Video: We Grow Indoor Heliotrope Hybrid - Heliotropium Hibridium - Species And Varieties Of Heliotrope
According to the horoscope, the zodiac sign of Libra (September 23 - October 23) is accompanied by plants - large-crested pineapple, Japanese azalea (white), Chinese rose, Japanese fatsia, chrysanthemum, fiery red kufeya, wavy cross-leaf, capsicum pepper, codiaum, truncated zygocactus and heliotrope …
Recently, the popularity of heliotrope has increased somewhat, although most gardeners have not remembered about it for literally several decades. They began to cultivate it again as both a garden and a houseplant.
Heliotrope is characterized by a very original feature. Its flowers, located on the plant like sunflower inflorescences, turn after the sun, which is reflected in the name of the plant: translated from Greek "helios" means "sun", and "tropein" means "to turn".
It is no coincidence that the most famous type of this open field culture - the Peruvian heliotrope (Heliotropium peruvianum), which is widespread in Peru and Ecuador, because of this feature, was named "Peruvian sunflower". Some authors combine this species into one with the treelike heliotrope (H. arborescens) and corymbosum heliotrope (H. corymbosum), others tend to separate them.
In the natural conditions of South America, the Peruvian heliotrope is a highly branched shrub with leaves covered with stiff hairs and lignified branches, at the ends of which are inflorescences of small purple flowers that look like petunia flowers. For the sake of these flowers, emitting an excellent smell, reminiscent of vanilla and thus attracting numerous insects, this group of plants is bred.
Under indoor conditions, Peruvian heliotrope grows in the form of a small plant (25-30 cm high), but you can get a tall bush and even a standard tree, into which it can turn over time (in 3-4 years) in the absence of pruning, since in a year its shoots give several centimeters of growth.
Heliotrope blooms all summer, but if during this period the flowering is limited by cutting off the tops of the shoots, then one inflorescence will appear on the annual growth in winter. Immediately after flowering, it is removed in order for new branches to appear, ending in an inflorescence.
According to various experts, in the genus Heliotropium (the family of borage Boraginaceae), there are from 200 to 250 species of annual herbaceous or shrubs (more or less thermophilic) growing in South America and Europe, of which only some shrub species are preferred when grown.
Some American species have found application in the development of cultivars with large flowers of various colors, which later became widespread on other continents. There are also wild species of heliotrope in Europe - for example, short (about 20 cm) European (H.europaeum) and prostrate (H. supinum), with small but very fragrant flowers.
In indoor floriculture from shrub forms of greatest interest is the hybrid H. hibridium heliotrope, obtained from the crossing of H. corymlosum and H. perwianum. The hybrid heliotrope in a pot culture reaches a height and diameter of 30-50 cm (in the open field it can grow up to 1.5 m). It has wrinkled, oblong, dark green leaves. Small, very fragrant flowers (from dark purple to white) in inflorescences-shields appear in spring and autumn, but it is able to bloom all year round.
Since heliotrope is photophilous, a warm and bright room (even with open sun for several hours) may be optimal for its maintenance. At the same time, the plant is protected from direct sunlight, due to which its leaves acquire a purple hue (even burns may appear on them).
In the shade, the heliotrope decays quickly. Although this plant is thermophilic, it can be kept at normal room temperature. For winter maintenance, heliotrope is recommended to select the brightest place. It should be borne in mind: in order for the heliotrope to bloom early, in winter they withstand a temperature of 15 … 16 ° С (minimum 7 … 10 ° С).
Indoor heliotrope is very sensitive to outdoor cold, so in summer it is taken out to a balcony, loggia or veranda only with the final onset of the warm season, when the danger of frost has passed, but even before taking it out, it is advised to temper the plant.
During the active growing season, heliotrope is watered abundantly (the upper layer is moderately moist), and high humidity is provided. However, it must be borne in mind that with excess moisture in the soil, the roots easily rot; this happens especially often in winter when the room temperature is low, although watering is severely limited (but in winter, the soil should be constantly moist if the room temperature is above 18 ° C). From May to September, every ten days, top dressing is done with a very highly diluted solution of liquid fertilizer.
