Arctotis is a South African counterpart to the well-known chamomile. The plant takes its name from Latin, translated arctotis means - a bear's ear.
It is the brightest instance in the Asters family. In our part of the planet they were learned about them thanks to fellow gardeners from the African expanses.
Description of Arctotis
The flower has lowered shoots that have white or silver color. Peduncles are quite long. On the stems there is one beautiful flower, the diameter of which is about 8 cm.
Inflorescences abound with a variety of flowers of various shades, such as pink, purple, white, even purple. At the same time, almost all varieties of this plant have the same properties, are similar in care, growing rules.
Description and photo
The plant is an erect bush, with a height of 20 to 70 cm, covered with silvery hairs. Even a non-flowering arctotis bush looks beautiful, and when large, similar to daisies or gerbera flowers, blossom (yellow, pink, red, white), it becomes impossible to tear your eyes away from it. For small fluffy, original-shaped leaflets, it is also called the "bear’s ear".
Article about arctotises (gabris). About leaving, a method of cultivation and reproduction on a personal plot.
Hybrid arctotises with especially large inflorescences, in stores, are often sold under the name Gabris. Arctotis has been in the culture for 200 years, it is quite rare in our personal plots. But in vain, because the grace of its inflorescences, similar to a gerbera, is worth it to decorate your flower garden with this spectacular plant, especially since the arctotis blooms until late autumn.
The birthplace of arctotis is the Cape region in South Africa, where it lives on rocky soil at the foot of the cliffs. About 30 grassy and semi-shrubby annual, biennial, and perennial species are known in nature.
Five varieties of arctotis are found in the culture, but today the most popular are hybrid varieties obtained from the crossing of several species. Most cultivated arctotises are perennials, but they do not winter in the northern and central regions of Ukraine, therefore this plant is grown mainly as an annual.
Arctotis looks great on flower beds, alpine slides, in mixborders, like a border plant. Its combination in plantings with godetia, fuchsia, marigolds, phloxes, geraniums, petunias is beautiful.
Low-growing species are planted in flowerpots, pots and pots. The bushes grow well, filling the entire space of the container, and forming a spectacular flowering hat. High grades are an excellent cut crop for bouquets.
Species of arctotis
Plants are erect, branching tall. The leaves and stems are grayish-green, pubescent with short silver-white hairs. Inflorescences are single baskets with a diameter on a long leafless peduncle. Marginal flowers - reed, white, yellow, orange, pink, crimson. The disk of internal tubular flowers is darker - brown, purple or purple in color.
The flowering of arctotis is plentiful and long - from July to frost. But inflorescences are open only during the day in sunny weather. The seeds are small, quickly (over the year) lose their germination.
Features of cultivation and reproduction
When growing arctotises on a personal plot, you must adhere to the following principles:
The choice of place. Arctotis needs a sunny, open area with light, well-drained soil rich in humus. Damp places, acidic or clay soil are contraindicated.
Propagated by seeds. In the southern regions, they are sown directly into the ground at the beginning of May - nests in the distance between the nests. Shoots appear on the 7-12th day, plants bloom 2.5 months after sowing.
Growing seedlings. Seeds are sown for seedlings in late March - early April, it is best to immediately in peat pots (because the stem root system of arctotises during transplantation can be severely damaged, because of which the plants lag behind in growth or even die.
Pick and pinch. If the seeds are sown in boxes or cups, seedlings dive as early as possible in 3 pieces. into the pots. When the seedlings reach a height, they are nipped for better tillering.
Landing. They are planted in soil at a distance in late May - early June, when the threat of frost completely passes. If seedlings are not grown in pots, they must be planted in the ground, keeping lumps of earth around the root.
Watering and top dressing. Plants grow powerful if you seedlings and seedlings are watered, and also fed with complex mineral fertilizers before flowering (it does not tolerate fresh organic fertilizers).
During flowering. For lush flowering, faded baskets are removed.
Need support. Sometimes peduncles need support.
