Pansies are an indispensable element of decorating the landscape of summer cottages and house adjoining territories. The main method of their reproduction is considered the seed method. The material in this article will introduce the reader to the method of growing flowers from seeds at home, focusing in detail on the main criteria for care, through which flowers create comfortable conditions for development and flowering.
What it is?
Flowers, which we used to call pansies, have different names. Someone calls them violets, others classify them as a viola. Despite the confusion in the names, Wikipedia gives clear concepts: the viola is nothing but the Latin name for violets. Pansies are a tricolor plant of the Violet family or Viola tricolor, which has many varieties.
This is a one- and two-year-old terrestrial herbaceous type with a thin, low-branched root, plumbing into the ground. Pansies are a flowering plant of the genus Violet, but a separate species. It is often confused with other plants, although in reality this is only a separate type of violets. Talking about growing pansies from seeds, we will also use the term "three-colored violet."
Selection of planting material
Tricolor violet seeds are stored for only two years, after which they lose germination. As a rule, over time, it decreases by half. When buying planting material in a store, you should pay attention to the expiration date of the seeds. The smaller it is, the better.
However, when buying, despite the variety of varieties, you can purchase low-quality seed. This is explained by storage conditions and dishonesty of some producers who mix fresh-harvested seeds with last year's. As a result, having paid the money, the buyer often does not receive seedlings at all. Choosing seeds in the store, do not be shy, asking for the freshness of the product.
You should not buy bags that are in the store for a long time, these seeds, most likely, will not sprout.
The best planting material is considered to be ripe seeds collected from the flowers on their own. Flowering pansies ends in the fall. It was at this time that seeds ripen in boxes. The boxes themselves are torn off, torn out, then the seeds are removed for storage. In order not to lose seeds due to the wind, the boxes are tied with gauze or bandage. Seed boxes are torn off only when they darken.
As for the finished planting material, it is possible to purchase hybrid varieties in flower shops (for example, Viola Williams, Rococo Mix). It is undesirable to plant hybrids with seeds because they do not inherit the characteristic features of the mother plant.
Three-colored violet is planted in open ground, and therefore you need to correctly calculate the time of sowing. They begin to plant seeds for seedlings in February, so that in the spring (before transplanting), the seedlings are strong and developed. It is worth noting that the seeds of violets are not planted in the winter , because they do not withstand a drop in temperature. And yet, as practice shows, a small part of the planted material sometimes gives rare shoots.
So that the pansies bloomed in the spring, the seeds are planted the previous summer (in July). By autumn, the sprouts will grow stronger and gain strength, they will winter and will be able to give abundant flowering. If you want to enjoy the flowers in the fall, they start planting in late April or early May. On average, after 70 days you can wait for the flowering to begin.
However, later flowering is fraught with the fact that the plants will be weakened and will not be able to winter.
The preparatory stage before planting will consist in the preparation of the substrate, the capacity for seedlings and the preparation of the seeds themselves.
The soil for violet tricolor is required friable. It can be prepared in the fall or you can buy a substrate already ready by choosing a soil mixture for flowers. If the earth is prepared on their own, they try to maintain the necessary proportions, because the plant needs specific soil. Mix in equal proportions of turf soil, compost, peat and sand. Sand will be a component due to which the soil will become loose.
The soil must be sieved and decontaminated before planting seeds in it. These are necessary conditions for the prevention of the black leg, which can appear in small seedlings. The plant loves a slightly acidic nutrient soil. If it is sandy or clay, pansies will become inconspicuous and will slow down in growth. Bad soil is fertilized by applying per 1 sq. Km. m. 5 kg of plant compost or last year's manure.
You can sow pansies for seedlings in peat or coconut tablets, after soaking them with water at room temperature.
For better germination and active growth, planting material collected at home independently must be treated with a growth stimulator. Seeds are soaked in Epin or Zircon preparations, which, in addition to accelerating growth, can increase plant endurance to environmental conditions. After that proceed to their processing by Fitosporin. It is a measure of the prevention of fungal diseases from which cultivated seedlings can suffer.
The treated seeds are dried and begin to sow. As for purchased seeds, they do not need additional processing. They are planted immediately in a prepared and moistened substrate. For the convenience of sowing, someone prefers to use skewers or toothpicks. The seeds are small, they can be taken with manicure tweezers with blunt tips. If forceps are selected as the tool, the seeds must be taken carefully.