Plants are transferred in the spring, trying to preserve the entire earthen lump during the transfer. Young plants are transplanted more often (as they grow), while the volume of each new container is increased by only one size larger than the previous one. Experts advise pinching the tips of the upper shoots from transplanted plants.
Greenhouse soil rich in nutrients or leafy soil is used as soil, adding sand to it. In heavy soil, the root system suffers and the plant does not develop well. At the bottom of the flower pot, during transplantation, drainage must be arranged.
Heliotrope begins to feed when the day arrives noticeably (end of February), and ends at the end of summer. For this purpose, a solution of a complete complex fertilizer is used (once every 2 weeks), this is not done in winter.
The stems of old large specimens become bare as a result of the natural process of leaf fall, therefore, as they age, heliotrope decreases its decorative effect. Therefore, the shoots of the plant are constantly pinched or anti-aging pruning is carried out in a timely manner.
Heliotrope is propagated by seeds and green cuttings (8-10 cm long), which can be cut in July, September or February. Cuttings are planted in a box with a mixture of peat and sand, covered with foil and kept in a shaded place.
It can be kept unheated (at a temperature not lower than 15 … 16 ° С), but with soil heating of the pots (from below) at 21 … 23 ° С, the cuttings take root more quickly (the root system is then formed in 2-3 weeks). Cuttings should be sprayed frequently. After rooting, each of them is transplanted into a separate small container (10 cm in diameter), later - a little larger, in May - finally.
Seeds of heliotrope are sown in February-March in a container with nutrient soil (temperature 16 … 18 ° C), and after 3-4 weeks shoots are clearly visible, which immediately after emergence dive into small pots.
Young seedlings are sometimes planted in several pieces in one container in order to quickly get a fairly bushy plant. Some growers cultivate heliotrope in combination with other crops. For example, Saintpaulia and Pelargonium look good next to the magnificent purple heliotrope inflorescences. However, when they are kept together, the tendency of each plant to the conditions of keeping in such a composition (first of all, to the moisture of the soil substrate) is taken into account.
The most common varieties of hybrid heliotrope are called Florence Nightingale - with mauve flowers, Lemoines Giant - with large purple flowers and Marina - with bluish-purple flowers.
Due to the incorrect content of heliotrope, physiological diseases sometimes occur. If there is stretching of the stems, strong lightening (even yellowing) of the leaves and the lack of flowering, then the reason for this is a lack of light or too high temperature in winter.
The dry ambient air also contributes to the drying and curling of the tips and edges of the leaves, so the plant must be sprayed in the summer (on sunny days this is not done due to fear of burning the foliage or the plant is shaded).
To correct this condition, the heliotrope is transferred to a cooler (12 … 15 ° C), but lighted place. By the way, spraying the leaves in winter reduces their shedding if the room temperature is elevated.
With an excess of moisture in the soil coma, the soil in the pot becomes acidic, as a result of which the lower leaves turn yellow and fall off. To improve the well-being of the plant, watering is urgently stopped, and after some drying out of the earthy coma, the plant is transplanted into fresh soil.
But even with excessive drying of the earthen coma, the leaves wilt and fall off. In order to quickly and efficiently nourish the soil and root system with moisture, the pot is dipped into water directly with the plant.
With prolonged maintenance of the plant in a cold and damp room, spots of a fungal disease (gray rot) may appear on the leaves and stems. In this case, the affected parts of the plant are removed, transferred to a well-lit windowsill of a warm room and treated with a fungicide solution.
When the tips of cuttings and the root system of seedlings decay due to fungal disease during the propagation of the culture, such plants are removed, and healthy ones are transplanted into fresh soil and properly looked after.
At low air humidity in a warm room, spider mites may appear on the underside of the leaves. The settling of a plant with mobile individuals of this pest is determined using a magnifying glass, as well as by the presence of a thin delicate cobweb and empty molted skins. With severe damage, the leaves turn yellow.
It is necessary to remove such leaves, and the remaining ones should be treated with insecticides (0.2% aqueous solution of neorone or actellic). Aphids sometimes settle on young leaves, causing their deformation. If its individuals are single, they are destroyed by mechanical collection by hand, with a high population - by treatment with any of these preparations.
If small white midges flutter around the plant, and the leaves become sticky, this means that they are inhabited by a whitefly. Severely damaged leaves are removed with scissors, and the plant is treated with actellik.