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, ageratum varieties
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. Let us consider in more detail the 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 zoning of the 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. Like petunias, they are dust-like seeds.
This seed has already been processed, packed in a nutrient mixture that accelerates the emergence of seedlings. It is very convenient, because you do not need to try to evenly scatter the tiny seeds on the surface of the substrate. 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.
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.
Агератум после цветения, уход
Американский гость является многолетником, но расти несколько лет подряд, он способен только в жарком климате. 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.
Ageratum is a small, bushy, jagged foliage plant whose shape is different in different species. Forms many direct shoots that can grow up to half a meter tall. The flowers are small, smell good, gather in inflorescences. The fruit is a seed in which there is a very large number of seeds.
In our belt, the ageratum is cultivated as an annual, due to the fact that it is a heat-loving plant. This flower is quite popular among gardeners, due to the fact that it is quite simple to grow. Most often we have these types of ageratum:
Varieties and types
Ageratum White forms a shrub, reaching 20 cm tall with upright shoots, inflorescences white, fragrant.
Ageratum blue or blue mink slightly higher ageratum white. Flowers abundant, fluffy, pale blue.
Ageratum Mexican or Houston's many varieties have been obtained from this species, depending on which the size of the bush and the color of the inflorescence vary.
Grades: Alba, Blue bouquet, Bavaria, Pink ball, a separate group form dwarf varieties Hawaii.
Ageratum seed cultivation
The ageratum is usually propagated by seed. They are sown after mid-March in a mixture of humus, peat and sand in equal proportions. Seeds are placed on the soil and easily covered with substrate.
Next, the container is covered with glass and is contained in a room with a temperature not lower than 17 ° C. Do not forget to air the sown every day and water the soil so that it is always a little wet.
When shoots appear, the glass is removed, and according to the development of 4 true leaves, they dive into separate containers. When they grow up, conduct a second dive, and this time it is necessary that each individual be in a separate container.
You can water the seedlings only in the morning. For 15 days before planting, take the seedlings to fresh air, so that they begin to harden. But at the same time make sure that with sudden frosts, the flowers are not affected.
Diseases and pests
The biggest problem of ageratum is disease. He is very vulnerable to root rot and if the plant is affected, then it can not be saved. To prevent this from happening, try to choose a light soil for the flower, loosen it and prevent the gulf.
- When a spider mite or whitefly, the affected foliage should be cut off and insecticides should be used until the pests disappear.
- If the plant is attacked by scoops or nematodes, then it is almost impossible to get rid of them, so it is best to properly care for the flower from the very beginning.
In its homeland (in the tropics of Central America), the ageratum grows like a perennial plant. The name of this flower in translation means "ageless", which is fully justified by its uninterrupted flowering.
Ageratum is a herbaceous shrubby plant. In our climate it is grown as an annual flower. Sprawling bush, with a lot of shoots. The root system is well developed. Stems erect. The height of the bushes varies from 10 to 60 cm. The leaves are round or triangular with mild serrations. The flowers have a blue, purple, white or pink color. The flowers are small, fluffy, gathered in small dense inflorescences. At the same time, ageratum produces many flower stalks.
The genus ageratum has more than 60 species. The most common floriculture Houghton's Ageratum or, as it is called, Mexican. The range of this type of ageratum is widely represented in our market. Each variety is unique and is distinguished by the height of the bush, flower color and duration of flowering.
The most popular varieties of Mexican ageratum:
In the photo, you can see the characteristics of many popular ageratum varieties and choose your own, the most sun-filled variety.
It is necessary to highlight another type of ageratum - conized. It differs from Mexican in smaller flowers and foliage of blunted form.
The most common method of breeding ageratum - seeds.
Growing seedlings of one-year ageratum at home will not cause difficulties. At the end of March, seeds are sown in prepared boxes. Soil suitable for this easy, moderately nutritious. For example, sand-peat mixture with the addition of humus in equal proportions.
