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

The herbaceous herbaceous perennial Sparaxis is a member of the Iris family. Under natural conditions, this plant is found in southern Africa, in the Cape region. And one of the species was introduced in California. There are 6 varieties of this plant, it is noteworthy that some scientists consider them to be different species, while other experts say that they are variants of the same species. Sparaxis has about 20 varieties.

There is a Greek root in the genus name, which translates to "split bract ends."

Sparaxis features

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

Sparaxis can range in height from 0.15 to 0.6 m. The smooth, bare leaf plates have a strap-shaped, lanceolate shape.

The star-shaped flowers are richly colored and grow to about 50 mm across. The bracts are split at the tips, which is already clear from the name of the genus. The pistil stalk projects behind the short perianth tube, which is funnel-shaped. The weakly twisted stigmas are solid.

Putting sparaxis outdoors

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

What time to plant

The best place to grow sparaxis is in the south: the spring is warm there, the summer is hot, the fall comes late and the winter is comparatively warm and mild.

When growing this flower culture in the middle latitudes, in deep autumn its tubers are removed from the ground and put away for storage, and with the onset of the spring period they are planted again in the open soil. Planting tubers in the middle latitudes and colder regions is recommended from early to mid-May, after the soil is very well warmed. In southern regions, where it is never colder than 1 degree in the winter, plant the tubers under the winter, in the last days of October.

Planting rules

A site suitable for planting should be well lighted, open and yet protected from wind gusts. Planting Sparaxis in a shaded area will have a very negative effect on both the growth and development of the plant.

It will grow best in fertile loam, but it can also be planted in another kind of soil, as long as it is well drained. Depending on its size, the bulbs should be about 50-80 mm deeper into the soil. The distance between the holes and the rows should be about 8-10 cm. Planted tubers need abundant watering. Bushes planted in May will begin to bloom in August and will finish when the first frosts arrive.

Garden care for sparaxis

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

Care for sparaxis grown in middle latitudes in exactly the same way as the more popular flower crop, the gladiolus. These flowers need timely watering, weeding, and also loosening the surface of the ground between the bushes. During drought, the above-ground part of the shrub should be moistened with a spray gun in the early morning or evening sunset, because if the sunlight hits the water droplets on the leaves, they can cause burns. It is also very important to remove the flowers that have started to fade from the shrub in good time so that it is stimulated to form new buds and stems.

How to water and feed

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

The shrubs should be watered quite frequently at the beginning of growth.

After each watering, the soil surface should be loosened and any weeds should be pulled out if necessary. During prolonged droughts, watering should be done 2 or 3 times every 7 days, and be liberal. Water only with standing water that has warmed up well in the sun. Watering and spraying Sparaxis is recommended in the early morning or at sunset in the evening. If the water stagnates in the ground or the watering is excessively abundant all the time, it may cause fungal diseases.

During the formation of the buds the bushes should be fertilized with a solution of complex mineral fertilizer for flowering plants (20 grams per 1 bucket of water). During the season the plant should be fed 3 or 4 times. When it blooms, all feeding should be discontinued. On hot days it is recommended to moisten the above-ground part of the plant with a sprayer, using lukewarm, settled water. If this is not done, there will be thinning of the leaves and the buds will become shallow (they may not form at all), because the plant suffers from too little moisture in the air.

Propagation of Sparaxis

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

This crop can be propagated by seeds as well as by offspring. The easiest method of propagation is vegetative. When planting the plant in open soil, the tubers should be separated from the tubers. The places of splits should be sprinkled with charcoal powder, and then the offspring can be planted in pre-prepared wells. It is not advisable to separate the offspring in the autumn time before putting the tubers in storage for the winter, the fact is that in 6 months they are likely to shrivel up greatly.

