Phlox - naive simplicity
Panicled phloxes are one of the most popular perennials in our gardens. These flowers belong to the relatively small Sinyukhov family, consisting of 18 genera and 330 species. Representatives of the family are distributed almost throughout the globe. The phloxy genus consists of approximately 70 species, and all of them belong to dicotyledonous spine-leaved perennials. The exception is the one-year Phloom Drummond. In this article we will talk about panicled phloxes - how to plant in the garden, what care to provide and how to propagate.
- Botanical description of the species
- Choosing a place to land
- Features of cultivation and care
- Phlox Reproduction
- Diseases and Pests
Botanical description of the species
Panicled phlox (Phlox paniculata) - a perennial herbaceous plant 35-150 cm tall. It must be remembered that this parameter varies, depending on the light intensity. In the bright sun, plants are lower, but even a two-hour afternoon shade increases their height. The stems are very strong, straight, lignified by the end of the growing season.
In the phlox panicle panicle color, there is no yellow color. This pigment is also absent in the group of so-called red varieties. Their color is dominated by raspberry color of different saturations, both warm and cold tones. Therefore, in the descriptions there are such definitions as red-pink, red-lilac, light orange-red, purple-red, etc. The situation is similar in the group of orange, or salmon. These tones are very peculiar and complex, they also come in different intensities with the addition of pink and carmine.
Choosing a place to land
When choosing a place for planting phloxes, one should recall the growing conditions of their wild relatives. They are found in areas with a moderately warm and very humid climate, where there is often no snow in winter and the average temperature is around + 4 ° С. As a rule, these are meadows, river floodplains or forest edges, with loose, not overheated by the sun, moist soils with a sufficient content of organic matter.
One of the main requirements for planting phlox in the garden is the possibility of abundant watering of plants. Even in places with a close occurrence of groundwater during a prolonged drought, phloxes suffer greatly from drying out. The second most important condition for their successful culture is sufficient soil fertility. Landing can be both in open areas and in partial shade. The best places will still be protected by shrubs or rare trees with a slight shadow in the hot midday hours, especially for dark-colored varieties. In such places, snow accumulates better, and phloxes suffer less from sharp fluctuations in temperature in the winter.
It is desirable that the site has a slight slope, then during the period of melting snow and prolonged rains, the plants are not flooded with water. Slopes are unfavorable for planting, where the soil quickly overheats and dries up. In addition, phlox suffers from the wind here, and in winter, when the snow blows off the slope, they can freeze. Also, places under the crowns of trees with a superficial root system (birch, willow, poplar, spruce, bushes of the old lilac) are not suitable.
A flower garden with phloxes can be arranged on the east, south-east, south-west and west sides of the house. Worst of all, plants will feel at the north wall and in the shade of conifers. They can live in such conditions, but to achieve full flowering will be impossible.
This cold-resistant culture is stable in the harsh areas of northern Russia with a short summer. Here, phlox is placed in areas protected from cold winds and open from the south, south-east and south-west sides, on raised heated beds, with reliable winter shelter. Preference should be given to varieties with a shorter growing season, that is, early and early middle, abandoning the medium late and late.
In the sharply continental climate of Siberia, Altai Territory, the Urals with cold, often with little snowy winters, phloxes are planted in well-lit, sheltered from the wind places with the greatest accumulation of snow. For winter, shelter with peat, a sheet or non-woven material in several layers is necessary here. In such areas, it is also necessary to select varieties with earlier flowering periods.
In the southern regions, for planting phloxes, the most humid, protected from drying out winds areas in light partial shade, near trees, wings from high bushes, buildings, and also near water bodies should be allocated. Here, preference should be given to later varieties.
Phlox is best planted in open places, but so that in the hot afternoon hours the plants are obscured by rare trees and shrubs, which serve both as protection against the withering effect of the winds. The surface of the site should be flat, without depressions, with a slight slope to drain excess melt and rainwater.