Important! The seeds of the ageratum are very small, practically dust particles. Therefore, they are not buried in the ground, and evenly distributed over the surface.
Crates of seeds are covered with polyethylene and cleaned in a warm place to germinate. After 7-10 days the first shoots will appear, and the boxes can be put on the window. Ageratum does not tolerate excessive humidity, so you should not spray it. Watering is carried out only as the soil dries out, moderately.
A few weeks after the emergence of seedlings on the seedlings the first true leaflets will develop, and during this period the seedlings are swooping for the first time. The second pick is done when young seedlings grow a little. At this time, each plant is diving in a separate container, as the further development of the seedling will be rapid.
Two weeks after diving, it is advisable to feed the seedlings with complex mineral fertilizer.
As the weather sets in, warm weather spreads outside, bringing it to fresh air. Gradually, the time "walk" increase.
In the case when it is necessary to preserve all the qualities of a rare variety of the mother bush, reproduction by cuttings is possible. To do this, in the fall, the bush is sent to spend the winter in a cool place, and in early spring they cut off the shoots for cuttings. Cuttings are germinated in a warm room in boxes of sand. Just a few weeks later, the root system begins to develop, and after it the shoots form.
Planting ageratum and further care
In open ground, seedlings of agratuma are planted in late spring, preferably at the end of May. The plant is tolerant to any soil, only in exceptional cases may liming of too acidic soil may be necessary.
Place for disembarking ageratum should be chosen light, on the south or east side of the site.
Seedlings of ageratum are planted at a distance of 15-20 cm from each other. It is not worth digging it into the ground. The depth of planting in open ground should correspond to the level of growth of seedlings in pots.
Three times during the season, the ageratum needs to be fed with mineral fertilizers. Fertilizing manure and other organic fertilizers should be avoided.
Watering ageratum requires moderate, without overabundance. To keep the soil breathable, loosening of the soil is required after watering and rain. As needed, the area with the ageratum is weeded, removing weeds that inhibit the development of the bushes.
To bloom ageratum was abundant and long, all summer faded inflorescences are cut from the bushes. If you carry out this procedure regularly, the ageratum will produce more and more new buds, delighting with uninterrupted flowering.
It can be concluded that planting and caring for the ageratum in the open field is extremely simple due to the unpretentiousness of the plant.
Ageratum as an element of landscape design
In landscape design, the ageratum looks very good as a background for flower beds, flower beds and works with perennial flowers. Low-growing varieties of ageratum are used to form decorative borders, while tall ones are grown for cutting.
Bright color of the flowerbed will give a combination of ageratum with calendula, zinnia, marigolds and other colors of yellow-orange color. Ageratum is grown for landscaping balconies and is suitable for growth in flowerpots. Flowerpots with a joint planting ageratum and petunias will decorate arbors or the threshold of the house.
From the photo, fluffy flowers of ageatum look at us as something exotic, but in fact it is very easy to grow this culture that does not get tired of blooming. For this you need to follow only some simple rules, which are described above.
Features of ageratum
On a rather compact bush there are bright green petioled leaf plates having the shape of an oval, triangle or rhombus. The edge of them is notched. The leaves in the upper part are alternate, and in the lower and middle - opposite. There are many upright shoots, on the surface of which is pubescence. Their height varies from 10 to 60 centimeters. Small bisexual fragrant flowers are part of not very large (diameter 1-1.5 cm) inflorescences having the form of baskets. And they are collected in complex corymbose inflorescences. They can be painted in purple, pink, blue or white. The fruit is a 5-sided seed wedge-elongated shape. 7 thousand seeds weigh only 1 g. Their good germination lasts for 3-4 years.
In mid-latitudes, the ageratum grows as an annual, because it is not frost resistant. Such a plant will be able to decorate a rabatka, flower bed, and will also look great in carpet compositions. Such a flower can be planted together with marigolds, calendula, lion's throat, which are also annual plants.
