Experienced gardeners rarely arrange compositions only from perennials, since their decorativeness cannot last the entire season. Combined flower beds look much more spectacular, in which annual and perennial plants with different flowering periods coexist. Such a flower bed is beautiful all season until the frost, especially if it contains annuals blooming for 3 months or more. One of these spectacular plants is the phlox drummond. If you like the place, it forms a short, lush bush, covered with flowers so much that you cannot see the leaves. Consider the full cycle of work that a plant requires: growing from seeds, planting and care rules.
Phlox drummondii was brought to Europe from Texas. Phlox - translated as flame, drummondii - from the name of the English traveler Henry Drummond, who for the first time sent the seeds of this plant from the United States to England and thus opened a new flower for Europeans.
Most phlox are perennials. But, unlike Drummond, they are tall, so it is difficult to use perennials in borders, ridges or rock gardens. But their one-year-old brother does not grow above half a meter, and the bulk of the varieties are about 30 cm. The diameter of the flower is 2 cm, but it does not seem small, since the flowers are collected in corymbose or umbrella-shaped inflorescences, which give a beautiful shape to the bush. The plant blooms for a long time, from June to late autumn.
The shape of the flowers of the annual phlox Drummond is much more spectacular and more diverse than that of the paniculate perennial “fellows”, for which gardeners love it.
The cultivars differ in the shape of the flower, each petal and the color of the plant. The most popular ones are:
The color range of the plant is huge: from pure white tones to blue-lilac. The most common are salmon and pastel varieties.
The Tetra Riesen variety has a tetraploid set of chromosomes (doubled), which is why the plant has a large flower shape and high survival rate in any conditions
In order for the flowering to last as long as possible and be plentiful, he needs to choose the right place in the garden. The annual tolerates heat and drought well, so it can be planted in open areas where there is no shade. The plant successfully withstands the first frosts. Frost spoils only the petals of flowers, while the rest of the aerial part remains green. When the air temperature rises, flowering will continue until the onset of consistently low night temperatures.
But there are two factors that harm the development of Drummond phlox. These are heavy and too light sandy soils. The former accumulate a lot of moisture, which is why the root system of the annual is affected by all kinds of rot. If the earth is too light, unable to retain moisture, then in hot summer it overheats, which also negatively affects the roots of the plant. Therefore, when preparing a flower garden, it is necessary to adjust the composition of the soil by introducing the appropriate components (peat, humus, humus, etc.).
The plant is able to bloom continuously from early June to October if it is fed on time and the flowers are removed after they have withered
Phlox can be planted in two ways: by seeds in the ground or by seedlings grown on a windowsill. The first option saves the summer resident from the extra hassle of caring for seedlings, but growing seedlings at home speeds up the flowering time. Already in June, young plants begin to bloom.
If you do not have the opportunity or time to grow the plant on the windowsill, sow it with seeds directly into the soil.
The first days of May is the best time for sowing. Make shallow grooves, spill them, and wait for the moisture to absorb. Seeds are laid out in 2-3 pieces at one point, leaving a distance of 15 cm between plantings. If all 3 seeds rise in the nest, the weak ones are pinched off.
Until the moment of entry (and this lasts about two weeks), planting must be covered with lutrasil or spunbond so that moisture is kept in the soil. As soon as the sprouts have appeared, the soil is loosened, excess plants are removed and liquid nitrogen fertilization is applied. After a week, nitrogen fertilization is repeated.
When flower buds begin to form, complex fertilizers are applied (2-3 times per season). Drummond's first flowers will appear in July.
As soon as flower buds begin to form in the center of the phlox, feed the plant with a complex of fertilizers to add strength for lush flowering
In addition to spring sowing, you can plant a flower before winter, since its seeds are distinguished by good frost resistance. But there is one caveat - with prolonged thaws, the seeds may start to grow in advance, and then they will be spoiled by the returned frosts. To prevent this from happening, autumn sowing is carried out only after the last leaf has fallen from the cherry tree (this is a folk omen!). If positive temperatures accidentally return, the flower garden is covered with a non-woven material so that it does not thaw under the rays of the sun. As soon as the weather turns cold again, the shelter is removed.
