Ageratum is an herbaceous perennial belonging to the Astrov family. This plant was introduced to Europe in the XIX century, and its birthplace is America. A distinctive feature are flowers that look fluffy and fluffy due to the many subtle petals that resemble long villi.
They can be painted in lilac, light pink, purple, blue and almost white shades. The flowers are collected in lush inflorescences and framed by leaves of medium size. Although ageratum is considered a perennial plant, due to climatic conditions and the change of seasons it usually blooms for only one year.
An interesting fact: the name of the Ageratum is translated from Latin as “timeless”, due to the fact that the plant is capable of maintaining a fresh and attractive appearance for a long time.
How to grow?
How to grow flower ageratum? First of all, you should choose a suitable soil. And although the plant is practically not demanding to the ground, you should not plant it in wet, heavy and stony ground, which can lead to moisture retention.
In an excessively rich humus or “oily” soil, the flower will also grow, but in this case the active development of foliage will begin, and the flowering will be scarce. The ideal option would be a neutral, sufficiently nutritious and light soil: in it the ageratum will feel as comfortable as possible. For example, you can prepare a mixture of equal proportions of peat, sand and humus.
The best way to grow at home is from seedlings, as the plant is thermophilic and may not tolerate spring frosts when planted in open ground. If the sowing is done after the establishment of constant warm weather, the flowering may begin too late, and you just do not have time to enjoy it.
Seeds are sown in boxes or containers with a fairly light substrate. They do not need to be deepened; they themselves will occupy the necessary position as they germinate. The soil is not very richly moistened, and the containers are covered with a film to create a greenhouse effect that will accelerate growth. The optimum temperature is about 15-17 degrees. The first sprouts can be seen already after a half to two weeks.
At this stage, the film should be removed. The seedling grows at a rapid pace, so when the seedlings are strong, they need to dive into large boxes or in separate pots. Total picking can be done twice. The soil is regularly, but not very abundantly moistened: it should not be excessively wet. In addition, it should provide a permanent airing, as the stuffiness of the plant can not tolerate.
At the end of May, when the frosts have already passed, you can grow ageratum in open ground. To prepare the plant for relocation, you can begin to expose it to fresh air in one or two weeks, removing it for the night if the temperature drops below 14-15 degrees at night. The landing pattern will depend on the specific grade. So, tall plants should be removed from each other by 20-30 centimeters, and low ones can be planted at a distance of 10-15 cm.
Tip: when landing in the ground, make sure that the plant is at the same level as in the pots.
How to care?
Ageratum needs to provide complete care, which requires the creation of the following conditions:
- Lighting. This should be taken care of at the landing stage: the ageratum will feel comfortable in a flower bed that is well lit but protected from direct scorching sunlight. But the shadow will affect the growth is detrimental, so the shaded areas will not work.
- Growing a plant involves regular, n moderate watering. Avoid stagnation of the soil, as overwetting can cause root rot.
- To ensure the supply of oxygen to the soil, do not forget to gently loosen it without damaging the roots. Periodic weeding is also required: weeds negatively affect the growth of ageratum and its flowering.
- To maintain the lush and beautiful flowering, the flowering shoots must be promptly removed. The pruning plant bears fine, and after them begins to form new branches with buds. Also for the formation of beautiful bushes can be cut tops.
- Top dressing would be useful if the soil is not very rich. But organic fertilizers should not be used, minerals will be the best option. They are introduced into the ground two or three times during the entire period of active vegetation. One dressing must be carried out before flowering at the budding stage, so that there are more flowers and they stay fresh and lush longer. Buds begin to open approximately 40-60 days after emergence of shoots, and with proper care, they persist almost to the very frosts, after which the ageratums, unfortunately, die. But if you have a greenhouse or a winter garden, then you can move the plants there, and next year plant them again in the ground.
Tip: to carry out the reproduction of plants by cutting them. To this end, separate strong shoots from the main plant in the fall, place them in light soil and grow in a cool place during the winter. Planting in the soil at a permanent place is carried out in May, and before that the pots are placed in a room with a temperature of about 20 degrees.
What problems may arise?
The most common problem faced by many gardeners is water stagnation or waterlogging. Because of this, root rot can develop, which almost always leads to the inevitable death of the entire plant. To prevent it, you should maintain moderate irrigation and regularly loosen the soil.
Also, the so-called cucumber mosaic is threatened with ageratums, and bacteria may also be a cause of subsequent wilting. Pests also often encroach on the plants in question, especially scoops, nematodes, spider mites and whiteflies. If traces of the presence of parasites are found on the foliage, all affected areas should be removed immediately. The whole flower is treated with specialized insecticides.
In order for a beautiful lush ageratum to please you with bright fluffy flowers, care for this plant correctly and follow the tips given in the article.
Ageratum planting and care in the open field
Bright blue long-flowered pompons firmly settled in the gardeners flower beds. Gentle fluffy inflorescences, rapidly growing, make the flower garden more attractive. After all, blue flowers in the ranks of perennials are very rare. If you have not yet guessed, then we are talking about an unpretentious perennial called ageratum planting and care in the open field, beyond which even a beginner can afford. From the article you will learn how to grow this fluffy miracle that will be needed to maintain the health of the bushes, how to propagate the plant by cutting.
Ageratum: origin, description, photo
Ageratum is a guest from America or East India. Kind received a Latin name from the word ageratos, translated as ageless. This representative of the flora belongs to the largest family of flowering plants - the Asteraceae (Compositae). His national nickname "long flower" is associated with the ability to maintain freshness for a long time in the cut and remain blooming for a long time in the flower bed.
