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Agapanthus is not a very popular plant in Russia, although it has a number of advantages. Having got acquainted with its features, we acquire a remarkable representative of South Africa for the collection of ornamental plants in our house or summer residence.
It will perfectly fit into any flower bed or garden. Care and planting of Agapanthus is not difficult, it allows you to create bright flower beds in the country and at home.
Agapanthus (lat.Agapanthus; agape - love, anthos - flower) is a herbaceous perennial of the Agapantov family.
A plant with a fleshy rhizome that guarantees survival under unfavorable conditions. The leaves are simple, linear, dense, forming a rosette. Flowers on a long leafless peduncle (04-1.4 m) in an umbrella inflorescence. The color of the corollas varies from white to blue-purple, 5 cm in size, inflorescence of 20-200 pieces. Different varieties bloom from June to mid-October. Box fruits ripen one month after flowering.
In cut agapanthus remains fresh for 2 weeks, in a dry bouquet it retains its color.
Agapanthus is known by other names that indicate its meaning:
- Flower of Love.
- Love flower.
- African (Nile) lily.
- Abyssinian beauty.
Where does it come from, history of origin
Originally a plant from the Cape region (South Africa)... In nature, it grows on dry mountain slopes, on the coast. The native climate resembles the Mediterranean, with seasons-antipodes: in winter (June-August) precipitation, temperature 0-12C, summer (December-February) dry and hot + 25-35C.
The Abyssinian beauty was brought to Europe in the 17th century; today it is familiar to European countries with a mild climate. Introduced in the Soviet Union during the formation of arboretums and botanical gardens (50-60s of the last century).
The plant attracts attention with large (up to 25 cm in diameter) openwork umbrellas of white, blue, blue, lilac color against the background of dense bright green of elastic leaves.
Agapanthus blooms profusely and for a long time from early summer to autumn, forming 10-15 peduncles in one outlet.
Views from photo
The genus Agapanthus includes 9 species... They cross readily to form numerous forms and varieties.
African agapanthus (umbrella) (Agapanthus africanus/umbellatus) is the most common evergreen perennial among representatives of the genus. Leaves are linear (30-60 cm), dense, narrow (2 cm). Umbrellas of 20-40 white, blue, lilac, blue flowers with long pedicels on a high peduncle (1 m). Abundant flowering, from July to mid-September. Many varieties have been bred, differing in leaf color, size, shape and number of flowers in the inflorescence.
Agapanthus campanulatus - deciduous herb... Leaves are linear (10-15 cm), erect. The flowers are bell-shaped, blue. Blooms in July-August. The ground part dies off for the winter.
Eastern agapanthus (early) (Agapanthus orientalis / praecox) is an evergreen perennial. Leaves are abundant, curved (60-75 cm), wide (5 cm). Peduncles (60 cm) with bright blue flowers of 50-100 pieces in loose umbrellas are numerous. Bloom from mid-July to late August. The plant is large, a large pot is required, it is planted in the ground at a distance of 70-80 cm from each other. In the southern regions of Russia, they can winter in the ground.
Closed agapanthus (Agapanthus inapertus) is a deciduous perennial. Leaves with a bluish bloom, wide (6 cm), belt-like. Peduncle up to 1.5 m, teardrop-shaped flowers, large, drooping, non-opening, color bright purple or dark blue. Late flowering plant (August - mid October).
How to properly care for a house and garden plant?
Agapanthus is photophilous, drought-resistant, unpretentious... Spring-summer corresponds to a period of intensive growth and flowering, autumn-winter is a period of dormancy. Knowing its features, it is easy to get a flowering plant in a room culture, in a summer cottage.
A room with windows facing south is the best fit for the placement of the Abyssinian beauty. Refrain from direct sunlight. A plant pot is suitable for a plastic or clay, wide, spacious enough.
- humus - 2 parts;
- clay-sod land - 2 parts;
- leaf land - 2 parts;
- sand - 1 part.
Good drainage is essential. Agapanthus is watered abundantly in spring and summer, in autumn watering is reduced, in winter it is almost stopped: December-February, little by little, once every 10 days.
In winter, after watering, to prevent root decay, the water from the sump is drained without fail.
During the rest period, a decrease in temperature to 6-12C is required (this is the temperature on the windowsill near the glass). Not sensitive to drafts. It tolerates dry air calmly, you do not need to spray. In the spring, agapanthus is put on the balcony, in the garden, where it blooms profusely, in the fall, it is returned to the room.