If the winter is warm in your area, it is better to sow phlox at the end of December - January. To do this, in the fall, half a bucket of black soil is left in the utility room. Heavy snowfalls are expected in December so that the ground is completely hidden under the snow. They carefully trample the rows in which the plants will be sown, and poke 3-4 seeds into one nest.
Sprinkle the seeds with dry black earth, and throw a layer of snow (at least 20 cm) on top with a shovel. Under such a blanket of snow, flowers doze until spring and begin to awaken around April.
When planting seeds directly into the ground, the first phlox flowers will bloom by the end of May, and in cold areas - after June 10
To enjoy the flowering bushes at the end of May, you will have to tinker with the seedlings:
Flowering when planting seedlings begins at the end of May. If you remove wilted inflorescences in time and carry out regular complex fertilizing, then there will be no breaks between flowering waves. For good ventilation of the roots, loosening is carried out at least once a week.
Do not expose newly hatched plants on the windowsill, otherwise the bright sun can burn young leaves and slow down development.
The appearance of two real leaves is a signal that phlox should be cut into separate seedling pots filled with nutritious soil
Start feeding with nitrogen fertilizers only after the plant takes root in the soil and releases several new leaves
If you have mastered the rules of planting and caring for plants bought in stores, you can stock up on your own seeds in the fall.
The first step is to notice in some way during flowering each variety. You can stick self-adhesive price tags on the stem, which are sold in rollers, by writing on each variety number (and indicating in a separate notebook which variety goes under which number). Some gardeners knit ribbons or threads of different colors on the stems.
It's good if at the time of planting store seeds you pay attention to the packaging information. Plants marked F1 are not suitable for future seed collection, as they are hybrids. They will never grow flowers similar to the variety from which you collected them. But as an experiment, you can plant the seeds collected from the hybrids somewhere in an inconspicuous place on the site. It happens that flowers grow with an extraordinary color or shape of petals that do not retain the characteristics of the variety, but in themselves are quite spectacular.
It is almost impossible to obtain high-quality seed material at home from F1 hybrids or tetraploid varieties, since the seeds do not retain the characteristics of a “parent”
Plant the bags without F1 marking separately so that you can collect seeds from these plants later. When blooming, sweep the most lush and well-blooming phlox. They will make good seed material.
The seeds of the plant ripen almost all at the same time, therefore, after shedding the petals, you can cut the plant at the root and lay it for ripening in a warm room (23-25 degrees) without direct sunlight.
It is better to choose a dry sunny day for collecting seeds. Cutting is done in the afternoon, so that the morning dew is completely dry on the petals.
Prepared flowers are laid out on sheets of newspaper, each variety separately, and left to dry. As a rule, the green mass dries completely in 3 weeks. To dry evenly, you need to mix the flowers periodically. The signal that the phlox is completely dry is a dry stem, which easily breaks in the hands.
Then proceed as follows:
After all the above steps, the peeled seeds are scattered into paper or cloth bags, signing where which variety is, and hidden in a dry, dark place for storage.
Experienced gardeners know that flowering can be extended by up to a month with the following tricks:
In terms of the brightness of the color and the original shape of the flowers, Drummond's phlox is not inferior to such recognized annual beauties as petunias, salvias, asters. Just one packet of seeds will transform the flower bed beyond recognition!
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Annual phlox has the greatest variety of shades, shapes and varieties. They can be star-shaped or terry, blue, white, cream or different shades of red.
One of the best annuals is the Drummond phlox, which is native to Texas. The plant is branched bush, the height of which can be from 12 to 30 cm. Its opposite leaves are oval-lanceolate. Fragrant flowers can be salmon, yellow, white, dark red or purple.
