Moonflower: Planting And Care In The Open Ground, Growing In The Garden

The herbaceous perennial or annual plant Lunaria is a member of the Cruciferous family. The name of this plant was formed from the Latin word, which is translated as "moon" - the fact that the shape of the fruits, as well as their nacreous appearance have a resemblance to the full moon. This genus unites 4 species, but gardeners cultivate only 2:

  1. Lunaria annualis (Lunaria annua), either money flower or moon grass. This species is native to southeastern Europe.
  2. Lunaria perennial, or lunaria rediviva (Lat.

    Lunaria rediviva). This rare endangered species is considered a Tertiary relic. Its habitat decreases in size every year. Today it is found throughout Europe, and comparatively rarely in North America. This flower prefers loose, weakly acidic, fertile soils rich in humus, as well as gravely or clay soils.

    Most often it can be found in deciduous forests. It has been cultivated since the late 16th century. At that time this plant was believed to have magical powers and people used it as a talisman that would increase their wealth so they carried it with them.

Peculiarities of the lunula

Moonflower: planting and care in the open ground, growing in the garden

The whole leaf plates are rather large. The petals of the flowers are large, they are usually purple, but white can also be found, and they have long marigolds.

The straight sepals are sac-like at the base. The fruit is a large pod, flattened on the dorsal side, rounded or elliptical in shape, it has flat leaflets and sits on a peduncle that measures 1.5 cm in length. One pod contains several flat, double-rowed seeds with leathery wings.

How to plant in the open ground

Moonflower: planting and care in the open ground, growing in the garden

The annual Moonflower is essentially a biennial because in its first year of growth it only forms leaves gathered into a rosette.

The formation of flower-bearing shoots in it is observed only in the second year of life. Once the seeds have ripened, the life cycle of the plant comes to an end. Annual harrier is a light-loving plant, so planting it in an open and well-lit place, or in slight shade. Perennial harrier on the contrary can not grow on a sunny site, for it is more suitable penumbra or shade. Annual species do not have special preferences for soil.

But for planting perennial species suitable only moist, loose soil, which should be well fertilized, for this purpose it is added humus (per 1 square meter of from 3 to 4 kg), and also lime under recultivation to a depth of about 0.2 m.

Ob the Moonflower species cultivated by gardeners can very easily propagated by cuttings, and even seeds. Seeds of the annual species can be sown directly into the open soil at the beginning of spring if desired. The color of annuals' seeds is dark brown, and they reach 0.

5-0.6 cm in cross-section. Sowing should be carried out in pre-made furrows, and the distance between the seeds should be kept 0,3-0,35 m, in this case the seedlings do not need thinning. The first shoots usually appear after 7 days. In the last days of August the seedlings should already have formed leaf rosettes and can be transplanted to a new permanent location if desired.

If you grow the annual species through seedlings, its flowering will start already in the year of planting in the open soil. Seeds should be sown in March and planted in the open ground in the last days of May, but only after the return spring frosts have left behind.

Seeds of perennials should be sown under the winter or in the spring time directly in the open ground, choose a site located in the shade for this. If sowing is planned for spring, the seeds will have to be stratified by placing them on a vegetable shelf in a refrigerator for 6 weeks. The first seedlings will appear only in May, after which it will be necessary to carry out their thinning, observing the distance between bushes of not less than 0.

3 m. By the end of the summer period the plants have already developed 2 pairs of true leaf plates. Mass flowering of such a lunnik will occur only in the next season. You should also be prepared for the fact that in the autumn time, starting from the second year of growth, the bushes can give quite an abundant self-sowing.

Garden care for the Moonflower

Moonflower: planting and care in the open ground, growing in the garden

Care for both the perennial and the annual Moonflower species in much the same way, as the bushes should be watered, weeded, fertilized, the ground loosened, protected from pests and diseases if necessary.

You should also cut flowers that have started to fade and prepare the shrubs for winter if necessary.