Features of cultivation and care
Phlox achieve the best decorative effect on loose, well-seasoned with organic fertilizers, sufficiently moist soils. With a lack of moisture, the concentration of salts in the soil increases, which adversely affects the development of plants: lower leaves turn brown, prematurely dry out and fall off, plants have an oppressed appearance. Heavy clay soils are also unsuitable for phloxes.
The soil should be prepared in advance: during the spring planting of plants - in the fall, with autumn - in the summer. First you need to dig the earth to a depth of 20-25 cm, carefully select the weeds (especially perennial). Then add organic fertilizers (manure, compost, peat compost - 1-2 buckets per 1 sq. M or 1/4 buckets of chicken manure), wood ash 100-200 g and mineral fertilizers. Fertilizers close up to a depth of 10-15 cm, since the bulk of the roots of phlox is located at a depth of 15 cm.
The best time for phlox planting is early spring (April-early May), since high soil moisture and relatively low air temperature favor fast rooting of plants and better survival. You can plant phlox in late August - early September. Timely and proper autumn planting also provides good rooting and abundant flowering next year.
In autumn, phlox should be planted with stems, cutting off only their upper third, since without the leaves from which nutrients come to the roots, the plants will not be able to take root well and lay growth buds on the rhizomes of the next year. Stems can be cut only after the ground freezes and the leaves are killed by frost. As an exception, phlox can be transplanted in the summer, but at this planting period, plant growth is strongly delayed. Before digging, the bushes need to be watered, and when transplanting, save the earth on the roots. It is better to divide the bush into large parts.
The feeding area for low-growing phlox varieties is 35x35 cm, for tall phlox - 50x50 cm. With this planting, they grow in one place for 4-6 years. It should be planted in pits excavated before planting and spilled with water. The root system should be placed freely. The roots during planting need to be spread so that they are directed in different directions and a little down. Having established the bush, fill the hole with earth, pressing the soil to the roots. It is necessary to deepen so that at the planted bush the top of the rhizome is 3-5 cm below the surface of the soil.
Phlox is frost resistant. The lack of moisture is poorly tolerated, while flowering is weakened, and the lower stem leaves turn yellow, dry out and disappear. Very responsive to mineral and organic fertilizers, photophilous enough. They grow best on fertile, well-fertilized and drained soils.
How to fertilize phlox?
Feeding during the growing season of plants should be carried out taking into account the phases of their development. As soon as the snow melts and the soil dries up, under 2-3-year-old bushes, 20-30 g of ammonium nitrate, 30 g of superphosphate and 40-50 g of wood ash should be applied in a dry form, followed by embedding them in the soil with a hoe to a depth of 3-5 cm In the 2nd half of May it is necessary to make top dressing with fermented infusion of mullein 1:15 (chicken droppings 1:25) or with a solution of ammonium nitrate 15-20 g in 10 l of water per 1 sq. M. m. In the period of budding of plants to make the same fertilizer with the addition of 20-30 g of ash. At the beginning of flowering, give top dressing with full mineral fertilizer: 20-30 g in dry form.
Fertilizers should be applied under the base of the bush; Before and after applying liquid fertilizing, the soil must be watered. Dry fertilizer can not be scattered on the leaves to avoid burns. Watering the bushes (once a summer) with microelements is of great benefit: 2-3 g of boric acid and 0.1-0.2 g of potassium permanganate (10 l per 1 sq. M).
Proper watering is important
Proper planting and regular feeding will not be successful if the phlox does not have enough water. Bushes should be watered so that the soil is moist all the time. Phlox has a powerful root system, consisting of thin branching roots, the bulk of which is located at a depth of 15 cm. Therefore, they are especially sensitive to lack of water.
In addition, during the growth process, phloxes develop such a mass of leaves, stems and flowers that they spend a large amount of moisture. Without watering, the phlox stems grow low, inflorescences are formed less and the flowers are smaller, flowering occurs earlier and ends quickly. The lower leaves turn yellow and dry out.