The most popular varieties of Drummond annual phlox are:
Experienced florists are happy to replenish garden collections with both perennial and annual specimens of these plants, which adorn the landscape with lush color and are considered unpretentious to grow.
They have one interesting feature. Of the 50 species, only one - Drummond's phlox - is an annual, the rest are perennial. Accordingly, their roots and rhizomes live for a year or several years, but each year after the completion of flowering, the above-ground parts (stems and leaves) die off. Here are just annuals, in contrast to perennial species, will have to be sown again. Perhaps plant seedlings.
Currently, among the cultivated species of phlox, erect and shrub types are distinguished. Their flowers can be of different shapes, and the inflorescences consist of 90 pieces of five-petal cups. The seed is stored in a box shaped like an oval cylinder.
Phlox Drummond has two subspecies:
Contrary to the long-held belief that growing annual phlox seeds from seeds is a hopeless business, gardeners still managed to develop the correct planting technique without burying the flower seed into the ground.
Important: seeds sprout on top of the ground in good light.
It is interesting that the Drummond variety is the only one of the annuals, which, like perennial phlox, due to its high frost resistance, makes it possible for gardeners to sow it before winter, that is, in November.
1. Phlox annuals - growing from seeds, when to plant and how: basic rules.
A flower grown from a seed has the best adaptability to soil, changes in climatic conditions. The disadvantage of this method is the likelihood of loss of the characteristics of the variety.
Seed sowing algorithm (for seedlings):
In addition, in the room where the container with seeds is located, you need to maintain the air temperature at + 21 ° C, and the humidity is slightly above normal (the norm is from 40% to 60%). When shoots appear, as well as to harden the shoots and prevent them from stretching, the film is removed. The humidity and temperature are gradually reduced, the seedlings are watered a little more often.
The best place to grow flower seedlings is the windowsill. You just need not to be lazy and turn the container in different directions to the Sun so that the sprouts do not stretch too much.
In general, the agricultural technology for growing annual phlox, planting and caring for them is not very time consuming:
2. Methods of growing from seeds of terry annual phlox.
Phlox Chanel is an annual with peach-colored double flowers, similar to miniature roses, with a wonderful aroma. During the flowering period, the bush is a true decoration of flower beds, borders. It can be planted in flowerpots, balcony boxes. Suitable for cutting. It begins to bloom from the end of June until frost. For seedlings, seeds are sown in late March / early April or immediately in open ground - in May. Moreover, flowers sown in the ground grow faster, and begin to bloom simultaneously with those grown from seedlings. The distance between the seedlings when planting is 20 cm.
Caring for a terry annual is weeding, loosening, fertilizing with fertilizers, but not with fresh manure. During prolonged drought, plants need to be watered.
3. The order of growing from phlox seeds "Twinkling Star".
Wonderful phlox with star-shaped flowers and a unique aroma cannot be confused with other varieties. Its inflorescences of a beautiful bright color with a diameter of 10 cm are evenly scattered over a low bush.
A favorable time for sowing seeds of this variety is March. To do this, you need to prepare seedling boxes with soil. Planting depth of flower seeds - 0.5 cm. Soil temperature - + 18 ° C. If these rules are observed, seedlings can be expected to appear on days 7-14.
In order for the seedlings of the "Twinkling Star" variety to grow strong, it is necessary to maintain a moderate temperature and humidity in the room with the seedlings. Planting flower seedlings in the ground is carried out in May. At this time, you can already sow seeds in an open area.
Advice: the seeds should lie in water for about a day, but not more than 30 hours.
Seeds purchased from specialized stores have already been treated against fungal infections. But this does not prevent gardeners from soaking the seed in a solution of potassium permanganate for 30 minutes.
This method does not save from the attack of pests, they are in the ground. For phlox Drummond, filamentous worms, caterpillars, slugs are dangerous. For the fight, wood ash, tobacco chips, lime and chemicals are used. It is best to treat the garden bed before planting the seedlings with special preparations according to the instructions.