How to water

Pour the shrubs in moderation as too much moisture may result in rotting of the roots. However, during prolonged drought, watering should be frequent as well as abundant. Once the perennial has finished ripening its fruit, all watering should be discontinued. Watering is recommended either early in the morning or after the heat of the day has died down (after about 4 p.

m.). Water should only be used when it is stale and lukewarm. Shrubs react negatively to wet leaves.

Feeding

Moonflower: planting and care in the open ground, growing in the garden

Multiple species of moonberry are recommended to be fertilized.

Fertilize systematically once every 4 weeks from spring until the second half of summer. Both organic and complex mineral fertilizers will work for the lunnik.

Flowering and replanting

The perennial species blooms from May to June. Sometimes the bushes bloom again in August. Without replanting, the perennial moonberry can be grown for many years.

Repotting, however, is recommended during the last weeks of summer.

Lunnik after flowering

Moonflower: planting and care in the open ground, growing in the garden

The one-year species of lunnik is quite frost-resistant. Since this species is actually a biennial, it should definitely be covered for the first winter. For this purpose, the plot is mulched with a thick layer of organic matter and covered with spruce twigs.

When growing the perennial species in southern regions, it may only need to be covered for the winter if the weather forecasters predict a very cold and snowless winter period.

In the middle latitudes and in areas with colder winters, moonberry should be covered for the winter without fail.

Diseases and pests

Moonflower: planting and care in the open ground, growing in the garden

Loonberry is quite resistant to various diseases and pests. But if you grow it under unfavorable growing conditions, aphids, cruciferous flea or cabbage moths may settle on the bushes. As soon as the pests will be noticed on the bushes, you should make their insecticide treatment. There should be at least two sprays, with a distance of 1-1.

5 weeks between them.

Luniper is not recommended to grow in areas where representatives of the cruciferous family, such as cabbage, daikon, mustard, horseradish, radish, radish, rutabaga, etc., grew before. If there will be stagnant liquid in the soil, it can cause the development of fungal disease. Affected bushes should be treated with a solution of fungicide, and the mandatory re-treatment is carried out after 1.

5 weeks. Before treatment, remove all diseased parts from the shrubbery and be sure to destroy them.

If the shrubs are properly cared for and all agricultural rules of this crop are followed, they will be strong and healthy and any disease will be bypassed.

Lunaria species and varieties with photos and names

We already mentioned above that only 2 species of lunaria are cultivated.

Lunaria annua (Lunaria annua)

Moonflower: planting and care in the open ground, growing in the garden

This species is native to the south-east regions of Western Europe.

Gardeners cultivate it as a biennial. The bush is about 0.6 m tall. The successive woolly-fairy leaves are broadly ovate and can be either petiolate or sessile. The terminal racemes are composed of purple, purple or white flowers.

When the plant is finished flowering, it produces flat, oval-shaped seed pods similar in appearance to mother-of-pearl pennies. The bolls contain seeds that mature by September. Popular varieties:

Moonflower: planting and care in the open ground, growing in the garden

  1. Perple. The color of the flowers is purple.
  2. Alba.

    The flowers are colored white.

  3. Variegata. The coloration of the flowers is purplish-pink and the leaf plates are mottled.
  4. Manstead Pearl. The fragrant flowers have a mauve coloration.

Lunaria rediviva (Lunaria rediviva)

Moonflower: planting and care in the open ground, growing in the garden

This perennial plant occurs naturally in the broadleaf forests of northern and middle Europe and also in the Balkans. The species has been introduced to North America. This species is an ancient plant and belongs to the flora of the Tertiary period. Today its extinction is being gradually observed. The height of the shrub is about 100 cm.

The straight shoots are branched in the upper part, and their surface is covered with a fine tuft. The upper leaflets are successively arranged, sessile and oval in shape, while the lower ones are supropositively arranged, heart-shaped and serrated along the edge. The panicle-like inflorescences are composed of fragrant purple flowers, which grow to 40 mm across. The fruit is an oval-lanceolate pod, up to 50 mm long and sharpened at both ends. Cultivated since 1597

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