Important! The most common representative of the genus in the culture is the Gauston genus, which contains toxic substances - alkaloids that can be harmful to health. These plant poisons cause liver disease, are carcinogenic.
The genus Ageratum is represented by herbaceous perennial plants, by habit they secrete herbs and half shrubs. Dense bushes, forming a pillow, consist of a large number of highly branched stems. Stems can be raised or erect, reach a height of 10 to 60 cm, have pubescence. The leaf cover is multifaceted - ovoid, rhombic, triangular in shape with a serrated edge. The surface of the plate is rough. As you climb up the stalk, the sizes of the plates become smaller. Their location changes from the opposite to the next, the size of the petioles decreases.
Long-flowered, like other members of the Aster family, simple tubular flowers are gathered into an inflorescence in the form of a basket. Baskets with a diameter of up to 1.5 cm are folded into dense shield flakes, reaching 10 cm in diameter. The buds of the plant are painted in blue or lilac-blue gamut, white or pink specimens are less common.
The period of decoration begins in 8-10 weeks from the emergence of shoots. Flowering continues until the end of the season. The flowering stems of stunted hybrids are arranged in tiers; among tall fellows, they form solid shells aligned in height, merging into a blue veil. After flowering, wrinkled achenes have ripened, having five distinct facets and a membranous tuft. The fruits are very small, almost dusty, in 1 g of 5-6 thousand seeds. Germination lasts for 3 years.
It is interesting! The baskets of the American guest seem so fluffy because of the two-bladed pestles protruding above the perianth.
Types, varieties of ageratum
The genus Ageratum has about 60 species of plants, but only two representatives are used in the culture - Mexican (Houston, Gauston, Houston) and conizoid. And although both species are perennials in the wild, they are grown exclusively as letniki. Consider a more detailed description of the species and the most popular varieties.
Ageratum mexicanum (mexican) . Herbaceous shrub perennial that grows in the tropical latitudes of North and South America. We have already reviewed its description a little higher. In general, all members of the genus are very similar. There are only minor differences in the density of the inflorescences, the form of leaf blades and the height of the bush.
Thanks to the work of breeders, gardeners can delight their eyes with various shades of bright pillows. And the ability to choose the appropriate dimensions of bushes allows more extensive use of the American guest in ornamental gardening. All varieties are divided into two groups - dwarf (pumilum), up to 15 cm tall and medium grown (nanum) up to 30 cm. Varieties, varietal groups and heterotic hybrids are also distinguished.
Know! Hybrids are characterized by accelerated vegetation, longer flowering, better immunity, uniform height.
Ageratum conyzoides (conise-like) - A very rare guest in the beds. Its appearance is somewhat different from the usual small blue pillows. It grows in South or Central America. Wild-growing species is a powerful branched dwarf shrub up to 1 meter high. Numerous reddish stems branch heavily. The leaves are round, with a blunt tip. The edges of the ten-centimeter plate are solid or cut into small teeth. The plates have pubescence with small hairs. Cultural species are not so high, reach 60 cm.
Baskets and shield inflorescences smaller than the Mexican counterpart - 0.7 cm and 5 cm, respectively. Each shield contains 4-18 buds of pink-purple, blue or white. Flowering is long - from the beginning of summer to the first frost. You can only meet a conic species only in Europe or in flowerbeds of the Black Soil Region, very rarely in the Central Belt.
Consider the most popular varieties of long flowers that deserve your attention:
- Alba Forms compact bushes of spherical shape, reaching a height of 20 cm. Gardeners really like its white fluffy inflorescences, forming dense shields.
- Blau Kapp. This variety has hemispheric bushes of average height of 20-30 cm. The crown consists of dark green stems with dense pubescence. Small loose plates (5-6 cm) consist of purple-blue baskets. Blooms 2 weeks later than the rest of the cultivars.
- Blue ball. One of the most popular varieties with a height of 15-18 cm. Its fleshy, durable stems form a practically spherical crown. On shoots and bottom of leaf blades there is thick pubescence. Dense terry baskets are painted in a rich lilac-blue gamut. Cultivar is characterized by drought tolerance, therefore landscape designers recommend growing it as a pot culture.
- Blue Perfection. Compact dense bush spherical shape. Height 20-25 cm. Shoots densely pubescent, branch very strongly, have a reddish tint from the sunny side. In addition to the lilac-blue buds, gathered in shields of medium density, the decoration of the plant are large leaves of a rounded shape. Blossoms in early June.
- Blausternchen. Short cultivar 10-15 cm tall. His thin shoots densely pubescent, have a reddish raid. Baskets up to 1 cm in diameter, inflorescences contain few blue buds with a slight lilac shade. Favorite landscape designers favorite rabatok.
- Blue mink. Erect stems thickened, covered with a small number of large leaves. Height of a grade is up to 25 cm. Large dense guards consist of big baskets up to 2 cm in diameter, painted in lilac-blue tones. The inflorescences are so fluffy that they look like mink fur. It blooms from mid-June.
- Little Dorrit. Low-growing (15-17 cm) compact variety with strong shoots. Stems pubescent weakly, foliar cover shallow, rhombic in shape on long petioles. Pale blue baskets have short pistils. The period of decoration from the beginning of June.
- Fire pink. Compact cultivar up to 30 cm high with small leaves. Small baskets of bright lilac shade are collected in small inflorescences.
- Summer snow. The growth of this long flower is about 45 cm. The flowers are white, dense. The bloom is so abundant that it looks like a snow-white pillow.
- Atlantic. Growth of a hybrid of 20 cm, buds violet-blue.
- Purple fields. Winner of the Fleroselect 2000 exhibition. The hybrid of creeping type expands to a width of 30 cm, forming the most real purple fields.
