An interesting peculiar flower of mesembryanthemum is a rare guest in the suburban areas of Russians. And his name is unpronounceable and seeds are not easy to find.
But it deserves the attention of flower growers - it is very simple to grow a highly decorative plant. Planting and caring for him is much easier than remembering and pronouncing his botanical name.
Description and features of mesembryanthemum
The midday flower - that is how the complex name translates - comes from South Africa. Grow it as a biennial or annual. This is a succulent from the Aizov family.
Depending on the species, these can be low shrubs, creeping or creeping ground covers. Height is up to 15 cm.
The leaves are usually green, with the next arrangement at the top of the stems and the opposite at the bottom. They are covered with unusual growths similar to dew drops, for which the mesembriantemum is called a glass daisy, crystal grass.
Corollas in shape and size resemble daisies, but they amaze with a variety of colors - white, bright yellow, raspberry, two-tone. Inflorescences are located in a single order or brush.
Like any succulent, a midday flower easily tolerates heat and lack of moisture. In cloudy or rainy weather, the corollas remain closed - it is for this feature that the plant got its name. Crystal grass is grown in open ground and in pots as a one- or two-year-old culture.
Types and varieties of mesembryanthemum: Harlequin, Sparkle and others
Botanists have about 50 species of exotics, differing in height, color and shape of inflorescences, the degree of decorative leaves.
|Hair-flowering, or dorotenanthus daisy||Annual|
|Green, fleshy, with growths. 3-4-centimeter corollas are painted with saturated shades of pink or orange.|
|The colors of the grass are young with a pinkish-bronze hue. Yellow with a core of bright red.|
|Fleshy with wavy edges and crystalline lens hairs. The color of leaves and flowers depends on the variety.|
|Grassy, or tricolor||Annual|
|The stems have a reddish tint. Petals from thick pink in the center to carmine pink at the edges through the white middle.|
|Green, bronzing when cold. Up to 4 cm in diameter are golden, orange, red or purple.|
Growing mesembryanthemum at home
Most exotics feel good indoors. Like indoor flowers, tiger or white species are often grown. The basic rules for the maintenance and care of plants are summarized in a table.
|Factor||Spring Summer||Autumn winter|
|Lighting||Bright, it is preferable to arrange the pots in a southerly direction.||The maximum possible bright.|
|Temperature||Any.||+ 10 ... +12 ° С.|
|Top dressing||Every 2 weeks with complex fertilizers for indoor flowers.||Do not feed.|
|Watering||Moderate, after drying of the soil in the tank by 60-70%.||At rest they refuse.|
|Humidity||It doesn’t matter, you can spray it in the heat.||Irrelevant.|
Potted cultivars are transplanted every year in spring. At the same time, they try to replace the largest possible part of the soil mixture.
Reproduction and planting of mesembryanthemum in open ground
Crystal grass is propagated by seeds and cuttings. Both methods are easily implemented by novice gardeners.
For cuttings in autumn, choose the most healthy, strong bushes and move them for the winter in a darkened room, where the temperature is maintained at +10 ° С. In March, cuttings are cut from the mother liquors and rooted in a light substrate half consisting of sand. The containers are exposed to a well warm, lit place, the soil is moistened moderately.
Rooting takes place quickly, by the beginning of May, each stalk forms a small neat bush. Toward the end of spring, young plants are planted in flower beds, rockeries, on alpine hills
Growing mesembryanthemum from seeds
The usual way to grow a midday flower. In the south of the country, you can sow immediately in open ground when the final heat is established. The soil in the flower garden should be light, moderately fertile, preferably sandy loam. A thick layer of drainage of their pebble and broken brick is poured under it.
The place is chosen so that most of the day it is lit by the sun, it is protected from the north-north-west winds.
Seeds are laid out along the grooves, sprinkled with earth. When the seedlings grow a little, leave the strongest, the rest are removed. At the same time, they make sure that the distance between the seedlings is at least 20 cm. If promising sprouts have formed more densely, they are carefully planted.
In cool regions, seed cultivation is carried out in seedlings, sowing in early spring:
- Seedling boxes are filled with a light substrate. Seeds are scattered on the surface and closed slightly squeezed, not falling asleep.
- The crops are moistened, the box is covered with polyethylene or plexiglass. Expose to a well-lit place with a temperature of +12 ° C.
- Before the emergence of seedlings, watering is carried out sparingly, use a finely dispersed sprayer.
- When the seedlings get stronger and form two full leaf plates, they are planted in separate containers and transferred to a cooler room (t + 10 °).
- Humidify moderately, seedlings do not need fertilizers.
Young plants are planted in open ground when the threat of nighttime temperature drops to zero has completely passed.
The timing of planting mesembryanthemum seeds
The timing of planting glass chamomile is determined depending on the climate and real weather conditions. In the warmer southern regions, suitable dates begin in April.
Seedlings are sown with the expectation that by the time of transplanting to flower beds, and this happens no earlier than mid-May in a temperate climate, seedlings are at least 2 months old.
How to plant mesembryanthemum
Overgrown mature seedlings are planted in open ground when the night temperature does not drop below + 10 ° C.
Plots for exot are first prepared: they are dug up, a large amount of sand, peat, expanded clay or small gravel is added to heavy soil to improve drainage properties.
Immediately before the transplantation, they dig out holes commensurate with the earthen coma in seedling containers. The distance between the holes can withstand at least 15 cm. Young plants are carefully removed and placed in the pits along with the substrate. Empty places fill the soil, slightly tamping.
At the end of the process, the flowers are watered, and if necessary, they add soil to prevent the roots from being exposed.
When planting a variety of varieties of mesembryanthemum on a garden plot, they must follow the rule: different species must be isolated from each other.
How to care for mesembryanthemum in the garden
The main thing for glass chamomile is a properly chosen place, constantly lit by the sun, with good drainage. In this case, the plant needs minimal care:
Watering is moderate. If heavy rains have passed, the flowers are not watered until the earth is completely dry.
They feed twice a month with complex fertilizers for flowering plants of Agricola, Kemira or similar.
Subject to all conditions, crystal grass actively blooms and grows, almost completely decorating the soil allocated to her site with a colorful carpet.
Mesembryantemum in winter
A lover of African heat can not stand the cold at all, he dies even at zero temperature. Therefore, even before the onset of cold weather, plants are carefully dug up and transplanted into pots or containers. Until spring, they are kept at a temperature not lower than +5 ° С - in a heated greenhouse, greenhouse, and other bright, cool rooms.
Pests and diseases of mesembryanthemum
The midday flower has a natural immunity to typical diseases of garden flowers. If the irrigation regime is violated, namely, an excess of moisture, root decay is possible.
Of the pests, crystal grass can be threatened by a spider mite - a lover of dry air. When it appears, plants are treated with acaricides. As a preventive measure, spraying with infusion of garlic husks is used.