Growing such a flower from seed is also possible, but this method differs in its complexity and duration. A box is taken, the depth of which should be about 10 centimeters, and filled with a moistened soil mixture, saturated with nutrients. Seeds are sown into this container, and then it is moved to a very warm place with high air humidity. After 20-30 days should appear the first seedlings, and then you'll need to make them thinning, with between plants should be kept at a distance of 20 mm. Once the height of seedlings will be equal to 7-8 inches, it should be planted in the garden, with the soil should already be very well heated.

Seeded shrubs do not bloom for the first time until three years later.

Hibernation

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

After the shrubs have finished blooming, your next care will depend on whether you are growing the plant as a perennial or annual. For middle latitudes and colder climates, remove the bulbs from the soil after they have bloomed and the part above ground has turned yellow. Once the remains of the soil have been removed from them, they should be transferred to a dry and well-ventilated room to dry out, the above-ground part need not be trimmed. Once the leaves have dried very well, they should be gently stripped off, then the bulbs should be stored in a cool (5 to 9 degrees) place.

During the winter it is recommended to make a systematic inspection of the planting material, so you can detect rotten or withered tubers in time and remove them. When there is very little time left before planting in the open soil, the planting material should be moved to a warm place (25 to 27 degrees). Separation of the offspring from the bulbs should be performed just before planting. Planting material of this plant can be stored for 2 or 3 years.

When growing Sparaxis in southern regions, where the winter time is not colder than 1 degree, it can not be dug up for the winter.

In this case, this culture is grown as a perennial. If you still fear that the bushes may freeze, you can cover them for the winter with spruce lapnik.

Diseases and pests

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

If you give Sparaxis proper care, it will not be affected by either diseases or pests. However, if there is a lot of standing liquid in the soil, the bulbs will rot and usually die. If the foliage becomes dull and faded, it is probably due to lack of iron.

To get rid of the chlorosis, you should add agents containing iron in chelated form to the soil.

Sparaxis reacts extremely negatively to lack of sunlight as well as to cold.

Sparaxis species and varieties with photos and names

We already mentioned above that in some cases it is extremely difficult to understand exactly what type of sparaxis you are facing, namely species or varietal. The forms of this crop that are most popular with gardeners will be described below.

Sparaxis tricolor, or Sparaxis tricolor (Ixia tricolor)

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

The bush can reach a height of about 0.

4 meters. The flower stalks are also up to 0.4 m tall and bear 5 to 7 dainty flowers, which may be bicolor or mono-color. At the base of the petals the flowers have a characteristic black ring that separates them from the rich yellow center. The leaves are sword-shaped.

Sparaxis elegans (Sparaxis elegans)

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

This dwarf plant does not exceed 0.15 m in height. The flowers are white or orange. Sparaxis mix is popular among gardeners as it is a mixture of plants of different colors.

Sparaxis bulbifera (Sparaxis bulbifera)

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

The relatively large plant, which is unpretentious, is about 0.

6 m tall. The branched upright flower stalks show the formation of openwork inflorescences that include flowers that reach 60 mm across and can be colored yellow, light cream, white or whitish yellow.

Sparaxis grandiflora

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

This species is tall. The leaf plates have a strap-shaped shape. The flowers are large elongated and can be colored white, purple and deep yellow.

The flowers have a very pleasant fragrance, which is why this species is also called fragrant sparaxis. The most popular among gardeners are such varieties as:

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

  1. Superba. The bush is about 0.25-0.3 m tall.

    The spike-like inflorescence consists of 5 to 7 flowers, reaching 50 mm across, which can be orange, purple, white or yellow in color and black or yellow in the middle.

  2. Lord of Fire. The scarlet-colored flowers have a black middle.
  3. Elegance. The dark purple colored fragrant flowers have a black middle and white stamens.

  4. Sunny Day. Lemon-cream flowers have an indistinct border located at the base of the petals. The yellowish midrib also has indistinct borders. The lower part of the petals has bands of light crimson in the middle.
  5. Lunar color.

    The very beautiful white-lilac flowers are decorated with strokes of crimson, scarlet or dark purple. The midrib coloration is yellow and the stamens are dark.

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