Digitalis is an unusual flower decorating many summer cottages. The culture is unpretentious and at the same time decorative. The large-flowered variety is especially popular. About the characteristics of the plant and the nuances of its cultivation will tell our article.
Digitalis large-flowered (large-flowered) is a perennial culture. It got its name thanks to the large beautiful flowers. The stems of the plant are erect. The maximum height is 120 cm. The petals are light yellow in color and slightly pubescent. Inside the flower you can see brownish-brown spots. The shape of the flowers is similar to bells. Unlike this culture, digitalis buds are collected in brushes.
Nature created the flowers of the plant in such a way that the bees and bumblebees that penetrate inward turn out to be showered with pollen. Moving deeper, the insect transfers the composition to the pestle. This is pollination. The resulting boxes contain many small seeds. If you do not collect them in time, self-seeding will occur. In this case, the culture can grow in the most unexpected place.
In the first year of plant life, a basal rosette is formed. In addition to elongated leaves, the gardener will not see anything. Only the next year the peduncle appears on a powerful stalk. Flowering usually begins in May. Duration - 2-3 months (depends on the conditions and characteristics of care). Sometimes flowers delight summer residents only in June and July.
Despite the attractive appearance, the culture is poisonous. Therefore, you should not plant it in the garden if the family has children.
How to plant?
Culture prefers open areas with plenty of sunlight. However, in a shaded area, she feels good. The only caveat - in such conditions, the stems can be slightly stretched. It is also not recommended to plant a flower under deciduous trees. In the fall, falling leaves will interfere with the development of the plant.
As for the soil, the composition is not too important. Digitalis can grow in any, even poor soil. The main thing is to provide good drainage. Stagnation of moisture in the root system is undesirable. Nevertheless, if you plant a crop in loose and fertile soil, it will delight you with more magnificent and long flowering.
The process of planting in open ground
Sowing in open ground occurs at the end of May. You can do this in early June. A couple of days before this, the site is prepared. Dig up the soil. At the same time, the shovel is buried by 25-30 cm. A good solution is the introduction of organic fertilizers in combination with mineral compounds. It is better if the latter are natural. For example, wood ash is suitable. Fertilizers should be at a depth of about 10 cm. Then the site is leveled with a rake and slightly tamped.
Just before sowing, the ground is again loosened a little. However, holes or rows do not need to be done. Seeds are distributed on the surface without seeding. They need only to be sprinkled with a small amount of earth. This nuance is associated with a small seed size. Sprouts are small and weak at first. They simply will not be able to break through an impressive layer of soil.
Despite the fact that the grooves are not made, it is better to sow according to a certain pattern. You should get rows with intervals of 65-70 cm. After this, the beds are covered with non-woven material. When the first sprouts appear, they are watered very carefully. The material can be removed, but during great solar activity, the seedlings still cover.
It is worth noting that at first, young plants grow slowly. Do not worry - active growth will begin a month after sowing. At this time, the sprouts are already beginning to thin out. Between the copies should remain at least 5 cm. After another month, a second procedure is carried out. This time, observe a distance of 10 cm. This time, young flowers are not removed, but simply gently moved to another place.
Final thinning should provide each plant with at least 30 free centimeters. If you ignore this moment, the flowers will grow poorly. Rosettes will be small, stems weak and low, and flowering may not happen at all.
If there are few seeds, sowing can be done in seedling boxes. In this case, termination is also not required. The seed material is distributed over the soil, sprinkled and moistened from a spray bottle. Then they are covered with glass or polyethylene. Shelter is removed when shoots appear.
The pick is carried out at the cotyledon stage. You can just thin out the seedlings. When 3 leaves appear, flowers dive repeatedly. Plants are moved to the site at the end of summer. The distance between the specimens should be at least 25 cm. Before the first wintering the culture provides shelter from the cold. Some gardeners sow crops before winter. So the seed is tested. In spring, only the most hardy and strongest flowers appear.
How to care?
Caring for a crop is easy. The necessary procedures are regular shallow cultivation and elimination of weed grass. Deep loosening is impossible due to the close location of the roots of the flower to the surface of the earth. Watering needs moderate. It is better to allow a slight drying of the soil than to fill the flower.
During flowering, it is important to monitor the state of the culture. If you remove faded buds in a timely manner, you can extend this beautiful period as much as possible.
As for fertilizers, they are applied several times a season. Complex mineral formulations for flowering crops are well suited. The optimal number of top dressings is 3 or 4. If you “go too far” with fertilizers, the sockets will be lush, but flowering can never wait. It is not necessary to cover the plant before wintering (the first year is an exception). If the winters in your region are severe, it is better to build frost protection from the spruce branches. Non-woven fabric can also be used. Also, if the gardener noticed in autumn the exposure of the root system of the flower, you should sprinkle it with earth.
Reproduction of digitalis large-flowered most often occurs by seed (by sowing in open ground or in seedlings). The option of dividing the bush is rarely used. Seed material specially prepared for planting is not necessary. But if you want to accelerate the growth of young flowers, you can pre-soak the seeds in water. Two days will be enough. For the prevention of diseases, you can use a light solution of manganese. It holds seeds for about 20 minutes.
For more information about the cultivation, care and watering of digitalis, see the video.