- Cardinal Bordeaux. It has a height of 20-25 cm and an unusual burgundy color of dense scutes. Used for decoration of flower beds in the Versailles style.
- Snowball. Forms terry baskets with a diameter of 2 cm. Growth of a hybrid of 30 cm. From qualities the compactness, a possibility of formation, drought resistance, early flowering is appreciated. The most popular belotsvetkovy cultivar.
- Red sea. Powerful erect stems of this plant stretch up to 50-55 cm. Despite the impressive growth, the bushes seem to be quite compact with a dense crown. Red pompons - a real decoration for such a stately representative of the genus.
- Goliath. Compact srednerosly bushes (30-35 cm) with lush pomegranate buds. Abundant flowering, early.
- Leda A hybrid with a unique color - the white middle centers are edged with a gentle blue down.
Know! In addition to the cultivars described above, variety mixtures made up of plants with different bud colorings — white, red, lilac, and blue — are in great demand. The most popular are: Dancing Clouds, Hawaii, Aztec Treasures, Summertime, Bonjour, Dondo, Colors of Summer.
Features of growing plants
Each exotic, grown in a harsh climate, requires a special approach. Our American inhabitant of the tropical belt has a love for good lighting, moderate drought tolerance.
Since the plant does not tolerate lower temperatures, it is grown as a letnik. Even in the south of Russia he was not destined to spend the winter. For the same reason, a seedling cultivation method is used. You can use the queen cells to obtain seedlings by cutting. Relocation to a different climate also contributed to the weakening of immunity - in the long flower it is very fragile.
As the flowers are pollinated by a cross, a real surprise can grow from the seeds collected from their area. But most often the buds return to the natural blue color. Even with almost sterile conditions, specialists are not always able to maintain varietal characteristics. Therefore, for reproduction, stable heterosis second-generation hybrids and grafting are used.
When to plant seeds in the spring
The term of sowing seeds for seedlings depends on the zonality of cultivation of the crop. Fluffy miracle blooms in 2-2.5 months after the first shoots.
Attention! Planting seedlings in open ground can be practiced strictly after the retreat of the last spring frosts.
Determine the time of sowing for a particular region can be a simple calculation. From the date of planting you need to take time to flowering (60-70 days), so that by the time of planting the bushes are already blooming. Do not forget to add another week for seed germination. In Siberia and the Urals, they are engaged in sowing in the first decade of April, since they disembark not earlier than 10 June. In the middle zone seedlings sow 2-3 weeks earlier. In the South, in the open ground can be planted by the end of April, which means that sowing occurs at the beginning of March.
Seed preparation for sowing
If you decide to purchase seeds of long flowers in the garden center or specialty store, then give preference to granulated material. The fact is that the fruits of the plant are of very small size. Подобно петунии они относятся к пылевидным семенам.
Такой посевной материал уже прошёл соответствующую обработку, упакован в питательную смесь, ускоряющую появление всходов. Он очень удобен, ведь не нужно стараться равномерно рассыпать крохотные семянки по поверхности субстрата. The only thing that experienced gardeners recommend to do with the granulated material is to thoroughly sprinkle the granule and slightly break its shell with a toothpick.
If you decide to use seeds collected from your plot, you will have to take care of the safety of seedlings. For this disinfection is performed.
Tip! Liquid fungicides are not suitable for tiny fruits, so gardeners recommend using powder forms. It is enough to pour a small amount of powder into the bag with the material and shake it thoroughly.
No additional manipulations are required, since the germination of the material lasts a long time (3-4 years) and its percentage is quite high.
Substrate for sowing requires loose, fertile with a neutral pH. The long-flowered flower does not like sour soils, therefore peat tablets, so popular for the cultivation of seedlings, will not fit seedlings. Use a soil mixture consisting of equal parts of sand humus and garden soil.
The American guest has a weak immunity, it is especially sensitive to fungal diseases, the spores of which for a long time retain vital functions in the soil. Pretreatment of the soil with a fungicide or heat treatment will relieve you of additional hassle.
As a container it is convenient to use food containers with a transparent lid. You can take the usual plastic box, picking up the right-sized sheet of glass. Inside such a miniature greenhouse for seedlings, optimal growth conditions will be achieved.
Important! Do not forget that the tank must be equipped with drainage holes. They will remove excess fluid after watering and provide root ventilation.
Before the emergence of seedlings, which will occur in 10-14 days, daily air the greenhouse. The soil must be constantly moist. Use a spray bottle for watering. As soon as the first shoots appear, remove the glass and slightly lower the temperature background. This will save seedlings from excessive stretching. Lighting should be good, the duration of daylight at least 12 hours.
Tip! If necessary, use sources of additional lighting. Cold light lamps or a special device - fitolampa will do.
Growing seedlings ageratum
Growing seedlings is very simple. After 3 weeks, the seedlings dive so that the distance between them slightly increased. The second picking is carried out when young shoots increase in size in another 3-4 weeks. Transplantation is carried out in individual containers of a larger volume in order to increase the area of nutrition. After re-picking youngsters begin to actively grow.
Saplings do not tolerate dampness, so eliminate sprinkling by watering. At the same time the soil must be constantly moistened. Irrigation is carried out in the morning, making sure that moisture does not fall on the hairy leaves. Top dressing is made one week after the first and second picks and 10 days before transplanting to a flower bed. Use mineral complexes, humic fertilizers.
Preparation for transplantation begin in 2-3 weeks, gradually accustoming the seedlings to environmental conditions. Hardening will strengthen the seedlings, accelerate their adaptation in a new place.
Choosing a place
Exotic perennial prefers open bright areas, because in the absence of the required level of illumination it begins to stretch, lose its decorative effect. The southern or southeastern part of the garden is optimal for plant growth.
