Once upon a time in ancient Greece lived a talented sculptor, who in memory of his dead lover, made a stone statue and breathed life into it. The gods were angry with the young man for such insolence and turned him into a Dolphin. Long crying girl-statue on the beach. And then one day a Dolphin swam up to her and put a beautiful flower at her feet, which absorbed the azure blue of the sea. This flower was called delphinium.
Delphinium belongs to the family Ranunculaceae, is perennial and annual. The genus includes about 400-450 species. Plant height varies from 40 cm to 2 m, depending on the species. Delphinium flowers are blue, white, purple, always charming and uniquely beautiful, collected in a pyramidal inflorescence. A distinctive feature of the flowers-a sharp spur (an appendage of the upper sepals). In different species, its length can range from 4 to 45 mm.
Features of delphinium
Delphinium likes open Sunny position, sheltered from strong winds. In the sun, the petals can burn out, so it is desirable to land in a place that is at least 2-3 hours a day in the shade.
Delphinium-a very winter-hardy plant, it is able to withstand the cold. What a great danger for him are thaw, because the root system lies close to the surface of the earth so that it can easily damp out. Try not to plant a flower in those places where the first thawing occurs in the spring.
Reproduction of delphinium
Delphinium reproduces by dividing the Bush, cuttings and seeds.
The division of the Bush
Plants aged 3 years can be propagated by dividing the Bush. In the spring, when the height of the shoots does not exceed 15 cm, dig out the delphinium and carefully divide so that on each part of the rhizome was 1-2 shoots. Clean the rhizome from the ground, cut off the damaged parts and rinse thoroughly with water. Place the cut sprinkle with activated carbon powder. Delenki plant in pots with soil mixture: black soil, sand, humus (1:1:1), place in a warm place, and after 2-3 weeks planted in the open ground.
Delphinium so quickly takes root that the plot directly in the pot can produce a peduncle (in this case, cut it).
Reproduction of delphinium cuttings
In the spring, grown on 10-15 cm shoots are cut so as to capture a piece of rhizome (2-3 cm). Cut cuttings can be planted immediately in the open ground (choosing a shaded place), and after 2-3 weeks to shift to a permanent place of residence. And you can root indoors, placing them in boxes or individual pots. Cuttings require frequent spraying (3 to 4 times a day) and regular wetting of the soil.
Delphinium seeds must undergo stratification (cold keeping). For this, seeds collected in autumn, put in the fridge, and in March start planting. In pre-prepared boxes, fill the soil mixture (you can buy in the store, and you can prepare yourself: humus, sand, black soil 1:1:1); make shallow (0.3-0.5 cm) grooves at a distance of 6-7 cm from each other and carefully sow the seeds. Then fill in the grooves and moisten the soil. After a month, thin the seedlings so that the distance between the seedlings is 6-7 cm. And in may, plant young plants in the open ground.
Landing of delphinium
Delphinium prefers well-drained fertile soil, slightly acidic or neutral. Feel great on loose loam, well flavored with peat, compost or humus. If the soil of your site has a low acidity, make 0.1-0.15 kg of slaked lime per 1 m2. In autumn, fertilize and dig up the planting land with manure and peat (5-7 kg of manure and peat per 1 m2). Manure can be replaced with compost. Re-digging should be done in the spring, be sure to add fertilizer to the ground: potassium salt (50-60 g), ammonium sulfate (30-40 g) and superphosphate (60-70 g) per 1 m2. The site prepared thus is ready to accept beautiful green “residents”.
Holes make a depth of 40-50 cm, and the distance between them determine for yourself – it depends on the size of an adult plant. The ground removed from the hole, mix with peat or compost (1:1) and fill the hole half. After 2-3 days, the earth will settle, and then planting the “young”.
Care of delphinium
In the second year after landing, the delphiniums give abundant growth, so be sure to thin out the bushes. Otherwise, the flowers will be small and peduncles – short. When thinning, remove shoots growing from the middle of the Bush to ensure good air circulation. When your delphiniums grow up to 50-70 cm, tie them to the pegs so that the fragile stems do not break with a strong wind.
Delphinium needs three top dressing per season.
- The first do in early spring: 1 m2 of soil make superphosphate (60-70 g), ammonium nitrate (10-15 g), potassium chloride (20-30 g) and ammonium sulfate (30-40 g). Mix fertilizers, scatter under the bushes and bury them for 5-6 cm. After applying fertilizers, it is useful to pour a layer of peat under the bushes in 2-3 cm.
- The second time feed the plant during budding: 1 m2 of soil, add superphosphate (50-60 g) and potassium (30-40 g).
- Third time to fertilize delphinium in August of the same fertilizer as when first feeding.
Delphiniums are moisture-loving plants. Make sure that the soil under them does not dry up, but do not over-water strongly (take into account the peculiarities of the root system). In the autumn, when all beauty will fade, cut their aboveground part, leaving hemp height of 20-25 cm. Thus you will protect the root neck from rotting during the spring thaws.
Long-term delphinium is able to live in one place for 8-10 years, after which it needs a transplant. These beautiful flowers, unfortunately, are prone to diseases.