Features of growing ageratum from seed
Most often, such a plant is grown from seeds. Seeding is done from the middle to the end of March. At the same time, the boxes should be filled with a mixture containing sand, humus and peat (1: 1: 1). Seeds need to sprinkle with a thin layer of soil. Capacity is torn glass or film and is removed in the heat (at least 15 degrees). Crops need daily ventilation. The soil should always be slightly moist. Therefore, it should be systematically moistened from the sprayer. The first shoots will appear in about 14 days, after which the shelter should be removed.
When the seedlings will have a pair of these leaves, they need to seat more spaciously. The pick is done 2 times. During the 2nd picking, the seedlings are planted in separate pots (cups). Ageratums need dry air and a constantly moist substrate. Watering plants can only be in the morning. A couple of weeks before planting, the seedlings should be moved to the street. If there is a threat of freezing, then the seedlings must be covered.
Landing in open ground should be made after the threat of night frost passed. The selected soil area should not be exposed to drafts. The place must be sunny, because when there is a shortage of light, the seedlings are drawn out and bloom very poorly. Best suited non-acidic, light, well-drained soil, rich in nutrients. However, this plant is not too demanding on the soil. It is necessary to make not too deep pits in carefully loosened soil, the distance between them is from 10 to 15 cm. It is necessary to plant seedlings to the depth to which it grew in the tank. Flowering begins after about 8 weeks.
What to do when ageratum fades?
Before the first frosts begin, it is recommended to dig the most lush bushes and plant them in separate flower pots. Plants can be put in the house, on the veranda or on the balcony. Ageratums will bloom throughout the autumn, and maybe even part of the winter. With these bushes in early spring, you can cut the cuttings and root them. Then, with the onset of heat, they are transplanted into the open ground.
Such a plant is very fond of heat, so it is not able to spend the winter even under shelter provided it has a mild winter. In connection with this, in the autumn from the flower bed it is necessary to remove the remains of plants, and in the springtime to plant new flowers there.
Pests and diseases
Ageratums do not have resistance to diseases, which is considered to be their main disadvantage. Often there is rot on the root system of such a plant. If this happens, then it will not be possible to save the infected bushes. However, it should be noted that the appearance of root rot can be prevented, and this will help you some fairly simple preventive measures. So, the first thing to plant is to choose a light, well-drained soil. Water the plant must be carefully, avoiding overflow. Also need to systematically loosen the ground. This all helps to avoid the appearance of rot on the roots. Also ageratum is prone to cucumber mosaic, as well as bacterial wilt, and such diseases develop due to violation of the rules of care.
Seedlings of ageratums in the house or in the greenhouse should be protected from pests such as whiteflies and spider mites. When insects are found, it is necessary to tear off the infected leaves and treat them with an insecticidal agent.
In the open field on this plant can live nematodes and scoops. Getting rid of such pests is not so easy, it is much easier to prevent their occurrence. For this, it is enough to provide the ageratum with proper care. Remember that only with prolonged violation of the rules for the care of such flowers, they become susceptible to various diseases and pests.
Ageratum: planting and care in the open field
Many gardeners tend to pick up the plants in their garden according to the period of their flowering, so that throughout the season the flower beds amaze with their color and abundance of color. However, it is not easy to find color crops that would continue to bloom almost to the very frost.
The best way out in this situation can be an ageratum, a plant that, despite its not very spectacular appearance, can make any garden beautiful and unique. The process of planting and care does not require much effort, so there is nothing difficult in the cultivation of this flower. Even inexperienced gardeners can decorate their land in their condition.
In this article we will talk about the features of ageratum, consider its description, touch on planting and caring for it, and also highlight the main and most popular varieties and types of this flowering ornamental plant.
Description and features of ageratum
This is a flowering ornamental plant belonging to the Astrav family (or compositae). В мире его насчитывают порядка 60 видов. Родиной его ученые считают Южную Америку и Центральную Америку и основную часть территория Мексики.