Diseases and pests. Plants can be damaged by aphids; in wet summers or on heavy soils, they are affected by root rot.
Arctotises in design
Arctotises are planted in mixborders, discounts, on flowerbeds and rocky slides. They are decorative in separate groups on the background of the lawn.
Thanks to the white-pubescent leaves, arctotises go well with many low plants with bright flowers and green leaves - marigolds, verbena, godetia, bush nasturtium, compact petunias, Drummond phlox.
Types and varieties of arctotis
The most commonly cultivated varieties of arctotis hybrid (Arctotis x hybridus hort.) - Harlequin Mixed and Large-Flowered Hybrids tall with flowers in orange-reddish colors, as well as Wine with dark pink flowers. There are also semi-double varieties of hybrid arctotises.
Arctotis stochasolistic is especially popular (A. stoechadifolia Berg.) 70 cm high, with slightly fragrant flowers up to 8 cm in diameter, pearl white in color and a shiny mid-point in blue-steel color. It has a garden variety that differs from the main species with longer leaves and large inflorescences. Some botanists consider this species of arctotis a separate species and call arctotis large (A. grandis).
Arctotis is short-stem (A. breviscapa Thunb.) up to 15 cm high, reed flowers bright orange.
Arctotis stemless (A. acaulis L. x A. scapigera Thunb.) - a species with long, up to basal cirrus-dissected leaves, green on the upper side, white-gray and yellow inflorescences with a purple lining on the lower side, the middle of them is black-red, the diameter of the inflorescences is 5 cm.
Rough arctotis (A. aspera L.) tall reed flowers are yellow, with brown strokes.
Arctotises are a rare species. (A. venusta) 30 cm high, with blue marginal flowers, eared (A. auriculata) 45 cm tall, with bright yellow marginal flowers and magnificent (A. fastuosa) with large orange marginal flowers.
In nature, arctotis is represented by shrubs and herbaceous plants. On the surface of foliage and shoots there is a dense pubescence of white or silver color. Regularly or oppositely arranged leaf plates have a wavy or notched-toothed shape. Saucer-shaped inflorescences-baskets in diameter reach 50–80 mm; in appearance they are very similar to chamomile or gerbera. Single flowers are located on long peduncles, they include marginal reed flowers of purple, yellow, white or pink color, as well as tubular median flowers, painted in purple, purple or brown. The composition of the multi-row wrapper inflorescence includes many scales. The fruit is a brownish-gray tufted seed. Seeds remain viable for 2 years.
Arctotis is perennial, annual and biennial. Perennial species in regions with a relatively cool climate grow as annuals.
Species and varieties
The most popular types of arctotis:
- Hybrid - forms bushes with a height of 20 to 100 cm, with large (up to 10 cm) buds of a wide variety of colors from white to dark red. It is represented by many varieties, the most popular is Harlequin. It is important to remember that it is not worth collecting seeds from it, seedlings will not repeat the parental characteristics.
- Stemless - has lush dwarf lush bushes, not higher than 20 cm. The flowers are medium-sized, red or orange with a dark spot in the middle. Looks good in pots and planters. You can plant in the form of flowering lawns, framing large shrubs or trees.
- Short-stemmed - 15 - 20 cm tall, with lush rosettes of leaves and small bright buds of yellow and orange shades. Solar flowers look good in a curb landing along the paths.
- Rough - poorly tolerated transplant, but a spectacular bush up to 50 - 60 cm tall. Flowers with a diameter of 6 - 8 cm are white or yellow, with a dark center. Blooms profusely from July to frost.
- Lush - the progenitor of modern hybrid forms of arctotis. It has a lush bush, 40 to 50 cm high, with medium-sized orange flowers similar to calendula.
- Stascholistny - a powerful plant up to a meter in height with beautiful large single flowers. Complex coloring, for example, a milky shade of white, turning into yellow with a purple core. There are varieties with red and orange inflorescences.
- Large-flowered - a low, up to 30 cm plant, with large flowers - “daisies”, light (white and pale yellow) shades.
