Eucomis: Planting And Care In The Open Air, Growing In The Garden, Species And Varieties

The one-leafed flowering bulbous plant Eucomis is a member of the Asparagus family. In the wild, this flower can be found in South Africa. "Eucomis" translates from Greek as "beautifully hairy". So this genus was named by Charles Louis Leritius de Brutel, and it happened in 1788. Gardeners cultivate 4 species of eucomis, and in total this genus includes 14 species.

The advantage of this plant is that it retains its very high ornamental value even after its long bloom.

Peculiarities of Eucomis

Eucomis: planting and care in the open air, growing in the garden, species and varieties

Eucomis is a perennial herbaceous plant. The bulbs, which reach 80 mm across, are oval in shape. There are still a number of glossy root leaf laminae, which are strap-shaped or ovate in shape. The cylindrical flower stalks are about 100 centimeters tall.

On them grow inflorescences brush-shaped, which look like a pineapple, they reach about 0.3 m in length. The flowers are wheel-shaped and light green or white with a purplish or brownish tint. The flowers consist of 6 lanceolate perianths fused at the base and another 6 fused stamens with oscillating anthers. At the very top of the flower stalk above the flowers is a bunch of 10 to 20 green bracts, which are what make this plant look like a pineapple.

The fruit is a three-rib, flat-round boll with an egg-shaped or round seed, dark brown or black in color.

Eukomis is an exotic bulbous plant

Potting Eukomis in the open ground

Eucomis: planting and care in the open air, growing in the garden, species and varieties

What time to plant

Potting eukomis bulbs in the open ground in well warmed soil, Once the return spring frosts are behind us, usually in the last days of May or June. If your region has a relatively cold and prolonged spring, it is advisable to germinate the bulbs in a deep container filled with soil and plant them on the plot in the last days of March or in the first days of April. When planting the bulb, it should not be completely embedded in the soil, but the top part should be a little higher than the surface.

Planting rules

Grow this crop in a well-lit area that is protected from drafts and strong gusts of wind.

The soil should be loose, light, as well as well-drained and rich in humus. To improve the permeability of the soil, it should be turned over with gravel, coarse sand or broken bricks.

Bulbs should be planted 25-35 mm deeper into the ground depending on their size, and the distance between bushes should be at least 15 cm and the width between the rows should be 0.3 to 0.4 m.

How to water and fertilize

Garden care for eucomis

Eucomis: planting and care in the open air, growing in the garden, species and varieties

How to water and fertilize

Whether eucomis bulbs are planted in a germination pot or in open soil, they should be watered very sparingly at first. But after the beginning of intensive growth of such a flower, it will need to be watered systematically and abundantly. After the plant will be watered or the rain will pass, it is necessary to loosen the soil surface near the bush, pulling out all the weeds. When the plant blossoms, it is necessary to gradually reduce watering. And once the leaf plates become yellow, stop watering the bush at all.

For long and lush flowering, Eucomis should be fertilized twice a month, using mineral complex fertilizer in liquid form. But make sure to include a minimum of nitrogen, as this element is very harmful to eucomys.

How to transplant

Eucomis: planting and care in the open air, growing in the garden, species and varieties

Growing such a flower in your garden is quite easy. However, such a plant needs frequent replanting, which should be done every year, no matter where it grows: outdoors or in a container. The fact is that this culture is not highly frost-resistant.

Bulbs will need to be removed from the ground in the fall, and it should be done before frosts start. Then they are stored indoors for the winter, and then planted in the garden again in the spring.

Propagation of Eucomis

Eucomis: planting and care in the open air, growing in the garden, species and varieties

This plant can be propagated by generative (seed) and vegetative propagation. When propagated vegetatively, the shrub retains all the varietal characteristics of the mother plant. During the season, a small number of offspring are formed on the parent bulb.

Detachment of the offspring is made when eucomis has a dormant period. The places of cuts or breaks should be covered with crushed charcoal. Both detached and mother bulbs are planted in the open soil in the spring time or in the first weeks of summer.

Only species eucomis can be propagated by seed. Freshly harvested seeds are used for sowing.

They are sown in boxes or pots filled with substrate. The first seedlings should appear after 4-6 weeks. Care for such plants should be the same as for seedlings of any other culture. The first flowering of seed bushes can only be seen 3 or 4 years after sowing.

Eucomis: planting and care in the open air, growing in the garden, species and varieties

Raising such a flower can be done by leaf cuttings.