In hot, dry weather, water should be watered so that the water soaks the entire root layer. Irrigation rate - 15-20 liters of water per square meter. It is better to carry it out in the evening, and after each watering or rain, the soil under the bushes must be loosened and mulched.
Do not forget that weeds not only give an untidy look to your flower garden, but also serve as a refuge for pests and diseases, so you can not do without weeding.
Pay attention to tall varieties of phlox: some of them have unstable stems, so they need to be tied to supports. In autumn, with the onset of frost, phlox stems are cut off at the very surface of the earth. Cut stems, it is advisable to burn or remove from the site. If phlox is sheltered for the winter, then before that, for the prevention of diseases, it is advisable to throw several crystals of copper sulfate in the middle of the bush.
It is useful to mulch phlox for the winter. In central Russia, with a snow cover height of 50-60 cm, phlox tolerate frosts well up to -20 ... -25 ° С. However, in very severe and lightly snowy winters, plants can freeze, especially varieties of foreign selection.
In addition, every year the bush grows more and more. Together with it, its root system grows, and this happens quite peculiarly. A stem sprouts from the eye and first stretches horizontally underground, then bends abruptly and emerges to the surface. Under the ground, a knee forms, which later woods. Young roots begin to grow from it, and in autumn new growth buds are laid on the same knee above the roots.
Thus, every year the rhizome grows in length by 1-3 cm and at the same time grows higher and higher. Finally it begins to bulge out of the ground. Plants with such protruding rhizomes can die in winter, and shoots from buds that are too close to the surface or on old parts of the rhizome develop weak. The bush of the plant grows up, matures, then begins to age.
The lignified parts of the rhizome in the center of the bush die off, at the same time causing decay and death of the roots. In the end, the bush breaks up into separate parts, and the soil is depleted, which, in turn, leads to thickening of plants, a decrease in flowering. To delay the aging process and protect the bushes from freezing in winter, it is advisable to mulch phlox every year.
Varietal phlox can be propagated by dividing bushes, stem and leaf cuttings, spring shoots, summer-autumn axillary shoots, root cuttings.
The division of phlox bushes is carried out in early spring or early autumn (at this time the bushes should be divided into larger parts). The dug bush should be shaken off or washed off the ground and divided by hand: first, accurately separate the plexuses of the root necks, then disassemble the roots going to them. A knife should be used only if it is not possible to split the rhizome with your hands, and what you need to do with the knife is to cut the root necks only. On each separated part there should be growth buds - “eyes” or shoot primordia and a small number of roots.
Phlox propagation by stem cuttings can be carried out from late May to the 2nd half of July. For cuttings should take green, well-developed stems from healthy plants. Each stalk should have 2 knots, while the lower cut should be done directly below the lower knot, and the top should be 5-10 cm above the upper knot. The lower leaves are completely cut off, keeping the axillary buds. Plant cuttings in shading, deepening them into the soil approximately to the upper node. The first week, the cuttings should be watered with warm water several times a day, making sure that they do not sag.
When propagating by leaf cuttings, a axillary kidney with a leaf is used. In the summer, during the period of complete development of phlox stems, from the middle part with a sharp knife or razor they cut a shield 8-10 cm long with an axillary kidney and a leaf. When planting, the shield should be placed vertically, deepening the axillary bud by 1.5 cm, cut large leaves by 1/3. Landings should be sprayed with warm water and covered with glass boxes, placed in a room with a temperature of 25 ... 30 ° C. The sand must always be wet. By autumn, a plant with one stem is formed from a leaf stalk. For the winter, it is recommended to put the boxes in a cold greenhouse, insulating it from above. In the spring of next year, rooted cuttings can be planted in open ground.
Reproduction of phlox in spring shoots is a type of propagation by stem cuttings. Growing shoots can be taken from heavily thickened bushes, carefully breaking them at the very base with a “heel”. For better rooting, shoots should be planted in a warm greenhouse or greenhouse - they do not take root for long in the open ground. You need to water it with warm water. In the 2nd half of May and beginning of June, rooted shoots can be planted in open ground.
