Simple bluebell flowers can be found in the steppes, on rocks or in meadows. There are approximately 300 plant species. The bell-shaped flower grows up to 7 cm long and has the appearance of a double bowl, with outward-curved edges. Thanks to the rich color palette (white-blue, pink, purple), you can create picturesque elegant compositions in flower beds .
Species and varieties
By periods of growth, flowers can be divided into perennials, one- and two-year-olds. Plants grow in different heights, and therefore are divided into the following types:
- undersized have stems 6-20 cm high. Popular varieties: Shamisso, Ortana, daisy-leaved, spiral-leaved;
- medium-sized ones do not grow above 1 m. The best varieties: Rubra, Beauty Trust, Alba-nana;
- tall ones are able to grow above 1 m. The most commonly grown varieties are: Exmaus, Snowdrift, Bernice.
Due to the beautiful decorative appearance, medium-sized Campanula Medium flowers are popular. A distinctive feature of the plant is the ability to naturally renew itself. Although the plant is biennial, it is grown as a perennial. Flower growers are especially fond of the “Cup and Saucer” variety. The plant owes its name to the shape of the flower, reminiscent of exquisite dishes. About 50 flowers can bloom on one stem.
Growing flowers from seeds
This method allows you to easily and quickly propagate elegant flowers on the site. Plants grow best on neutral, slightly alkaline soils. Flowers do not develop well in acidic soils . Therefore, clay soils are “diluted” with humus, compost at the rate of fifteen kilograms per square meter of area. If the soils are loamy, then 19 kilograms of humus are already added per square meter.
Bellflowers need a well-lit area to thrive. Although flowers develop well in shady places. Bluebell “Cup and Saucer” grows great under fences, where soil moisture is well preserved. Therefore, it is often planted near the eastern or western walls. But the flowers do not tolerate stagnant water, and in very damp areas, the bells simply overheat.
Stages of growing seedlings
For quick germination of seeds, soddy soil, sand and humus are mixed in a ratio of 6: 1: 3. The soil mixture should be loose, slightly moist.
- In the last days of March, small seeds are planted in moist soil. It is not necessary to sprinkle planting material with earth, you can lightly powder it with sand.
- A container with seeds is sprinkled with water, covered with a film or glass and placed in a warm, dark place (air temperature is about 20 ° C). It must be borne in mind that seeds may not germinate in the light. Therefore, glass or film is covered with dark paper or dense dark material.
- Planting material germinates in 2-3 weeks. The covering layer is removed, and the container is placed in a well-lit place. But you should avoid direct sunlight on the sprouts.
Seedling care consists in periodic irrigation of the soil and its careful loosening around the seedlings. The soil should be watered when its top layer dries out.
As soon as the first leaves appear on the sprouts (after about 3-3.5 weeks), the “Cup and Saucer” bell dive – they are seated in separate containers. You can simply transplant the plants into one large box (the distance between the sprouts is made at least 10 cm). After another two weeks, top dressing is applied in liquid form. It is recommended to combine watering and fertilizing.
Sowing seeds in open ground
A common option for breeding bells is sowing planting material in a summer cottage directly into the ground. You can set aside time for this both in spring and autumn.
In the last days of October, the seeds are planted in a site protected from the winds. Only strong seeds can overwinter, so strong shoots appear in spring. Already in late April – early May, sprouts can be planted in permanent places (flower beds, flower beds).
When spring sowing, the seeds are pre-stratified (approximately two months before planting). To do this, they are kept in a solution of potassium permanganate (about an hour). Then the planting material is washed, placed on a moistened cloth. To prevent the canvas from drying out quickly, it, along with the seeds, is placed in a plastic bag and placed in the refrigerator. Planting material can be planted in open ground in the second half of May.
When breeding bells in this way, it must be borne in mind that plants in the first year of life direct all their efforts to the formation of a strong root system, to the development of leaf rosettes. Therefore, flowering can be expected only in the second year, when shoots with flower ovaries appear.
The popularity of bells is explained not only by their picturesque elegant appearance. These plants are quite unpretentious, so they require a minimum of care. It is enough to periodically weed weeds, mulch the soil, water the plants. If dry weather has set in, special attention is paid to watering, since bluebells react very negatively to drought. The buds grow small, or the Cup and Saucer bells can stop blooming altogether. When fertilizing, it is important to consider the growth phases of flowers:
- in early spring, nitrogen-containing mineral fertilizers are applied, which stimulate the growth of green mass, contribute to earlier flowering;
- in the first days of June, buds are formed, therefore, phosphorus additives or complex mixtures are used;
- to prepare the plants for wintering, potash fertilizers are applied at the end of autumn. These additives also increase the frost resistance of flowers.
To prolong the flowering period, it is recommended to remove wilted inflorescences in time. If independent further breeding and planting of flowers is planned, planting material is collected in the fall.
Since the bells tolerate negative temperatures well, there is no need to specially cover the plantings. You can lightly cover the flowers with dry foliage in the last autumn days. Before this, the aerial part of the plants is cut off at the root.
Features of collecting seeds
The seeds of bluebells ripen in small boxes. To collect high-quality planting material, the boxes are left on the plants. Brown boxes are torn off in late August or early September, until they burst.
In order for the boxes to dry well, they are laid out in a dry, ventilated room (it is possible under a canopy). Bell seeds are very small (1 g contains about 5000 pieces), they are carefully cleaned from the remnants of the boxes. If you do not plan to plant plants, then you can not specifically collect the seeds. The pods dry out, burst, and the seeds spill out onto the open ground. The cup and saucer bell can grow in one place for about five years.
Diseases and pests
Flowers are resistant to diseases and are little affected by pests. The spread of diseases can only be caused by long-term cultivation of bluebells in one place. This is due to the fact that certain harmful microorganisms can accumulate in the earth. If the plans do not include regular transplantation of bells, then it is occasionally necessary to treat the soil with special preparations (a weak solution of Fundazol).
If rainy weather lasts for a long time, then planting bells can damage slugs. Harm from slugs is manifested in damage to leaves, stems. In addition, they can spread some fungal diseases. Pest control methods: spraying plants with bitter pepper infusion, sprinkling the soil with superphosphate granules.
With elegant flowers, you can brightly decorate not only garden beds and plots, but also balconies and loggias. Large flowers look original both singly and in flower beds. Cut bells look unusual in bouquets and remain fresh for a long time. Thanks to the non-capricious nature, even novice flower growers can grow the Cup and Saucer bell.