Remember! To achieve high decorative qualities long flowers can only be landed on the sunlit areas.
To the ground the American guest is not too picky. He prefers to grow on fertile, loose soils with a neutral environment. If the land does not meet the requirements, add the necessary amount of sand in it to improve the structure and humus to increase fertility.
Too fertilized land also does not suit the American, because he will start producing a large number of shoots and expel a lot of foliage, and you may never see flowers.
Planting technology seedlings
Algorithm for transplanting seedlings to open ground:
- loosen the area carefully
- prepare the wells in increments of 15-20 cm
- pre-watered seedlings gently remove from cups,
- place the seedling in the hole so that it is at the same level as in the pot,
- Fill the required amount of soil, compact a little, pour.
Know! To get a tight carpet, reduce the distance between the specimens to 10 cm. If you plant tall hybrids, stick to the pattern drawn on the seed packaging.
Care of ageratum
Exot differs appeasable temper and a lot of attention from the gardener he does not need. In addition to weeding and loosening after irrigation, it must be periodically fed, pruned and shaped.
Watering heat-loving exotics will require abundant, but not frequent. Irrigation is carried out early in the morning, observing that moisture does not fall on the foliage. On the surface of the plates there is an edge with small hairs capable of holding water droplets. When the sun rises, the moisture will begin to actively evaporate, causing burns of the leaves. Do not water the flower with sprinkling - the baskets will lose their beautiful pubescence.
Tricolor belongs to the category of garden residents who are better not to fertilize beyond measure. A large amount of fertilizers (especially nitrogen) will cause the active growth of greenery, inhibit the development of peduncles.
One week after transplanting to the flower bed, feed the seedlings with potassium humate or a mineral complex based on phosphorus and potassium. Greenworm infusion green pet will also have to taste. The multiplicity of making supplements every 2-3 weeks.
Remember! Do not use fresh manure as a fertilizer. It causes severe burns, often leading to the death of fluffy pillows.
To stimulate the formation of peduncles, it is necessary to periodically subject the bushes to pruning. Leave a few internodes on each stalk, and the exotic will quickly grow new shoots covered with bright flowers. To maintain the decoration, it is recommended to timely remove wilted baskets. This measure will also contribute to the rapid dissolution of new buds.
Ageratum after flowering, care
The American guest is a perennial, but grow for several years in a row, he is capable only in a hot climate. Therefore, it is grown in culture as an annual. After the frost, the aerial part will die, you can remove the plant from the flower bed.
On a note! After the end of the season, you can do otherwise - transplant your favorite bushes into flower pots and bring them into the room.
With proper care, flowering will continue until the beginning of winter, and in spring you can use the shrub as the mother liquor for harvesting cuttings.
Reproduction of many years of ageratum by grafting
To increase the number of seedlings of a particular cultivar, fully preserving the varietal characteristics, gardeners propagate exotic cuttings.
When the quiver brought to the house ceases to bloom, an artificial winter is created for it, reducing the number of waterings and the temperature to 12-15⁰C. In March, resume the vital functions of the plant and collect cuttings. Remove from them the lower leaves, rooted in the boxes with wet sand. After 3 weeks, the roots will develop, the growth of shoots will begin. Often experienced gardeners resort to cuttings to avoid hassle with seedlings.
Pests and diseases of the ageratum
The American guest has a very shaky immunity to fungal diseases. Most often, it is affected by root rot, caused by waterlogging of the substrate. The disease is incurable, so you have to remove the infected bushes. For prevention, follow the rules of planting and moderate irrigation. In dense thickets, the ground surface is poorly ventilated, which is why moisture evaporates badly, roots and lower leaflets rot.
No less dangerous virus cucumber mosaic, manifested characteristic mosaic spots of yellow color. Buds do not even have time to blossom, and the stalks become transparent, watery. In the early stages of the disease can be cured by fungicides, after removing all the affected parts. For prevention, treat the seeds and soil, follow the agrotechnology.
Important! Cucumber mosaic virus is transmitted by pests, so weed out the weeds in a timely manner, treat them with insecticides, use only healthy material when grafting.
Of the pests for exotic are dangerous:
- spider mite,
- all kinds of nematodes,
Caterpillars clean manually. From whitefly and spider mite, Karate, Confidor, Intavir, Aktar will help. Nematodes are microscopic worms leading the life cycle in various parts of the shrub — roots, stems, and leaves. It is almost impossible to eradicate this pest, so try to use preventive measures - liming the soil, disinfecting the seed. Do not tolerate the pests of fragrant inhabitants of the garden - marigold, tansy, herbs. In the fight against nematodes, BI-58 and Rogor preparations are effective.
Ageratum in landscape design, combination with other plants
Beautiful long flowers are widely used by landscape designers for filling rabatok, decorating flower beds, mixborders. It is good in group plantings or as a bright spot on a green lawn. Often exotic can be found in the balcony boxes. But the most common application - design borders. Fluffy flower buds also came to taste, because they can stay fresh after cutting for up to 10 days.
Pleasant gaze blue coloring of the corolla goes well with bright garden dwellers - marigold, heliopsis, lion's throat, calendula, verbena, zinnia, rudbeckia.
It is necessary to land an erectum once on a flowerbed and you will want to admire its fluffy heads every year, especially since planting and caring in the open field will not cause any special troubles.
Popular plant varieties
There are more than 70 different types of plants, differing from each other in their decorative features (shades of flowers, flowering time, height of the bush, and so on). But not all are used in gardening. Consider the most common varieties.
Table. Popular ageratum varieties.
Neptune Blue F1
Ageratum is often used to imitate a dry stream or water body.
