an increase in daylight by 2-3 hours with artificial light lamps. However, even without this, the cleoma will rise in due time.
- Since the flower does not like transplants, it is best to dive it into individual pots or holes after the appearance of 1-2 leaves: this will not cause serious injury to its root system. It is possible to relieve the moment of picking, if you sow the glue in peat pots, dropping in each no more than 3 seeds. And most gardeners prefer to plant the plant immediately in open ground or use peat tablets, especially since it increases the percentage of seed germination.
- The spiny prickly spawn itself multiplies very actively: it is enough just to overlook it at the moment of the end of the growing season, and from the bolls seeds will spread all over the site, which will easily overwinter under snow, and in spring they will sprout, giving rise to a whole high carpet with lush inflorescence balls. However, for planting a large area this is the most suitable way: it is only important to calculate how to prevent the seeds from entering the rest of the garden.
Prickly spruce: planting and caring for a plant (photo)
The site on which the cleomer will be planted does not necessarily have to be selected with all care: the plant is so well prepared for all climate changes that it will withstand shading, plenty of light, and blowing winds with equal stamina. Perhaps this is the main argument, in addition to the appearance of the flower, because of which landscape designers often resort to glue, wanting to diversify the terrain. It can be placed as a background for low-growing plants, which will not obscure it and will not take away nutrients from it, since its powerful root system will reach even the deepest layers. And you can mix with the same tall bushes, but the fluffy balls of inflorescences of cleoma are better placed over the bulk of the plants so that the main highlight of the flower is not lost among them. But the practice of using cleoma as an openwork hedge is considered the most frequent, for the sake of which the bushes are planted close enough (10-15 cm) to each other, deepening to cotyledon leaves.
Care for barbed glue is included in the mandatory fertilizing with mineral fertilizers, which are introduced into the soil monthly in liquid form. If the soil on which the bush grows is poor, you can feed it 2 times a month, especially during the flowering period. For the rest of the time, glucose is much more important to observe the contrast between dryness and humidity. Watering is done when the substrate near the bush is completely dry, after which it needs to be shed abundantly and again forget about this procedure for several days: excess water for it is destructive. And due to the fact that cleoma is not very resistant to various kinds of diseases, occasionally it is worth adding potassium permanganate to the water.
Kleoma is an excellent choice for a harsh continental climate that does not scare her. These flowers with their spectacular appearance will not leave anyone indifferent, why they are loved by landscape designers not only in Europe. Occasionally, it is enough to water the plant, often try not to introduce organic matter and find a good site where the light and shade will constantly alternate to grow beautiful bushes, from which few people will be able to look away.