In April-August, top dressing is recommended once every 2 weeks, alternately with a 1% solution of complete mineral fertilizer and a mash of organic fertilizer. Reacts to care by increasing flowering.
Agapanthus does not like transplants. The plant is transplanted no more than 1 time in 4-5 years, if, due to the tightness of the pot, the flowering intensity decreases. The right time for transplanting is spring (before flowering), autumn (after flowering).
In the open field
Only in the southern regions of Russia do they plant agapanthus and care for it in the open field, but even there it should be covered for the winter with coniferous spruce branches, fallen leaves (with a layer of 20-30 cm). The plant will easily endure the winter if the soil temperature does not drop below + 10C.
In most of the territory of our country agapanthus as a landscape gardening culture is grown in containersexposing the plant to the garden in the summer, storing it in the fall. This method of growing protects the Abyssinian beauty from the injuries of regular transplantation, makes it possible to use the plant in landscape design.
The area for the exposure of agapanthus is chosen light, windless, shading is permissible for a short time. Plants are placed at a distance from each other (50-70 cm).
Agapanthus will not bloom in partial shade.
How to grow and propagate?
By growing a new plant from a part of an old one, they retain the characteristics and qualities of the mother plant. If you want to get new lines, varieties are gaining patience and growing seedlings from seeds.
Growing agapanthus from seeds in the garden and at home requires hard work and time. - a plant sown with a seed will bloom only after 5 years. Seeds are planted in March-April.
- Seed preparation - soak in water for 4 hours, spray with a biostimulant (Epin).
- Greenhouse preparation - fill a small container with a 1: 1 mixture of leaf earth and sand.
- Sowing - do not deepen the seeds, sprinkle with earth on top, spray with water (from a spray bottle).
- Greenhouse effect - cover the container with glass, put it on a sunny windowsill.
- Airing - 1-2 times a day, the glass is removed for 30 minutes, the ground is sprayed with water and again covered with glass.
- Seating - when 3-4 leaves appear, the seedlings are transplanted into nutrient soil.
Growing directly from seed is easy, but the plants will not mature until the sixth year.
As the agapanthus grows, the pot becomes small, it becomes necessary to transplant the plant. At the same time, the plant is propagated vegetatively - by dividing the bush (mother plant). This is done either in the spring before the appearance of peduncles, or in the fall after the end of flowering.
- The day before transplanting, water the plant (the soil becomes slightly damp, but not wet).
- Gently remove the plant from the pot along with the earthy clod, carefully release the roots.
- Remove old roots.
- Using a clean, sharp knife, cut the rhizome into pieces so that each piece contains leaves, buds and roots.
- Sprinkle the slices with crushed charcoal or treat with a dark pink solution of potassium permanganate (brilliant green).
- Dry the cut (2-3 days), cover the remaining intact roots with a damp cloth.
- Place a seedling with a dried cut in a new spacious pot with moderately moist fertile soil:
- sod land - 4 parts;
- humus - 2 parts;
- peat - 1 part;
- sand - 1 part.
- Pots with transplanted plants are placed in the shade for 3-4 days. Do not overmoisten!
The plant is difficult to tolerate transplantation, therefore, it is advisable to combine transplantation and reproduction by dividing the bush.
Diseases and pests
- Often agapanthus suffers from excessive watering: yellow leaves appear - they reduce watering.
- If the peduncles began to stretch, the plant does not have enough light.
- The leaves began to dry and fall off - this is a signal of an attack by a scale insect or a spider mite. The scabbard can be seen or detected by the sweet secretions on the leaves, and the presence of a mite is indicated by a cobweb on the leaves or flower bases. This happens when the air is too dry. If it was possible to catch the onset of infection, it will be enough to treat the plant with soapy water.
- Spraying with karbofos will help get rid of the scale insect.
- For ticks - Actellik solution (15-20 drops / liter of water).
After a week, the procedure should be repeated using any insecticide according to the instructions (Aktar, Fitoverm).
Agapanthus is unpretentious and responsive. It is a flowering plant with a wide variety of forms and varieties. The plant will equally successfully decorate the interior of a residential building and will act as the basis for a flower arrangement in a garden or summer cottage, gracefully refresh bouquets of cut flowers and dry bouquets.