Ageratum Mexican or Houston / Ageratum houstonianum
Several types of ageratum are toxic, containing pyrrolizidine alkaloid. For example, Ageratum houstonianum and Ageratum conyzoides
If you decide to grow ageratum seedlings, then you need to understand that the period between sowing seeds and the first flowering is at least 60 days. Since this is a thermophilic plant, it is necessary to exclude the likelihood of spring frosts at the time of planting seedlings in the soil. Even weak cooling can negatively affect the flower - this must be taken into account.
On a note! Having carried out some simple mathematical calculations, it is not difficult to guess that for sowing the seeds of the Ageratum the most optimal period is considered to be the middle of March. Of course, you can sow the seeds in a later period, but at the same time the beginning of flowering will move a little.
Growing from seed
Ageratum is a perennial plant, but in our conditions there is no need to use it for many years. Breeding can be done in two ways - cuttings and seeds, but, finally weighing all the pros and cons, growers usually stop at the second method.
On a note! The development cycle of the ageratum is accelerated, which distinguishes the plant from its "colleagues". Thanks to this feature, you can move the sowing period to April-May.
Like any plant, ageratum loves nutritious soil. In this case, it is better to use slightly acidic or neutral soil, so if you decide to cook the soil mixture yourself, mixing humus, lime and garden soil, do not forget to add a little dolomite flour - this will reduce the acidity of the soil. Also, do not add a lot of humus, because its excess will adversely affect flowering, making it more scarce.
This all concerns only the soil prepared by himself. Few gardeners do this. It will be much easier to buy ready-made soil for flowers in the store than to prepare it.
Soil nutritious universal for vegetables and flowers
Step 1. Fill the seedling container (in this case, the container) with about 80% soil mixture. If you want to immediately grow several varieties of ageratum, it is better for each of them to take a separate container.
Containers are filled with soil
Step 2. Pour the seeds out of the bag on a plate. It is not necessary to use all, because the seeds are very small and there are many of them. Half the contents of the package on one container - this is quite enough. Preliminary preparation of inoculum is not necessary.
Seeds spill out onto a plate
Step 3. Evenly sow the seeds on the ground surface. They have a long form, so you can easily notice if in any place they have accumulated 5-6 pieces. Use a regular toothpick to push the seeds away from each other. It will be much faster than later removing shoots.
Sowing seeds of ageratum
Step 4. In the process of growing, monitor the soil moisture. At an early stage, humidity can be saved by placing the container in a special container with a hole made. If the seeds are not provided with sufficient moisture, the plant dies in almost all cases.
Tanks are placed in a container
Step 5. Place the seed container on the windowsill on the sunny side. If all the necessary conditions for seed germination are met, then you will soon receive such friendly shoots.
Transplantation in open ground
In the second half of May, having chosen a clear and warm week (by reviewing the weather forecast in advance), proceed to transplanting seedlings of plants into open soil. Place the seedlings in the prepared holes, and fill the remaining space with soil that needs to be slightly (but not tightly) compacted. The distance between short growing varieties of ageratum should be no more than 15 cm, between tall ones - up to 25 cm.
On a note! The area where you plant the plants should be sunny, because even a slight shading can cause the shoots to pull out. As a result, the intensity of flowering is reduced. Even though the main part of the work has been left behind, you still have to work hard. We are talking about the care of ageratum.
The use of Mexican Ageratum in the design of flower beds and flower beds
Although the plant is considered unpretentious and not demanding to care, still need to pay attention to him. But the labor and time spent will not go in vain. As a result, you will be rewarded with a lush and bright flowering ageratum.
For feeding you can use not only mineral, but also organic fertilizers. Also, gardeners prefer to make complex fertilizers. This should be done every 3 weeks, and the first feeding should be carried out using the minimum dosage of fertilizers. Otherwise, flowering may slow due to their excess. It is not recommended to use manure to fertilize the soil, because it can destroy the ageratum.
The root system of this plant is very developed, which allows the ageratum to extract the necessary amount of moisture from the soil. Therefore, irrigate regularly - every 3 weeks, but at least once a month. In the hot period, the frequency of irrigation, as well as the amount of water used, can be slightly increased.
Ageratums will be pleased with a gorgeous color, provided that they are additionally watered in dry weather. This must be done generously, but not excessively.
For lush and beautiful bushes, you need to periodically cut the ageratum. Leave no more than 4 internodes when pruning to speed up plant development. Before the first frost, you can transplant the flowers in separate pots and grow them in greenhouses or at home. Proper care will allow you to enjoy beautiful flowers throughout the winter.
On a note! With the onset of spring, the bushes can be transplanted back into the open ground or cut the plants into cuttings, thus rejuvenating it.
Regular watering and fertilizing - this is not the only thing to do when growing ageratum. The soil around the plants must be regularly loosened. Since this flower likes to grow in airy soil, this procedure will improve its growth. When loosening, be sure to remove all weeds, as they inhibit plant growth. After completing another weeding, gurgle the soil. This prevents excessive evaporation of moisture.
Fight against diseases and pests
Like most ornamental plants, ageratum can be subject to various diseases, the most common of which include root rot. Neglect of preventive measures will lead to rotting and, as a result, the death of the plant. To avoid this, you need to pay attention to the intensity of irrigation and periodically loosen the soil. Another ageratum may be affected by a cucumber mosaic, which is also the result of non-compliance with the rules of care.