Наиболее популярным культивируемым сортом признан Гаустона. Растение имеет дополнительное наименование - Mexican. Growing this crop has become a very popular activity among gardeners in the CIS, because it can be planted as an annual. All other ageratums are perennial and difficult to take root in conditions of severe cold weather of the plant.
The name translates as "ageless" translated from Greek. This name very accurately describes the nature and style of flowering of the plant. It it has a long flowering period. It also keeps the shape and freshness of the leaves after cutting for a long time.
It is a perennial, rarely one-year, ornamental flowering plant.
is he thermophilicTherefore, it is difficult for it to settle down on the territory of the CIS countries as a perennial. Therefore, in these areas, it is possible to grow an agratum as an annual. Ageratum is distinguished by long flowering - from the beginning of June until the onset of cold weather. Because of this, its properties are especially valued by gardeners and landscape designers.
This plant is herbaceous, it perfectly branches. The branches grow wide, creating hedges and burgeoning carpets.
In height, the plant can grow by 14-60 cm, because of this it is possible to use it for various plantings.
Its leaves may have a different shape, it all depends on a particular type and variety: they can be triangular, diamond-shaped, rounded. Color is usually dark green.
The flowers are very small, have a head start on narrow tubes that form small braids. In turn, these baskets are collected in larger inflorescences. Flowers are supplied with colorless villi, the size of which is longer than the flowers themselves.
The color range may be different.. The most famous is blue along with all its shades. However, there are ageratums of snow-white, pink, red color.
During flowering, these plants create a dense blooming carpet that looks great against the background of a green lawn or other blooming plants.
After completion of flowering on the plant fruits occur, having the form of a small box of dark color.
The seeds of the ageratum are quite small, they are located in the seed box in large quantities. They can be stored for 3-4 years.
Main types and varieties
At the present moment in the world there are approximately 55-60 species of ageratum. In our country and in other CIS countries with severe winters, the Ageratum of Mexico and Ageratum Gauston are very popular.
The height of the flowers are divided into categories:
- undersized or dwarf - in height grow 9-15 cm,
- varieties average height - rise to 14-30 cm
- tall - 30-60 cm
Besides all varieties are divided by color of their flowers:
- snow-white ageratums - flowering plants in white or cream color,
- blue ageratums - inflorescences of blue and blue flowers,
- red ageratums - this category includes plants with colors of red and pink flowers,
- yellow ageratums - yellow palette,
- multicolor ageratums - these flowers can be of different tones.
Ageratum Gauston varieties
The most famous cultivated variety recognized Gauston (aka Mexican).
It gained its popularity among the gardeners of the CIS countries, since they can grow ageratum as a garden annual plant. All ageratums are by nature considered to be perennial plants that are difficult to survive in conditions of extreme cold.
Growing varieties provided by the species can be carried out in open soil every year. There are a huge number of different types of Mexican Ageratum.
It should be noted several classifications that are allocated in accordance with individual characteristics and characteristics.
Consider in detail the discharge ageratum Gauston and his most famous varieties.
The standard name for this species is Mexican, Russian gardeners call it long flowers because of their long flowering period. Flowers of this species are rather compact plants having a spherical shape. The height of ageratum Gauston can grow by 15-60 cm, growth depends on a particular variety. The flowers are small, covered with colorless villi, they gather in small inflorescences with a diameter of up to 1.5 cm, which gather in inflorescences of 8-10 cm. The Mexican ageratum color includes mostly blue, blue and purple shades, less often white and pink.
Famous grades of Ageratum Gauston
- Ash Fields. It is considered a hybrid species, which grows up to 20-25 cm. The culture grows very densely, the shoots diverge from the stem by 30 cm, which gave the name to this species - "Purple Fields". Flowers have a bright and bright pink-purple color.
