An unpretentious decorative plant - a sunflower or a stone flower is unlikely to leave indifferent any connoisseur of garden beauty. Both experienced flower growers and beginners will be able to breed and care for the plant. In summer, this representative of the flora decorates the site with colorful bushes. Bright buds open during the day and close by night.
Photos of sunflower colors can be seen below.
The plant is able to quickly grow and cover empty areas of soil. Depending on the variety, buds are formed either during the entire summer period, or flowering continues for a certain period. Then the plant gives buds in late summer and early autumn. In the article, we consider the topic - sunflower planting and care in the open ground.
- The main type of stone flower is an ordinary or monolithic sunflower (monoformate). The Latin name of the plant is Helianthemum nummularium.
- The birthplace of the evergreen Heliantemum is the territory of southern Europe and the Mediterranean.
- The sunflower is a semi-shrub plant with upper dark green leaves. The lower lanceolate leaves have a fleecy surface and a gray-green color.
- The maximum width of the plant is 0.6 meters. Height reaches 0.5 meters. Leaves reach 5 centimeters in length. Inflorescences are formed from buds of different colors. In total, up to 12 buds of different shades in one inflorescence can grow.
- The main range of shades is red, pink, white and yellow. The formation of the fetus occurs at the end of flowering and is a single-nest or three-nest box.
- Inside are the seeds. Flower sunflower photo of an overgrown coin-like appearance.
- Sunflower belongs to the cistus family of perennial herbs. There is a small group of one-year and two-year representatives.
- Massive flowering occurs in May-July. Under natural conditions, the plant is found in North America and Europe. The plant is cultivated throughout the Eurasian continent and in North Africa.
Varieties and types
There are several types of sunflowers. Based on the main subspecies, a lot of varieties were bred.
Heliantemum Cherry Queen
The variety belongs to the evergreen perennial grasses of the semi-shrub type. Perennials can be grown in lighted areas with dry soil. Budding lasts from April to August.
The advantages of the variety are in the following qualities:
- Frost resistance
- unpretentiousness to the soil and leaving,
- bright saturated color
- flowering time
- resistance to temperature changes and drought.
Satin bright red petals with a middle yellow color create a picturesque carpet. Terry flowers reach 4 centimeters in diameter. Plant height reaches 40-45 centimeters. During the growing season, lower tree stems are formed. The spring shoots of the semi-creeping species are partially elevated.
Initially, Cerise Queen blooms intensely. Then gradually budding decreases. The flowering of each flower lasts for 8-10 hours. New buds are replacing. The variety is suitable for decorating flower beds, rock gardens and rocky slopes on the south side. The plant survives well in central Russia.
Cultivating the Cerise queen variety requires the use of certain agricultural techniques.
After complete flowering, the stems are pruned, leaving lignified shoots.
Such pruning improves the appearance of the bush. The plant takes on a compact form. In the period of snowless and cold winters, this technique increases frost resistance. Grade "Cerise Queen" withstands frost up to -24 degrees. In colder winters, part of the plant may freeze, but is gradually restored.
This Heliantemumne variety requires too fertile soil. It can grow on sandy, gravel and sand substrates. The plant tolerates dry periods. But he does not like waterlogging.
The soil should be alkaline and neutral in acidity. Sunflower needs drained soil.
Heliantemum Gold Coin
- Sunflower GoldKoin (from the English Gold Coin) is a shrub from 10 to 35 cm tall. The plant blooms in red, white, pink and yellow flowers. The maximum diameter of fully blossomed buds is 2.5 cm.
- Silver-green leaves in combination with flowers of different shades form a bright picturesque carpet.
- First, GoldCoin is planted with seeds in a greenhouse in March and April. Then in May, either transplanted to a permanent place, or sow immediately in open soil.
- The distance between the seedlings when planting is 40-50 cm. In the second and third year, the sunflower grows and as a result a continuous multi-colored carpet is obtained.
- The plant blooms for 3 incomplete months: May, June, July. The variety is very popular among middle-level gardeners. The main advantage of Goldcoin is winter hardiness.
