Ageratum is an ornamental plant, originating from the tropics and divided into almost 30 species. It is planted most often in flower beds. He looks great in a vase and, importantly, does not fade for a long time. It is enough to grow it even from seeds.
Ageratum looks like a small shrub with leaves in the shape of a heart and fluffy inflorescences of bright flowers: blue, pale pink, blue lavender. Depending on the variety, ageratum has a different height: from 10 to 60 cm. In gardening, the most popular is the heratum Houstom or Mexican, originating from plants of Mexico and Peru.
When to sow ageratum on seedlings?
Since not everyone likes to tinker with saplings, often ageratum is grown from seeds. In this case, first of all it is necessary to determine the sowing time. You need to push off from the time for which you want to get flowering bushes. It must be remembered that the seedlings need time before it enters full growth. It is not recommended to delay with planting seeds longer than mid-March or, in extreme cases, the beginning of April.
It is important to know that the ageratum seeds are very small and there are almost 7000 seeds per 1 g of seed. At the same time, they retain their properties when grown for 3, and sometimes 4 years!
For the soil to be suitable for this plant, it must be well moistened immediately before planting.
Step-by-step process description:
- Plant seeds can be planted in small cells. This process consists of 4 stages. On the 1st of them, the seeds begin to germinate, that is, it lasts 3 days between the planting of the seeds and their germination. In order for them to rise, the temperature of the soil itself should be equal to 22-26 degrees with a humidity of 95-97%. The lighting here plays no role.
- Stage 2 lasts a week, at which time the seedlings open and their roots begin to grow actively. At this time, the soil temperature should reach 20-24 degrees. Here the main role is played by the soil moisture, which should not be excessively wet. In order for the root system to develop well, sprouts need to be regularly fed with potassium and nitrogen fertilizers, making 3-day pauses between dressings.
- The 3rd stage is approximately 5-11 days. Its completion is the appearance of the 3rd leaf. In addition, its ending can be observed on the roots, which should already reach the bottom of the cell. The temperature of the soil can now be 20 degrees during the day, and at night - no less than 14 degrees. Soil moisture still plays a major role. If it is poorly moistened, it will be visible on the base of the stalks. It will be compacted, also because of this, shoots will appear more slowly. Even at this stage, lighting becomes important. You can feed sprouts 1 time.
- At the 4th stage, 2-3 pairs of true leaves should appear, and the cell should be completely filled with roots. The temperature can be the same as in the 3rd stage. Feed seedlings can be once every 5 days.
For transplanting seedlings, it is necessary to find pots with a diameter of at least 10-12 centimeters. The flowering of the plant begins most often after a couple of months after sowing the seeds. But flower growers are advised to keep the seedlings in the greenhouse until the central inflorescence is not fully bloomed.
Throughout the time described above, the ageratum needs good lighting and air temperature - from 21 degrees during the day and 16-18 degrees at night. If the soil was watered quite strongly, then it should be allowed to dry well. Plants will grow healthy and beautiful if the conditions of soil temperature and humidity have been met.
But to feed the seedlings should not be spared fertilizer. During this period it will give impetus to the active growth and development of the plant, a full-fledged flower will be formed. It is better to choose for these purposes a special complex of fertilizing.
Ageratum Bouquet: features of growing
In the care of this type of ageratum does not differ whimsical. He just needs more light, abundant and regular watering, as well as fertilizing with mineral fertilizers. At a time when the shoots begin to reach upwards, the tops of the shoots themselves should be cut so that the plant will bush out better later. It is necessary to pay attention to the fact that there must be at least 4 pairs of leaves on each shoot. This procedure will be an excellent catalyst for the growth and further flowering of the plant.
By the way, the ageratum blooms after 2-2.5 months after the sown seeds begin to germinate, that is, approximately from July to October. It is common among gardeners to plant this tropical plant in flowerbeds, flower beds, lawns, and also to create with it various compositions, ornaments and decorative borders, because it lends itself well to shearing.
But it can be planted not only on private plots, but even on balconies or terraces in special containers. To create original floral designs, agurathum can be combined with glue, zinnia, calendula, and other garden flowers.
But, like other plants, ageratumbuketny is not immune from diseases and pests. Most often, it is affected by root rot due to excessive moisture. This helps only the elimination of the entire affected soil. If pests such as ticks, nematodes, or whiteflies have invaded the ageratum, then insecticides cannot be avoided.
When planting an ageratum, it is necessary to strictly follow the rules of its cultivation and care. In this case, it will decorate your garden with lush flowering. Remember about timely feeding and watering rules, protect the plant from pests and diseases.