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New ampelous plants for vertical gardening

At the end of the last century, vertical gardening became an iconic element of European garden design. Planters of all kinds, hanging baskets, vertical flower beds and flower towers filled the large and small gardens of Europe. They have taken root especially well in cities where concrete and glass predominate, and there is so little room for greenery. Thanks to this fashionable fad, interest in ampelous plants with hanging shoots-lashes has significantly increased. It is especially beautiful when these shoots are decorated with flowers. In vertical gardening, plants with small flowers and lush, abundant flowering are especially appreciated. The British have already come up with a definition for this group of plants: "basket fillers".

Traditionally, the main decoration of hanging baskets is the summer season, which is distinguished by a special luxury of flowering and, what is no less important, its duration. Breeders are bringing out more and more varieties of summer planters for flowerpots and hanging baskets, which are subject to increased requirements for resistance in extreme growing conditions - in the sun, dry soil, and strong winds. Seedling growers now necessarily indicate in the catalogs whether a given variety is suitable for hanging decoration.

Among the anniversaries, plants with ampelous are especially appreciated, i.e. hanging shoots. The range of such plants for hanging flower baskets is truly huge: in addition to traditionalbegonias, vervains, ivy-leaved pelargoniums, nasturtiums, lobelias, ampelous forms of petunias are very popular in the West, as well as plants that are still unfamiliar to us - diastia, bacopa and bidense and others.

Calibrachoa and Bidense
Calibrachoa and Bidense

In the 60-70s of the XX century, a new variety of hybrid ampel petunia appeared - surfiniya (Surfinia)... It has a dark or light spot at the base of a large (6-9 cm in diameter) flower and a contrasting network of veins. The color of the flowers is varied, except for bright yellow and orange. The main difference is that surfiniya either does not produce seeds at all, or does not inherit varietal characteristics. Therefore, it is propagated mainly vegetatively. Possesses amazing resistance to winds and other unfavorable factors.

Recently, another type of hybrid ampel petunia has gained popularity - calibrachoa (Calibrachoa)... She has very small flowers, up to 3 cm in diameter, but exceptionally abundant flowering. It differs from petunia in longer (1.5-2 m) hanging shoots, which more woody and branch.

Calibrachoa
Calibrachoa

Another form of petunia with flexible, highly branching shoots up to 1 meter long also blooms profusely - fortune(Fortunia=Wonderwave=Wave). These are F1 hybrids of ampelous petunias that can be sown with seeds and propagated vegetatively. The total height of the plants reaches 15 cm, and the diameter of the flowers is 5-7 cm. The variety is represented by seven colors - purple, various shades of pink and crimson, salmon.

Dichondra silvery with salinostemon
Dichondra silvery

More recently, two varieties of a surprisingly beautiful decorative leafy plant appeared on sale at once - dichondra silvery, or creeping (Dichondraargentea=Dichondrarepens) - with bright green and bright silver leaves. This ampelous plant has numerous thin lashes spreading over the soil surface or hanging down by 1.5 meters or more. The shoots of the plant are completely covered with rounded leaves the size of a small coin, but the flowers located in the leaf axils are very inconspicuous and almost invisible.

Dichondra is one of the best crops for pots and hanging baskets. Propagated by seeds (sowing time - February-March) or cuttings. The seeds sprout quickly enough (within 2 weeks).The most suitable soil for them is neutral or slightly acidic loams. In nature, dichondra grows in humid places and its seeds are carried by waterfowl. In culture, she is not so demanding on moisture, moreover, she does not like its stagnation. So don't forget the drainage layer.

When the dichondra lashes reach a length of 7-8 cm, they must be pruned to cause branching of the stems. There is another way to make the bushes more lush. To do this, 3-4 plants must be planted in a pots with a capacity of 1 liter. Plants are taken out into the open air after the threat of frost disappears. Plants grown from seeds do not grow very quickly, so it is advisable to keep the plants in the winter. In the fall, dichondra is transferred to a house or winter garden and watering is gradually reduced. In winter, if possible, provide additional lighting.

Nolana is weird(Nolanaparadoxa) and nolanaoutstretched(Nolanaprostrata) are good ground cover plants, and when grown in hanging containers form whips from 30 to 50 cm long, strewn with funnel-shaped flowers up to 5 cm in diameter in blue or lilac shades. They are quite unpretentious, they can tolerate partial shade and drought, they are only afraid of the wind, so it is better to place them in protected places. To give the plant the desired shape, it is periodically pinched. Combinations of nolana with bright flowers of nasturtiums and marigolds, white petunia or blue phacelia look spectacular.