- Hawaii Mixt. This is a multi-colored look. May be pure white, pink, blue, purple. Belongs to undersized varieties, the bushes are very compact, grow to 9-15 cm.
- Alba - Ageratum with white flowers. In height it grows up to 20 cm, a spherical bush with strong inflorescences.
- Summer snow - quite tall bush, reaches 45 cm. Differs in branching. The inflorescences of the given ageratum are of strong, snow-white color.
- Leda - it is similar to Summer Snow, only its flowers of the Ageratum of this variety are white and blue.
- Blue mink. In height, this kind of ageratum will grow by 20-25 cm. Its inflorescences are quite large, touching purple-blue shade. Because of this color and tenderness of colors, this species was called "Blue Mink", comparing with the beast-namesake.
- Blue danub. Another very well-known variety, is spectacularly distinguished by its colorful inflorescences of blue-lavender tone. This species refers to undersized, but grows only up to 15 cm.
- Blausternchen. It is considered a dwarf species, its growth does not exceed 10 cm. It is a compact bush. His foliage is dark green. Flowers are very small, combined into small inflorescences, not more than 1 cm in diameter. The flowers are blue with lilac color, inside the bud the color is catchy, light lilac.
- Fire pink. It grows to a height of 20-30 cm and is a medium-age type of ageratum. Not very dense inflorescences of a dark pink shade are characteristic of it.
And for this plant, planting seeds is considered the most optimal solution because of their rapid germination.
Seeds can be planted in boxes for seedlings, and you can throw straight into the open ground. You can buy planting material in designated shopping centers or collect them yourself. The seeds of the ageratum are very small, so they must be sown very carefully. Surviving planting material can be stored up to 4 years.
The optimal time for sowing seeds is the second half of March, when the danger of frost returning is passed.
Sow better first in boxesand therefore transplanted to open ground. because ageratum likes greenhouse conditions.
The boxes must be filled with fertile soil, then loosened thoroughly, making it easy to arrange the plants in it.
After removing 1.5 cm of the surface layer of the earth.
Pour out the seeds throughout the selected area and sprinkle with earth. Make sure that the top layer of soil is not very dense - the plant will be difficult to germinate.
Do not water the seedlings immediately after planting.. It would be better to simply spray the landing with a spray gun.
Then the boxes must be covered with film or glass caps, creating a small greenhouse.
It is necessary to put a box with seedlings on a warm and sunny space, the temperature of which is not lower than 15 degrees.
The soil must be ventilated daily. To do this, lift the glass or film for half an hour.
The first seedlings may appear in 7-14 days, and it is necessary to begin picking after 3 weeks, when 1-2 leaflets appear.
Planting seedlings of this culture is necessary in different capacities. Before planting into the soil, containers with seedlings are worn for 40-60 minutes for several days to get used to.
Plant the ageratum optimally will be in the middle of May or at the end.
Reproduction by cuttings
Propagation by cuttings is a more rare method, but it is precisely this that allows to preserve the plant until next March. To do this, before the onset of the first frost need to dig up the bushes, the most healthy and durable. Replant them in spacious pots and place in a warm room. It is allowed to contain them also on the balcony, as long as the space does not freeze. In March and April, bushes can be sent to a greenhouse or greenhouse for germination. This process is fast, and in a matter of days you get an ageratum plant prepared for flowering.
Planting and maintenance in the open field
For plants, planting and care, carried out correctly and with attention, are of great importance.
The most preferred period for disembarking ageratum is the season from mid to late May. In this case, you will avoid the possible return of frost, which can kill your plant.
The place must be sunny and open, but it is well protected from the winds. The best fit plot on a gentle hill. Before choosing a place, scroll in your head what composition you plan to get as a result. Will you plant ageratum together with other plants, or give preference to a single planting.