Рассаду, которая пока еще находится в помещении или оранжерее, нужно защищать от белокрылок. Если эти вредители все же появились, обязательно нужно удалить поврежденные растения, а сами цветы обработать с помощью инсектицидов. Проводите обработку до полного уничтожения всех насекомых. Со временем, когда вы пересадите рассаду в открытый грунт на клумбе, на растения могут покуситься нематоды или совки. В таком случае тоже нужно использовать специальные средства для обработки. And remember that the correct and conscientious observance of the rules of agricultural engineering will save your plants from such troubles.
What does a scoop look like?
As noted earlier, ageratum is of great value for landscaping and decorating plots. This is due to prolonged flowering, unpretentiousness and color variety. This combination is quite rare among ground cover ornamental plants.
Ageratum photo on the beds
Ageratum group composition
Bright variety of ageratum on a bed
Care of ageratum in open ground
For decoration of balconies, loggias or borders ideal low growing varieties of ageratum, and tall plants can be grown for further cutting. If we talk about the combination with other colors, the blue grades of ageratum will look great with escholcias, zinnias and marigolds. In other words, any unpretentious flowers of yellow shades are suitable here.
In culture, mainly two species of this genus are grown:
Ageratum conizoids (A. conyzoides) more suitable for growing in cut into bouquets. A plant with shoots up to 60 cm in height that is densely branched and leafy with heart-shaped leaves, at the ends of the shoots the inflorescences of the basket are gathered in shields, the colors are white or blue.
Ageratum Houston (A. houstonianum) use for registration of a flower border and beds. This perennial plant is grown here as an annual, because it does not tolerate even light frost and dies.
This type of ageratum is valued for its compact, stable form; low-growing dense shrubs of the ageratum are from 10 cm high.
After flowering, the ageratum sets up seeds; they fall in the fall to germinate the following year.
Most often ageratum grown through seedlings. Seeds are sown in March - April in boxes or greenhouses. Seeds germinate in two weeks. Seedlings dive into separate cups and planted in open ground when the danger of frost has passed.
Place for planting flowers it is necessary to choose sunny, however, in regions with hot summer, it is better to plant the plants in light penumbra, as the ageratum does not tolerate heat well. The optimum temperature for development is + 16 ... + 20 ° C. In the shade the shoots of the plant are drawn out, the flowering will be neither abundant nor amicable.
The soil before planting is well treated. On a wetland with constantly damp earth, the ageratum dies, marveling at the black leg or root rot.
Flower care after disembarkation consists in weeding, periodic loosening, irrigation and dressing as needed.
Watered ageratum regularly, especially in hot dry weather, eliminating drying out of the soil. Watering plants is often better and less plentiful than rarely pouring.
Feed the ageratum should be rare and only when there is a lag in the growth or delay of flowering. For top dressing use complex mineral fertilizer for flowers.
To prolong flowering, flowering baskets are cut to seed. If necessary, the ageratum can be cut off or clipped, after which new shoots grow quickly and bloom profusely.
Ageratum well propagated by cuttings. To save planting material in the fall, the plant is dug, transplanted into a pot and transferred to a cool, bright room.
Ageratum seedlings - how to grow ageratum seedlings - the basic rules
Sometimes, seeing a beautiful flower, it seems that this is some very rare species, but it turns out that this is a familiar plant that is constantly on the ear.
Ageratum just from the category of such.
Growing and multiplying it is not difficult, care does not require special abilities, and the flowers are beautiful and lush, capable of pleasing both their owners and “spectators” for a long time.
How to grow seedlings ageratum talk below.
Ageratum - distinctive features and popular subspecies
The plant is a bush with small flowers, mostly blue or purple, but there are also pink or white colors.
Bushes are both high and short.
The flowers themselves are clustered and have a pleasant scent.
Most popular varieties:
- Alba (diamond-shaped sheets, white flowers, height up to 20 cm, flowering period from July to October),
- Summer Snow or White Balloon (25 to 40 cm tall, white flowers)
- Blue Mink (leaves are round, flowers are blue, bloom, like Alba variety),
- Fire pink (flowers of lilac shades, in height to 30 cm),
- Blue Logun (light purple inflorescences, not more than 25 cm high, bloom from July),
- Blue Angel (blue inflorescences, height not more than 18 cm)
- Bavaria (blue and white flowers, can grow up to 30 cm)
- Red Sia (unusual red color of flowers, height up to 60 cm, bloom before frost),
- Blausternchen (lilac-blue flowers, no more than 15 cm tall, blooms from June to October)
- Little Dorrit (light blue flowers, leaves are round and at the same time diamond-shaped, about 20 cm high).
How to plant ageratum seedlings?
- When to plant ageratum seedlings?
Seeds can be planted in open ground, but it is best to grow seedlings (it is best to do this in March-April).
- Soil mixture for seedlings ageratum
Soil mixture for cultivation: 3/6 part of sod land + 2/6 part of peat + 1/6 part of river sand + 2 tbsp. wood ash (the quantity is calculated on a bucket of prepared soil).
In general, the soil should be taken fresh, that is, one that has not been used before for planting.
After the mixture is poured into the box, you need to add a layer of river sand (about 1 cm).
Before sowing, the soil is disinfected with a solution of manganese and well moistened.
- How to plant ageratum seeds for seedlings?
Flower seeds are very small, and it is not good to distribute them evenly over the surface of the ground, in order to facilitate their work, the seeds are mixed with sand.
After scattering a mixture of sand and seeds on the surface, they are lightly pressed with a hand to the soil and sprayed from a spray bottle.
Next, the soil is covered with glass or film and germinated at a soil temperature of 20-25 ° C, and humidity - 90-95%.
- When seeds of ageratum sprout?
Seeds begin to sprout in two weeks.
All this time you should monitor crops, air and remove condensate from the glass.
After the emergence of shoots, the shoots will need good lighting.