Summer-autumn axillary shoots propagate phlox in the same way as spring growth shoots. It is necessary to use shoots growing in the axils of the leaves.
Phlox propagation by root cuttings can be carried out in early spring. At this time, the bushes are divided, from which you can take up to 1/3 of the roots and use them for cuttings.
For this, non-lignified healthy thick and long roots are suitable. They need to be cut off at the very base of the rhizome, cut into pieces 3-5 cm long and planted obliquely in exploration boxes filled with nutrient soil. First, the boxes should be placed in a room with a temperature of 10 ... 15 ° C, after 10-15 days they should be moved to another room with a temperature of 18-25 ° C and kept in shade.
When the shoots appear, the shading must be removed and the plants gradually accustomed to light, and then transplanted into the open ground. Sprouts do not appear on all root cuttings, and they develop unevenly; therefore, plants should be planted selectively in open ground as the sprouts grow. This method of propagation is especially valuable when plants are infected with a stem nematode, and the variety must be preserved.
Phlox Diseases and Pests
Light spots develop on the leaves; they spread along the leaf blade, later fade and necrotic. Sometimes only growth retardation is observed: some varieties are latent (hidden) virus carriers.
The disease is caused by the rattle virus or curly banding of tobacco. In addition to phlox, it affects aster, gerbera, hyacinth, gladiolus, crocus, lily, narcissus, peony, primrose, tulip, cineraria.The size of the viral particles is 190X22 and 45-110X22 nm. It is carried by nematodes of the genus Trichodorus. Rattles are common in Central Europe.
The leaves become tuberous, curly, necrotic spots of irregular shape, glossy or covered with scabs appear on them. Veins turn brown, then die. In other cases, they develop a blackish border or a yellow-green mosaic pattern. The growth of the stems is delayed, they are slightly bent and covered with single necrotic stripes or scabs. The internodes are shortened, the plant is compact and bushy in habit. Flowering is not observed or it is sparse. Often, affected phlox dries and dies. The disease is caused by the tobacco necrosis virus, the virions of which have a spherical shape, their diameter is 26 nm. Distributed by soil fungus (Olpidium brassicae).
The disease manifests itself at the beginning of plant vegetation, the symptoms are most clearly visible in May-June. Chlorotic light spots and a characteristic ring pattern form on phlox leaves. On the leaf blades of individual shoots, yellow sections of different sizes and shapes are noticeable. With a severe defeat, the mosaic pattern covers the entire plant, it looks stunted and does not bloom. Leaves are twisted and deformed.
The causative agent of ring spotting is the virus of black ringing of tomatoes. Spherical virus particles, 28-30 nm in diameter. It is carried by nematodes of the genus Longidorus.
At the beginning of the blooming of leaves, dark brown rounded necrotic spots of 1-2 mm in size are observed on them, sometimes they completely cover the leaf blade.
In diseased plants, leaf blades are narrow, sometimes filiform, with wavy edges. Dwarf bushes, fragile shoots, flowering, as a rule, does not happen.
Light strokes are visible on the petals, with a strong defeat of the inflorescences, the color becomes lighter than this characteristic of this variety. It has been established that the disease is caused by mucus virus mucus. This pathogen has a wide range of host plants and from flower crops affects cloves, cactus, delphinium, and tulip. The shape of the virions is spherical, diameter 30 mm. It is carried by nematodes of the genus Xiphinema.
First of all, careful and timely culling of the affected plants is necessary. It is unacceptable to take cuttings from diseased bushes. Weeds must be removed, both in the phlox plantings and in the neighborhood with them. This prevents the transfer of infection from weeds to phlox.
Before planting phloxes in new areas, it is necessary to analyze the soil for infection with nematodes, carriers of phytopathogenic viruses (xyphenes, longidorus, trichorus). If nematodes are detected, the site is treated with a 0.2% metaphos solution.