According to gardeners, the variety can withstand very low temperatures without shelter. The disadvantage is intolerance to waterlogging. The plant loves drained and loose soil. Another disadvantage is poor survival when dividing and planting bushes. The best planting option is sowing seeds.
Sunflower - a grassy plant or shrub represented by annuals and perennials, the stem can be straight or creeping, its length varies from 0.1 to 0.3 meters. Opposite simple leaf plates can have a shape ranging from linear-lanceolate to oval. The racemose inflorescence consists of flowers, usually yellow, but they can also be pink, white or orange. The fruit is a single or three-nested box, inside of which there are seeds.
Species listed in the Red Data Book of the Smolensk Region: Monolithic Sunflower (Helianthemum nummularium (L.) Mill.)
Family: Cistus - Cistaceae
Squad (department): Angiosperms - Angiospermae Class Dicotyledons - Dicotyledones
Status. IV category. An insufficiently studied species, the number and condition of which is alarming.
Features of morphology and biology. Shrub with rising shoots, 10-30 cm high, highly branched, with pubescent, almost felted stems with woody bases. The leaves are opposite, short-leaved, 5-30 mm long, oval or linear-lanceolate, green above, almost bare, bluish-felt below, with linear-lanceolate stipules.
Flowers 1.5-2.3 cm in diameter, collected 3-8 in a curl. Sepals are pubescent, external linear-lanceolate, internal oval, green-yellow. Petals obovate, orange-yellow or yellowish-pink with a darker spot at the base. The fruit is a dark yellow capsule 5-7 mm long, short-celled. Propagated by seeds. Seeds are dark purple, ovoid-oval. It blooms from May to August 1-3.
Spread. Central Europe, the Balkans, Asia Minor, the Caucasus, Ukraine, Belarus, the European part of Russia 1-3. In the Smolensk region in pine forests, at the edges of light coniferous forests in the Shumyachsky and Velizhsky districts.
Habitat. On the calcareous and chalky slopes of the mountains, on rocky-steppe areas, in pine forests, on the edges of light coniferous forests.
Abundance in nature. Not high. Mostly subdominant.
The main limiting factors. Reduction of areas under light coniferous forests.
Cultivation. There is no information.
Security measures taken. Not accepted.
Necessary security measures. General environmental protection measures.
- Yuzepchuk, 1949,
- Voroshilov et al., 1961,
- Mayevsky, 1964.
The main method of planting a sunflower is sowing seeds in peat-humus containers and directly on the site. In the first case, seeding is carried out in early March. Seeds in the amount of 2-3 pieces are laid on moist and loose soil.
Top cover with brodricite (vermiculite) or sand. Glasses are covered with plastic wrap or glass. Capacities are placed in a sunny place. Germination takes place in the temperature range of 17-25 degrees.
Sprouts appear within 7-30 days. When seedlings appear, the temperature is reduced to 15-16 degrees. Shelter is removed from the cups. In the future, the difference between night and day temperatures is maintained within 3-4 degrees. As they grow, weak seedlings are removed. Only one strongest plant is left.
Subsequent care consists in regular loosening of the soil and watering. Many gardeners practice sowing seeds directly to the prepared site. Plant survival in this case increases significantly. Violation of the soil layer during transplantation causes the death of the plant. Experts and experienced flower growers do not recommend dividing the plant as a method of propagation.
Seeding for seedlings
As a rule, the sowing of sunflower seeds is carried out directly in open soil. However, there are cases when it is recommended to grow it through seedlings, which are then transplanted into the garden. Sowing seeds for seedlings is carried out in the first days of March. To do this, it is recommended to use peat cups or tablets, the fact is that the root system of such a plant interacts with special beneficial fungi, and during transplantation or picking, this fungal layer can be destroyed, as a result, the planted bushes can become sick and even die. In this regard, experts do not advise, such a plant is subjected to picking, transplanting, and also propagating by dividing the bush.
