A perennial or biennial herbaceous plant (Hesperis), also called night violet or Hesperis, is a member of the Cruciferous (Cabbage) family. This genus includes more than 50 species, in nature they can be found in Central Asia, Central Europe and the eastern Mediterranean. The scientific name of this plant came from the Greek word translated as "evening" - the fact that after sunset the smell of vesper flowers is stronger. The most popular species among gardeners is matron's vesper: this perennial is cultivated in open ground as a biennial.
Peculiarities of vesper
Vesper has upright, branched shoots that can vary in height from 0.
5 to 1.2 m. The successive entire sessile or petiolate leaves are green, lyrically or lanceolate in shape and have a serrated edge. On the surface of the shoots and leaves are pubescent. The dense, clustered inflorescences consist of fragrant, small flowers, which may be pompous or simple and show either pink, mauve, white or purple.
The fruit is a cylindrical, linear or tetrahedral pod with barely discernible ribs. During the first season the plant forms a dense rosette of root leaves, and the stem and inflorescences form the next year.
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Growing Vespers from seed
Sowing seeds for seedlings
Vespers are usually grown through seedlings. The seeds are sown in the first days of April. To start with, pour pre-disinfected seedling soil into containers that are not too tall, spread the seeds evenly over their surface and cover them with a centimeter layer of peat combined with humus.
Tamp down the surface of the seeds a little, moisten them from a sprayer with well-distilled water at room temperature. Container top covered with glass or film. Before the seedlings appear, usually it happens after 17-20 days, the seeds should be kept warm (about 20 degrees). During mass germination of the seeds the foil is removed from the container.
Water the seedlings so that the substrate in the container is always slightly moist, also you should regularly gently loosen its surface.
During the formation of the bush's first true leaf plates, they begin to harden, for this purpose every day for half a month, the seedlings are taken outdoors (the duration of the procedure should be increased gradually). When the bushes harden, they can be planted in the open ground.
For planting such flowers, it is recommended to choose a sunny site, but for this also perfectly suitable and shaded place, in any case, the vesper will bloom and grow equally well. The soil is suitable moderately moist and loose better if it is slightly alkaline or neutral. Before you start planting, the site should be prepared.
To do this, it is carried out its recultivation, and if the soil is poor, then it is introduced mineral fertilizers and organics. During planting, the distance between the bushes should be 0.35 to 0.45 m. The planting hole should have such a depth that it can accommodate the root system of the plant, taken with a lump of soil.
The planted seedlings need good watering.
Evening flower - Matrona violet (night violet). Growing a seedling
Sowing in the open soil
If you do not want to bother with seedlings, the night violet seeds can be sown directly into the open soil. Do not rush into sowing in this case because the plants that have been sown for the season will not bloom until the following year. Sowing should take place in late June or early July after the soil has warmed up quickly.
Sow the seeds not very densely and at shallow depth. Do not forget to dig out the soil and give it all the fertilizer it needs.
The first seedlings can be seen after about 20 days. When the season comes to an end, the bushes should have formed their rosettes by this time and will be transplanted to a permanent location, making sure to leave a distance of 0.35 to 0.
45 m between the flowers. If desired, transplanting can be postponed until the next spring period. If transplanted correctly, the night violet will take root fairly quickly in its new location. When flowering shrubs are transplanted, they are taken together with a large earthy clump, which must always be moist.
Garden care for vesper plants
Growing vesper plants in open soil is quite simple, just like most other garden crops.
Watering should be done regularly, with occasional loosening of the soil surface afterwards and after rain. After the emergence of weeds, they should be removed immediately, as well as the bushes are systematically fed. In some cases, because of the heavy inflorescences, the stems bend to the surface of the ground, which makes the bushes less attractive. In this case, it will be necessary to install supports to which the shoots are tied.
Specialists advise, cut the inflorescences as soon as they fade.
This culture only needs to be covered if a very frosty and snowy winter is expected. Plantings should be covered with non-woven material (lutrasil or spunbond). Spruce paws can also be used to cover the plot.
