Each summer resident has his own way to make the site the most original. Someone is betting on exotic plants, for which you need an eye and an eye, while others prefer using already familiar flowers for decoration, which do not require special summer conditions.
These delightful plants can rightly be attributed to eustome. This flower miracle is cultivated in the open ground as an annual. This is due, in the first place, to climatic conditions - in the middle band the flower rarely manages to successfully winter.
Eustoma breeds only seeds. Other breeding methods are not suitable for it: eustoma cuttings do not germinate, and the root system does not tolerate division.
Of course, in order to grow a plant at the dacha, some effort will still have to be made. And the most important thing is to observe the sowing time. In order for eustoma to grow and bloom, it is necessary to plant seeds on seedlings in December-January (but not later than February). It begins to bloom immediately after the first shoots appear (17-20 weeks after planting). If you do not have time with the terms, then this beauty will have to bloom in the autumn, and this is dangerous: autumn frosts can destroy it.
If you do not plan to replant the eustoma in open ground, the best time for planting in this case is June or July.
Sowing eustoma seeds for seedlings
The soil mix must be sterile.
Gardeners use ready-made soil mixture for saintpaulia, which is sold in stores, for growing eustoma. Sieve the mixture and add some washed sand.
You can also mix peat, soil from the garden and sand in a ratio of 2: 1: 0.5. Make sure the mixture is light, breathable, neutral or weakly acidic. If peat riding, with an acidic reaction, add 1 tbsp. ash per 0.5 liter of soil mixture. The mixture is sifted.
The soil mixture must be sterile - this is an important condition when growing eustoma. To do this, it is steamed in a double boiler for an hour.
The container, where it is supposed to grow eustoma, must be washed in a weak solution of potassium permanganate and only then filled with soil mixture. The ground should be slightly damp. The soil surface should be leveled and slightly compacted, eustoma seeds should be gently laid out on the surface using a damp wooden toothpick or other suitable object.
The first shoots of eustoma will appear 10-12 days after sowing
In order to subsequently obtain quality seedlings from eustoma seeds, seedlings need to create ideal conditions for development. An important role in this is played by lighting and temperature control. To better germinate the seeds, they are moistened with a small sprayer. The wet shell is crushed with a toothpick with care - this will help the seeds to climb faster. After you finish with the seeds, place the container in a plastic bag (alternatively, cover it with glass) and provide the future seedlings with a 12-hour backlight with fluorescent lamps. Moreover, the ideal lamp those that are not very hot. Keep the temperature on the soil surface to a maximum of 20-25 ° C.
The first shoots can be expected 10-12 days after sowing.
Do not worry about the fact that the seedlings are not particularly in a hurry with growth - they need to increase the root system. When the seedlings grow a little, gradually accustom her to room temperature, as well as arrange ventilation. It is necessary to increase the time of ventilation every day. And be sure to control the soil moisture - overdrying will destroy immature shoots!
Growing eustoma seedlings in peat tablets
Each peat tablet must be alternately soaked in water.
Many growers have long used the method of planting plants in peat tablets. Many have fallen in love with this method of cultivation for its simplicity and efficiency, as well as for the fact that plants do not suffer when transplanted into the ground and do not get sick, because the risk of injury to the roots during transplantation is excluded.
It is suitable for growing eustoma. Gardeners recommend using for this peat tablets of average size with a diameter of 4 cm.
Each peat tablet must be alternately soaked in water. To do this, they are immersed in a plastic container, previously washed with a solution of potassium permanganate. Water is added to the container as the tablets swell, a lot of water should not be poured immediately. When the tablet swells, they make an indentation into which the eustoma seeds are placed. They do not need to press down or sprinkle with earth.
After that, the container is covered with a lid or plastic wrap. In order to provide the seeds with fresh air, the cover (film) must be periodically lifted.
Initially, eustome will need a bright, but diffused light: this will help the seedlings to grow compactly, they will not be too elongated. To do this, set the container under the fluorescent lamp. The light day of the eustoma should last 12 hours, so provide the plant with additional lightening.
Toward the end of winter, seedlings are moved to the windowsill from the sunny side.
When to dive eustoma seedlings
You can dive eustoma as soon as 2-3 pairs of true leaves appear on it. This usually occurs after 6-8 weeks. It is very important to carry out a pick in time, this process cannot be put off, and do not be intimidated by the small size of shoots. After all, if you miss the right moment, and they will have time to grow more than necessary, with a picking, the danger of damaging the eustoma roots will increase.
A pick is painstaking and requires increased caution. Your work must be truly jewelery, because it is she who will further provide eustome with rapid and qualitative growth. In order to pick out seedlings more quickly and efficiently, use a thin awl - this will help to remove tiny bushes from the soil with the least damage.
How to transplant eustoma in open ground
Gardeners transplanted eustoma on a bed in early July. The plant can be planted in the ground after the appearance of the first 4-8 full leaves. If you did everything right from the very beginning, then your flower will take root in a new place without problems. Almost immediately after adaptation, flower stalks will appear, and very soon your eustoma will bloom to the very frost and delight you!
It is preferable to plant eustoma in the ground in the evening. When choosing a flower bed, remember that eustoma can reveal its maximum beauty only in sunny places. Together with the ground, each seedling is lowered into a well-prepared hole prepared in advance. The remaining space is filled with primer. The roots of the plant in the hole should be at the same depth at which they were in the tank.
More than 60 varieties of eustoma are known in the world. But flower growers use only two for growing - large-flowered eustoma and Russell's eustoma. The first is most suitable for cultivation in flower beds, the second - for cultivation in pots.
Eustoma grows well on moist soils, the acidity of which reaches a pH of 6.5-7.0. On soils where acidity is elevated, eustoma will grow very slowly. To accelerate its growth, it is necessary to monitor the condition of the soil: loosen, moisten, remove weeds. If the land in your flower bed is rich in humus, then eustome will not need to be fed frequently - just a couple of times per season, using liquid fertilizers - Plantafol Growth, Plantafol Butonization, Kemira or Kemira Lux in a concentration of 10-15 ml per 10 l of water.
Remember that eustoma is important not only the soil, but also high-quality timely watering. With a shortage of water, eustoma begins dropping buds. It is important to observe a balance: the soil should be moderately moist, but in no case supersaturated with moisture! The most correct thing is to water the eustoma only after the top layer of the earth dries sufficiently after the previous watering. It is important that water does not fall on the leaves of the plant, otherwise the plant will be at risk of fungal diseases.
Therefore, in the first two months after transplanting into the open ground, eustoma seedlings are preferably watered with Fundazole - this will provide them with strong leaves and stems, as well as protect them from diseases. The fungicide solution (at a concentration of 1 tsp. Per 1 liter of water) is prepared immediately before use. A one-time spraying with Zircon or Epin will help to improve the development of eustoma - 3-4 drops per 100 ml of water.
Feel free to give bouquets of eustoma. In a vase with water, this flower can stand for up to three weeks!
Growing eustoma is not an easy task. However, it is worth it! Eustoma will add sophistication to any flowerbed. And with proper care and watering, it will long please you with lush flowering.