Perhaps, every amateur gardener wants to create beauty and comfort on his site. Of course, the best helpers in this difficult task will be flowers. Creating alpine slides, mixborders, original floral arrangements, you can turn your site into a real work of art. The variety of flowers on the background of green trees fascinates and gives excellent mood.
Many gardeners use familiar plants in their flower beds: irises, peonies, gladioli, etc. But sometimes you want to please yourself with something truly exotic, unusual. You can do this by planting an amazing flower, Ixia, in your garden.
Features of Ixia and its varieties
Ixia moved to us from South Africa, belongs to the family of iris. Today, there are more than 25 species of this flower in nature, but as a rule, mixed (hybrid) varieties are used for growing in garden plots. Depending on the type, inflorescences are painted in pink, white, green, red, yellow and other colors.
Blooming Ixia - a real parade of colors! But, to a great regret, this plant has a short flowering period - 14-20 days, after which the leaves begin to dry. The name of the plant is literally translated as "bird's glue", as the juice of the flower has a high stickiness and was previously used to catch birds. Ixia has a pretty strong aroma that attracts butterflies and bees on a bright sunny day.
The most common varieties of Ixia
To create bright multi-color compositions, a mixture of different varieties of Ixia is planted on the flowerbed, but some like only certain species of this flower. To determine the choice of plants, you can see photos of landscape designs with Ixia.
As mentioned earlier, there are more than 25 species of plants, but the following varieties have gained the most popularity among our gardeners:
- Ixia is a green flower: it has small, asterisk-like flowers of a greenish shade with a dark, almost black core. Begins to bloom in early June, beautiful lush buds. In height reaches 50 cm.
- Ixia hybrid - the most common and beloved by gardeners kind of flower, characterized by a variety of shades of inflorescences. Plant height varies depending on the variety: from 35 to 50 cm.
- Ixia Gimenokallis is one of the most decorative plant varieties, featuring snow-white inflorescences and reaching a height of up to 70 cm. In addition, this sort of ixia is characterized by a tart fragrant aroma.
- Ixia orange is suitable for lovers of short plants, its height reaches only 20 cm. This plant variety is distinguished by the most abundant flowering and tart aroma.
Ixia: planting and care in the open field
Ixia is a perennial bulbotube, requiring careful maintenance and attention. As a real tropical guest, Ixia loves high temperatures, well-lit places and high humidity, so you need to choose a place for planting taking into account all the listed criteria.
So, the conditions for abundant bloom of ixia are:
- frequent watering;
- regular cleaning of dried petals;
- soil rich in fertilizers;
- the minimum air temperature is 18-20 degrees;
- loosening and drainage of the soil.
How to plant a plant correctly?
Ixia is propagated by bulbs, from which many children are formed at the end of August. Planting bulbs in open flower beds only begin when the warm weather is finally established (as a rule, this is the end of May).
To carry out the planting of ixia in open ground should be as follows:
- Dig a plot of land on which you plan to plant the plant.
- Clean the ground from weeds, lumps, loosen it.
- Add to the ground a mixture of peat, humus and sand.
- Pit depth 5-7 cm at a distance of 20 cm from each other.
- Plant the corms and cover the wells with soil.
After planting Ixia, the soil is 2-3 cm covered with a mulch layer, and the area is not watered until the first sprouts appear.
Since Ixia is a tropical plant, it tolerates low temperatures very poorly. In the southern regions of Russia, it is possible to leave the tubers to winter, pre-warming the planting site with sawdust, needles or dry leaves with a thickness of about 7-8 cm. In the spring, this layer is carefully raked.
In the middle belt, the corms of Ixia are dug for the winter, and planted in the spring again in the spring. The dug corms are carefully washed in a weak solution of potassium permanganate, dried and stored until spring in a well-ventilated room at a temperature of 8-10 degrees.
Cultivation and care in the garden
Ixia is quite capricious. And in order for a healthy plant to please you with color, you need to follow some rules for caring for it:
- from the time of landing in open ground and until the first shoots, Ixia is not watered;
- during flowering, the plant already requires abundant watering, but without excesses, preferably using fertilizers that improve flowering;
- it is necessary to conduct regular fertilizing of the plant, alternating mineral fertilizers with organic ones;
- Ixia likes moist air, so on hot and dry days you need to spray it from the spray;
- dry leaves and flowers should be regularly removed, thus making room for new ones;
- at the end of the flowering period, watering should be stopped completely, and as soon as the plant is completely dry, it can be dug out for the winter. Experienced gardeners advise digging up Ixia 30 days after the last flowering.
How to reproduce Ixia?
Ixia propagates by dividing the bulb:
- Since all the onions have root buds, they are cut so that each part has at least one kidney and roots.
- Planted split corms can only be in the spring, when it becomes quite warm, so that they have time to root well in open ground.
- Before planting the bulbs need to be treated with a fungicide solution and create conditions for good drainage in order to avoid acidification of the soil.
Also, Ixia is bred by children. On the eve of disembarkation, they should be selected and planted separately from adult bulbs. The described breeding methods give flowering on the 3rd, less often 2nd year of planting.
Finally I would like to say that Ixia, despite all its capriciousness, is fairly resistant to damage by various pests. So, if you follow all the rules of flower care, the tropical beauty will delight you with a variety of colors and fragrances to envy all neighbors.