To do this, the leaf blade must be torn off from the shrub immediately at its base and then the leaf is cut with a sharp instrument into pieces which should vary in length from 40 to 60 mm, marking the lower or upper part of them. Then the cuttings are buried with their lower part in a soil mixture consisting of peat and sand to a depth of 25 mm. Then leaf cuttings to cover the top of a transparent cover and give them a temperature of about 20 degrees. Ventilate the cuttings should be 1 every 7 days, for this purpose, removing the cover for a while. After 2-2.

5 months, small bulbs should form on the edge of the leaf plate parts. They should be gently torn off and planted in the substrate where they should grow to the desired size.

Wintering

Eucomis: planting and care in the open air, growing in the garden, species and varieties

After the bushes have finished flowering, the flower arrows should be removed and the leaf plates should remain, as they provide nutrients to the eucomis until the fall. In the first autumn weeks there is a yellowing, wilting and dying off of the leaf plates, with the onions beginning their dormancy period. When growing this crop in regions with relatively warm winters, where the air temperature is not below zero degrees, the bulbs, if desired, can not be removed from the ground, but simply before the cold weather arrives, the surface of the site is covered with a layer of spruce branches or fallen leaves.

However, in regions with frosty, snowy or unpredictable winters, it is recommended to remove the bulbs from the ground in the last days of September, remove the remaining soil and immerse them in Maxim solution for a while. After they have dried, they should be placed in paper or cloth bags, which are stored in a cool and dry room with good ventilation. If the bulbs are not enough, they can be stored in the refrigerator shelf intended for vegetables, but it should be taken into account that no apples should be placed next to them. If desired, eucomis can be planted in pots filled with a suitable soil mixture. Keep them at room temperature and water a little if necessary to prevent the substrate from drying out.

Eukomis is a bulbous plant

Diseases and pests

Eukomis suffers most often from bulb rot. This happens because of stagnant liquid in the soil during the growing season, and improper storage during the dormancy period also contributes to this. Affected bushes or bulbs should be treated with a solution of fungicide, for example: Topaz, Fondazol, Skor or other means of similar action. To kill the fungus, in most cases you will need to treat the bushes two or three times over the leaves or disinfect the bulbs with a solution containing copper.

Most often the plant suffers from powdery mildew, aphids, spider mites and whiteflies.

Aphids can harm this crop when grown both outdoors and indoors. All other pests settle only on shrubs grown at home. To exterminate pests, an insecticide solution is used, while acaricides are used to kill mites. Insecto-acaricides such as Actara or Actellic will help to get rid of any of the pests listed above.

Eukomis species and varieties with pictures and names

Horticulturists only cultivate a few Eukomis species.

Eucomis punctata or Eucomis tufted (Eucomis punctata = Eucomis comosa)

Eucomis: planting and care in the open air, growing in the garden, species and varieties

This species arrived in Europe in 1778. The bush varies in height from 0.3 to 0.6 m. The grooved, flat, linear or lanceolate leaf plates can reach 0.

6 m in length and 7 centimeters in width. There are brown spots on the underside. The loose, brush-like inflorescences consist of 40 to 100 green flowers, which are arranged on pedicels three centimeters long. The Strikata variety is the most interesting one, having been introduced in 1790. It is characterized by longitudinally striated, red-brown stripes on the undersides of its leaves.

There are also varieties with purple or pink flowers.

Eucomis bicolor, or Eucomis bicolor

Eucomis: planting and care in the open air, growing in the garden, species and varieties

This species originates from South Africa and appeared in Europe in 1878. Its pedicels are about 50 cm long, with purple stripes crossing their surface. In the last summer weeks the greenish flowers open with their bracts framed by a purple border. The fruits are dark red in color.

Tubergen has developed the variety Alba, which flowers are greenish-white.

Eucomis autumnalis, or Eucomis autumnalis

Eucomis: planting and care in the open air, growing in the garden, species and varieties

This species differs from the others in being relatively frost-resistant, therefore it is left outdoors for wintering in the southern regions. The height of flower stalks varies from 0.2 to 0.3 m.

The brush-like inflorescence consists of white or creamy-white flowers. Blossoms later than the others.

Besides the above mentioned varieties the following ones are much more rarely cultivated by gardeners: eucomis zambezi, Pole-Evans, redshank and wavy.

Eucomis in landscape design

Eucomis: planting and care in the open air, growing in the garden, species and varieties

Eucomis is a beautiful decoration of any garden plot. Such a flower is widely used as a solo plant because it has sturdy flower stalks as well as distinct structural forms.

It can also be used for joint planting, with excellent partners for it are groundcover annuals, gerberas, as well as coniferous perennials. Thus, eucomis looks great with geichera planted on the background of groundcover plants, such as lobelia or alissum. In a rocky garden this flower will also look stunning, its shiny leaf plates are able to emphasize the majesty of the stones. This flowering plant can be planted almost anywhere and will look great everywhere.

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