Sometimes seeds are pre-germinated to plant them with tiny sprouts in a moist soil of several pieces. They are well rooted in the soil, sprouting up sprouts with cotyledon leaves.
With this method of planting, seedlings dive not always. Sometimes they remain in their pots until they land in the open ground.
How to sow seedlings?
To properly plant a three-color violet at home, you need to be guided by simple planting rules. According to generally accepted technology, tricolor violets are planted on seedlings in low containers or plastic cups.
Before pouring soil into them, the containers are treated with Fitosporin or a one percent solution of potassium permanganate. So that the seedlings do not rot from excess water, it is necessary to ensure the outflow of liquid. To do this, put a layer of drainage on the bottom of the container, and already prepared and disinfected substrate is poured on top of it.
It is not necessary to crush and compact the soil unnecessarily , as this can interfere with the formation of the seedling root system. Three-color violet seeds are planted superficially; they are not buried in the ground. Seeds are sown, trying to do it evenly, otherwise during germination they will interfere with each other's development. Then they are moistened from above with water at room temperature, spraying the ground from a finely divided water sprayer.
Thanks to this moistening, the seeds will be pulled to the ground and able to germinate. After "watering" the container with the seeds planted is covered with plastic wrap or glass and removed for germination in a warm place. It can be brought to light already after friendly shoots appear. However, in order to prevent decay of seedlings during germination, it is necessary to ventilate from time to time by removing glass or plastic film.
As for shelters, they are removed after emergence. At this time, the container is transferred closer to the light for active growth and development. If in the room where pansies are grown dry, then make sure that the stems do not dry out. Therefore, sometimes it is possible to cover the seedlings with a film, providing a greenhouse effect and keeping the necessary moisture inside.
In addition, gardeners resort to hardening of seeds, sowing them in a container with a top layer of snow. The method is convenient in that it allows you to see the density of the crop and its uniform distribution. After planting in the snow, the containers are covered with a film or glass and removed for germination according to the standard scheme. As the snow melts, the seeds will fall to the ground and be pulled to the desired depth.
Subject to the basic instructions for sowing, sprouts should appear within a week and a half. In this case, the optimum temperature of germination is a temperature regime of at least +20 degrees. Waiting for the appearance of the remaining seedlings, the film is not removed, since during this period of development the seedlings need high humidity. However, the soil should not be wet, this will ruin the seedlings.
Approximately two to three weeks before planting in open ground, it is necessary to begin preparation to reduce the stress that flowers usually experience when transplanting from home to the street. For this, a container with grown and stronger seedlings is taken out onto the street or onto the balcony. At first it is kept on the street for no more than half an hour, with each passing day the time spent is gradually increased and brought up to three hours. If the street is warm, you can take out seedlings for four hours.
You can begin hardening on a glazed balcony or loggia in March, so that in late April or early May, pansies can already be planted in prepared boxes for the whole summer. It is noteworthy that the vegetation process in plants depends on which side the windows of the balcony or loggia go . For example, flowering begins earlier if it is the southern or eastern side.
Seedlings grown at home are planted in flower beds or in flower beds around mid-May. This is the best time for landscaping and the active development of flowers.
About a month later they will begin to bloom, opening the summer season and decorating the soil with bright flowers of various shapes. Moreover, the optimal place for them is that part of the site near which there are no tall trees.
How to care for seedlings?
After the appearance of young shoots, it is time for regular care. It implies compliance with the rules of irrigation, maintaining the right temperature and humidity, timely fertilizing and taking into account the necessary lighting. Consider the main nuances of creating comfortable conditions for pansies.
Watering and loosening
Seedlings respond to the correctness and amount of watering. Water must not be allowed to stagnate in containers; it is also unacceptable for the soil to dry out. In both cases, the seedlings will die. If you did not water the plant on time, you can’t try to make up the moisture deficit with a large amount.
The plant itself is very delicate and fragile, you do not need to pour water, but spray the soil from a spray bottle. Especially this rule must be remembered during the vegetative period. Water pansies need to be dosed, but regularly, not forgetting that they respond to any touch. The water from the water supply before irrigation must be defended or filtered to get rid of salts of heavy metals and other harmful impurities.
There is no rigid framework and irrigation calendar - it is carried out as needed, monitoring the soil moisture. Loosely seedlings should be extremely careful, since the root system of the plant is not deep. Even the slightest damage to the root can cause flower disease.
Lighting and temperature
Until the plant has gained strength, it must be protected from direct sunlight. However, you do not need to hide it from the light - it should be sufficient, but scattered. The plant is photophilous and needs long-term lighting. Given the insufficient daylight hours, in the first month of growth, it is necessary to provide him with auxiliary lighting.