When and how to plant
In our difficult climate, arctotis is grown as an annual crop. It multiplies well by seeds that can be bought in a store, ask friends or collect from your own plants. Seeds ripen in about 2 weeks after the beginning of flowering, they are very small (about 1 g in 1 g), so it is important not to miss the ripening, and to harvest in time. They retain germination for two years.
In the southern regions, sowing of "bear's eye" seeds is practiced directly in the ground at the end of April. Arctotis blooms 55 to 60 days after emergence.
In the middle lane and Moscow region it is better to grow a flower through seedlings. Seeds are sown in March, young plants are planted in open ground in May, when the threat of frost is over.
Arctotis cultivation from seeds
Arctotis can be grown from seeds, and it is best done through seedlings. To grow seedlings of such a beautiful flower is quite simple. Sowing seeds is recommended in mid-March, for this they are laid out in peat pots of 3-5 pieces. Take the pallet and place there all the pots, which then need to be covered with glass or film on top. The first seedlings appear after about 7 days. It is not recommended to grow seedlings of this culture in a total capacity, since it is extremely difficult to tolerate picking. But if nevertheless, for example, a box was used for sowing, then the seedlings during the formation of 2 real leaf plates would need to be raked in pots, with 3 plants being planted in each. After the height of the seedlings will reach 10-12 centimeters, they should be pinched so that the bushes are more magnificent.
Planting in the open soil of seedlings is carried out only when the threat of spring return frosts is left behind, as a rule, this time falls on the second half of May or the first days of June. Before planting, plants must be hardened so that they can get used to new conditions. To do this, every day, seedlings should be moved to the street, while the increase in the duration of this procedure should be gradual. It should be noted that after 15 days of hardening procedures, seedlings should be able to remain on the street around the clock.
Landing holes should be made observing the distance between them of 0.25–0.4 m. They need to carefully pass the raspberry, while being careful not to destroy the lump of land. In the event that the seedlings were grown in peat pots, then it should be planted together with these containers. Wells should be filled with soil, the surface of which needs to be slightly compacted. Planted plants need abundant watering.
Seeding for seedlings
Soil for arctotis is selected loose, light and slightly acidic. An ideal combination of peat and sand in equal proportions, with the addition of 0.5 part of garden soil.
Seedling boxes are disinfected with a solution of potassium permanganate or phytosporin to protect against fungal infection. Capacities for sowing should be spacious, the plant does not like crowding. It is advisable to sow immediately in separate tall glasses (8 - 10 cm) or peat tablets.
The root of the flower is long and pivotal, quite fragile, can suffer from a dive.
Sow seeds in the middle or end of March, in grooves, not closer than 1.5 - 2 cm to each other. In separate pots plant 2 to 3 seeds. In a warm and bright place, under glass or film, the arctotis emerges within 7-10 days. Shoots do not appear together, and grow unevenly, this is normal.
Watering is carried out moderate, moistening only the earth, without getting moisture on the plants themselves. Spraying to arctotis is contraindicated. Temperature for comfortable growth + 18 ... + 20 degrees.
If the plant has ascended in a common seedling box, dive it at the age of a pair of real leaves. When transplanting, it is important to be careful not to damage the root system. When the seedlings reach a height of 10 - 12 cm, they are pinched to form a lush bush.
How to plant arctotis in the garden
In regions where spring comes relatively early, and it is quite warm, it is quite possible to sow arctotis seeds in open soil in the first days of May. This culture is light-loving, in this regard, the site should be open and sunny. Suitable soil should be well-drained, and lime must be present. This plant is not recommended to be grown on clay and moist soil. During seeding, 4 or 5 seeds should be placed in each well. The type and variety of cultivated arctotis has a strong influence on the distance between planting holes. So, between tall plants, a distance of at least 0.4 m should be observed, and between short plants - about 0.25 m. After the seeds are planted, the surface of the plot needs to be tamped a little, then it is well watered. The first seedlings can be seen after about 10 days, and after only 10-12 days they are thinning. If the plant is provided with proper care, then it can begin to bloom after 8 weeks.