Scevola is pleasant(Scaevolaaemula) fully justifies its name - its cascading shoots are densely covered with continuously blooming fan-shaped flowers, located in 5-15 pieces at the tops of the shoots, each of which blooms for up to two weeks. The most common varieties with lilac-lilac and blue flowers, but there are white and pink. Like nolana, scovola will serve as a great addition to bright annuals, and unlike it, it is more resistant to rain and wind. Faded inflorescences of scovola fall off easily and do not require removal. Able to winter in a cool room (+ 100C) with moderate moisture.

Diastia bearded
Diastia bearded
Homeland diastia bearded(Diasciabarberae) - South Africa. In height, this plant barely reaches 30 cm, but its lashes grow long. The leaves are small, dark green, glossy. The flowers also do not differ in large size: their diameter does not exceed 1.5 cm.However, during the flowering period, it is difficult to take your eyes off the diastia: the plant looks like a huge ball, strewn with flowers, behind which leaves are not visible. Diascia blooms in several waves - from June to cold weather. After the first wave, the faded shoots are cut off and this stimulates new flowering. The color of the flowers is predominantly pink with a dark spot in the middle. The flowers themselves are somewhat reminiscent of the opened snapdragon flowers. In recent years, several varieties of diastia have been bred with salmon, apricot, white flowers, and some of them have already received the Fleroselect quality mark, which is used to mark the most promising novelties of the flower market.

Diascia are planted with seedlings, for which the seeds are sown in February-March under glass. At a temperature of 16-18 degrees, seedlings appear in 2 weeks. During growth, young plants are pinched several times to make them more bushy. With the onset of warm weather, the seedlings begin to harden, taking them outside in the daytime. Diastia is fairly cold-resistant and can tolerate light frosts. They prefer a sunny warm place in the garden. Excess organic matter in the soil stimulates shoot growth, but weakens flowering. Therefore, the soil should not be too fertile, but loose, easily permeable to moisture. The plant is quite drought-resistant, but in the summer heat it needs abundant watering.

Another ampelous plant popular in Europe, which is often planted in hanging pots and baskets, is bidense,orferulele sequence(Bidensferulifolia). It reached us from distant Central America.Interestingly, this plant is a close relative of our common series. Biden is very beautiful during the flowering period, when its shoots are covered with numerous bright yellow flowers-stars with a diameter of 2-4 cm (in botanical terminology, these are inflorescences-baskets). The shoots of bidense hang down half a meter and attract many bees and butterflies, feeding on the nectar of its flowers.

Bidense is easy to grow from seed. They are sown in February-March (so that the plant blooms in mid-June). After 10 days, shoots appear. Seedlings are planted in containers or hanging baskets after the end of the spring frost. Mature plants are not capricious. They are cold-resistant, drought-resistant and photophilous. They are not demanding on soils, but they grow better on light sandy ones. True, in pots and hanging baskets, soil containing a large amount of sand dries out quickly, so it is made heavier. In order for the flowering to be more abundant, it is recommended to apply phosphorus-potassium fertilizers every 2 weeks.

Scevola is pleasantSutera hearty
Scevola is pleasant Sutera cordate

And, finally, another plant that is little familiar to us, but beloved in Europe - sutera,orBacopa cordate (Sutera cordata syn. S.diffusa). It came to us from South America. This is a very decorative, long-flowering plant with drooping shoots covered with medium-sized snow-white flowers that do not lose their decorative effect even with prolonged rains. Bacopa looks especially impressive in combination with plants that have a dark, rich color of flowers, for example, with petunia, verbena, lobelia. Another win-win option is to plant with ornamental foliage plants, whose vibrant greenery serves as a great backdrop for white bako lace.

Bacopa develops well in sunny places, in the shade the plant blooms weakly. Needs regular watering, as with a lack of moisture, flowering weakens. The soil needs slightly acidic, the plant does not tolerate an excess of lime. Just like diastia, Bacopa is quite resistant to low temperatures, tolerating frosts down to -5 degrees.

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Based on materials from books:

E.G. Kolesnikova, M.V. Gorbachenkov "Petunias, surfinias, calibrachoa" - M., 2004,

“New items and rarities. Flowers for the garden and balcony "- M., 2005,

magazines "Household economy", "Floriculture", "Flowers in the garden and at home."