Selection and preparation of land before disembarking
The soil for the ageratum should be loose and light, so the site must first be well digged and loosened. These plants prefer well-drained and fertile land. By acidity, they are suitable neutral or slightly acidic land. Because if the territory of your site with high acidity, during the landing, you can add dolomite flour or lime.
Still, look for the fact that there is not a lot of humus in the soil - this can lead to a lack of flowering.
Planting process in open soil
After the preliminary stages of planting in May, you can begin planting seedlings of ageratum, the main thing is that there is no danger of cold weather returning. It is also important to make sure that the ground has already managed to warm up.
First of all loosen the soil at the landing siteotherwise the plant will suffer due to lack of oxygen in the soil.
Then prepare the landing holes, the distance between which must be observed depending on the selected type of ageratum. For tall varieties, indent between the holes at 18-25 cm, and for more compact and miniature species will be quite 10-15 cm.
The depth of the holes should not be very large. Most often, Agratuma seedlings are deepened to the same distance at which it grew in boxes.
Then pour all the holes abundantly with water and wait for the landing area to absorb all the water. In no case should manure be placed in the wells. This fertilizer will be inappropriate here, because the plant may die.
Next, in each well, place the seedlings and cover with earth. You should not very tightly tamp the soil around the plants, otherwise you will open enough oxygen for them.
It is recommended to mulch the soil. This will help the plant to save water and protect the flower from possible frosts. Dry peat or sawdust can be used as mulch.
Ageratums are not very exacting to the level of care, but they also need a certain amount of attention and care. In the future, the plant will thank you for leaving a catchy and lush bloom.
Ageratum flowers - photos, varieties
Depending on the variety, the height of the plant may be from 20 to 50 cm. In the photo you can see that ageratum is a small bush with heart-shaped leaves and fluffy buds. Its flowers can be white, pale pink, lavender-blue, blue.
The opposite lower and middle leaves of the plant grow on the petioles, while the next upper leaves are sessile. Bisexual fragrant ageratum flowers are located on the corymbose inflorescences and reach in diameter from one to one and a half centimeters. The fruit is a pentahedral sphenoid seed. Seed germination of the plant is maintained for 3-4 years.
The plant has more than fifty species. Only a few of them are the most popular and demanded by gardeners.
The plant got its name because of the delicate blue flowers, which by their color and fluffiness similar to mink fur. Therefore, the second name of this type of ageratum is “Blue Mink”. A small bush is completely covered with rather large inflorescences that can be from 5 to 8 cm in diameter.
Reaching a height of 10 to 50 cm, the plant is characterized by numerous upright branched stems. Its rough and serrated leaves can be oval or rhombic. Small fragrant flowers of the plant are collected in inflorescences-baskets, which, in turn, are collected in complex corymbose inflorescences.
This kind of ageratum has many varietieswhich differ in height of a bush, flowering time and shades of flowers.
- The Blue Mink variety is distinguished by its weakly leafy, durable and thick shoots, growing to 25-30 cm. This compact columnar shrub is covered with dense and large inflorescences up to 2.1 cm in diameter. The lilac-blue flowers plant of this variety blooms from mid-June to October.
- Ageratum "Blaustenhenhen" - a compact bush, whose height is only about 15 cm. Its thin dark green shoots are covered with purple bloom and densely pubescent. Loose and few-flowered inflorescences are covered with blue flowers with a lilac shade. The plant is demanding for watering. Flowering begins in early June.
- The variety “Blau Kappa” begins to bloom only at the end of June, therefore it is considered late. A hemispherical compact bush grows to 20-30 cm. Loose inflorescences with a diameter of 5-6 cm are distinguished by a lilac-blue shade and short stigmas.
- Ageratum "Alba" is a spherical, compact bush about 20 cm high, on which are dense white inflorescences.
Most often ageratum grown from seed. In one mature fruit of the plant is up to six thousand seeds that can be collected and stored for several years. Landing is carried out in the second half of March.