Landing and maintenance
Seedlings of "bear ears" are placed in the garden in the middle or end of May, in sunny places. The soil requires loose, light, sandy, with good drainage.
The presence of crushed stone and pebbles in the soil is appreciated. Clay, damp and heavy soils are not suitable for arctotis. Before planting, the earth is dug up and fertilized with a universal mineral fertilizer for flowers according to the instructions.
Organics, especially fresh, the flower can not stand!
Low-growing varieties are placed at a distance of 20 - 25 cm from each other, high arctotises require 40 cm spacing between the trunks.
Plant care consists in regular loosening of the soil, rare irrigation with warm water under the root. The flower tolerates drought well, but does not tolerate stagnation of water.
Fertilizing is not needed, just applying fertilizer to the ground before planting.
Pests and diseases do not annoy the arctotis, only in the rainy season can root rot occur. It is necessary to loosen the soil in a timely manner, and to prevent thickening of plantings.
Unpretentiousness, decorativeness, abundant flowering and simple propagation, makes arctotis a wonderful flower to give bright colors to the design of the garden. Even a beginner grower will cope with the agricultural technology of the plant.
Arctotis care in the garden
Caring for the arctotis grown in the garden is quite simple, you just need to water it, weed, feed, loosen the soil surface, pinch it, and also treat it from pests and diseases, if necessary.
This culture is highly resistant to drought, the root system of the bushes is able to extract moisture from the deep layers of the soil. In this regard, arctotis does not need frequent watering. However, during a prolonged drought, it is still necessary to water it from time to time, especially considering that the moistened surface of the soil is much easier to loosen and weave.
Mandatory nutrition for this plant is not needed. However, during the formation of buds and flowering bushes, it is still recommended to feed complex mineral fertilizer. Organics for feeding this culture are not used.
Still do not forget to timely remove the baskets that started to fade, which affects the more active formation of new buds. Often tall bushes need a garter to the support.
Diseases and pests
This culture is highly resistant to diseases and pests. However, meadow bugs and aphids can still settle on the bushes. If the arctotis is planted on moist soil, as well as during prolonged rains, the likelihood of developing gray rot is high.
To eliminate meadow bugs, bushes must be treated with a solution of mustard (per 1 bucket of water 100 grams of dry powder) or infusion of onions. If necessary, processing can be performed with an insecticidal preparation. Aphid is a sucking insect that feeds on plant juice, and it is also one of the main carriers of viral diseases that are considered incurable. To get rid of it, you should use insecticides, for example: Actellik, Fitoverm, Aktara, etc.
If the bush is damaged by gray rot, it must be removed from the soil and destroyed, since such a disease cannot be cured. The remaining bushes must be sprayed with a fungicide solution, for example, Fundazole.
Plants grown as annuals after they lose their effectiveness are dug up and burned. And with the onset of autumn, plant debris must be removed from the site, and then digged. In regions with a cool climate, all species of arctotis are cultivated as annuals. In the southern regions of Russia and Ukraine, it is quite possible to grow perennial species of this plant, but only for the winter they need to be very well covered. In late autumn, cut off part of the bush located above the ground. Then the surface of the plot should be mulched with a thick layer of bark, straw or sawdust, on top of the flower garden they cover with non-woven material or spruce spruce branches.
Arctotis short-stemmed (Arctotis breviscapa)
This perennial plant is a compact bush, the height of which does not exceed 15 centimeters. The native land of this species is South Africa. On the surface of shoots and leaf blades there is felt pubescence of a white color. Marginal reed flowers are painted in a deep orange color. Cultivated since 1812.
Arctotis Rough (Arctotis aspera)
The native land of this species is also South Africa. The height of the bush varies from 0.4 to 0.5 m. In the middle latitudes, this species is cultivated as an annual. The diameter of the inflorescences-baskets is about 50 mm, they include tubular yellow flowers and yellow reed flowers with brown dashes.
