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Among the variety of flowers, it is sometimes difficult to decide which variety to buy for planting in the garden. You can pay attention to the ageratum. It is unpretentious to care for and is distinguished by long flowering flower. Planting and caring for the ageratum in the open field will be a pleasure.
Description and features
Ageratum is home to Central and North America. The flower is characterized by a long flowering period. Inflorescences bloom in early June and bloom until frost. Ageratum is a small spherical bush. Its height is up to 70 cm. Leaves are rich green, inflorescences are blue or purple, also pink and white. Inflorescences are small, with a rich aroma, collected in umbrellas.
Ageratum refers to unpretentious crops that are easy to grow. Flowers are planted at home for seedlings, and in spring they are transplanted into open ground.
Ageratum is planted mainly by seed method. The timing of planting seeds depends on the region of residence. In areas with early spring, seeds can be planted at the end of March. And in colder climates - in late February, early March.
For planting, you can use special soil for flower crops or prepare the soil mixture yourself. This will require:
- soil from the site;
- sod land;
Drainage is poured into the bottom of the box. The soil is watered with potassium permanganate or calcined to disinfect it. All other ingredients are mixed separately so that a homogeneous mass is obtained, and they are poured into the box. After that, you can start planting seeds.
How to plant
Planting seeds is pretty straightforward. Ageratum seed planting process:
- Make small grooves in the soil and fill in the seeds. It is better to plant planting material rarely, so that the seedlings do not interfere with each other's growth.
- Sprinkle the seeds lightly with soil.
- Sprinkle with plenty of warm water.
- Cover the box with cling film.
- The film is regularly removed to ventilate the soil, and the seeds are watered.
Shoots should appear in a few days. As soon as this happens, the cling film is removed. You do not need to cover the container, but with the help of cling film, you can create a greenhouse effect, and then the planting material will rise faster.
A pick is not always necessary to carry out. Especially if the bushes have enough space in the container. But if the seedlings are planted too close to each other, then they dive into separate pots. A pick is carried out after a couple of full-fledged leaves appear on the seedlings.
Seedlings are transplanted into peat pots filled with the same soil mixture as the seedling boxes. You can plant bushes in the ground with these pots.
Landing in open ground
The second stage of growing ageratum is transplanting into open ground. Before planting, you need to decide in advance how the plants will be planted in the flower bed.
When to plant
Planting of ageratum seedlings is carried out after warm weather is established on the street. This is the beginning of May. If the spring is cold, then the transplant can be postponed until it gets warmer and the soil warms up.
Ageratum prefers to grow on loose, well-drained soils. It is best if the acidity is neutral. It is not recommended to plant seedlings in stony soil with high humidity. Such conditions are conducive to the development of disease.
Plants are planted at a distance of 20-25 cm from each other. The holes are dug 10 cm deep and 5 cm wide.
Although ageratum belongs to unpretentious crops, you cannot do without care.
Watering the ageratum is recommended in the evening, after sunset. Or in the morning, while the sun's rays are not yet so active. Water every night if it's hot. Or 2-3 times a week if it rains regularly. Heated water is used for irrigation.
Loosening and weeding
It is enough to weed the beds with flowers once a week before watering. During weeding, all weeds are removed from the flower bed. It is not recommended to loosen the soil deeply so as not to damage the root system.
In the first half of the season, nitrogen-containing fertilizing is applied to the soil to stimulate the growth of seedlings. And when the ovaries begin to appear, the soil is watered with chicken droppings or manure diluted in water once every two weeks. It is not recommended to overfeed the plants, otherwise they will stop blooming.
At the bush, dry, yellowed leaves and old inflorescences are cut off. Sharp garden shears are used for pruning.
After flowering, the inflorescences are cut off. Ageratum belongs to perennial plants, therefore, before the onset of cold weather, the most beautiful and largest bushes are dug up and planted at home. And in the spring, you can again transplant the bushes onto the street.
Pinching is not required for the plant.
Diseases and pests
At the first sign of a disease or pest, it is important to take action.
Most often, when breeding a culture, one has to deal with rot. The disease develops in high humidity. The first sign is the appearance of black spots on plant parts. You can get rid of rot by spraying with Fundazol or Topaz. If these measures do not help, the bushes are dug up and thrown away, and the soil is disinfected.
The cucumber mosaic spreads through insects. The first sign of the appearance of cucumber rot is yellow spots. There is no cure for the disease. One can only prevent its appearance. Weeds are regularly removed from the site and the soil is weeded. You also need to immediately fight insects as soon as they appear in the flower bed.
In the southern regions, bacterial wilting is often encountered. The tissues of the infected bush begin to crack, active evaporation of moisture occurs, and turgor decreases. The leaves show yellow spots with a brown border.
A plant can be cured of bacterial wilting only at an early stage of its appearance. The bushes are treated with Coronet. Prevention is important to prevent the onset of disease. Weeds need to be removed and fed in a timely manner..