- The seedling boxes are filled with soil mixture, which should consist of humus, peat and sand (1: 1: 1).
- The seeds of the ageratum are very small, so they are sown on the surface of the moistened soil, and only a little above it is sprinkled with soil.
- Top boxes covered with glass or polyethylene.
- Greenhouses put in a warm place and air daily.
- Care must be taken to keep the ground all the time wet. Therefore, if necessary, it must be sprayed with water at room temperature.
After about 10-14 days the first shoots should appear. After that, the glass or film can be removed, and the boxes placed in a well-lit place. Direct sunlight on the seedlings should not fall. Care of seedlings is timely watering with settled water.
When two true leaves appear, seedlings should be planted, increasing the distance between them. After about two weeks, the young bushes that have got stronger and have grown up are transplanted in separate pots. At home, watering seedlings only in the morning. The soil should always be slightly damp, and the air around the sprouts should be dry.
Two weeks before transplanting in open ground, young plants need to begin to “harden”. For this, cups with sprouts in warm weather are taken out to the open air.
Much easier and faster to grow ageratum cuttings. On the branches of the plant many young shoots with buds are formed, which must be cut off for reproduction. This breeding method is very convenient because annual plantand messing with seeds is not always possible.
Growing ageratum from cuttings and planting has its own characteristics:
- Before the frosts, the best bushes of the plant are dug up and transplanted into large containers.
- Potted flowers are brought into a warm room, and are grown at home until March. Feel good ageratum will also be on the insulated loggia.
- In March, you will need to cut the cuttings or dig up queen cells.
- The cuttings are planted in containers with an earthen mixture or in a greenhouse, and covered with plastic bags or cans. The buds germinate at a temperature of at least 20 ° C.
In this way it is recommended to propagate and grow hybrid varieties of ageratum. This is due to the fact that their seeds do not usually germinate.
Features landing Ageratum
Plant loves sunny places and drained soil with moderate moisture. Good growth and bloom ageratum will be on sub sandy and loamy soils. It is not recommended to plant a flower in the soil, oversaturated with organic matter from the garden. Young cuttings are better to plant in the greenhouse in a mixture of sand and earth.
A plot is prepared for young plants, and the wells are dug:
- the distance between the low bushes should be up to 10 cm,
- tall bushes should be planted at a distance of at least 25 cm.
If the soil at the site is prone to stagnant moisture, then drainage and peat moss should be poured into the wells. Seedlings in the wells are planted at the same depth as they grew in pots.
Use in landscape design
Ageratum is a universal plant. In decorating the garden it is used everywhere:
Bright fluffy inflorescences are suitable for creating the background for beds and mixborders of perennials. For low decorative borders and frames of garden paths choose undersized varieties of long flowers. Tall representatives are much appreciated by florists, they are planted in a slice.
Неприхотливость и продолжительное цветение — хорошие качества для того, чтобы украсить садовым насаждением балкон, летнюю террасу или летний сад. Он отлично переносит посадку в горшки и контейнеры.
Посадка агератума на загородном участке придаст пейзажу свежесть и некую экзотичность. Low lush blooming bushes look beautiful on any empty place.
Combination with other plants
Harmonious company with long flowers are:
The combination of different shapes and colors allows you to create an original mix composition, colorful but refined. The culture belongs to the neighborhood favorably, landing in one flower bed with all plants is allowed.
The most favorable period is mid-March. By the end of April, seedlings will get stronger and will be as ready as possible for planting in open ground. Soil for seedlings must be disinfected. To do this, it is placed in a refractory container, poured boiling water and placed for several minutes in the oven. The mixture is a combination of sand, peat and humus, in equal parts.
Before sowing the soil is watered abundantly. Seeds do not deepen, and evenly spread over the surface and sprinkled with a thin layer of earth. The container is covered with glass or plastic to create a greenhouse effect. For germination seeds need daily access to oxygen. An hour a day is given for airing the tank, without film. The room with the pot should be warm, but not more than 16 degrees. If the soil dries, then it is moderately sprayed. If all recommendations are correctly implemented, then shoots appear in 12-14 days. After that, the glass is removed.