Arctotis stemless (Arctotis acaulis = Arctotis scapigera)
This species is a perennial and has a strong rod root. The length of the cirrus-dissected leaf blades is about 20 centimeters, their front surface is green and the wrong side is whitish, because there is pubescence on it. Baskets in diameter reach about 50 mm, they include reed flowers of yellow color with a purple lining, as well as tubular flowers of red-black color.
Arctotis stochasifolius (Arctotis stoechadifolia)
This species is also from South Africa. This perennial plant in the middle latitudes is cultivated as an annual. Strongly branched greenish erect shoots have a height of about 100 cm, and their surface is covered with pubescence, consisting of a soft pile of white-silver color. Asymmetric dense sheet plates have a lanceolate-oval shape, the edge of them is serrated and wavy. They are oppositely located, and on their surface there is felt pubescence. The lower leaf plates are petiolate, and the upper ones are sessile. On long peduncles there are solitary graceful inflorescences, their smell is rather weak, but very pleasant. They include the marginal flowers of a snow-white color, and their bases are yellow-golden, while the lower surface of them is light purple. And they also consist of small tubular flowers of violet-gray color, in the middle of the basket they form a bluish-steel disk. On a cloudy day, the inflorescences close. It has been cultivated since 1900. There is a variety of grandis: in contrast to the main species, its leaf plates are longer, the baskets are also larger.
Arctotis hybrid (Arctotis x hybridus)
This species combines complex hybrids, which are popular among gardeners. They are obtained by crossing different types of arctotis. These hybrids can be grown both as annuals and as perennials, it all depends on what the climate is in your region. Not very often, gardeners cultivate such species as: arctotis ear-shaped - the color of reed flowers is rich yellow, beautiful - the marginal flowers are blue, lush, or magnificent - with large orange marginal flowers. The following varieties are most popular:
- Pink Suga. Marginal flowers from the middle to the base are orange-yellow, and from the ends to the middle - lilac-pink.
- Mahogany. The tubular flowers are green, and the marginal ones are orange-terracotta.
- Haley. The color of the reed flowers is bright yellow, and the middle consists of black and dark yellow cylindrical circles.
- Brick Red. The color of the reed flowers is red, and the middle is dark brown-yellow.
Harlequin mixes are also quite popular in culture, which includes varieties of various colors.
Most popular in horticultural breeding. Shoots of 1 m with rather large lowered leaves.
Peduncle high with a single flower of a light yellow or milky white hue with a dark middle with a purple tint.
Natural species, the progenitor of many hybrids. The flowers are bright orange or yellow.
Bushy with flowing shoots.
Inflorescences of medium size, white, yellow flowers. Fragile root system. Height is up to 1 m.
Its only difference from other species is orange inflorescences.
It differs from other species due to the color of inflorescences, they are covered with a silver tint, give the plant a unique look.
Very large inflorescences, a huge list of possible flowers, from white to orange. The buds reach a size of up to 10 cm in diameter.
The height of the flower itself is 20 cm-1 m 20 cm. Seeds do not convey the characteristics of the species. The most popular variety is Harlequin.
The nuances of planting arctotis seeds
The seed ripening period takes 2 weeks after flowering. The most common method is seedling. If you plan to land in the southern regions, places with a warm climate, you can immediately plant in open ground.
On the issue of landing there are a couple of important nuances:
- It is necessary in advance, around March, to sow the seeds in a container filled with peat-sand mixture.
- Soil cultivation with potassium permanganate solution. This will help to rule out most infections and diseases.
Arctotis seeds need to be scattered on the soil surface. Then it is necessary to cover with a film or glass. It is important that the temperature does not fall below +22 ° C, does not rise above +24 ° C. The appearance of sprouts can be observed a week after planting.
Upon detection of the first seedlings, it is necessary to remove the material with which the seeds were covered. The issue of watering should be approached with extreme caution, it is recommended to produce through a pallet. Spray is not worth it, this can disrupt the process of seedling growth. After a while, when the seedlings grow enough, there will be a need to thin out.
