Mimulus, also called sponges, is a member of the Frimaceae family. This genus is represented by herbaceous plants and semi-shrubs. Such plants in wild conditions can be found in all regions with a temperate climate except Europe. Previously this genus was a member of the family Norichneumonaceae. The scientific name of the plant comes from the Latin word "mimus", which means "imitator, mime", this is due to the variable motley colored flower, and also with its unusual shape, which resembles the face of a monkey.
This genus includes about 150 species, and most of them in wild conditions can be found in the western part of North America in damp places, and also in deserts and mountains at an altitude of up to 2.5 thousand meters above sea level. In mid-latitudes, mimulus has not yet gained much popularity among gardeners.
Peculiarities of mimulus
The flowering plant gubastik is a perennial, but is cultivated as an annual in mid-latitudes. But there are sufficiently hardy species, which are not afraid of frosts up to minus 20 degrees.
Semishrubs reach a height of 1.5 meters, while herbaceous plants grow no taller than 0.7 m. Branched, creeping or erect shoots may be glabrous or downy on their surface. Supropode leaf laminae are often ovate in shape.
Roughly clustered inflorescences consist of irregularly shaped, spotted or monochromatic flowers, up to 50 mm in diameter. They have a tubular corolla with a bipartite upper lip that is bent backward and a three-lobed lower lip that is set forward. The fruit is a boll, which contains small brown seeds. When ripe, the capsule splits in two.
This plant is used to decorate alpinaries, flowerbeds, and is also grown in containers and suspended structures.
Also used as a groundcover plant.
My mimulus (gubastik) wonder blooms!
Growing mimulus from seed
Sow gubastik seeds in the last days of March or first days of April in the room. Because the seeds are very small, it is very difficult to distribute them evenly over the surface of the substrate. Because of this, seedlings of mimulus need to be sprouted. The soil used for sowing must be light and loose, so, for this purpose, a universal substrate, including perlite and coconut fiber in its composition, do not forget to pour a small amount of clean sand into it will be ideal.
The seeds are simply distributed on the surface of the substrate and, without embedding, watered from a sprayer. Then the container should be covered with glass or film and put in a well-lit cool enough (15 to 18 degrees) place. If you do it right, you should be able to see the first seedlings after two or three days.
After most of the seedlings have appeared, the plants may start to stretch out. To prevent this, you should move the container to a place as light and cool as possible (10 to 12 degrees).
Water the seedlings daily and do it in the afternoon. It is also recommended to spray the seedlings regularly with a fine sprayer. After the plants begin to form the fourth true leaf, they need to be pickled in individual cups. In this case, each cup should be planted 3 or 4 plants. When the seedlings take root in a new place, they will need to be fertilized, for this use potassium fertilizer weak concentration.
The plants should be given a second fertilizer 1-1.5 weeks later.
How to plant Mimulus in seeds
Seeding Mimulus in the garden
What time to plant
Sowings should start to harden in the first days of May. Usually the plants have about half a month to become fully acclimated to the outdoors. Cultivate the plants in the open ground after warm weather and no night frosts are expected, usually in the middle of May.
Mimulus can also be grown in the penumbra and in well-lit areas. The soil needs to be humus, loamy, slightly acidic (with the addition of peat). The plot must be prepared by digging it, levelling the surface and watering it. The seedlings should also be watered before planting.
Precautions for planting
First, the holes should be prepared.
Their size and depth should be such that a clump of earth can easily accommodate the plant with its root system. A distance of 0.2-0.3m should be kept between the bushes. The seedlings should be gently transferred into the holes.
If the spring in the region where the mimulus is grown is quite warm, the seeds can be sown directly into the open soil from mid to late April. However, it should be taken into account that the average air temperature during the day should be kept at 15-18 degrees. The seeds are simply spread over the surface of the plot and covered with a transparent foil without embedding them in the soil. The cover should be removed only after the first seedlings appear. When the plants have grown strong, they must be thinned out.
Cultivating gubastik is quite easy, as it is a relatively unpretentious plant. Young plants need to be pruned so the bushes will be more lush.
This plant is very fond of moisture and you should water it often and systematically, especially in summer. Please note that the soil around the bushes should always be a little damp. If small holes appeared on the surface of the leaf plates, it indicates that watering should be reduced.
After each watering, it is recommended to loosen the soil surface near the plants, simultaneously pulling out weeds.
Feeding is done once every 4 weeks. A solution of mineral complex fertilizer (15 ml per 10 liters of water) is used for this purpose.
Throughout the vegetation period the gubastik blooms 2 times: in spring and in autumn. The duration of the first stage of flowering is a few weeks.
After it is over, the bushes should be pruned as short as possible and fed. After a short time, they will grow new stems, and the plants will bloom even more lush than before. To maintain the high decorative value of the mimulus during flowering, you should promptly cut off the flowers and inflorescences that have begun to fade.
Diseases and pests
Grown in the garden, the gubastik is very resistant to diseases and pests. However, seedlings of such a plant can fall ill with powdery mildew or black leg.
Infected seedlings should be sprayed with a solution of fungicide. In hot weather there is a high probability of infecting the plant with gray rot. Affected specimens should be dug out and burned because this disease has not yet been effectively treated.
If you water the bushes very abundantly, gastropods may settle on them. To prevent this, the watering schedule and the amount of watering should be reviewed, and a layer of mulch (sawdust) should be placed over the surface of the plot.
Also whiteflies and aphids may attack these flowers and should be treated with acaricide such as Actara or Actellic.