Determining the appearance of a whitefly is easy. If you touch the bushes, white midges begin to fly away. Insects feed on plant sap, as a result of which the bushes die. You can destroy the whitefly using the drugs "Actellic", "Aktara" or "Admiral".
A sign of the appearance of a spider mite is yellow dots. If there are many pests, then a white cobweb can be seen on the bushes. Pests are very tenacious and quickly adapt to chemicals, so they need to be alternated. For the fight are suitable drugs "Fufanon", "Fitoverm" and "Actellik".
Nematodes and scoops
The nematode affects the root system. It can be destroyed with Tiaz and Rogor preparations. Treating bushes with insecticides helps from scoops.
There are two ways to propagate a plant - seed and cuttings. Most often, when growing ageratum, the seed method is used.
Collection and storage of seeds
After pruning the inflorescence, you can harvest the seeds. The inflorescences are dried, and then the seeds are collected. They can be stored for 3-4 years, so it is not necessary to collect planting material every year. Store the seeds in the refrigerator.
By autumn, the bushes are dug up and transplanted into pots. In the spring, lateral branches are cut off at the very root of the plant. The length of the cutting should be at least 5 cm. The cuttings are planted in the ground and covered with a plastic bag to create a greenhouse effect. When the cuttings take root, the bag is removed.
There are many varieties of ageratum. The main difference between all species is the color of the inflorescences. Although the most common are purple or blue shades of flowers.
A low-growing variety, the height of the bushes is about 15-20 cm. The diameter of an adult bush is 25 cm. Inflorescences are of a snow-white shade, collected in panicles with small flowers. Refers to annuals. Prefers to grow in open, sunny areas.
The bushes belong to the low-growing type, grow up to 20 cm in height. Inflorescences of a blue hue, 1-2 cm in diameter. Flowering is long and abundant. The bush begins to bloom in June and ends with the onset of frost.
Houston's Ageratum, or as it is also called - Mexican, in its natural environment refers to perennials, but in our latitudes it is most often grown as an annual. The height of the bush can vary from 15 to 50 cm. Inflorescences are of different shades, but always monochromatic. On the basis of this variety, a large number of varieties of various shades have been bred.
An unusual variety with a shade that is not standard for the ageratum - red. Inflorescences in such varieties from pale pink to rich burgundy. The height of the bushes can be different and depends on the variety. Inflorescences are collected in spherical panicles.
There are dwarf plant varieties, the height of which does not exceed 15 cm. Such varieties can be of various shades. Suitable for growing in pots due to the small size of the bush.
Low-growing varieties grow in height from 15 to 25 cm. Shades of inflorescences can also be varied. Flowering is long, the bushes begin to bloom in July and end in October after the onset of frost.
Breeders have bred a large number of ageratum varieties, which differ in the shade of the inflorescences.
The inflorescences of this variety are white, the bush is compact, up to 20 cm high. The foliage is rich green.
The inflorescences of this variety are large, rich in blue.
Compact bush up to 30 cm high. Leaves are small. Inflorescences are dark pink, one flower 4-6 mm in diameter.
Blue Mink variety is distinguished by fluffy inflorescences of a blue hue. The bush is compact, up to 25 cm high. The flowering period is from July to October.
A tall variety, the bush grows to a height of 45 cm. Inflorescences are blue-blue.
Bushes grow up to 25 cm. Inflorescences can be from snow-white to deep blue.
The inflorescences of this variety are white or purple. The variety belongs to dwarf, it grows up to 20 cm in height.
The height of the bush is from 30 to 70 cm. Inflorescences up to 3 cm in diameter, blue with a rich aroma.
Inflorescences of the variety White ball of a snow-white shade, spherical in shape. Bushes 25-30 cm high.
The bushes are compact, flowers of a rich pink hue.
Low-growing variety, the height of the bushes is 15-20 cm. Inflorescences are sky-blue.
The Leda variety is distinguished by a two-color inflorescence color.
Inflorescences of a rich red hue, bushes up to 35 cm high.
Scarlet flowers with a rich aroma. Bushes are undersized, up to 35 cm high.
Inflorescences are red. Bushes up to 40 cm high.
Inflorescences are yellow. The bush is undersized, it grows up to 15 cm in height.
When growing any flower crops, even the most unpretentious, problems can arise.
Errors when growing ageratum:
- Apply a large amount of nitrogen-containing fertilizers to the soil (excess nitrogen leads to the fact that the bush does not bloom, but it increases the deciduous mass). In addition, the plant has a reduced immunity to diseases.
- Ignore pruning (regular pruning of faded inflorescences promotes the appearance of lateral stems, making the bush more lush).
- Improper watering (excess and lack of moisture negatively affects the growth of the bushes).
With proper care, ageratum can be grown for more than one year.
Use in landscape design
Ageratum is notable for its versatile use in landscape design. The plant goes well with almost all flowers, including tall flowers and shrubs. Ageratum is also used to decorate city flower beds.