Immediately after the appearance of the first grown true leaves, the sprouts must be transplanted into separate containers. You can combine, hold up to 3 pieces in one pot. The transplant must be done carefully, due to its small age, the structure, the root system of the plant is very fragile, with careless handling it is easy to damage.
A large percentage of the risk can be eliminated if, from the very beginning, seeds are planted in special peat tablets. Then, upon reaching their normal growth, about 10 cm, pinching is recommended to increase the bushiness.
Outdoor cultivation of arctotis
Landing is made in late spring, in extreme cases at the very beginning of summer. During this period, it is not possible to freeze plants with cold soil. When choosing a landing site, you need to give preference to well-lit areas with sunlight. This is due to the love of arctotis for bright places.
The root system of the plant is tender, very sensitive. As a result of this, it is impossible to plant in clay soil, since it will be difficult for the roots to cope with it, which will seriously affect growth.
As for fertilizers, they are not whimsical, for better growth, it is necessary to provide drainage by adding sand to the soil.
Since arctotis is an African analogue of the well-known chamomile, the arid climate, the long absence of moisture in the soil are not terrible for him. But you need to be careful with watering, an excessive amount of water negatively affects the root system, and can provoke the appearance of diseases. Watering is carried out in a moderate mode, an indicator of the need is a dried soil layer, approximately 10 mm. Water for this is practically suitable for any, both from the water supply system and rainwater.
Features of feeding for arctotis
The flower does not tolerate organic fertilizing in all their forms. It is not recommended to use any fertilizer. Having roots from arid countries, it is capable of doing well with what is already in the soil. The only feeding process can be carried out during the formation of buds, the active phase of flowering. At other times, this operation is strictly contraindicated.
Arctotis pruning and wintering
To constantly stimulate the growth of new buds, it is necessary to regularly remove wilted flowers. In addition, it will maintain an aesthetic appearance.
Arctotis by life time can be divided into 2 groups:
The first type, after flowering, is destroyed. In perennial species, upon the onset of cold weather, parts located above the ground are cut off by about 90%. The remaining (not more than 10 cm) are placed in a specially created structure, where sawdust, fallen leaves are laid out, covered with a film on top.
Reproduction and collection of arctotis seeds
This flower with full confidence can be attributed to the group of the brightest, most beautiful plants. It is not surprising that everywhere gardeners want to have a collection of these beautiful flowers in their garden. In addition, they are very unpretentious in matters of care and feeding, perennial species are able to tolerate the cold season, after which it is even better to continue flowering.
Before the onset of frost, the question of the reproduction of this plant, especially for annual species, becomes relevant. The most common and effective way is using seeds. It is also possible to transplant a plant from the soil into a pot. However, a delicate, fragile root system requires proper handling if it is necessary to change the dislocation. Such a transplant in the absence of minimal experience can easily lead to the death of a beautiful flower.
After 2 weeks, when the flowering period ends, the so-called “fluff” forms in the very center of the flower basket. It is a ripened achene, as well as the first sign that it is already possible to start collecting seeds. The concentration in this “gun” is very high - 1 gram can easily contain up to 500 copies. The collection is recommended to be carried out exclusively in the morning, while dry weather should prevail.
The collected seed material must be dried as thoroughly as possible, after which they should be corked in a special container, where they are already stored until the next heat. There is no reason to fear for the preservation of seeds, they are able to not lose their properties up to 2 years, without any negative consequences, the occurrence of diseases.
Diseases and pests of arctotis
Arctotis, like all plants, is vulnerable to certain diseases, plant ailments. The most common problem of this flower is a meadow bug and aphid. At the first sign of damage to the plant, insecticides are immediately used. An excellent remedy for bedbugs is a solution of mustard based water. Such a solution is prepared at the rate of 100 grams of mustard powder per 10 liters of water.
Of the diseases, arctotis suffers from gray rot. Formed with excessive watering. Not treatable.
To prevent the occurrence of ailments, it is necessary to inspect the seedlings daily for the appearance of plaque, holes in the leaves.