2 or 3 seeds are sown in one container, while they are laid on the surface of a loose and moistened substrate, they are covered with a thin layer of sand or vermiculite on top, and the containers are covered with glass or film and transferred to a place where there is bright but scattered light, and air temperature is between 18 and 24 degrees. The first seedlings can appear both after 7, and after 30 days. Immediately after this happens, the shelter is removed from the container, while the plants themselves are transferred to a cooler place (from 15 to 16 degrees). To improve the development and growth of seedlings, she needs to ensure the difference between air temperatures day and night, it should be about 4-5 degrees. After the plant grows, they need to be thinned, for this, take scissors and cut off those seedlings that are the weakest at the level of the substrate surface in each container. As a result, in each cup there should be only one most powerful and healthy seedling. It is very simple to take care of seedlings, they need to be watered in a timely manner and systematically gently loosen the surface of the substrate near the bushes.
How to plant
Growing a sunflower is not difficult.
Basic conditions for landing:
- The choice of a sunny place,
- neutral or alkaline soil
- good drainage
- hardening of seedlings,
- maintaining the distance between plants,
- periodic watering
- loosening the soil
- weed removal
- pruning after flowering.
To plant a sunflower, choose a lit area. The composition of the soil should be sand and small gravel. Loamy soil with a small amount of lime or dolomite flour is suitable. Plants are tempered 8-15 days before planting in open ground.
The place for the procedure is chosen without drafts. Seedlings before planting are watered with warm, settled water. Plants are planted in pre-prepared wells. The size of the recesses should correspond to the height of the cups. The voids are filled with soil and slightly tamped.
Consider how to care for a sunflower flower.
The main advantage of the culture is resistance to lack of moisture. In spring and autumn, flowers are hardly watered. In conditions of extremely dry summers, plants are abundantly and regularly watered. Humidification is done with warm and settled water. Long rainy weather completely eliminates watering.
Organic dressing is carried out in a small amount, provided there is a clear lack of nutrition. Intensive supply of nutrients can cause leaf mass growth to the detriment of flowering. Fertilizer is applied in liquid form during budding (before flowering). Top dressing is not required at all when growing flowers on a nutrient substrate.
To grow a full-fledged flower garden, it is necessary to carry out a number of events:
- top dressing
- circumcision of wilted inflorescences.
In dry summers, plants need regular watering without waterlogging. After watering, the surface layer of soil near the bushes is loosened. Reception allows you to saturate the root system with oxygen.
Withered flowers are pruned. The third part of the shoot is removed. Pruning stimulates further flowering of the crop. In the first 1-2 years, thorough weed removal is necessary. With an increase in the area occupied by overgrown bushes, the problem of weeding will decrease.
Not all types of sunflowers are frost-resistant. Less stable varieties require shelter. This is done in late autumn before frosts. As a heater use straw, hay or agrofiber.
Heliantemums with silver leaves and red flowers must be carefully covered for the winter. Yellow and orange sunflower - more resistant to frost. This species is used as a perennial culture.
Heliantemum does not like waterlogging of the soil. A large amount of moisture often leads to the appearance of rot and death of the plant. Wilted bushes are immediately removed and burned. The soil is treated with a fungicidal agent. To control pests (aphids, thrips), insecticides are used.
Planting and caring for a sunflower
- Landing: sowing seeds in open ground - in early May, sowing seeds for seedlings - in early March, transplanting seedlings in the ground - from mid-May to early June.
- Bloom: from May to August.
- Lighting: bright sunshine.
- The soil: poor, neutral or alkaline reaction, containing sand and small gravel.
- Watering: plentiful, but only during a protracted drought.
- Feeding: if necessary, with liquid organics before flowering.
- Reproduction: seeds, cuttings and layering, but not by dividing the bush, because the plant does not tolerate transplants.
- Disease rot, powdery mildew.
- Pests: thrips and aphids.
Sunflower flower - description
Sunflowers are annual and perennial grasses and shrubs with a creeping or straight stem with a height of 10 to 30 cm. Simple, oppositely located throughout the stem leaves can have an oval to linear-lanceolate shape. Heliantemum flowers collected in a brush are usually yellow, but can also be white, pink or orange. The fruit of the plant is a single-nest or three-nest box with seeds.
