Cineraria is a genus of plants belonging to the family Asteraceae or Compositae. Gardeners cultivate different species of cineraria as well as species belonging to the genus Senecio (Senecio) of the tribe Crestiferae, which are members of the Asteraceae family. The genus cineraria comprises about 50 species, which occur in nature, and according to various data, there are 1-3 thousand species of crinstones. Below we will talk about the species of cineraria and crossbush that are most popular with gardeners.
In Latin, cineraria means "ashy".
It is represented by shrubs and herbaceous plants. In the wild, this flower can be found only in tropical areas of Africa and Madagascar. Only Cineraria cruenta (also called Cineraria hybrida) is cultivated at home, but in fact it is a crucifera hybrid. In horticulture this plant is cultivated as an annual or biennial. The height of the bush with strongly branching shoots is 30-90 centimeters.
Large petiolate leaf blades are oval or lyre-shaped, in more varieties they are pinnately dissected. The leaves and shoots have pubescence on their surface. The terminal calyx-shaped inflorescences consist of large or simple baskets with lingual flowers, which are white, purple, red or yellow. They surround an island of tubular yellow flowers. Flowering occurs from the second half of June until the first frost.
Cineraria: growing and care
Growing cineraria from seeds
To grow cineraria from seeds, you first need to buy them. You can buy them at a florist's because they are not commonly found in gardens. Seeds have a very good germination rate. It is recommended to sow seeds into seedlings in the first days of April. To do this, the container should be filled with peat mixed with sand (1:1).
Sowing is made on the surface of the substrate, the seeds do not deepen. After sowing, you need to take a ruler of wood and tamp the surface of the substrate. After that, seedlings should be watered with a sprayer or using the lower method. The container should be covered with clear glass.
The first seedlings usually appear after 1-1.
5 weeks. After that, the container should be moved to a location with good light. The plants should be potted individually when they have developed two true leaves. During the picking the plant should be carefully taken out together with the clump of earth. It is recommended to use peat briquettes as a container, resulting in several times less problems during planting in open soil.
With proper seedling care, you will transplant powerful young plants into the garden.
Putting cineraria outdoors
What time to plant
Cultivating such a flower is not very difficult, especially if you know the basic rules of care for it. It is recommended to choose a sunny site, but do not forget that at lunchtime such plants need shade. Suitable is a well-drained soil, saturated with nutrients, neutral or slightly alkaline. The young plants can only be planted out when there is no danger of frosts at night, usually in the middle of May.
How to plant
Transplanting this plant into the ground is virtually the same as for any other planting. The distance between the holes should be 20 to 25 centimeters. Landing is made together with an earth clod. When the cineraria is planted, tamp down the soil and water it. If there is a danger of frost at night, cover the plants with a lutrasil or spunbond in the evening and remove it in the morning.
If there is not enough water, the cineraria becomes weak, and if there is too much moisture, then the root system will begin to rot. Remember that almost all species of this plant are resistant to drought and most often they have enough rain. After the plant has been watered or it has rained, the surface of the ground should be loosened and the weeds removed. When the flowers begin to wither, they should be cut off, as a result, the cineraria will bloom much longer. Fertilizing is carried out 2 or 3 times every 4 weeks and use a mineral fertilizer.
Ornamental-flowering species should be fertilized once every 7 days using alternating mineral and organic fertilizers. If you have an ornamental-foliage species, cut off the buds as soon as they appear.
How to grow from seed is described above, but only ornamental-foliage species can be propagated this way. Ornamental-foliar species can also be propagated by vegetative propagation. Cineraria maritima, for example, can be propagated using ten centimetre long cuttings in summer.
In this case, you will need a "cuttings box" (a portable box) into which the cuttings will be planted. Such a device is necessary so that you can easily remove young plants (cuttings) from the midday direct rays of the sun. You will need planks and plywood to make it. At the bottom, do not forget to make holes for drainage. Then a ten-centimeter layer of garden soil mixed with sand is poured, on top - a layer of coarse-grained river sand (thickness of 5-7 centimeters).
