Table of contents:
Video: Ageratum Is A Beautiful Ornamental Plant For Garden And Home
Ageratum - flower bed and balcony decoration
Some ornamental plants can be admired both in the garden and at home. Ageratum also belongs to such plants. Now this beautiful plant can often be found in city flower beds, where it creates a solid carpet with its small fluffy flowers.
The Latin name for this plant comes from the Greek ageratos, which means "not aging, always young, long-flowering." It is clear that it received this name not by chance, but precisely over a long period of flowering. In Russia, the ageratum received the popular name of long-flowered.
In the photo: blooming ageratum in a flowerbed with begonia
Features of culture
Ageratums (Ageratum) bloom with fluffy lavender-blue, blue, lilac, carmine or pale pink, as well as white flowers. Different types of ageratum have a height of 20 to 75 cm.
This plant begins to bloom 1.5-2 months after sowing, so growers often grow it through seedlings in order to accelerate flowering, which, having begun, will then continue until frost and even before the first snow falls.
In the North-West of Russia, flower growers grow mainly the Houston Ageratum or Mexican. Blooming ageratum can decorate lawn borders or flower beds. Since it blooms for a very long time, it is quite possible to use it as a pot plant to decorate balconies or terraces. A good effect is the inclusion of flowering ageratum in compositions of ampelous plants in baskets. Plants of various heights can be used in the landscape, depending on the variety, it can be from 10 to 60 cm.
Ageratum varieties and hybrids
Ageratum has numerous varieties and hybrids, differing in terms of flowering, flower color, height, leaf shape. Ageratum cultivars and hybrids with different colors behave differently in the open field. As a rule, varieties with blue, blue, purple flowers look most impressive in planting on flower beds, but white flowers can acquire a dirty gray or yellowish tint. It has been noticed that flowers of varieties with a pink color often fade in the sun, becoming whitish. Most often on sale you can find the following varieties:
Blue Mink is one of the best medium-sized varieties. Plant height 25-30 cm. Inflorescences are dense, dark lilac-blue. This variety is sometimes found commercially under the name Blue Mink.
Fairy Pink - the cultivar is characterized by plants with a height of 20-30 cm. The inflorescences are friable, bright lilac in buds and dark pink during full flowering.
Ocean - plant height 20 cm, the color of the flowers is light blue, leveled, early variety.
Pink Beauty - This variety forms compact plants 15-20 cm tall with bright pink buds and light pink inflorescences.
Bavaria is a very beautiful variety with a height of 25-30 cm with loose large bicolor inflorescences: the center of the inflorescence-basket is pale blue, almost white, around it there are thin bright blue petals in the form of a fringe.
Schnittwunder - plants 60 cm high with blue inflorescences. Popular with florists and hybrids:
Blue Horizon F1 - plant height 60-80 cm, lilac-blue inflorescences.
Weisser Schnitt F1 is a beautiful hybrid with 60 cm tall plants with white flowers.
Blaue Donau F1 - forms plants with blue-lilac inflorescences 10-15 cm high, blooms very early.
Nepttune Blue F1 - plant height 15 cm, very compact bush with dark blue flowers.
Royal Hawaii F1 - plants 15 cm high with purple-violet flowers.
White Hawaii F1 is a 18 cm tall plant with white flowers.
The biological features of the dog flower allow it to be propagated both by seeds and vegetatively. Initially, plant breeding begins from seeds, later in the second half of summer it can reproduce itself by layering - the tops of some stems sink to the ground and take root there. This property of one of the varieties, presumably it was the Blue Mink variety, I discovered this summer in the central flower bed of one of the kindergartens in the city of Kirov, working as a gardener.
In the photo: ageratum layers in a flower bed
Then I found confirmation of this in the articles of other authors. However, the most well-known method of vegetative propagation of ageratum is cuttings used on overwintered long-flowered plants. Its meaning is that it is useless to collect seeds from plants of hybrid origin, since they are genetically heterogeneous, that is, the offspring will have splitting of traits. Therefore, many growers do this: in the fall, they dig up flowering bushes (like mother plants of chrysanthemums) and bring them into frost-free rooms, where ageratums continue to bloom all winter. In fact, ageratum turns into an ornamental flowering houseplant.
Likewise, it is grown all year round in greenhouses to be used for arranging bouquets or for cutting. In the spring, with the onset of March, ageratum is cut into cuttings and rooted at a temperature of + 18 … + 20 ° C. Rooting occurs very quickly, so in the second half of May it can be transplanted and arranged in a group flower garden or in a border.
Growing seedlings and planting in a flower bed
You can sow seeds in both February and March. Florists recommend simply sprinkling seeds on the surface of leveled and moistened soil and covering the box with foil or glass. For normal germination of ageratum, a temperature of + 16 … + 22 ° C and diffused lighting are sufficient. Seedlings appear quite quickly - usually already on the 6-7th day, however, ageratum can germinate within two weeks. When two or three real leaves grow, the plants dive, that is, they are planted according to the principle: one pot - one plant.
Young plants should be planted in the ground after the danger of frost has passed. They are placed at a distance of 15 to 25 cm, depending on the variety. It must be remembered that ageratum does not like soils richly filled with organic matter. In this case, he begins to vegetate strongly, and as a result, flowering is delayed. The dog flower prefers neutral or slightly alkaline soils.
Some flower growers suggest feeding ageratums every ten days, however, on sufficiently fertile soils, you can get by with 2-3 additional fertilizing per season. I noticed that the plants began to look most beautiful after foliar feeding with Siliplant micronutrient fertilizer.
Ageratums can be damaged by aphids, leaf and gall nematodes, spider mites, whiteflies, root rot, and cucumber mosaic virus can be affected. Against aphids, whiteflies and spider mites, you can fight with the biological product Fitoverm. The drug Narcissus partially helps from nematodes. For the prevention of root rot, it is advisable to use such biological products as Glyocladin (introduced into the hole during planting), Fitosporin-M, Alirin-B. Our table of goods for giving will help you to purchase them.
Alexander Zharavin Photo by the author and E. Valentinov