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Video: Calendula: Species, Varieties, Cultivation And Use
Marigold marigold - beautiful and unpretentious
Calendula belongs to the genus of plants from the Asteraceae family, which unites more than 20 species of both grasses and shrubs. It is the most widespread of these.
The second name of calendula is marigold, perhaps this name was given to her by the people because of its golden-yellow or orange apical inflorescences-baskets reaching 3-10 cm in diameter.
Calendula in its wild form is found only in Mediterranean countries, but it has long been widespread around the planet and is cultivated both as a medicinal and as an ornamental crop. It has been known in Russia since the 17th century.
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Currently, thanks to the efforts of breeders, a fairly large number of both medicinal and decorative varieties of calendula have been created, which are not even used for cutting. In Russia, in breeding work with calendula, the main emphasis was placed on the creation of varieties that have precisely medicinal properties. For a long time, our breeders ignored its decorative qualities.
Types of calendula
Calendula plants are ranked by height: undersized species occupy a niche of 15-25 cm, medium-sized ones - 30-45 cm, and tall plants, starting from 50 cm, can reach almost a meter.
According to the structure of the inflorescence, calendula is divided into double varieties - this property is due to the formation of predominantly female flowers and ordinary varieties. They are also distinguished by the shape of the inflorescences, they are tiled, radiant, chrysanthemum, herberoid and anemone:
- tiled - wide short ligulate flowers are tiled and bent outward;
- radiant - narrow banded reed flowers, twisted along the length into a tube, form non-accrete rays;
- chrysanthemum - ligulate flowers, twisted and accrete lengthwise into tubes, form needles or claws, slightly bent in different directions;
- gerbera - consist of several rows of reed flowers along the edge of the basket and disc of small tubular flowers in its center;
- anemone - in the center of the basket there is a "cushion" of expanded tubular flowers, surrounded by one row of wide reed flowers in the form of a cuff.
Among the low-growing varieties, the most famous are the abundantly flowering Little Ball (plant height up to 15 cm), Calypso (20 cm tall) with large, up to 10 cm in diameter, inflorescences, as well as drought-resistant Lemon Coronet and Orange Coronet with shiny inflorescences 7-8 cm in the diameter of lemon yellow and orange, respectively.
Among medium-sized varieties, Astragal, Sunglow and Yellow Gitana can be noted with bright yellow double inflorescences; Anagoor has dark orange flowers, while Orange Gitana has orange flowers with a brown center (4 cm in diameter). Fiesta Gitana is characterized by double inflorescences with the widest range of colors from creamy yellow, very delicate, to dark brown.
In general, undersized forms of calendula, distinguished by single inflorescences, are in great demand. They are great as a pot culture.
For street vases, pots, containers, for decorating terraces and balconies, varieties with smaller and more numerous inflorescences are more suitable. In landscape gardening design, very often undersized varieties are used as a decoration for the front of mixborders, to form bright flower beds and, of course, a rabatka.
For such purposes, medium-sized varieties of calendula are ideal, the most popular of which are Chrysantha Sonnenschein with chrysanthemum-like canary yellow inflorescences, Juwel with salmon-pink double baskets 5-8 cm in diameter, Sensation with shiny bright orange flowers (inflorescences 7 -8 cm in diameter).
The varieties Medallion Gelb and Medallion Orange with graceful anemone-shaped inflorescences of golden yellow and orange color, respectively, are very attractive for gardening design. Tall varieties of calendula are most often used in gardening to form arrays, groups on the lawn, or they are grown for cutting.
Perhaps, this species needs to be described in more detail.
When growing for cut, the right choice of variety is of great importance. Special requirements are imposed on the varieties: cut flowers should be kept in water for quite a long time, have high decorative properties, among which the most important are bright and clean color, beautiful shape, healthy green leaves.
When selecting varieties, it is necessary to take into account economically valuable traits, among which the most important are the yield of flower products per square meter of area, the duration of the flowering period, resistance to diseases, as well as adaptability to local growing conditions.
Most often, varieties of the Pacific Beauty series were used as cutting plants with a plant height of 60-80 cm and large baskets (7-9 cm in diameter) of various colors - from cream to bright orange and two-color - light yellow with orange stripes and the ends of the petals … Other varieties are also popular. Ball's varieties (height 50-70 cm) have large terry tiled inflorescences from apricot to orange-red shades, Golden Beam, Orangestrahlen and Radio varieties have radiant inflorescences 5-6 cm in diameter, Iltarusko and Radar have chrysanthemum-like inflorescences. Plants of the Kablouna series are distinguished by anemone-like inflorescences, and the Nova variety is distinguished by herber-like inflorescences.