To fill the deficit of sunlight, you can use phytolamps. As for the temperature for optimal growth and development, +25 degrees is quite enough. If the temperature rises, it will affect flowering and growth retardation.
Fertilizing is an important nuance of care, because without them soil depletion will occur. Regardless of whether a small, large-flowered or gigantic variety is selected, the plant needs additional nutrition. It is believed that feeding should be done at least twice a season. In this case, the key fertilizer application is carried out in that phase of active development, when the three-colored violet picks up buds. For this, you can use the drug "Agricola".
The next time it is advisable to recharge the soil during flowering. As for the composition of the fertilizer, it is desirable that it contains potassium, nitrogen, phosphorus and other trace elements. To grow high-quality and strong seedlings, you can feed it with superphosphate or nitrate. When the soil is dry, you need compost or humus. You can not fertilize the ground near the plant with fresh manure, it is strictly forbidden. You can not fertilize the soil during dormancy, when the plant needs rest.
When cultivating cultivated plants, any grower wants to achieve abundant and long flowering. You can extend the flowering of pansies if you regularly and timely rid the plant of wilted flowers, because otherwise the seeds will be tied up immediately. To form a healthy plant, you need to pinch long and unsuccessful shoots on time. Do not forget to feed the flower, otherwise it will start to dry for no apparent reason.
It is necessary to start diving seedlings when two true leaves appear on the sprouts. Despite the fact that the seedlings still seem rather weak, it is at this age that they more easily and less painfully tolerate a pick. For transplantation, you will need soil that is identical in composition to that prepared for planting. In addition, separate containers for seedlings are prepared. When choosing them, take into account that the distance between seedlings should be at least 5-6 cm.
According to the rules of picking, seedlings are removed from the soil along with the soil. This will simplify the adaptation of the sprouts and reduce stress time. When transplanting, it is important to carefully handle the roots. If you touch them, the plant can slow growth. Transplanting a three-color violet, you can adjust the height of the seedlings if they are elongated in growth. The picking rules allow such a correction, since the seedlings can be deepened into the soil to the cotyledons. This will make the plant more compact. In addition, on the deepened part in the process of growth, additional roots can form. Having planted a seedling in the ground, it is moistened with watering under the root.
If necessary, you can re-pick. This is done if the plant is planted early, but there is already not enough space in the pot or box.
Sometimes flowers, which should please with abundant and prolonged flowering, do not bloom. And the reason for this is not so much in leaving as in a late landing. It was necessary to grow seeds for seedlings earlier, and if you want to see the bright blooming of violets in the flower beds, now you have to plant the seeds in July immediately in open ground. This is best done on the adjustable bed.
As for the abundance of flowering, finely colored hybrids of horned violets bloom more luxuriantly and longer than other varieties. However, this will not happen if you do not remove faded flowers yourself. In order to prolong the flowering of large-flowered varieties, it is necessary to plant them in waves. After flowering, they are pruned, and they grow again, blooming in the fall, and the second flowering, as practice shows, is longer.
Pests and diseases
Like any plant, pansies are susceptible to disease and the attack of small pests. You need to know how to eliminate the cause.
- When powdery mildew appears in the form of a white coating on the leaves, an urgent need to treat the plant with fungicide. With the progression of the disease, you need to use "Chistotsvet" or "Topaz". If the lesions are large, the plant is removed completely, it can not be saved.
- Gray rot speaks of itself as the appearance of a gray coating on the foliage and watery shoots. The reason is simple: the plant suffered from excess moisture, it was poured. Correct the situation by removing all the affected parts of the flower, reducing the amount of watering and growing temperature. In this case, one cannot do without the treatment of pansies with Fundazol.
- If yellow or brown spots appeared on the leaves, then the flowers are affected by bacterial spotting. In order to prevent the spread of the disease, it is necessary to remove diseased plants from the flower garden, and the remaining ones should be treated with copper oxychloride.
- If the plant began to dry and turn yellow, this could be the cause of the aphid attack. It is urgent to get rid of pests with soapy water or with the Aktellik Zubr preparation.
- When slugs appear on a developing violet, the leaves of the plant suffer. Small holes, or even furrows, appear on them. It is necessary to reduce the amount of watering, collect harmful insects manually.
If there are a lot of slugs, do not do without the use of metaldehyde.
On how to properly grow and care for pansies, see below.