Stars of incredible color, among which there are even tricolors sitting on long stems - this is sparaxis. The South African plant, considered tall in its homeland, hardly stretches 40-50 cm from the ground in the middle lane, but even so it remains attractive from the point of view of landscape design. In the eyes of gardeners it does not spoil even a certain capriciousness of the flower, care for which is not easy.
Sparaxis: plant features and popular varieties
This flower, referred to the family of iris, is included in the group of bulbous plants, which causes some features of planting and cultivation, as well as subsequent care for them. Due to the fact that this perennial is not resistant to the Siberian cold, just leave it in the ground for the winter does not work: you will need to constantly engage in digging and moving from open ground to the room and back. Professionals from this point of view recommend growing sparaxis in containers, unless you bought dwarf varieties for flower beds or lawns.
- The most beautiful is the Jumbo Star Mix sparaxis: planting and caring for it do not differ from classical algorithms for other species and varieties of this flower, but the variety of shades and bizarre combinations pay off all the difficulties associated with growing this floristic miracle.
- The "Lord of Fire" is no less popular, although there is no longer that variety here - the flowers have almost black color of petals with orange-red strokes associated with fiery tongues.
- "Elegant" is closest to classic irises in its color: a combination of purple and yellow, with a black core, allows you to clearly trace the relationship with the herald of spring. However, sparaxis is much higher, and its buds open much later.
Sparaxis alone is not planted because of the absolute ugliness of such a planting: its flowers are very small, rather rare, and to get an attractive picture it is recommended to create a group in a flowerbed, in rabatka, in a clearing. In landscape design, sparaxis is mainly seen as a full-fledged inhabitant of lawns, containers, large flowerbeds, where its role is central. The only thing that combines it in this case with low bushes, preferably below him.
Sparaxis: planting and care in the open field
Planting sparkasis is not in the spring, as it happens with seed plants, and in the fall. The optimal time is October, while the earth is digging. The bulbs should be carefully buried (up to 10 cm), between them maintain a distance of 15 cm, and from above, on the ground, compact with leaves, straw or spruce branches. If the winter is snowless, you can add covering material.
- However, you can plant the sparkasis in the spring, in April, by deepening the bulbs by only 4-5 cm. In this case, the flowering will be late. If small and undersized varieties are selected, they will be sufficient distance of 4-5 cm between each other; for tall and sprawling, this parameter increases to 20 cm.
- Sparkasis is excellent for forcing - this is the most reliable way of growing it, which is used by novice gardeners and professionals. To this end, in October, you need to fill the container with earth and sand, add a little peat, put bulbs into this substrate (no more than 4 pieces per pot), not sprinkling them on top. It is required to moisten the ground lightly with a sprayer, tighten the container itself with a film in order to keep the moisture created. Occasionally the film is removed to air (30-40 minutes) or to moisten the ground. After the appearance of sprouts on all bulbs, the container is exposed to light (not under direct rays), and in 3-4 months. peduncles appear, which bloom indoors, pleased with repeated flowering.
- Whichever of these options is chosen, the bulbs must be kept in a mixture of peat, straw and sawdust before planting: such conditions will allow storing planting material for 4 years if it is in a cool and dark room. Before planting, be sure to warm them up by placing them at temperatures of 25 degrees or more for several days.
- Sparaxis can be propagated through sowing, although it will take a very long time to wait for flowering - up to 3 years. To do this, the seeds are pre-germinated in mini-greenhouses or simply closed containers that are in a warm and bright place. The seed substrate is constantly moistened as well as ventilated. When shoots begin to spit up, they are thinned out so that a halo of 2 cm remains around each, and in the same closed conditions they grow until the seedlings reach 7 cm.
Planted in open ground or container sparaxis need after careful selection of the soil: this plant is very fond of dense loam, needs a lot of nutrients. If the land is poor, a large amount of organic and mineral fertilizers are added to it before planting.
Features of growing sparaxis in the garden and care
Like other flowers, arrived from hot countries, sparaxis needs attention and diligent creation of conditions as close as possible to those offered by its homeland. This is the lighting, humidity and chemical composition of the substrate. What else do you need to make accents, and what is not so important?
- The place for sparaxis needs sunny, it is possible even with constant direct light - the flower is not afraid of hot rays. For this reason, it is not only planted away from the walls, but also does not pack with tall bushes, and does not have near trees. The slightest shading - and sparaxis will react by reducing the intensity of flowering, as well as fading colors on the petals.
- Heat is the next item. In the open ground, of course, it is impossible to adjust the temperature, however, after the flowering of the bulbs is finished, it is recommended to dig and put them into the room, because the temperature below +7 degrees is destructive for them. As soon as it becomes cool at night, you should dig up the bushes and bring them into the room if you do not want to plant new specimens next year.
- Humidity should be maintained at a high level, especially on hot days, so besides watering, which is necessarily carried out manually (it doesn’t usually take enough rain to sparkasis, unless they charge for a week), it is necessary to spray the bushes several times a week. The water for this is recommended to pre-set.
In addition to these factors, there are some features of planting, care and cultivation of sparaxis in the garden. The greatest controversy is the question of the placement of bushes: should the bulbs be carried to the ground in a garden, or should they be left in a container where the seedlings sprung?
- If you grow sparaxis in a container, remember that it is necessary to feed it as often as possible, because the exchange of nutrients does not occur, and the bush very quickly takes them from the substrate. In this case, the fertilizer schedule is 2-3 times a month, after watering: mineral fertilizer is added to the water, the dosage is 10 g per 5 l. The same schedule is relevant for sparaxis, sitting in the "empty" ground.
- If the plant is in a common flower bed, it is enough to feed it monthly in summer and spring, and in the fall to stop using fertilizers.
After flowering, when the leaves wither, the bulbs are dug out and always dried. If you plant them next year, place them on the same plot: otherwise, you will have to wait 2 years before the new flowering, since sparaxis is extremely negative for changes in the “place of residence”.