The surface should be leveled and the substrate should be watered with a watering can with a solution of manganese potassium pink. Treat the cuttings at the bottom with rhizomevin, then immerse them in the substrate in the "cuttings" and tamp down the soil around them a little. After that, cover the cuttings with a cut plastic bottle, sticking it slightly into the sand. You can remove this cover only after full rooting. If necessary, watering the soil over the bottles should be carried out 2 times a day.
Rooted plants should begin to accustom them to the outside environment, to do this, you must remove the bottles from them every day for 1-2 hours. After some time, you need to remove the cover for good and it is better to do it when it will be cloudy or in the rain. For wintering cuttings are placed in a cool room, not taking them out of the "cuttings". In the spring, plant them in the open soil.
Diseases and pests
Decorative-leaved cineraria is susceptible to mildew or rust infection (in high humidity and heat), and aphids and spider mites may also settle on it.
Since these flowers have dense pubescence, it will be easier to prevent infection than to cure the disease. To exterminate pests, systemic insecticides are used. But remember that all varieties of this plant are highly resistant to disease and pests.
It has already been mentioned above that this very showy flowering plant is cultivated by gardeners in the middle latitudes as an annual. Because of this, once it blooms, it is simply destroyed.
However, it is possible to preserve deciduous species until the next year. To do this, they need to be prepared for wintering, namely, the bushes of the plant should be covered with a layer of dried leaves. In the spring time, you need to remove the leaves, and then cut off the parts of the cineraria that are frozen, because they can prevent the growth of young shoots. There is also a second method, which will help to preserve this plant until spring. In the autumn time it should be transplanted into a flower pot, and after that move it to a sufficiently lighted cool room.
With the coming of the next spring, you will only have to transplant this plant into the open ground.
Main varieties and species with photos
All the species of this plant that are cultivated by gardeners and florists are divided into 2 different groups. The first of them are ornamental-leaved ones. Such cineraria are usually cultivated for the most part in open soil. The second group is ornamental-flowering ones.
These plants are grown as indoor plants.
Sea cineraria (cineraria maritima)
It is also called silver cineraria, silver cineraria or sea cress. This ornamental deciduous plant is a perennial. The composition of its rooted leafy rosette includes leafy plates of unusual greenish-silvery color. This species is very popular in landscape design.
The fact is that it is an excellent background for other greenery, as well as for plants with flowers of a very bright, rich color. Also, this species can also be called "silver dust". The most popular varieties are as follows:
- "Silver Dust" such compact shrubs have a small height and lacy leaf plates.
- "Cyrrus" such a shrub has a greater height than the last and has oval toothed leaves on its lush bushes.
Also called red cineraria or blood cineraria, this bushy plant is a decorative flowering plant.
The shrub can grow to a height of about 30 centimeters or even more. Large rounded leaf plates have a length of 10-20 centimeters. The pretty leaves are backdrop for colorful flowers that look like daisies or marguerites. The most popular varieties are
- Grandiflora, a bush has a height of 50 to 70 centimeters. The florets are quite large and have a diameter of 5-8 centimeters.
- Dable - bush can be 35-70 centimeters tall and the florets have a diameter of five centimeters.
- Stellata - bush is very tall (70-90 centimeters) and the diameter of the flowers is 2-4 centimeters.
- Sympathy - This plant stands out because its florets can be colored in many different combinations of color shades.
Cineraria elegans (Senecio elegans)
The strongly branching stem is about 60 centimeters tall and has pubescent hairs on its surface, like the surface of the leaf plates. The florets can be either tumescent or simple.
They are part of baskets, which are part of corymbiform inflorescences. Flowering lasts until the first frost. Popular varieties:
- Nanus - The bush of this dwarf variety is about 25 centimeters tall.
- Ligulosus - the mahre flowers can be colored in many different colors.
One-year flowers Cineraria marina and Cineraria hybrid.