Mimulas are perennials but they like to grow warm. If desired, the bushes can be preserved by trimming them in the fall, carefully removing them from the ground and planting them in pots to be brought into the house. For planting choose not a very large container. These flowers are placed on the windowsill in a sufficiently cool room.
With the onset of spring time, the bushes should be planted in open soil.
Species and varieties of mimulus with photos and names
Gardeners cultivate only a small number of species of mimulus. All of them will be described below.
Mimulus orange (Mimulus aurantiacus)
Native to this species are the southwestern regions of the United States. This heat-loving mimulus is about 100 centimeters tall.
The foliage is glossy, colored dark green. The color of the flowers is pink and salmon-colored or orange, the diameter of their corolla is about 40 mm. The stems of such a plant should be tied to a support, because they bend to the soil surface and begin to creep along it. Such a spectacular flower often grows in containers, as well as in hanging baskets. It should be moved to a cooler room for the winter.
Pomegranate garnet (Mimulus puniceus)
His home is in southern California and the border areas of Mexico and the United States. The coloration of the flowers is iridescent. They can be colored in various shades of dark red. The corolla has an orange coloring on the inside.
The yellow booby (Mimulus luteus)
He is native to Chile.
It was discovered in the early 18th century by a priest from France, Father Feuillet, who was traveling in South America. And in 1763, Carl Linnaeus described such a flower. This perennial plant is cultivated as an annual. Branched upright shoots are about 0.6 m tall.
Leaf blades may be glabrous or downy, heart- or egg-shaped with sharp teeth along the edge. The axils or terminal inflorescences consist of yellow flowers. Cultivated since 1812. This species is grown by gardeners relatively rarely.
Mimulus mottled (Mimulus guttatus)
The species was discovered by H.
I. Langsdorf in 1808. In the beginning, such plants could be found in nature only in the western regions of North America. Later it spread to the East and North of the continent, also to New Zealand and Europe (in temperate regions). This happened because this plant is plastic and polymorphic.
The height of the bush is about 0.8 m. Shoots are erect and branched. The color of the flowers is yellow, on the surface of the pharynx of the corolla there is a dark red mottle. This species has a mottled form, Richard Bish: The leaves are greenish-gray with white borders on the blades.
Red (Mimulus cardinalis) or purple (Mimulus cordinalis)
This species is also native to North America. This perennial plant is cultivated as an annual. The downy shoot branches from the base. Compact shrubs grow about 0.4-0.
6 m tall. The suprotectively arranged ovate leaf plates have convex veins and a serrated edge. Tubular fragrant flowers have a double-lobed bend, their color is scarlet red. They are placed in the leaf axils on long pedicels. Cultivated since 1853.
- Auranticus. The color of the flowers is red-orange.
- Cardinal. There is a mottle of yellow on the surface of the scarlet-red flowers.
- Rose Queen.
The large pink flowers are covered with dark mottling.
- Red Dragon. The color of the flowers is red.
Mimulus copper-red (Mimulus cupreus)
Native of Chile. This perennial plant does not exceed 12-15 centimeters in height.
The bare stems are only slightly raised from the surface of the ground. The axillary flowers are arranged on short peduncles and are orange-copper or red-copper in color; the diameter of the flowers is about 30 mm. Over time the color of the flowers becomes yellow-golden. Cultivated since 1861. Garden forms:
- Red Imperial.
The corolla is colored in a red-blaze color.
- Andean Nymph. There is a pale purple mottle on the surface of the cream flowers.
- Roter Kaiser. The color of the flowers is red.
Mimulus primuloides (Mimulus primuloides)
This perennial plant is cultivated as a perennial, unlike other Mimulus species. The many slender stems reach up to 15 centimeters in height. The rosette consists of oblong or ovate leaf plates. The flowers are yellow on long peduncles.
This species is a North American endemic.
This herbaceous perennial plant has tufted shoots and leafy plates that secrete mucus that smells like musk. The shoots reach about 0.3 m in length and can be stalked or erect. The supronate leaflets are no more than 60 mm long and oval in shape. The yellow flowers are about 25 mm in diameter.
Mimulus ringens or Mimulus open
This species is a type. This herbaceous perennial can vary in height from 0.2 to 1 meter. Its shoots are branched. The oval leaf plates are arranged supropositively.
The small flowers are lavender in color.
Mimulus tiger (Mimulus x tigrinus), either Mimulus tigrinus, or Mimulus large-flowered, or Mimulus leopard, or Mimulus hybridus, or Mimulus maximus
This is a group name for the various varieties and forms that were produced by crossing the yellow mimulus and the speckled mimulus. The color of the flowers of these hybrids stands out because they are spotted. As a rule, the height of bushes does not exceed 0.25 meters.
The ovate-shaped leaf laminae have a serrated edge. The axillary or terminal tassels are composed of variegated flowers. This species is the most popular among gardeners. The most popular varieties are:
- Foyerking. The color of the flowers is red, with brown dots on the surface.
The pharynx is yellow.
- Sun in the shade. Shrub height about 0.25 m, flowers variegated.
The bush is about 0.25 m high. There are large spots of dark red on the surface of the yellow flowers.
- Magic Spots. The bush reaches 0.
15-0.2 m in height. The white-cream flowers have crimson-red spots.
- Magic Mix. This variety series has a bush height of about 0.
2 m. The pastel-colored flowers come in monochromatic and bicolor.
- Twinkle mix. This variety series includes plants from 0.2 to 0.
3 m in height. Flower color varies from dense red to white, spotted to monochromatic.
- Brass Monkeys. This hybrid ampelic variety is noted for its lush blooms. The flowers are mottled deep orange.