It happens that the seeds do not give long-awaited shoots. To prevent this from happening, you can check the seeds for germination in advance.
This is done simply: several seeds from the package are placed between the layers of a damp napkin on a platter, then the saucer is packed in cellophane and a sealed film. After 4-8 days, seedlings should appear, provided that the “experiment” is kept in a warm place and the humidity of the napkins is maintained. If about 30% of all seeds have germinated, then the whole lot will be useless, it is better not to plant such as it may be useless.
Reproduction Ageratum cuttings
This is the least popular method, but it is also used.
Before frosts (approximately in October), mother-bushes (the strongest and most resistant) are dug up.
After they are transplanted into pots and put in a warm place.
Around March-April, the bushes are transplanted into a greenhouse (greenhouse) so that they sprout.
When to dive ageratum seedlings?
Dive seedlings in the ground can be in the third decade of May.
About a week after the sprout appears (only two pairs of true leaves will appear), they can be planted in pots.
Very often use a two-time pick sprouts.
This is due to small shoots of the flower, which are impractical to plant immediately in large containers.
From the beginning it will be possible to carry out a picking into cups of 5x5 cm, and as the seedlings grow, it can be transplanted into a larger container.
Immediately before planting, you need to take out the seedlings on the air for acclimatization.
How to plant sprouting agratum in the ground?
Before planting, it is necessary to loosen and dig dimples well at a distance of 10-15 cm (for tall species 20-25 cm).
The depth can be made the same as in the seedling containers. Spill all the wells with water and wait until it is absorbed.
In terms of soil, the ageratum is not whimsical, but will grow better in a nutritious, well drained condition.
The site will suit brightly lit, not shady, without drafts.
Planting a flower in the ground, you need to think in advance about the "composition".
For example, if you do this for decorative purposes, then think about what other flowers will grow next and how they should be located.
Ageratum belongs to the Asteraceae or Compositae family. The family has a little more than 50 species of plants growing in India, on the North American continent. Ageratum is a resident of the tropics and subtropics of our planet.
A distinctive feature of the ageratum is the long preservation of the fresh look of the cut plant. For such an attractive feature, the flower got its name, meaning “ageless”.
The plant is a grassy fluffy bush or dwarf shrub. The length of the shoots ageratum reaches 60 cm, there are also stunted varieties. The plant is densely covered with bright green oval or triangular foliage, with a slight pubescence on the surface of the leaves.
The flowers of the ageratum are tiny, gathered into inflorescences - fluffy balls that grow several pieces at the top of the stem. The color of the ageratum petals is white, pink, blue, purple. A flowering plant spreads around a strong and pleasant aroma. Ageratum attracts bees with its smell, it can be planted in the garden not only for beauty, but also to help in pollination of fruit trees. The plant blooms in early summer, and pleases with bright colors before the onset of cold weather.
Types and varieties of ageratum
Gardeners mostly grow Ageratum Mexican or Houston. This is a perennial, which in the climate of our country grow only one season. The plant forms a branchy dense bush in the shape of a ball, up to 60 cm high. The baskets of the inflorescences reach a size of 8 cm, and the balls themselves are inflorescences, only 1 cm in diameter. Blooms profusely from June to cold. Grades:
Choose the appropriate grade of ageratum for the garden, help the presented photos of flowers.
Where to plant
The flower is warm and sunny. For him choose areas that are well lit and warmed by the sun, covered from drafts by other plants or buildings.
In the shadow of ageratum blooms poorly and looks depressed.
The soil for the plant requires a neutral or slightly acidic, quite loose and nutritious. Sandy loam filled with well-rotted manure or compost is suitable. To get involved in organic matter is not necessary, with an excess of nitrogen, ageratum will expel a lot of foliage, at the expense of flowering. For a flower, it will be enough to add 6-8 kg of humus per square square.
Sand is applied to loam. The heavier the soil, the more baking powder it needs. The dose of sand can reach up to 12 kg per 1 square. meter. It is useful to pour drainage from pebbles, rubble or expanded clay to the bottom of the landing holes. Before planting flowers, the earth is dug up, removing the roots of weeds.
Flowers in the garden
Ageratum is demanding for regular watering with warm water, but does not tolerate stagnant moisture at the roots. Water the flowers in the evenings, strictly under the root, without moistening the leaves. The next day, loosen the soil.
Flowers planted in containers often suffer from a lack of moisture, since a small amount of earth in a pot dries out faster. To facilitate the care of a potted plant will help mixing agrogel into the soil. The substance absorbs and keeps water from watering the flower, gradually giving water to the roots. Thus, watering plants need not so often.
Feed the flower once every 15 to 20 days, alternating complex mineral fertilizers for flowering plants with extract mullein (1 part manure per 10 parts water) or chicken manure (1 to 12 - 14). According to the rules of fertilizer application, you need to feed the plants only on wet ground after watering.
For long and abundant flowering, faded flowers should be cut along with the tips of the branches. This procedure will help to wake up the lateral buds, the lateral branches will grow on the bush and new inflorescences will form.
In our climate, you can collect full ageratum seeds. To do this, faded buds are cut, together with part of the twigs and dried in a dry place, wrapping the twigs with a cloth. Seeds remain fresh up to 5 years when stored in a dry place.
In the autumn, the ageratum can be transplanted into flower pots and taken into the house. The plant will delight flowering throughout autumn and part of winter. To preserve the splendor of flowering, it will have to additionally illuminate fitolamp a few hours a day.
Unfortunately, ageratums suffer from a number of diseases, so it is necessary to monitor the condition of flowers especially carefully.
Often, with excessive soil moisture, the ageratum roots infect rot. Such flowers must be ruthlessly removed. Contaminated soil is shed with phytosporin or raspberry solution of potassium permanganate.
