Rudbeckia - a flower that dwarves love
If you believe one of the legends, a beautiful rudbeckia is a favorite flower of gnomes. But not only these little fabulous creatures, but also the most ordinary gardeners appreciate her. How to grow such a plant? It's very simple, so you can do it, even if you are a beginner.
What is this plant?
Rudbeckia is an annual, biennial or perennial plant belonging to the Astrov family. Stems are straight or slightly branched, they can reach a height of 80 centimeters, although in some species they are longer. The leaves are pinnately divided, whole, have a dark green color. The flowers are bright yellow or orange with dark cores and small petals. They are somewhat reminiscent of small suns, and therefore are often used for garden decoration.
North America is considered the birthplace of the plant, and the first settlers almost immediately turned their attention to these bright flowers, giving them the saying name “Black-eyed Suzanne”, which is associated with dark hearts of flowers.After some time, the seeds were brought to Europe, and there the flower began to spread further. The history of the name in the modern version is connected with Karl Linnaeus - a Swedish naturalist who decided to perpetuate the names of his compatriots - the botanists Olof Rudbek and his son Olof Rudbek Jr. (he was a teacher and friend of Karl himself).
There are about forty different types of Rudbeckia, the most common and popular ones are dissected, hairy, clinging, shiny, glossy, and also hybrid.
How to grow?
Growing and multiplying a plant can be done in three main ways:
- It is best to grow such a flower from seedlings. Seeds are sown in boxes or other containers (for example, containers or even plastic cups) around mid-spring, for example, in the first half of April. First you need to fill the soil, then lay the seeds and sprinkle them on top of the soil. Further, the land is moistened, and the containers for creating the greenhouse effect are covered either with glass or with a film (a cellophane bag can be used). When the first shoots begin to break through (this will happen in two weeks),the film should be removed. Then you need to constantly moisturize the soil, then rooting will occur faster, and growth will be active. After warm weather has been established (at the end of May or at the beginning of June in the northern regions), the shoots should be carefully moved to the soil to permanent places.
- Rudbeckia can be grown from seeds and immediately in open ground, but it is best to do this when the risk of frost or a significant drop in air temperature will be minimal. The optimal time is the end of June or the beginning of July. The distance between the holes should be about 25-30 centimeters. Their depth is insignificant, you can simply lay the seeds on the ground, and then sprinkle a loose layer of soil. The first shoots appear usually in the fall, but you can only see flowering next season.
- The division of the bushes. If someone of your friends has a beautiful rudbeckia already growing in the garden, then you can ask for the root cutting. Part of the rhizome is cut off with the kidney either in autumn or spring. Next, the shoot can be placed in the ground, it will quickly get accustomed and take root if you take proper care of it.
How to care?
Rudbeckia is an unpretentious plant, but still so that it actively grows and pleases with bright flowers, you need to properly care for it.
Important growing conditions:
- The soil. The plant is not demanding to the ground, but it will feel particularly comfortable in quite nutritious, fertilized and cultivated soils, although it can grow in the poor, but it will not bloom as abundantly as we would like. But if in the garden before flowers or vegetables grew, the conditions would be optimal. And in order to ensure active growth and abundant flowering, it is necessary to enrich the land with mature compost. If the soil is clay, then to reduce its density, you can use a small amount of sand, then the soil will become more loose and well breathable.
- Lighting is also not a crucial point of content, but it will still affect the development of the plant and its external data. Moreover, Rudbeckia, which grows in partial shade, is distinguished by longer stems. The flowering in this case will begin later, but it will be longer. And still growing in such conditions, the flower will delight delicate shades of buds.If you land a rudbeck in a sunny place (it can develop even under direct rays), then it will not be so high, but brighter.
- Watering should be regular and very abundant, and this is especially important during periods of flowering and active growth, since the volume of water will affect external data. Although short-lived drought rudbeckia is quite able to endure, but still it should not be allowed to dry out of an earthy coma.
- Top dressing. If the soil is sufficiently nutritious, then in addition it should not be fertilized. But still you can make fertilizer twice: during active growth, as well as at the stage of ovary formation. You can use a complex composition for garden flowering plants. And to stimulate the formation of strong buds, use phosphorus-potassium fertilizer.
- Crop. In order to preserve the decorative qualities of rudbeckia, it is necessary to regularly prune, removing faded buds, as well as dried or weakened shoots. And it should be done often.
- Wintering. If you grow a perennial rudbeckia, then it should be prepared for the cold. Although the plant is very frost-hardy, yet the roots can freeze at a significant temperature drop.But this can be avoided by cutting the above-ground part in the fall to the very root and covering what is left with dry grass or fir-spruce.
Diseases affect rudbeckia quite infrequently, but some pests, such as thrips, spider mites or leaf-eating caterpillars, beetles, can "attack" it.
A few helpful tips for beginners or experienced gardeners:
- To minimize the risk of freezing rudbeckia, you can "season" the sprouts, that is, about two weeks before the desired date of planting in the soil begin to gradually reduce the temperature.
- The plant can be used as one-component beds, and as part of mixborders. So, you can combine it with hydrangea, asters, phlox, delphinium. In addition, it can be a great hedge framing (especially tall varieties).
- If you do not remove the seeds, the rudbeckia can multiply on its own (self-seeding).
Want more sun in the garden? It will help in this bright rudbeckia!
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