After the appearance of the leaves, the seedlings are swooping and planted with a distance. After the seedlings grow stronger and grow, each seedling receives a separate capacity. Repeated dive must be done on time, otherwise the roots and leaves of seedlings will interfere with each other. At the beginning of April, preparation for planting in open ground begins: containers are carried out on the street, hardening seedlings.
Soil before planting seedlings moisten, loosen and feed, if it is poor. A gentle and safe transfer method is transshipment. The optimal distance: for tall representatives 25-30 cm, for low-growing varieties of 8-10 cm. Planting ends with mulching. This is an opportunity to save the plant in case of unexpected frosts. To bloom was more abundant, flowering inflorescences are removed.
The plant prefers open, sunny areas. Light should be bright but diffused. Such conditions have a beneficial effect on the quality and duration of flowering. But a surplus of shade very quickly extinguishes flowering. The bush begins to grow, and the greens clog the inflorescences. If there is a surplus of sun on the flowerbed, then the creation of an artificial shadow will help.
Watering is carried out moderately as needed, with the drying of the upper layers of the soil. Excessive and frequent moistening can cause the appearance of various diseases: rotting of the root system, rust, etc. When watering the leaves and flowers should remain intact, watering applied root.
The type of soil affects the frequency of moistening: a plant planted in heavy soil needs more frequent watering. Less exacting ageratum in light and sandy soil.
Watering is carried out exclusively in the morning.
Garden planting comes from warm lands, therefore it loves warmth. Young seedlings are transferred to the ground no sooner than the risk of repeated frosts disappears.
During the growing season, the long flower most in need of support minerals. During this period, it is fed 3 times: during active growth (to strengthen the organs of vegetation), during budding, during flowering if necessary.
Fertilizer group suitable for use - top dressing for annual plants. Do not oversat the bush with nitric substances. They promote the active growth of greenery, which drowns out flowering. In no case do not use fresh manure.
Species and varietal diversity
Rod represents more than 50 species. They differ in the duration of flowering, color palette and size. The most popular in landscape design sredneroslye and dwarf representatives. There are practically no significant differences in the care of different varieties. The most famous representative of the culture - the Mexican species. He became the progenitor of most varieties. Its height is up to 50 cm, it all depends on the variety. The shape of the bush is spherical. Baskets are massive and fluffy. The most decorative varieties:
Ageratum Houston, or Ageratum Mexican
Small bushes have the shape of a ball. Their height varies from 15 to 60 centimeters (depending on the variety). Fluffy flowers are collected in baskets, which are part of the inflorescences, having a diameter of 3-8 centimeters.
- «Alba"- white flowers are collected in dense inflorescences.
AlbaAzur Pearl"- Blue flowers are collected in fairly large inflorescences.
Azur PearlFaye Pink"- dark pink loose inflorescences have a diameter of 4 to 5 centimeters. Leaf plates are quite small. Bush height varies from 20 to 30 centimeters.
Faye PinkBlue mink"- bluish flowers have a lilac outflow. The leaves are quite large, and the height of the bush reaches from 25 to 30 centimeters.
Blue Mink "Blue Bouquet"- flowers painted in a beautiful blue color. This variety has the highest height - 45 centimeters.
Blue BouquetBavaria“- quite large loose inflorescences consist of two-colored flowers. So, the middle of them is pale blue (almost white), and around them are thin petals of rich blue color. The bush has a height of 25–30 centimeters.
Bavaria Hybrid plants of the Hawaii variety: “Royal Hawaii” - the height of dwarf plants does not exceed 15 centimeters, the flowers are purple-purple, “White Hawaii” - dwarf bushes do not exceed 18 centimeters in height, the flowers are white. Royal Hawaii