The solar perennial heliotrope is rarely grown from seeds: it is much easier to propagate it by grafting due to a number of difficulties with sowing and anticipation of sprouting. Nevertheless, today heliotrope is experiencing a repeated wave of popularity and again appears with enviable frequency on the balconies and suburban areas. He will not survive the winter outdoors, but the bushes are well tolerated in transplanting, so it is not difficult to dig them out in the fall and plant them again in late spring.
Features of growing plants
The substrate for heliotrope must be pre-moistened with either a weak solution of potassium permanganate or phytosporin. If sand is added to the ground (which is highly recommended because of the love of the plant for light soils), it must be heated in a hot (50-70 degrees) oven for 30-40 minutes. Such a step is necessary for the disinfection of the soil.
The soil mixture for heliotrope is prepared almost classical: garden soil, clay soil, peat and sand are combined in equal proportions. The same mixture, but passed through a sieve or a small colander, should be filled with heliotrope seeds spread on the surface. The layer can not be made dense - just enough to completely cover the seeds.
The basic rule for most varieties of heliotrope is to grow from seeds at home through seedlings in a warm place. When sowing in open ground, the seeds often simply do not sprout, and such a move is not recommended even in the southern regions. Hothouse method of growing on the site is also not suitable, since it significantly increases the humidity of the air, which is detrimental to the seedlings and their root system. For the same reason, in the film, with which the containers with seedlings are tightened, several large air exchange holes are made. In this case, the film is removed at 8-9 days after sowing.
Any type of heliotrope seedling must be taken out onto the balcony when the seedlings are stretched by 5-7 cm. Before changing it into open ground or simply evicting into balcony boxes, it is necessary to perform a hardening procedure: hold the containers for 1-2 hours on the loggia with the windows open, gradually increase time up to 8 hours
Heliotrope Marina: care rules
Sort "Marina" or "Marin" is the most popular of all that are used for decoration of the house or garden. It belongs to the category of plants of medium height - bushes reach 60 cm, although hybrids of this variety (for example, "Mini-Marin") can be only 25-30 cm tall. At the same time, they branch well, and during the flowering period they are densely covered with corymbose inflorescences with very small flowers of violet-blue shade. Among the features of its cultivation and care is the need to tie up tall bushes: otherwise they will turn the plant into a groundcover. But representatives of the variety "Mini-Marin" do not need this - they are much better kept their shape due to the denser and shorter stems.
To grow heliotrope "Marin" is possible only through seedlings, because this is the only way to guarantee the highest germination of seeds. Flowering begins by the end of the 4th month from the time of sowing, so practicing gardeners consider the beginning of March to be the optimal period for working with the seeds of this variety. In this case, seedlings usually appear only at the end of the month, and if you want to speed up this process, you can resort to the following methods:
- Zircon or silver solution ("Prince Silver") is diluted in warm water (33-35 degrees), dosage - 5-6 drops of the product per 200 ml of water. In the resulting solution, the seeds of the Marin heliotrope are soaked, aged for 24 hours, then laid out on a paper towel. When they are slightly dry, they can be shifted to the ground.
- In a small container, Epin or another growth stimulator is diluted; strips of cotton fabric are processed and squeezed slightly. According to the material, heliotrope seeds are laid out, wrapped in a cloth, which is transferred to a plastic pallet. As the fabric dries, a little solution is added to the pan: so that it only moistens the fabric and seeds in it. This treatment takes 2-3 days.
- Instead of the usual containers with land for the cultivation of the Marina Marina, use peat tablets.
According to practicing gardeners, the method using zircon gives a much more noticeable result, and the waiting time for germination is reduced in 25-28 days to 8-10. This increases the resistance of the variety to disease, as well as to cold weather. However, this does not eliminate the need to dig up bushes in the fall and transfer them to the apartment if you grow Marin in open ground.
An important caveat: there should be no clay in the soil for the heliotrope of this variety - it likes a looser and lighter substrate.
The heliotrope seedlings of this variety are picked at 1.5-2 months after sowing, when the plants form 2 leaves. Most often it is carried out in 2 stages: first, seedlings are settled in common containers, where 6–9 plants will adjoin together; later, when they stretch a little, they are already broken into separate containers, especially if you plan to grow heliotrope on a balcony or in a room. Or seated on a long box, keeping a distance of 10-15 cm between bushes. Unlike most varieties, Marin and Mini-Marin do not need free space and grow without problems in the neighborhood, for example, with roses.
If you want a variety to justify its title as a perennial, dig it in September, keeping a clod of earth around a root of 20-25 cm around the root, and transplant it into a deep pot with a hole at the bottom - this way of obtaining moisture for the heliotrope "Marina" is much more preferable than the classic watering. At the same time in winter it can be kept even in rooms where there is no heating: for a flower, an air temperature of 5-7 ° C is sufficient, as it is at rest.
Sort "Sea Breeze"
In contrast to the Marina variety, the heliotrope Sea Breeze is hardly pulled out of the ground more than 40-45 cm, its inflorescences are larger - up to 12 cm in diameter, the duration and richness of flowering is impressive: the bush retains a lush blue “hat” with June to October. In this case, it blooms, in comparison with the "Marin", earlier: at the end of the 2nd month from the time of sowing. For this reason, practicing gardeners often sow "Sea Breeze" in mid or late April. If you grow Sea Breeze from seeds in an apartment, you can plant in February, and then by the time you start flowering you will have a very large and lush shrub, however, easily forming into a small tree.
Heliotrope "Sea Breeze" loves the heat very much, so the seedlings are surely heated from below if it is cool in the room. The air temperature near the containers should not fall below 20 degrees, while the containers themselves should be kept shaded, not allowing direct sunlight to fall to the ground. Watering is allowed to jet, but the water must be warm, defended. When shoots appear (this usually happens on days 18-20), the air temperature rises to 22 degrees.
The sea breeze pick and its subsequent transfer to a flower bed is done in such a way that a distance of 30 cm is kept between the bushes, and each seedling is 1.5-2 cm deep. Organic fertilizers are necessarily introduced into the soil, which can be replaced by ordinary compost: strengthen the branching of the bush and increase the amount of foliage on it.
In addition, the Sea Breeze needs to be constantly and abundantly watered: he loves moisture very much, and she should not linger in the soil. Therefore, often practicing gardeners after watering loosen the ground near the bush, at the same time giving it the shape of a hill. During flowering, complex liquid fertilizers are added to water, but this cannot be done more than 2 times a month.
Heliotrope "Sea Breeze" requires frequent pinching, and it should be started at a time when the plant is at the age of 3-4 weeks. The lateral shoots remove the upper parts so that the bush stretches not up, but to the sides. If necessary, you can eliminate some side shoots completely, if you want to get small trees with a lush crown. To form the "Sea Breeze" in this way can be up to 2 times a month.
Each heliotrope variety has its own peculiarities in growing from seeds. Of course, you can only work on a general algorithm suitable for all varieties, but the observance of individual nuances allows you to get the maximum result from each particular bush.