Sowing sunflower seedlings
Heliantemums are usually sown directly into the ground, but in some circumstances it is advisable to grow sunflower seedlings at home, followed by planting seedlings in the garden.
Heliantemum seeds are sown on seedlings in early March, and peat tablets or glasses should be used as a container: the roots of a sunflower interact with certain useful fungi, and when transplanted or picked, the fungal layer is disturbed, and this can lead to illness and death of the plant. Therefore, heliantemum is not propagated by dividing the bush, do not dive or transplant.
Seeds are laid out in 2-3 pieces on the surface of a moist loose substrate and only slightly sprinkled with vermiculite or sand, then covered with a film and kept under bright scattered light at a temperature of 18-24 ˚C.
The peculiarity of this culture is that seedlings can appear both in a week and in a month, but as soon as this happens, the film is removed from the crops, and the temperature of the content is reduced to 15-16 ˚C. It is noted that sunflower seedlings develop better with a significant difference between day and night temperatures, which should be 4-5 degrees.
As soon as the seedlings grow and get stronger, cut weak specimens in each cup at the surface level so that they do not interfere with the development of strong ones. Sunflower seedling care consists of watering and careful loosening of the soil around the seedlings.
When to plant a sunflower in the ground
In the open ground, the sunflower from the seeds is planted from mid-May to early June after hardening procedures. Preparation of seedlings for life in the garden will take 10-14 days: you need to take out sunflower seedlings daily in the open air, gradually increasing the duration of walks until the seedlings can spend around the clock in the yard. During hardening, seedlings should be protected from drafts, sudden gusts of wind and precipitation at least for the first time.
How to care for a sunflower
Sunflower care consists of watering the plant, weeding the weeds, loosening the soil around the bushes, removing wilted flowers, pruning, feeding and preparing perennial species for wintering.
Faded shoots to stimulate flowering are shortened by about a third of the length. If you grow a sunflower with red flowers, then keep in mind that it needs reliable shelter from winter cold. Or grow it in an annual crop. Plants with yellow and orange flowers are much more hardy and can grow on the site for several years.
Types and varieties of sunflower with silver leaves also require protection in the winter. They cover plants for winter with agrofibre, dry grass or hay.
Watering and feeding a sunflower
Growing a sunflower does not require frequent watering of the soil, a drought-tolerant plant has enough natural rainfall. Neither in spring nor in autumn sunflower is watered. The site will have to be moistened only during the period of prolonged heat and drought, but in this case, watering should be plentiful. Water is used standing and heated in the sun.
Sunflower is fed only if necessary with liquid organic fertilizers before flowering. Excess nutrients in the soil will cause the heliantemum to grow green mass, but flowering will be sparse. When growing a sunflower on fertile soil, fertilizing in the soil does not need to be done.
Sunflower Pests and Diseases
The main danger for the heliantemum is an excess of moisture: in the season of heavy rains, the plant gets wet, prit and rot. The same thing can happen during snowmelt. Damaged specimens must be removed from the plot, and the place where they grew up should be shed with a solution of Fundazole or another fungicide. Under certain conditions, the plant and powdery mildew can affect, in the fight against which fungicidal preparations are also used.
Of the pests, the danger to the sunflower is represented by aphids and thrips, which suck out the cell sap from the plant, from which the heliantemum weakens and wilts. Biological insecticides, which can be purchased at any garden pavilion or flower shop, will help to destroy pests.
Coral Sunflower (Helianthemum nummularium)
Branched shrub up to 40 cm high, wildly growing in Central Europe and the Mediterranean. Its stems are very pubescent, rising or prostrate. The leaves are oval or lanceolate, green on top and grayish-felt on the bottom. Yellow flowers with a diameter of up to 2.5 cm form beautiful curls.
