Once upon a time, verbena was known only in the capacity of a coltsfoot, oregano, and more. they are similar plants. It was used only for medical purposes, however, was familiar to everyone. Now the inversion is noticed: today few people know about verbena, but if it is grown, then for aesthetic reasons.
Verbena: growing from seed and propagated by cuttings
This flower, born in the subtropics of America, has two main methods of reproduction: by grafting and sowing. Many gardeners who do not have sufficient experience in working with similar crops, prefer to acquire seedlings that are ready for planting in open ground. They argue with the fact that they will not grow seedlings on their own. But is it really difficult to do this?
Verbena, by and large, flower unpretentious. For example, its distinguishing feature is the absence of the need for pre-sowing procedures. Those. the seeds are not soaked and do not go through several stages of processing before they are introduced into the prepared substrate. However, an important condition here is the ambient temperature. If the frosts are not over yet and the air has not warmed up, it is impossible to move the plant outside. The extreme limit is 3 degrees below zero, and that such weather is allowed as an exceptional case. Therefore, the initial stages are held at home or in a greenhouse.
Most often, verbena first appears in the garden through its cultivation from seeds, but the next planting is already carried out by cutting. This is due to another feature of the plant. In fact, it is a perennial and, therefore, will bloom next year.
But in the middle zone, verbena does not tolerate winter, which requires digging up bushes before frost approaches. The root system should be surrounded by earth, with which it will be stored in a cool room where the air does not warm to more than 10 degrees. And in the spring, cuttings are taken from these bushes.
If the flower lives at home - and this is often practiced - grafting is carried out at any time of the year. The tops of the shoots with 4 pairs of leaves are cut, the lower half of them are destroyed, and the edges of the cuttings are rubbed with coal. Rooting is carried out in a mixture of peat and sand, with a small depth (to the previously existing lower pair of leaves), after which the container is tightened with a film.
So the plant will receive due humidity level, which will allow for a month to form a strong root system. After that, seedlings are spread to larger containers.
How to grow hybrid verbena?
Verbena hybrids in recent years have appeared a lot, and for the most part they received adaptation to the middle zone. But apart from this, the plants received differences in height, color, and general shape of the bush. Now every gardener can choose the right version. However, the most interesting thing is to know what the difference between the conventional and hybrid options in the issue of cultivation.
In the 1st place, a long term of seed germination in a hybrid is noted - they are suitable for planting within 3 years. Secondly, there are no difficulties with the selection of soil for this type of flower: loam or sand - it will take root equally easily everywhere. And the frost resistance of hybrid verbena is somewhat higher. It can be planted in a flower garden at the end of spring.
The disadvantage inherent in any of the species of this plant is the complexity of the growing season. The deadline for this process is rather long. It takes a little more than 3 months to bloom flowers on the bush. At the same time, there is no guarantee during seed planting that they will all grow. For 10-12 days they need shoots cut unevenly. Positive changes can be seen if you take care of the temperature in the room with the seedlings. When it is in the range of 25-30 degrees, germination improves, and this applies not only to the germination of the seeds themselves, but also to the growth rate of the crops. Local lamps are ideal here, heating a separate seed zone to 30 degrees. In addition, they should create high humidity through the film.
Most often, hybrid vervain is purchased for breeding it in an apartment, since it is mostly ampelous plant. She suited balcony walls, if the loggia goes to the south side. And indoors you will need to pick up an additional light source. But, unlike the ampelous flowers similar to it, the vervain does not require any supports along the wall - its shoots descend only 35-40 cm and do without them perfectly.
Growing seedlings: basic principles
- The seedling method in the cultivation of vervain is most popular due to the origin of this flower. He loves heat so much that only in the southern areas it is possible to take a risk and plant seeds or cuttings immediately into the ground. In the middle lane, the spring is often delayed, and if you move the process of planting, the plant simply does not have time to gain strength and release flowers.
- When exactly to start preparing seeds for growing seedlings is an individual question. If you are confident in the ability to provide the vervain with enough light, you can begin work in February. If there is no such possibility, it is easier to attend to sowing in the middle of March. In any case, before the end of June, the plant will not bloom if it is planted in open ground. At home, the situation may be different, and under good climatic conditions, the bush will begin to bloom in April.
- The soil selected for seedlings for better drainage includes a proportion of coarse sand. Moisturize the substrate before dropping seeds into it. Planting material can be held for 1.5-2 hours in a piece of cloth dipped in warm water. But this condition is optional. Where is more important for verbena - the temperature. But with moisture should be more moderate. For this reason, gardeners recommend spraying the ground if signs of water scarcity appear. But given the presence of the film on the box, problems with this should arise.
- Cultivation of seedlings is advised to carry out immediately in separate disposable cups, and not to pour all the seeds into 1 large box. It is all about the root system, which even grows strongly in a young plant. From the common pot it will be problematic then to spread all the seedlings in their places without damaging their roots.
- The first shoots of the seedlings will be at the beginning of the 3rd week, and up to this point the film, which draws capacity, is not recommended to remove. As soon as a pair of true leaves on the verbena, it is required to dive. And experienced gardeners here are advised to focus on another indicator - the root system. When she completely takes a glass, it becomes a sign of transplanting into a spacious pot. In this case, it may take 3-4 weeks.
Care of a plant in an open ground
On the movement of seedlings of vervain in the open ground is required to talk separately. It was previously mentioned that the flower is unpretentious to the soil. And yet, he will have to find a place, but focusing not on the substrate, but on lighting. The plant needs an area on which the sun's rays always fall, and there is no shading, even if it is short-lived. Verbena refers to those crops that are more willing to accept drought and direct sun, rather than increasing moisture and shade. With a prolonged shortage of water with the bush, nothing will happen, it will only change the reference points from flowering to harvesting seeds.
In the area where verbena will grow, you need to create maximum moisture removal, for which you can fill the soil with drainage. The introduction of lime, ash and humus into the soil is recommended. But later it is impossible to abuse feedings. This is especially true of manure. Since the plant will put a lot of greenery, while the flowers will be less.
The interval between the bushes of the flower is recommended to keep at 20-25 cm, and for each seedling to make a separate hole. The rows of vervain themselves, if it should occupy a large area, are spread 25-30 cm apart. Summer residents advise to distribute the plant along the walls of the house - that’s where the lighting is always good. And given the sprawling bushes and their height, such a frame here can be very useful.
Those who dream of a carpet of vervain, should carefully bend the shoots to the ground and fix them in several places. Due to the fact that this flower takes root where the shoots are in contact with the soil, after a while external attachments will not be needed. The plant itself is hooked and rooted.
If you decide that verbena should bloom on your site or balcony, make sure that there is constant sunlight and heat, as well as the absence of excess moisture in the soil. These 3 nuances will help you get a beautiful bush covered with flowers in a few months.