There is a little secret that allows marigold flowers to stand in water for quite a long time, for this they need to be cut half-open, before placing in a vase, remove the lower leaves, and cut the ends of the stems by 2-3 cm. It is best to cut the stems immersed in water, and to increase cut the suction surface obliquely. Do not forget about changing the water. Only if these conditions are met, the calendula will delight you with its grace for a long time.
Calendula in compositions
In addition to cutting, various varieties of calendula are successfully used for group plantings in combination, for example, with decorative deciduous plants. The color combinations of flowers also play a role. For example, a combination of yellow and orange is perceived as cheerful. If you place calendula against a background of greenery, it will have a refreshing effect, and the presence of blue in the composition has a calming effect. The combination of blue ageratum flowers, yellow calendula and lobelia looks very impressive. Purple petunia will go well with orange calendula, which also goes well with delphinium, rudbeckia, zinnia. Calendula will help not only in giving an aesthetic look to your flower bed, but it will definitely cope with a number of pests of both berry and vegetable crops.
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As for agricultural technology, there is nothing complicated in it - calendula is an unpretentious and cold-resistant plant (withstands frosts down to -5 ° C), it tolerates transplantation very well even in a flowering state and is resistant to many diseases and pests. The plant is undemanding to soils, it can grow on almost any type of soil, but it succeeds best on fertile, moderately moist chernozems located in open, sunny places. With a lack of light, the plants begin to stretch, their inflorescences become smaller, and the flowers lose their brightness and attractiveness.
Despite the fact that calendula is disease resistant, precautions still do not hurt. For example, it is not recommended to grow calendula in one place for a number of years, it is recommended to spray the plants with chemicals.
Caring for calendula plants consists in timely (as the soil dries up) watering, in mandatory top dressing, weeding and periodic loosening of the soil. To preserve the decorative effect of the bush, you need to regularly remove damaged and wilted leaves and inflorescences. If you guess right with the choice of planting site, then calendula will reward you with abundant and long flowering.
As for reproduction, the most common method is to sow seeds in the ground in spring or before winter. In a permanent place, the seeds are sown to a depth of 2-4 cm according to the scheme of 30x30 cm or 40x40 cm.If you want to arrange a path or create a dense flower bed, then you need to sow so that the distance between the plants is 7-10 cm.When cultivating in the open ground, calendula blooms 50-60 days after sowing (usually in mid-June), to obtain an earlier flowering, it is grown through seedlings.
The timing of sowing seeds for seedlings depends on the purpose of growing. For example, to obtain non-flowering green seedlings, which can be used for planting in flower beds or for cutting, you need to sow seeds from March to April. If you want to get plants suitable for cutting in protected ground, then it is best to be guided by either the late summer period - late July - early August, or autumn - late October - early November. The production of flowering seedlings, for example, for flower beds, containers or for cutting, implies sowing in late February or early March, and to obtain ready-made potted plants, in late April - early May.
If the seeds are sown not in open ground, but in a greenhouse, then the soil mixture must be prepared in advance. It should consist of about half of low-lying peat, 30% humus, and the rest of the mixture is sand, lime and azophoska. After sowing, the soil must be compacted, watered and covered with foil until shoots appear.
That the seedlings appeared quickly and amicably, an appropriate microclimate should be created in the greenhouse: temperature at + 20 … + 25 ° С and moderate humidity. Under such conditions, seedlings appear in about 10-12 days, usually in the phase of cotyledons or one pair of true leaves, they are dived into pots or left to grow directly in the greenhouse.
Seedling care is also no different, everything is as usual - moderate watering, weeding. It is advisable to feed the seedlings, and since you have already decided to do this, then you need to feed them twice - with a solution of azofoska (15-20 g per bucket of water), the first time two weeks after the pick, the second time - a week before planting. Do not forget about hardening, it starts about a week before planting the seedlings.
Hardened seedlings are usually planted in mid-May-early June in open ground or in flower containers, flowering can be planted throughout the season.
When growing calendula for cutting, seedlings are planted in greenhouses, usually according to the scheme of 30x25 cm, either at the end of September with late summer sowing, or in December with autumn. In the first case, flowering will last from late November to February, and in the second, from February to early May.
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