What time to plant
Sunflower seedlings are planted in the second half of May or in the first days of June, but before that it must be hardened. The procedures associated with the hardening of seedlings last about 1.5–2 weeks, for this they are transferred to the street every day. The duration of such procedures is increased gradually, starting with a few hours. At the very end, when the plant is already hardened, they will be able to stay in the fresh air around the clock. At first, for hardening seedlings, you should choose a place well protected from wind, rain and drafts.
Growing a sunflower in your area is quite simple. To plant it, you should choose a well-lit open area, while a suitable soil should be alkaline or neutral, and it should contain small gravel and sand. Such flowers can be grown on loamy soil, however, before planting, they dig it up, making dolomite flour.
Since the bushes of this plant in a short period of time can grow very much, the distance between the planting pits should be at least 0.3 meters. Moreover, their depth should be such that they could put a peat pot with a plant. Before planting, the seedlings are well watered, and then they are placed in previously prepared planting pits, all available voids should be filled with soil, the surface of which is then compacted around the flower. Planted bushes need abundant watering.
Sunflower care in the garden
In order to grow a sunflower in its garden plot, it is necessary to water it, weed, cut it, cut off the flowers that started to fade, loosen the soil surface near the flowers, feed them, and also prepare perennials for wintering.
To stimulate flowering, those shoots that have bloomed should be cut off by about 1/3 of the length. If your garden decorates the look of such a plant with red flowers, then keep in mind that for the winter such bushes must be very well covered, as it has not very high frost resistance. And it can also be grown as an annual. Species with orange and yellow flowers are more resistant to frost, so they are suitable for cultivation as perennials. Those varieties and species that have silver leaf plates also need good shelter for the winter. They cover the bushes in late autumn with agrofibre or throw them with hay (dried grass).
How to water and feed
Such a crop is resistant to drought; therefore, it does not need a large number of irrigations. If it rains often in the summer, then you will not have to water such flowers at all. In spring and autumn, this plant does not need to be watered. If in the summer there is a prolonged drought, then the area with the sunflower will need to be watered regularly and very plentifully. Water for irrigation should be well settled and heated in the sun.
Fertilizers are applied to the soil only when necessary, shortly before the bushes bloom. To do this, use organic fertilizer in liquid form. Please note that if there are too many nutrients in the soil, then because of this the bushes will intensively grow foliage and shoots to the detriment of flowering. If such flowers grow on nutritious soil, then they do not need to be fed at all.
Diseases and pests
The greatest danger to the sunflower is lingering rains. Since wet bushes are barred, and rot forms on them. The same can happen during the melting of the snow cover. Rotten bushes must be dug up and burned immediately after they are discovered, and the area on which they grew is spilled with a solution of a fungicidal preparation, for example, Fundazol. Sometimes a stone flower gets sick with powdery mildew, in which case it can be saved, for this it is sprayed with a fungicide solution.
Thrips and aphids can settle on the bushes, they feed on the cell sap of this plant, because of which it becomes weak and fades. In the fight against such harmful insects, it is recommended to use biological insecticides, which can be found on the shelf of a specialized store.
Such a perennial for wintering is not necessary. The height of the rising shoots is about 25 centimeters; on them are lanceolate-shaped leaf plates, on the underside of which there is pubescence. Pinkish-white flowers, up to 20 mm across, are collected in curls. Flowering begins in May – June.
Sunflower Alpine (Helianthemum alpestre)
Although this species is resistant to frost, it still needs to be covered for the winter. In nature, it is found in the alpine zone from the Pyrenees to the Balkans. The height of the bushes is about 10 centimeters; they form lush low evergreen rugs reaching about 0.3 m across. The color of the flowers is yellow.
Sunflower Apennine (Helianthemum apenninum)
Such a shrub, which is a perennial, does not need to be covered for wintering. Its homeland is the southwestern part of Europe and Asia Minor. The height of the bush is from 20 to 25 centimeters, it is decorated with lanceolate leaf plates, on the underside of which there is pubescence. During flowering, brushes are formed, consisting of pinkish flowers, reaching up to 20 mm across.