How to water and feed
Water these flowers once every 7 days on average with warm water warmed in the sun. During prolonged dry and hot periods, the frequency of watering should be increased.
At the same time, during prolonged rains, watering is suspended, because if the soil will be excessively wet all the time, it significantly increases the likelihood that the bushes will be harmed by ground fleas, as they like to settle on crops belonging to the cabbage family. Watering and loosening the soil surface should be done only in the morning hours.
For the first season, flowers are regularly fed with a solution of complex mineral fertilizer, which contains a lot of nitrogen. In the second year, during the formation of the buds, the plant should be fertilized with liquid complex fertilizer for beautifully flowering plants or with phosphorus and potassium fertilizer.
Multiplication of vespers
Species and varieties with simple flowers can be multiplied by seed.
But if the terry night violets are cultivated, they are propagated by splitting the shrub only, because if you collect seeds from the bushes yourself and sow them, the grown plants will have simple flowers. Dividing bushes of terry varieties is engaged in the beginning of the spring period or in the fall. To do this, the bush is carefully removed from the ground, divided into several parts and the cut areas are treated with ground charcoal. Then divisions are planted in pits, which are prepared in advance.
In the deep autumn before the first frosts the soil surface near the plants should be covered with a layer of mulch, which will protect the root system in snowy winters from severe frosts.
Pests and diseases of violets
Night violet is affected by the same diseases and harmful insects as other representatives of the Cruciferous family. Such a flower can be harmed by cabbage aphids, cruciferous fleas and bedbugs, stem hidefly, cabbage moth, caterpillars of turnip and cabbage whiteflies and cabbage moth, larvae of rapeseed sawfly and cabbage fly and cruciferous midge. Insecticides are used to kill pests, they can be bought at a specialized store. Experts advise trying to find a product that effectively kills pests without harming the environment.
In the seedling period, seedlings can fall ill with blackleg.
The more mature plant is sometimes attacked by kila, peronosporosis, Alternaria, sclerotinia, fomosis, botrytis, and fusarium, which are also fungal diseases. Also nocturnal violet can be affected by bacterial diseases such as black rot and vascular bacteriosis. Viral diseases such as mosaic and ring spot disease are very dangerous for this crop, as they are currently considered incurable. In the fight against fungal diseases fungicides show high efficiency, the choice of which in specialized stores is wide enough. However, those bushes that are affected by viral or bacterial diseases should be removed from the soil as soon as possible and destroyed.
An area where the diseased shrubs have been growing for three or four years will not be suitable for any crop.
But if you follow the prevention rules and provide the plants with proper care, they will be highly resistant to both pests and diseases.
Vesperis species and varieties
Vesperis matronalis (Hesperis matronalis)
There are quite a few species of vesperis, but the one that is most popular with gardeners is the matronis (Hesperis matronalis), or night violet. It is native to Asia Minor, the Mediterranean, Western Siberia and the Caucasus. This perennial plant is cultivated as a biennial.
Its upright shoots are about 0.8 m tall and branched at the top. Sharp leaf blades of oval-lanceolate shape have a slightly jagged edge, they may be glabrous or covered with a white pile. Cylindrical, brush-shaped inflorescences consist of large or simple flowers, about 20 mm across, which may be white, pink, lilac or purple. Flowers begin to smell stronger in the evening and at night, as well as in wet and cloudy weather.
The following varieties are most popular:
- nana candidissima - bush is about half a meter tall, flowers white and fragrant;
- purpurea plena - purple flowers are macerated.
This Siberian endemic is becoming more popular every year. In the wild this species can be found in Dauria, Sayan Mountains, Altai, Lena, Irtysh and Yenisei. The height of such a biennial varies from 0.35 to 1.
3 m. The stem branched in the upper part and has glandular hairs on its surface. The upper leaflets are narrow-lanceolate and sessile, while the lower ones are petiolate-oval-lanceolate, acute with a serrated edge and pubescence on their surface. The flowers are white or pinkish-purple with pubescent pedicels.
Gardeners also cultivate yellow vesper.
However, it is usually cultivated as a medicinal plant.
Garden flowers that bloom at night. Mattiola is a night violet