Occasionally there are plants that do not surprise with variegated flowering, do not have smooth lines, spectacular greenery, but, in spite of everything, please the eye and unusually decorate the local area. One of these flowers is ageratum - a dense bush with fluffy inflorescences in the form of small pompoms. Florists and landscape designers value ageratum, first of all, for its blue-blue hue, so rare in the world of flowers. But this plant has one more, no less significant, plus - it is unpretentious, and it is not difficult to grow it.
About growing ageratum from seeds, about when it is better to plant this flower and how to care for it - in this article. Here you will be told about all the nuances of growing flower seedlings at home, presented with a photo of the ageratum and tips for placing it on the site.
It is quite simple to grow ageratum at home, the main thing that needs to be done is to find a suitable place for the flower. In principle, this plant is unpretentious, the only vital requirement of the ageratum is a large amount of sun. Therefore, the place for the flower is chosen the most sunny, this also applies to flower beds, beds, borders - the plant should have enough light everywhere.
The plant came to Europe from hot countries (India, North America), where ageratum grows like a perennial. In the climate of Russia, the flower is grown as an annual plant, annually repeating the planting of flowers by seeds or cuttings.
The name of the flower is translated as "ageless", because ageratum lasts for a very long time in bouquets. The plant belongs to the Astrovye family. In Russia, it can be found under the name "long-flowered". The height of the bushes can vary from 10 to 60 cm. The stems are pubescent, straight, the leaves are dark green, glossy, with a jagged edge.
Attention! Seed propagation is more common, since this method allows you to grow many varieties and colors of ageratum in one area, without making any special efforts. While for cuttings, greenhouses or greenhouses are needed, which not all growers have.
The plant is completely undemanding to the composition of the soil - any soil is suitable for long-flowering, except for stony and swampy. He does not like the flower and excessive nutrition, therefore humus and manure fertilized soils are not suitable for him. The ideal option is ordinary garden soil, light and loose, with neutral acidity.
Important! One gram of ageratum fruit contains about seven thousand tiny seeds. Seed germination lasts for three to four years.
So, conditions ideal for long-flowering are:
- a place with constant lighting;
- warm, well-heated soil;
- light nutritious soil that can retain moisture well;
- regular hydration;
- lack of nitrogenous dressings.
In flower arrangements, ageratum combines well with many plants, most of all, marigolds and snapdragons are suitable for it as "neighbors". Often this plant with small inflorescences is used in the design of bouquets.
Ageratum flowers are planted with seedlings in the ground immediately after the threat of spring frosts disappears, that is, in the second half of May. There will be no difficulties with planting a flower, because it is so unpretentious that it can independently determine the depth in the ground.
Site preparation consists only in loosening the soil with a pitchfork or digging it up with a shovel if the soil is too dense. There is no need to fertilize the ground. It is enough to make small indentations at a distance of 15-20 cm from each other. Neither drainage nor feeding is required in this case. Ageratum will bloom 2-2.5 months after the seedlings are taken out into the open ground.
Important! The root collars of ageratum seedlings should be at the same level as before transplanting.
Growing from seeds
As mentioned above, the propagation of ageratum by seeds is more preferable, because in this case, a florist can start several species and varieties of this flower in his own flower bed at once.
To make the bushes dense and dense, sowing ageratum for seedlings must be done correctly:
- Determine when to sow ageratum based on the climate in the region. The optimal time for sowing seeds is late March or early April. Seedlings should have enough sunlight, otherwise they will be weak and elongated.
- Seed should be planted in shallow plastic containers or peat tablets. To keep the long-flowered in conditions of constant humidity, after sowing, the containers are covered with foil or glass.
- Ageratum seed substrate needs nutritious and lightweight. A ready-made soil mixture for flower seedlings is quite suitable.
- In two weeks, shoots should appear, and after another 15-20 days the ageratum must be dived.
- The first picking of flowers is performed in small greenhouses or greenhouses. The distance between plants should be slightly larger than in the original containers.
- As the seedlings of ageratum grow up, they dive again - this is a prerequisite for growing long-flowered at home. You need to dive in another 2-3 weeks. The distance between plants must be increased. If seedlings of ageratum are grown in greenhouses, they should be ventilated and condensate should be wiped off the walls. At this stage of development, seedlings need moderately moist soil and dry air.
- Water the seedlings regularly, but only in the morning. For irrigation, use settled water at room temperature.
- There is no need to feed the flowers in the seedling phase, they will have enough nutrition from the soil.
- A couple of weeks before transplanting flowers to a flower bed, it is necessary to harden the seedlings by taking them outside. Immediately before planting, the seedlings are left on the street overnight, there should be no frost at this time.
Advice! Growing ageratum from seeds can be facilitated by sowing flowers in individual peat tablets. Nutrients from such containers will help the seeds to germinate faster and the seedlings to grow stronger. The most important thing is that in this case you will not have to dive the seedlings, and this significantly reduces labor costs.
Growing seedlings of ageratum from seeds is more than half the battle, because in a permanent place this flower is completely unpretentious and not capricious. After transplanting into the ground, the plant grows quickly, becomes strong and hardened.
Ageratum bloom will be plentiful only if the soil under the flower is normally moistened. Watering the flowers is essential, especially during dry periods. But watering should not be excessive, then the earth will become too damp, and the flower risks getting sick. Watering ageratum should be water at room temperature, choose the morning time for watering.
The flower tolerates cutting and shaping well, therefore ageratums are often pruned. In order for new flowers to constantly appear on the bushes, it is necessary to regularly cut off the faded shoots - this stimulates the growth of young ones. After the first wave of flowering, the ageratum begins to wither, the inflorescences on it become few, they become smaller and fade. To save the situation will help shortening the entire bush by a third or half the height - in a couple of weeks the flower will delight you with an even more luxuriant color.
It is necessary to feed ageratums moderately - 2-3 times per summer. The first feeding must be carried out before the flowering of the bush. They use not organics, but only mineral complexes that do not contain nitrogen.
Attention! Do not neglect the weeding of beds with ageratum and the removal of weeds from it. Clean and loose soil will allow the roots of flowers to "breathe" normally and get all the necessary substances from the soil.
In nature, ageratum is a perennial plant, but in Russia it is grown as an annual. That is why you do not have to worry about the wintering of the flower - with the onset of the autumn cold, the bushes will wither and wither. Flowers are removed from the flower bed, usually in early spring. If necessary, at the end of summer, a florist can collect ageratum seeds.
The flower loves moderate humidity, therefore, with an excess of watering, the roots of the ageratum can be affected by root rot. If this happens, only the complete removal of diseased bushes along with the roots will help. Dosed watering, loosening of the soil, sufficient heat and light can prevent the disease.
Dangerous for ageratum and various pests, such as scoops, nematodes, spider mites, whiteflies. In case of damage to the leaves of the flower, you should immediately treat the bushes with an insecticide or use a folk remedy for these purposes.
Photos of snow-white, lilac, purple and blue ageratums resemble a weightless haze that adorns flower beds and borders. This thermophilic flower is not able to withstand even the mild European winter, therefore, in temperate climates, it is grown only as an annual. You need to propagate fluffy flowers with seedlings, which the florist will have to grow at home, on their own.
The biggest difficulty lies in sowing the smallest seeds and diving twice, because the rest of the ageratum is a very unpretentious and resistant plant. For normal development, this flower only needs sun, warmth, light soil and a sufficient amount of moisture.