The plant suffers from bacterial wilt and cucumber mosaic. At the first signs of illness, the affected parts of the plant are cut off, and the whole bush is sprayed with an extract of wormwood, garlic or bird cherry. You can use fungicidal drugs.
Young plants may suffer from the invasion of aphids, whiteflies, dustworms and spider mites. Insecticide solutions will cope with pests (Fitoverm, Actofit Decis).
Planting of the ageratum in open ground is started when the threat of night frost is over. The site for planting is protected from the wind and sunny - in the shade the shoots will stretch out and the plant will lose its compact form. Ageratum soil prefers well-drained, loose, fertile. Ideal for the well-being of this flower are sandy loam and loam with a neutral or slightly alkaline reaction.
Plants are planted at a distance of 0.1-0.15 m each other, 0.2-0.25 m is left between the rows. Flowering will begin approximately 2 months after planting.
You can grow ageratum to seed, and grafting.
Because of the thermophilicity, this flower is grown in seedlings in the Russian climatic conditions. For this, purchased or collected own seeds in the second decade of March are sown in boxes. Soil is made up of equal parts of humus, peat and sand. Scattering the seeds on the surface of the substrate, on top of them sprinkle with a thin layer of sand and cover with glass or film. Contain seedlings in a warm room (the air temperature should be at least + 15 ° C). As the soil dries, the boxes are moistened with a spray bottle. Periodically need to air landing. After the shoots appear (in 10-12 days), the cover is removed from the box.
Seedlings dive into separate pots at the stage of 4 true leaves. Water the seedlings in the morning, not allowing waterlogging. 10-14 days before the estimated date of planting on the flowerbed, they are taken out to the open air (balcony, terrace) for acclimatization.
Growing ageratum cuttings
In order to grow new plants from cuttings, the sprouting bushes of the ageratum are dug up at the end of the summer along with the earthy clod and rolled into pots. Keep them in indoor conditions throughout the winter, placing them as close as possible to the source of natural light or arranging additional lighting. Watered moderately, fed once, adding fertilizer for flowering plants in irrigation water (the dose recommended on the package, reduce by 4 times).
Approximately 1.5 months before planting in open ground, cuttings of 10–15 cm in length are cut from plants. Slices are dipped into a root formation stimulator (root, heteroauxin) and planted in loose fertile soil. The box with the cuttings is placed in a greenhouse or covered with glass and put in a bright place. Roots appear within a month. Young plants are planted in a permanent place after the spring frosts end.
Care of ageratum is not difficult. It is watered moderately - during overmoistening, the probability of developing fungal diseases is high. After watering, the land in the garden is loosened and at the same time weeds are removed. Every 2-3 weeks of planting ageratum are fed with mineral fertilizers. However, it is important not to overdo it, otherwise the plants will increase the deciduous mass to the detriment of flowering.
On a note:It is not recommended to use fresh manure as a fertilizer for ageratum.
To bloom ageratum was abundant, it is necessary to cut faded inflorescences.
Diseases and pests ageratum
In case of violation of agrotechnics, the ageratum is often affected by root rot, cucumber mosaic virus, and bacterial wilt.
Gray rot - one of the most dangerous plant diseases caused by fungi of the genus Botritis. Spores are spread by wind, by contact (by human hands or through tools) in caring for plantings, insects, water droplets (rain or watering). Progresses most rapidly in wet weather. Signs of damage to this disease are dark spots on the plant, which then appears gray patina - spore-bearing mycelium. When detecting the first signs of the disease, flowers should be immediately treated with fungicidal agents (Topaz, Fundazol, Bordeaux mixture, etc.). Если принятые меры не помогут, то больные растения лучше удалить и сжечь.
При заражении агератумов корневой гнилью помочь растениям не удастся – их придется уничтожить.
Еще одним из распространенных заболеваний многих растений и агератума в том числе является огуречная мозаика, вирус которой переносится сосущими насекомыми-вредителями. When infecting plants with mosaic, spots of yellow or white color appear on the leaves. There is no specific treatment for this disease. As a preventive measure, it is important to weed in time, use healthy seeds for sowing, and fight against pests.
In hot and humid climates (southern regions), the ageratum is often affected. bacterial wilt. The tissues of an infected plant are cracking, of which evaporation of moisture increases and turgor decreases. On the leaves appear yellow spots with a brown border. If you cut the sheet across, you will see dark affected vessels. Because of this, sap flow in the plant is disturbed and it dies prematurely.
Bacterial wilting ageratum
Bacterial wilting is curable only at an early stage. To do this, use the drug Coronet. Prevention involves the use of healthy planting material, the cultivation of wilting resistant varieties.
Whiteflies, nematodes, spider mites live on pests on it.
Notice whitefly easily - when touching the plants, flocks of white insects fly away from them. These parasites feed on the plant sap, as a result of which it fades, lags behind in growth and dies during measures. For the destruction of the whitefly used insecticides (Aktara, Biotlin, Admiral, Aktellik, etc.).
Spider mite - Another sucking pest ageratum. Signs of his presence are light yellow dots on the leaves, and with a strong lesion - spider webs. Getting rid of ticks is problematic, because they are quite tenacious and quickly develop resistance to pesticides. Therefore, when using acaricides (Fitoverm, Aktellik, Fufanon), they must be alternated.
Gall nematodes damage landing of the ego-tumum underground. They damage the root system, the plants are stunted, the leaves die prematurely and fall off.
Roots damaged by a gall nematode
To combat these pests, water is irrigated with Thiazoa, Bi-58, Rogor (at the doses indicated in the instructions for the preparations) under the ageratum bushes.